3 Tips for Successful Legacy System Modernisation and Transformation

By Lauren Fritsky

Legacy system modernisation is one of those IT projects many organisations know they should pursue, but often put off due to the perceived complexity. A cost exists, however, when organisations delay this endeavour too long: Microsoft reports that organisations devote almost 75 per cent of IT investments to maintaining legacy systems, leaving little room for strategic innovation. Maintaining legacy systems past their due dates also drains IT resources and can result in an inflexible technology environment when old platforms have to be used.

By incorporating these legacy applications into the newer enterprise architecture so they can still be used, organisations not only free up resources to target new projects, they also give the business more agility and reduce costs associated with the old system requirements. Here are a few tips to ensure your organisation’s legacy modernisation or transformationeffort is a success.

1. Thoroughly assess applications

Taking stock of applications is the cornerstone of a modernisation plan. Organisations should review their current IT environment and assess how these applications are used and the data they involve. Developing this application portfolio helps determine how these assets fit in with long-term strategic goals at the organisation. Businesses will also get a picture of the total cost of ownership of current legacy systems.

2. Outline an approach for each legacy application

Once organisations have evaluated their application portfolio, they can determine the exact methods for legacy system modernisation. Organisations essentially have four options: keep the applications running the same way, migrate them, redevelop them or simply retire them. Most organisations will use a mix of these approaches and can even use different modernisation approaches for different parts of the same application. It all depends on how much functionality an organisation still requires of these individual legacy applications.

3. Roadmap the integration

Most legacy system modernisation projects involve some level of system integration, and plotting the best course of action can decrease the chances of running into problems mid-project. Not only will organisations likely employ more than one approach to legacy modernisation, they might wish to also integrate with other applications to provide a better computing experience. Datacom recently helped one finance organisation that had acquired another business to integrate a legacy system with a newer system to enable more sustainable functionality. Datacom’s familiarity with the IT systems at the organisation, with which it has a more than 10-year partnership, enabled a smoother integration.

How has your organisation planned for a successful legacy modernisation or transformation project?

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