Entrepreneurs are puzzled how to continue with the legacy systems in the ultra-digital world! Here you go with the four easy steps to transform your enterprise app!
Every company seems to seek the same agility in service and product delivery as Netflix, Uber, Airbnb and others in the native markets. Across the globe businesses are keener to invest on app transformation strategies than before. Canadian market needs the same attention towards legacy systems to enhance interactions, access to new markets, and achieve operational effectiveness. It involves determining the virtualization, cloud adoption, and much more for your application to analyze which ones are on right track towards transformation and which ones need major rework.
First you will need to identify the legacy systems that are working well, not up to the mark, need no changes, and those require a modern substitute. Basically, you prioritize them and move towards the appropriate approaches and techniques to address the issues. It not only maps the existing situation of the applications but also uncover the underlying issues and creates a roadmap for moving from here to there.
In this article, we examine the four steps to help Canadian enterprises to achieve app transformation, approaches to legacy upgrade, and techniques for implementing these approaches. Here are four steps to help you transform your enterprise app legacy effectively:
Four Steps to Transform Your Enterprise App
Step 1: Assessment of Existing Legal System
In Canada, many organizations have a large number of software applications integrated in the last few years. These include both developed independently and custom built in a disjoint fashion. For instance the HR and CRM systems for applications related to services and customer billing. This disorganization may lead to many disruptions so manage this jumble on priority. Assessment of the legal framework involves assessment of technologies, architecture, code review, ui/ux review, and performance testing.
As part of the first step examine the technology and the degree to which this technology is considered mature. Analyzing the technology stack of your existing product, you will find out if the existing framework is still supported or not. Outdated technologies may not be relevant for your vendor, which means you need to redevelop the complete program in some cases.
Secondly, you should conduct the architecture audit, if some part of your technology stack appears relevant. It will enhance the transformation of the elements that are still working well and help defining those that need a redo. You will have a plus point here, as you can have a view of the interrelationships of the various system parts that may prevent you from affecting the whole product when changing the some parts.
Then, you should review the code. Usually, legacy software needs regular refactoring and review. If you do not check your software regularly, it will tend to increase the number of flaws in the system when you will need to update or add the system features. Thus, to achieve system transformation, you also need a source code review to verify its updateability and quality.
Same goes for the UI and UX design. You need to perform the complete review of the design and define which parts needs to be changed and which ones just need a facelift. At last, you conduct the performance testing to examine the potential of the system and pointing out the major and minor flaws. So decide whether you need to completely re-engineer your system or just improve.
Step 2: Current Requirements, Opportunities and Challenges
Having good knowledge of the system, now we move to the second step. Hands on map will help you look at the needs of the system in reflection of the legacy system upgrade. You may have identified some opportunities, so drive them for future growth. There may be challenges encountered that should remain unanswered.
A well-reputable software development company in Canada with given experience in the legacy system upgradation can help you articulate the informed decisions. This could be the best option to hand over the responsibility to a dedicated team, as third-party will give you more unbiased and grounded opinion on your enterprise app modernization.
Take the process of your digital transformation in bite-size pieces rather than galloping the big bang. If you will take one thing at time you be able to categorize the challenges and opportunities more efficiently. Whereas, if you will remain in a hurry or simply wish to understand the whole thing at a time, you can never achieve much. You should review the legacy applications that can yield most of the benefits of transformation with minimum effort. From one application move to another with the same approach.
Step 3: Expert Professionals
Only few Canadian enterprises are capable to meet their enterprise app transformation via in-house team. If you are such an expertise then you must know that such a skilled professional may not be around after few years and neither can offer the same level of digital transformation. As you know that technological professionals need to upgrade their skills and knowledge more frequently than others. In case, your experts did not adhere to training and development required to keep-up with the digitization, then they cannot offer you the same advantage as they used to.
It is getting quite costly to stick to legacy system upgrade as these expertise are getting expensive. Especially, if your main business is entirely different from software app development and you need to focus on the primary business strategies. You need to go in a tight and strict process of analyzing the talent pool, expert selection, etc., even before you start with your transformation process.
However, it is much better to hire a company or third-party experts to help you in your digital transformation, if you lack such capabilities. At Invision Solutions we understand your business goals for the execution of our best practices and knowledge. For digital modernization, we may provide you with the strong talent pool to navigate the transformation via quick tour, rather than disturbing the on-going business processes.
