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Reducing Risk while Modernizing Your Legacy Systems

Posted by Marty Bakal, OpenLegacy on April 05, 2022

imageEveryone says IT modernization is a huge risk. However it is necessary to stay competitive and be successful. The question is why is modernization such a big risk?

There are a lot of valid reasons why modernization is risky, here are just a few:

  • Modifying existing applications can lead to missing a regulatory requirement
  • Moving data leads to gaps in access between existing and new applications
  • Does the new system cover all the existing use cases - even if they are infrequent?
  • How will you meet the needs of all stakeholders

A big reason is many enterprises don’t know where to start.

Many enterprises focus on moving entire subsystems or applications but what should come first and how can enterprises build the necessary connections between the new and existing system?

This type of shift requires new systems calling the old ones but also the old ones will need to call the new ones just to fulfill their existing needs often adding complexity which can lead to a lot of activity but no real progress.

Many enterprises get caught in the trap of phased migration based on just looking at the long list of systems without consideration of other factors. The problem is legacy teams focus on the easiest subsystems to move but those frequently aren’t the ones the business actually needs moved to build new services. This leads to lots of unresolved requests.

Modernization should be driven by new business scenarios. This could be building mobile access to some pieces of data, a 360 degree or trying to solve an existing maintenance headache your current system is having trouble with. Taking this approach will show progress much more quickly.

Of course the business scenarios need prioritization and digital teams need to be empowered to make those decisions and also build the necessary interfaces. For too long these decisions were made by the legacy IT staff.

The trick is to make progress quickly based on business needs and enable the digital teams to lead it. A great option is, based on those needs, to create cloud-native services from legacy. Then decide when/if each sub-system needs to move.

To learn more about how to reduce risk while modernizing your IT infrastructure read our datasheet on the topic.

Topics: modernization