Legacy Systems Transformation | ScaleFocus

Legacy Systems Transformation

Legacy systems transformations usually happen every 10 years. Our practice shows that software systems have a lifecycle that is even shorter at about 7 years. Essentially a legacy system’s transformation frees your business from experiencing scalability and operations issues and enables your company to add critical business functionality quickly.

The importance of legacy systems transformation. Why should you modernize your legacy systems?

Legacy or non-performing applications will jeopardize your operations when least expected. Procrastination is everything but your friend. Be wise to prepare upfront and align the corporate IT landscape for new industry realities.

Eight signs that you might need to undertake a legacy systems transformation:

You have issues with performance.

Your team is constantly unable to meet deadlines due to low system performance. Even simple tasks, processes and calculations take a long time to complete.

Your maintenance costs are high.

Whether it is a legacy system vendor’s contract or the time spent by your own IT team for constant patching and modifications that add exorbitant costs.

Increasing support complexity.

Legacy systems have often large code bases, poor documentation and are structured as massive monoliths. This environment discourages your IT and support teams when implementing new functionality or trying to keep old one running smoothly.

Adding layers for compatibility.

Relying on legacy systems often leads to adding new communication layers just to make older functionality work. Adding layers is most common when you update operating systems, migrate to new infrastructure or update your general IT landscape setup.

Outdated functionality.

Most legacy systems have been around long enough that the core business of their owner has changed radically. Thus they support only a fraction of what is needed for current operations. This weight of “unused code” slows down performance and makes systems user unfriendly.

You feel vendor lock-in.

Your license costs keep going up, but on the other hand your business requests are not met with the urgency and execution time you need.

Your security might be compromised.

Legacy systems’ vendors often reduce support regardless of whether you are a paying customer or not. This means crucial security patches are not delivered.

Support retention issues.

It is quite common that our customers complain that key support personnel leave or retire. Then you are left with a very old system and no one in the team with knowledge to keep supporting it.

Here is an example of one of our customers, who experienced the latest three points. One of their employees left the company, acted as a freelance consultant and strange things started to happen to their business. Our team stepped-in and after a thorough investigation found the security breach.

When should you consider a legacy system’s transformation?

  • When a system limitation to grow causes you to struggle to keep up with what your competitors already offer.
  • When your operational costs are extremely high and especially when they surpass the business benefits.
  • When your business has changed drastically and the current systems don’t cover a large part of your current needs.
  • When you have issues maintaining expertise about your systems.
  • When you experience constant interruptions and slow performance of business-critical systems.
  • When you want to be an innovative market leader, as opposed to struggling with the foundations of your business processes.

What to expect after modernizing your legacy system?

 

  • Improve the business agility and adaptability
  • Increase your IT and business productivity
  • Cut operating, system maintenance and legacy licensing costs
  • Significantly reduce legacy licenses costs and vendor lock
  • Achieve faster time-to-market of new products and services
  • Focus on your core market differentiations and forget about system issues

The process – how do we transform legacy systems?

1. We will start with carefully evaluating your current legacy system from a technical perspective.

  • Check the system’s setup and configurations, paying attention to load, irregular behavior and various possible leaks.
  • Check performance issues, inefficiencies and other factors for unhealthy operations.

 

2. We will take a look at your data needs and processes.

  • Analyze your current data setup and needs. Find out whether your data is corrupted and all of it is needed and available.
  • See what the current system is missing and what needs to be added. Discuss your existing data, how you manage it and what more can be delivered as business value.
  • Create a strategy to retire legacy data.

3. Following these activities, we will also take a business perspective and review all reasons why you need and want the transformation.

  • Analyze the overall impact of your business.
  • Calculate support vs. replacement costs and ROI.
  • Consider the learning and adoption curves of your team.
  • Evaluate processes to be automated in the new system.

4. Finally we will make the decision together.

  • Discuss delivery models and how a possible switch can be done.
  • Put in place a delivery plan.
  • Identify all stakeholders and prepare a work break-down schedule.
  • Form joint teams and start work to identify the best ways to automate your business and make sure that is done in a flexible and efficient way.

We can help you with complete system transformation: architectural, technology, security, functional, etc. in the following domains:

  • Building a replacement software system from scratch
  • Reengineering existing applications for cloud-based and hybrid infrastructure
  • Migrating legacy applications to modern environments
  • Test and validation against the new software imperatives
  • Performance optimizations of legacy systems
  • Using hybrid models of operations with legacy system optimization and a new system

Tools and technologies

Our team has a vast technological savvy and can help you with transformation and optimization of systems based on Java, .NET, Delphi, PHP, COBOL, JavaScript, Angular, Python, Ruby on Rails, NodeJS etc.

I have a legacy system, which I am considering to modernize!