Step 4: Automation
After all, it is quite a challenging process to shift from traditional enterprise apps to digital agile IT solutions, although it is essential to comply with the modernized legacy system to stay in the competition. You must know that a legacy system that is unmodifiable may cause a measureable loss by holding back your innovation. Automation may help relieving the excessive load of the manual and repeated processes, but it also limits the downtime.
The example of re-engineering the Canadian business processes through machine automation is the best way to ensure innovation optimization. The research by Harvard Business Review found that every third enterprise to adopt the machine learning and performance automation may be able to achieve cost efficiency by 15 to 70%. It is possible due to the reduction in the number of processes which also adds value to the system.
The review also indicated a tenfold progression in creating value and employee performance or efficiency. There is a list of large number of resources and processes that are more efficiently utilized with automation and reengineering. Take an example of a biometrics system that uses a voice or facial recognition system. It reduced four or more steps and give the output more efficiently. This can be refereed as machine re-engineering with the integration of better technology.
On the whole, the outdated software affects the performance and productivity of your business negatively. Your efficiency can improve exponentially with the automated application packages; for instance, Oracle and SAP. There are several enterprises around the world that rely on Oracle retail, Oracle financials, and other packaged applications for their software building in a tedious manner. SAP is another automated application that can endure the cumbersome legacy digitization process in a timely manner.
Approaches to Legacy System Transformation
Gartner suggested by 2020 organizations will need to invest three times more than what they expect to spend. According to him, only the use of right approach for your enterprise can ensure that this investment is not wasted. To adopt the most appropriate approach you will need to understand the problems you are facing in Canada relevant to legacy challenges. Widely used, there are three approaches recognized for legacy transformation; Complete Software Reengineering, Correction & Growth, and Migration & Enhancements. There is another classification available for these approaches as; no system change, improve existing, duct tape, gradual replacement, and total transformation.
Complete Software Reengineering
This is one of the extreme approaches where you need to know the important features for your growth outlook and business strategy. Then, prioritize features for modernization. Now, focusing on the legacy system, create a new product that matches the look, performance and capabilities of the modern system. Total transformation means building your system from scratch or integrating a third-party application, whereas gradual replacement involves evolution of the system in bits and pieces.
Correction & Growth
You might need minor changes in a system if you see there is no threat for future growth such as performance optimization, design improvements, code refactoring and optimization. You need no significant changes and add new features to the system. It may require you using a custom built module integration of third party applications. This approach is also referred as improve existing and the duct tape approach.
Migration & Enhancements
This one is the “no system change” approach. It helps you anticipating how many years can your product serve for the legacy and thus; predicts the cloud solutions, re-hosting, database migration, system optimization, design updates, etc. Being a more invasive method its limitation is that your main business architecture and logic remains the same.
Techniques to Legacy System Transformation
There are different techniques used to apply the legacy modernization approaches.
To reuse the components of your legacy software, encapsulation technique is applied. It enhances the value and features of you application by connecting the access layers using API and ignoring the current environment of the code. Encapsulation wraps the specified components to introduce the new legacy components and make them accessible to the required components. It is most economical and fastest technique with minimum risks as it engages little changes in the code. This technique is not effective if the system lacks upgrading and maintenance components.
It refers to the replacement of application’s mainframe to another cloud or virtual infrastructure. This technique involves low cost solution, with no risk or negative impact on the system. With re-hosting you are able to forklift your application without any changes in code to the cloud. Cloud migration may have several other benefits besides legacy upgradation; such as security and reliability. Whereas, you are able scale resources on demand with low upfront investments and constant updates.
This technique involves adjusting the existing code to match with the new platform, while maintaining the current functionality. It does not require resource commitments for cost optimization and base cloud functionality.
This technique is important to retain the external behavior of the feature, while enhancing technology by improving its structure and components.
It helps you achieve the operational and cost efficiency by just re-coding some part of the application.
It involves moving to another architecture for better capability and value. It just requires alteration of code to match it with the new architecture requirements.
Redesigning technique applied to your application opens it to a range of best legacy upgradation and transformation, while you need to intact the specifications and scope.
When you know integration of few tools may not help in the modernization of your system, it is better to replace it entirely.
No matter how big the challenge is; Canadian enterprises cannot resist the competitive benefits associated with legacy system upgradation. Depending on the complexity of your system problems, our experts apply the legacy update approaches and techniques for transformation.
At Invision Solutions, often dealing with legacy system, we create our own approach to select the most appropriate ways to transform your business-critical apps. We take the above steps to assess the existing legacy of your systems and create solutions for modernization.
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