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Many companies face the same problem: They’re stuck to their legacy enterprise applications and systems. Sure, they’d love to upgrade their outdated system, or replace those legacy applications, but…they can’t.
Why not? Maybe their business relies too heavily on their legacy applications. Maybe past customizations have virtually locked them into their legacy apps. Maybe it’s too risky or expensive. Maybe management doesn’t see the need for modern applications. Whatever the cause, the problem is the same: They’re tied to their legacy applications.
What problems does this cause? Quite a few. While I could explain how it keeps the company from modern features and capabilities and makes them look outdated, those issues are small potatoes compared to the larger business problems caused by legacy applications. For instance, legacy applications:
1. Tie up IT budget: Since legacy applications are more difficult to maintain, they require a good portion of the IT budget. How much? I’ve seen estimations ranging from 70-80%. Think about that. If you’re spending 80% of your budget maintaining the status quo, how can you ever afford modern technology?
2. Keeps IT from innovation: Since legacy applications are more difficult to maintain, they also require much of the IT department’s attention. Of course, if the IT department spends a good chunk of its time maintaining applications, they have little left to spend on business innovation–which, as we explained in this article, is becoming more and more important.
So, what can you do? If you’re stuck with legacy applications that you can’t replace, what are your options?
In this article, let’s explore a few ways to breathe new life into your old applications. If you can’t replace your systems or applications entirely, how can you bring modern features and capabilities to your legacy apps? To help you answer those questions, I’ve outlined some methods to do just that, and touched on the pros and cons of each. Without further ado, here are 5 ways to breathe new life into your applications.
Why do 70% of the companies listed on the Fortune 1,000 list ten years ago no longer exist today? Inflexibility. They couldn’t adapt to change. In the past, big companies ate small ones. Now, fast eats big.
With that in mind, it’s no wonder that CIOs list legacy modernization as one of their top priorities. Legacy applications aren’t flexible. They don’t quickly adapt to change. As such, companies that rely on these applications lack flexibility, which…kills companies.
Hence, the growing push towards modernization. Application modernization promises flexibility. It frees these companies from the shackles of their legacy software.
The problem: Modernization isn’t exactly straightforward. There’s more than one way to modernize. By my count, there’s five. How do you know which way is best?
Of course, when dealing with modern underlying architecture, this approach works just fine. However, that’s rarely the case. Legacy applications in need of modernization are typically built on at least 10 – 15 year old (or older) architecture.
The problem this creates: Much has changed in that time. Programming methods have changed. Databases have changed. Application structures have changed. That’s just the beginning.
With all of these changes, you can’t simply build a new interface on top of old architecture and expect it to fit your needs. These changes require a fundamental shift in application architecture and development as a whole.
I could go on, but we’ve outlined everything in a free white paper entitled: Crash Course in Modernization. It explains the changes you must address, and even outlines 5 different modernization methods.