Our approach provides an end-to-end capability:
We commit to delivering business outcomes.
Technology underpins most business capabilities but it requires maintenance and modernisation. A system becomes a legacy because it served a purpose but over time outgrew its intended design. Symptoms exhibited by aging systems range from the embarrassing to the catastrophic. The older and more complex a system gets, the more costly it is to change and update. At the same time the number of staff who understand the system and the code decrease – and become harder to recruit. At the extreme, unrelated business functions such as procurement, marketing and even finance are compromised to mitigate the shortcomings of the aging systems.
Legacy can grind business growth to a halt. The price is the loss of opportunities due to the inability to quickly change and adopt these systems to market demands. Perhaps you want all warehouse staff to be making stock orders from iPads; maybe there’s some new accounting software that could make invoicing a breeze… but the legacy system can’t be integrated without the risk of huge disruption and expense.
Designed to serve the business, instead these once state-of-the-art systems end up preventing you from doing what you really ought to be doing. Innovation.
Faced with the realisation that a business critical IT system is nearing the end of its life, a business has three options:
The risks and issues of doing nothing are explained above. If you decide to go down this route, we strongly recommend that you bookmark this page and return here when your business needs application modernisation.
A ‘big bang’ changeover of the whole system to a new one is risky and expensive. The costs can be staggering and the risk of under-delivering, over-delivering or completely missing the target is high. Although ‘big bang’ is the prefered approach of many large vendors, experience shows that it has repeatedly failed to deliver on expectations, and due to the high cost is often worse than doing nothing. A stepwise approach is the only strategically viable option.
Energized Work has pioneered a different way of modernising legacy systems step by step – quickly, safely, and with a lower total cost of ownership. We begin by analysing and mapping the existing system, decomposing the functionality into discrete building blocks. If needed, we create tools along the way to help us with this analysis. We often find that decomposition on its own results in significant reduction in uncertainty. This leads to a replacement plan with less risk and makes it easier to reason about which functionality should be carried over to the new system and which one is no longer needed.
Replacement takes place one building block by building block, starting with the one most totemic to the business – meaning that from the very first step, every step will deliver some real value to stakeholders. While doing this we provide a suite of tests and other tools to reduce risk and compare functionality and performance.
You can read a detailed account of our application systems modernisation approach in a white paper we recently published titled Solving Legacy. You may also be interested in reading how we helped Travis Perkins modernise a complex legacy system, with a technology stack from the late 60’s, and code dating back over 25 years in this case study.
Contact us today for an evaluation of your needs.