What are your plans to update your current IT infrastructure to take advantage of new technologies such as cloud, mobile or analytics to create new opportunities and promote operational efficiency? Are you in analysis paralysis wondering how to free yourself from the current constraints and modernize your systems? Here are some tips on how to start this journey.
Analyze Your Current Systems & Future Needs
Start by looking at your current legacy systems and perform assessments to identify:
- Is the legacy system slowing down your organization’s ability to grow, shift and adapt to changes?
- Does the system lack IT support? Is it costly to support?
- Can the system be easily integrated with new processes or systems?
- Are there security and compliance risks with the system?
- Is the system still returning a reasonable ROI?
- How will a change to the legacy system affect your corporate culture?
Aging systems and legacy enterprise solutions are often built in languages that cannot take full advantage of new technologies. Understanding which outdated systems are critical to your day-to-day operations will enable you to identify a prioritization. By assessing the challenges and complexities of the business and infrastructure, you can develop a strategy for legacy modernization.
Determine the Cost-Effectiveness of Moving to A New System
All of the above factors will help you determine whether or not it’s cost-effective to move to a new system. While it may always seem like a good idea to upgrade your legacy systems, it’s not always necessary. If the costs of migration outweigh the benefits, it might not be the right time to switch.
However, when considering cost-effectiveness, it’s important to think about the future – not just the present. Even if migrating your legacy system does not seem cost-effective now, chances are that it will have a big impact on your business in the future.
A SWOT analysis can be a powerful tool for this. By outlining the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) related to your migration, you can make an informed decision that’s right for your company.
Choose the Right Technology/Platform
If the problem is caused by technology, architecture or functionality of the system, there are a variety of options to consider before choosing the right technology or platform:
- Extend using APIs – leverage the system’s features and value by making the functions available as service using Application Program Interface (API).
- Re-platform – redeploy the system to another physical, virtual or cloud infrastructure and migrate the system to a new run-time platform with minimal changes.
- Refactor – restructure and optimize the code for the system with little impact on the user experience to improve the features and structure of the system.
- Rebuild – rewrite the system from scratch to preserve the scope and system capabilities, but with an eye on new capabilities that will drive future opportunities.
- Replace – Eliminate the legacy system and replace it with either a COTS (Custom Off The Shelf) product or custom-built solution that takes into account all existing and new business and IT requirements into account.
Depending on the system, you may need to spend quite a bit of time, money and effort determining which option is right.
A mobile app, cloud app, or even a self-service platform may be right for your needs. Consider your legacy system and choose the solution that’s the most appropriate for the future.
Remember, you won’t just be updating your legacy system – you’ll be changing how it interacts, interoperates and performs. This means that requirements must be identified, and integration plans need to be in place to ensure your legacy system continues to function as expected.
Do Not Forget About the Users
Your End Users will need to be re-trained on how to use your newly modernized legacy system, so ensure that you have training in place that will bring them up to speed quickly and familiarize them with the new system. Without investing in training, your new system will never live up to its fullest potential.
In addition, your newly-modernized system may have features that require additional skill sets from your employees – skills that may not have been needed in the past. Before you prepare to train your employees to develop these skills, or hire new employees who have the skills required to make the most of your newly updated system, consider working with a team of experts who have done this before and can guide you on an efficient journey
Break Free of Your Legacy Systems & Prepare for Growth
We hope this overview to migrating from legacy systems has been helpful and has provided you with the information that you need to begin your own legacy migration project.
Developing a strategy will enable you to begin a legacy modernization journey that will boost growth and efficiency. Need help breaking free from legacy systems? Contact Vana Solutions now, and get the consulting services your company needs.