So, you’re having problems with your current systems — now what?

Carlos OliveiraApplication ModernizationLeave a Comment

Dilbert Cartoon on Legacy Systems

Retail outlets, hospitals, banks and government organizations around the world are struggling with complex, aging or outdated software systems that are not flexible enough to support modern business needs. Some companies have been using the same technology for the past fifty years, and with each year the company doesn’t update, the likelihood of security problems increases. Many companies are having problems with their current systems and are unsure what the next step is toward modernization. Modernizing legacy systems is not as difficult (or as expensive) as it seems and is a great deal easier than dealing with PR disasters such as denial of service, loss of customers’ personal information or even resultant identity theft.

The White Paper on Breaking the Shackles of Legacy Systems details the process of identifying which apps are candidates for modernization and what the best approach would be. This blog post will outline the available alternatives once an app has been determined to be no longer fit for purpose:

Package
In this approach, the troublesome application is replaced by a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solution. Moving to a standard COTS alternative will only be an option if the app is not providing differentiation to the business. If it is then an alternative solution needs to   be sought. This alternative can be the most costly, as well.

Rewriting
In this approach, the problematic application is rewritten from scratch in the code of the new target environment. There is a lot of risk involved in this alternative and it can take a lot of time and money, but it is an alternative where the app is providing differentiation to the business [when executed properly].

Wrapping
Wrapping involves taking the application as it is and applying a connectivity layer that will enable web/mobile deployment and improve user experience. Wrapping works for problematic “systems of differentiation” apps (check out the White Paper to learn more about app classifications), but only as a stepping stone to rewriting or re-architecting. This approach often bridges the gap in an application’s functionality, but does not solve the problem long-term.

This approach doesn’t require a substantial financial investment or as much management as other alternatives, but doesn’t drive a high competitive advantage, either. By adopting this approach over and over, organizations risk patchwork applications that will not keep pace with evolving business needs over time.

Re-architect
This approach entails taking the legacy application and using a technology platform to automatically transform the code — whatever language it’s in — into a new target environment. This approach is achieved using a combination of technology and code-completion services, and it is low cost, low risk and low time-to-market when compared to the other alternatives.

The Morphis modernization process features a proprietary toolset that deals with multiple legacy languages and enables modernization to a Java or .NET environment. We offer the most complete solutions for transforming legacy software to the cloud.

For a detailed discussion on the options available for application modernization please check out our white paper Breaking the Shackles of Legacy Systems. To help understand the questions you should be asking your legacy modernization vendor, please check out our recent post “15 Tips For The ISV Needing To Modernize.” Deciding which alternative works best for you and your organization depends on a variety of factors, and Morphis is here to help!

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