Why choose to modernize your legacy systems?
There are many reasons why organizations choose to modernize. In general, it is to reduce risk and remain competitive. For instance, scaling becomes easier: cloud-based adaptations or hybrid systems are built for agility. It increases your market relevancy. Your newfound agility allows you to respond faster to market opportunities and implement new software in your technology stack.
Modernizing your systems also makes it easier to comply with rules and regulations. When it comes to cyber risks, legacy systems tend to be more vulnerable. Upgrading your technology also means that your systems will be better equipped for possible threats. In addition, the interoperability between your systems, software solutions and applications will be a much easier and smoother process with a modern integration platform.
Two ways to upgrade your legacy technology
Two ways to upgrade your legacy technology
Legacy modernization is a term almost feared by IT teams. And though modernizing technology is a complex, costly, and time-consuming process, there are multiple roads to take. One is slower and less disruptive, the other is more resource-heavy but helps you get there faster.
Revolutionary modernization is a complete overhaul and transformation of infrastructure. This approach is favoured for organizations that have merged or acquired other companies with different technology stacks. It is vital for the success of the business that these different systems synchronize as fast as possible, and in those cases a completely new system is a preferred route. Sometimes revolutionary modernizations occur when a legacy system is too much of a burden on the operational efficiency. This is often the case when the technology is no longer supported by vendors, third-party application providers or external software solutions.
As the name suggests, this is a more gradual approach to modernizing legacy systems. It brings less disruptions to the business but the drawback is that this is a multi-phased, long-term and often slow approach. It spreads costs over time but requires careful planning and execution. This could be a route for organizations that have long standing contracts with vendors and cannot afford to pivot faster. Enterprises opting for evolutionary modernization often look towards hybrid solutions where the migration to the cloud can be done in parallel to remaining operational with their legacy system.
The challenges around modernization
Choosing to keep legacy systems around and not modernize can prove to be a very costly mistake over the long run. Technical debt accrues and operational costs will rise as it becomes harder for your business to align with future-oriented partners, suppliers, and customers. Migrating to more advanced systems does however, come with a set of challenges.
Sometimes enterprises use legacy technology that’s multiple decades old. The challenge with migrating to newer systems is that the developers responsible for creating the legacy systems often no longer exist in the organization. And the ones that are, are not yet trained to use the new systems.The source code is highly-patched and buried, and the source to older applications is no longer available. This knowledge gap can be partly addressed with training, consultancy and external help. When introducing foundational changes, having a knowledgeable external partner speeds up the process and reduces risks.
Before embarking on a modernization strategy, it is vital to take a long, hard look at the underlying data. When migrating to a new system, you will have to extract files from various heterogeneous systems that require hours of manual labor and tedious discerning which code is relevant and which is to be discarded. Achieving these tasks more effectively and efficiently requires a strategy on how to clean up decades of code and which (hybrid) systems are able to gradually migrate your data.
Whatever parts of your technology stack you choose to change and upgrade, they need to be adjusted to legal requirements. Remaining compliant with regulations is one of the key reasons organizations decide to transform to more modern systems, as the lack of up-to-date technology may lead to a higher risk of data leaks due to outdated security mechanisms. Data security plays a crucial role here and the solutions you choose for your organization will have to be transparent and meticulous in their ways to help your company become compliant.
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Are you ready to leap forward with a digital first approach, but unsure how your legacy systems should evolve?
It’s time to reduce your risk and remain competitive. Modernizing legacy systems can be disruptive on your day-to-day operations if not handled correctly. With Yenlo you have a global expert by your side to help you navigate adjusting to more interoperable solutions, completely hassle-free.