A legacy application is just a subset of the “legacy” challenge that is facing CIOs worldwide.
Legacy, in its broadest sense, covers not only the applications but also the infrastructure those applications run on and updating these legacy environments is a huge time and cost challenge.

The value of legacy applications is that over time they have gained large amounts of business value in terms of the business rules and processes they contain. These applications were probably first written 20+ years ago and have been constantly maintained and enhanced.

The legacy application is so complex and is written in a language that, due to skills shortages, is difficult to maintain. Maintenance and enhancement have now become major exercises, where the business is “scared” to touch the code because they are unsure of the impact of any changes.

The overall impact is that businesses are being hindered by their legacy application so that they struggle to bring new products to market, to meet new legislation in a timely manner and to satisfy regulators of the soundness of their systems.

In the recent past businesses have managed to move away from their legacy infrastructure – moving to the cloud, moving away from mainframes and relational databases to server farms and data warehousing – and they are having to do this while still allowing the 20-year-old legacy code to run the business processes.

So, it would appear that IT departments are making great efforts to update the technical infrastructure but are struggling when it comes to moving the applications.

In the late 1990’s there was a huge concern in the IT industry over the Y2K potential failures. Fortunately, these fears proved, for the most part, to be groundless.

However, the challenges that business will face over the next 5 years when:

  • skilled knowledgeable staff retire
  • languages that applications are written in are no longer supported by the infrastructure
  • more agile businesses can respond to changing markets much faster

will make the Y2K challenge seem small and insignificant.

Businesses need an approach to handling legacy application modernization that provides them with a methodology and the automated tools to support that methodology so that they can have some confidence in the completeness and repeatability of any modernization efforts they undertake.

EvolveWare’s Intellisys platform provides the functionality necessary to automate those parts of the modernization process that can be automated and supports a well-documented process that has been proven to work. For more information:

Application Modernization – Part 1

Application Modernization – Part 2

legacy application modernization process