We will evaluate possible updates and conversions of your Legacy systems to one of the more current platforms and if you do decide to update the system, we will execute the updates and/or conversions. We will also support and maintain your Legacy Systems, work on bug fixes and add new features and functionality as directed.
Legacy System Conversion becomes necessary or desirable when newer technology provides sufficient benefits or requirements that make older platforms and data no longer economically feasible to maintain.
Here is our checklist of points to consider for a successful Legacy system conversion project:
Legacy software does not always fall under “old” or “outdated” definitions. Need to assess all systems in place to uncover the current and potential issues it can cause in the near future.
Based on the assessment conducted, choose the modernization approach that best fits your needs and will help you deliver results fast.
Legacy systems often fail to perform as needed due to their overly complex structure. When modernizing your system, less is more in terms of both architecture and functionality. Start by implementing only the most important features.
When reengineering your system, make sure you use a solid and future-ready technology stack. The right tech stack contributes to building a performant, reliable and efficient product. Adopt a solid quality assurance and testing process to deliver the best results.
To avoid the same mistakes that made you reengineer your current solution, introduce (or adopt best practices used by other companies) a set of coding standards and internal processes. Orderly documented and clean code make your software easy to understand, extend and maintain in the future.
Even if you have a brand-new system running like a clockwork, you will still need your legacy software, just in case. So, don’t kill it all at once. Document and archive your solutions so you can easily access and refer to them when needed. Therefore, you need to support your legacy system for some time and plan for retiring your legacy system only when your new product is up and running.
Working with the old systems for years, your employees might need some time and guidance to master the new software. So be ready to invest in staff training for better performance and efficiency. Additionally, plan for regular system updates. If you fail to keep your product up to date, you will soon face another modernization challenge.
Steps to assess the existing solution.
The first step in our plan is to identify and analyze the technology stack of the existing product. Thus, we know if the programming language or frameworks used are still relevant and supported by the vendors. If the product relies completely on outdated technologies, the chances are we would need to completely rewrite it in the process of modernization.
In case the tech stack (or some parts of it) is still relevant, it is necessary to conduct an architecture audit. This will help you define the system elements which are functioning well and focus on the ones that need modernization. Plus, you will be able to see how different parts of the system interrelate, so that your future changes won’t affect the whole product.
Legacy software usually has an excessive codebase, requiring regular reviews and refactoring. If not treated properly, the software tends to “rot.” This might lead to more design flaws and conflicts as you try to introduce new features or update some parts of the system. That is why, as a part of any modernization or changes, we typically conduct a complete code review, assessing the quality and “updateability” of the system’s source code.
The same principle applies to the UI and UX design. A thorough design review is required to understand which parts of the system interface need a “facelift.”
Performance testing aims at uncovering further potential issues with the legacy systems. Poor performance or major flaws can serve as a reason for a complete system reengineering as well as selective improvements.
While considering the current business needs and requirements articulated by the client, we also focus on opportunities for the future growth. Thus, we help you make an informed decision by providing a well-grounded and unbiased opinion on the software modernization options.
The system evolves influenced by different development methods – from adding a line of code to complete reimplementation.
There are two methods for dealing with the legacy problem that involve major structural changes: revolutionary (big-bang) and evolutionary (band-aid). Yet, both have benefits as well as drawbacks.
Below are three modernization approaches to help you pick the one that can deal best with your current legacy challenges.
While both Migration & Enhancements and Correction & Growth are drawn on the Evolutionary method, the third approach called Complete Software Reengineering takes a Revolutionary turn.
This is one of the most popular approaches to application modernization and the easiest way to make sure your product will keep serving your needs for years to come. It presupposes the system migration (typically re-hosting, using cloud solutions) and some minor enhancements. This includes UI/UX updates, performance optimization, and database migration. Yet, this method has a number of limitations. Namely, the core business logic and architecture mostly remain unchanged, as this type of changes require a more invasive approach.
If the product technology stack is relatively modern and does not represent a threat for future product growth, modernization can involve some minor enhancements/corrections. This might be architecture optimization or code refactoring, UX updates or performance optimization without significant changes in product business logic. As soon as the product is updated, you can add more features on top of it. These might be third-party integrations or custom-built modules.
Considered the most extreme approach, features extraction relies on your business strategy and growth outlook. This means, in order to reengineer the product, you need to identify the features that are still crucial to your business and the ones that are no longer used or required. After that, the required features are prioritized and modified if needed. Taking the legacy system as a basis, the team creates an up-to-date product with matching capabilities, but better performance, look and feel, modern technologies and scalable architecture. Depending on the functionality analysis and prioritization, the new product might 100% match the previous version in terms of functionality, or lack some features that are no longer required/used.
Legacy modernization approaches have specific techniques applied to update obsolete technologies.
To sum up, modernization techniques impact different aspects of the legacy system. That said, encapsulation, rehosting, and replatforming affect the technology platform. Refactoring and rearchitecting can solve problems in the technology and architecture domains. Rebuilding and replacing allow for changing and adding functions and features, among other things.
Regardless of the chosen approach and technique, software modernization is a complex, labor intensive and risky process. Yet, the results are well-worth the risk.
Clarus will handle every aspect of legacy-system modernization: from analyzing the current solution, developing a solid business strategy, prioritizing the features to rebuilding your product from scratch, using latest technologies and architecture solutions
“Legacy System Modernization: How to Transform the Enterprise for Digital Future”