There are many reasons why your business must modernize its legacy applications. Many organizations still depend on legacy applications because they are tightly intertwined with organizational processes and tailored to meet unique business needs. Modernizing outdated applications can be a complex process, but upgrading them is necessary because of their critical role in an organization’s day-to-day operations. The essential nature of many legacy systems can make or break a company in the digital era, therefore, improving legacy systems is a necessary investment for the longevity of any business.
Why is it essential to modernize legacy software? What are the common concerns for updating aging applications? When should your business make the update?
Very Quickly, Let’s Define: Legacy System
A legacy system is typically defined as outdated computing software that still meets some business needs, but is not modern enough to meet new digital demands.
A large variety of industries such as banking, insurance, manufacturing, transportation, government and healthcare, just to name a few, heavily rely on legacy systems. Although still widely relied on, this should not be the norm, especially in a new digital world where faster, agile, and better integrated alternatives are available.
Many enterprises keep their legacy systems because:
– Although they are monolithic, difficult to maintain and clumsy to integrate, they still work
– The business cannot provide a cost-benefit proof for the upgrade
– Cost of retraining the existing team can be high
– Modernization requires a lot of time and involvement, which if not managed properly, can hinder business operations
Although these may feel like valid reasons for delaying modernization initiatives, they are not. Now is the time to address the current and potential challenges aging platforms pose. Not doing so will certainly create more expensive problems down the road.
3 Reasons To Start Modernization Now:
1. Attract New Talent
The developers that wrote legacy systems are retiring and it is difficult for organizations to bring on new talent when your system is written in 30+ year old code. In order to attract and retain good developers, your organization must provide an environment where they can see themselves learning new technologies, challenging themselves and growing their careers. Unfortunately, this is very difficult to do when you’re asking employees to learn languages they’ve never even heard of before.
Rather than waiting until your last remaining developers are 70 and about to retire, start planning to transition from legacy to modern code. Doing so will ensure that you are not scrambling at the last minute to replace the only people who know how to maintain and develop on your system, a system that runs your business!
2. Legacy systems create integration challenges
The new digital world is here. No matter the industry, every organization is getting into the business of software development. There is no other choice. In order to be competitive and survive, companies must be able to quickly deliver new digital experiences to their customers, partners and internal staff. This is why cloud is becoming more and more prevalent and why the ability to integrate quickly and easily is essential.
Companies must move from isolated, siloed legacy systems to highly accessible, yet secure, API enabled systems that are easy to integrate with. Those companies that make it easy to integrate with the variety of technologies available via cloud, will stay ahead of the curve. Those that don’t, will lose to the competition. There is simply no excuse for any company that wants to remain relevant beyond the next five years, not to make API integration a top business priority.
3. Legacy applications are difficult to maintain
Legacy applications are typically monolithic and therefore, difficult to maintain and extend
. These applications have typically been customized for 30-40 years, by a variety of developers and more often than not, poorly documented. This combination is a nightmare for organizations looking to invest in new emerging technologies like AI and cloud.
In order to prepare your business for a future dependent on the ability to quickly build and deploy new applications, it is essential the monolithic architectures are broken down into smaller, reusable components and properly documented. The ability to easily maintain enterprise applications is critical for a future world dependent on speed and agility.
Modernize Your Legacy Systems Now!
is the only IBM i (AS400) modernization partner with a fully integrated solution stack
to help your company solve complex business challenges and confidently navigate the future. Call us today at 877-224-7768 for a project estimate!