If your business currently runs on aging applications, you’ll eventually face a difficult decision: Should we modernize our applications the right way, or the fast way? Do we modernize the entire application, from the interface down to the underlying architecture, or do we keep the outdated application and just slap a modern-looking face on it (also known as “screen-scraping)?
Given the choice, I’ll bet the vast majority of IT pros would choose the right way, and with good reason. After all, the fast way (screen-scraping) doesn’t even address the fundamental problem with most legacy applications: They were built using programming methods and application architecture that wasn’t designed for use in a web world. As IT professionals know, screen-scraping those applications doesn’t fix this underlying problem, adds an extra layer of complexity, and leads to maintenance nightmares.
Unfortunately, the choice is never that easy. Maybe your business leaders demand “modern” applications quickly. Maybe with all of your other projects, you just don’t have time to modernize the right way. If that’s the case, I have a question for you:
What if you could do both?
What if you could modernize the right way, and do it faster than the “fast” way?
To understand how this is possible, here’s a true story: As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, mrc UK participated in a 24-hour “Code Shoot-out” at a recent conference, in which each vendor had 24 hours to modernize a green-screen application. Given the short time frame, most of the vendors took the “fast” screen-scraping approach. We didn’t. Using m-Power, we:
- Modernized the interface as well as the underlying architecture, replacing it with n-Tier Java servlets,
- Completed a larger percentage of the original app in the time frame provided than any of the other competitors,
- Enhanced the original app by also building:
- a mobile version of the app,
- a web pivot table over the app data,
- a ranking report,
- a secure extranet.
The fact is, no one else can claim all of that. In other words, we modernized the right way (using Java) and accomplished more than those modernizing the “fast” way. If you want to see some before-and-after shots of the apps, there’s a short slide-show in this post.
So, when you run into the “do it right or do it fast” modernization decision, ask yourself this question: “Why not both?”