Top 10 tips for software modernization

Harish Thyagarajan

16 Nov 2018

software modernization

Technology has been evolving at a rapid pace in the past few decades. With remote devices and cloud computing now a standard in today’s business world, many firms are moving forward and embracing technologies like AI and IoT into their workflows.

 

 

Of course, the problem with adopting the new age technology supported tools is determining what can be done with those legacy systems that are not relevant or outdated. For a vast majority of companies, the answer to this is either modernizing the old technologies of completely dropping them off in favor of a modern solution.

 

 

Here are 10 tips for you, if you are considering software modernization.

 

Avoid rewriting, build your functionalities instead

 

The most cost-effective approach when it comes to modernization is to completely rebuild the functionalities in a new platform. People with an expertise in the older platform are going to be extremely expensive and will also be hard to find. Therefore, your primary focus should be on gaining a good understanding of the old system and its functionalities, then build it completely from scratch on a new platform.

 

Release prototypes for validation, then launch a phased migration

 

Companies will have to adopt a 2 pronged strategy. They should first release prototypes for validating the business case for the latest technology, then implement a phased migration to replace or augment the legacy technology. The phases migration will enable the enterprise to leverage the new technology with a seamless experience for customers during the transformation.

 

Disregard systems that cannot be supported

 

As a businessman, one needs to maintain all the business critical systems. All systems do have ongoing costs attached to it, whether it is technical maintenance or other recurring expenses. Keeping up with the maintenance brings down technical debt and makes those costs more obvious. You must decide if a system is really important enough to support the cost or if it can be completely eliminated. Never put yourself at a financial risk by maintaining unimportant systems.

 

Implementing the basic elements of a modern system

 

If you cannot overhaul legacy system all at once, then take a pragmatic approach, initially incorporating the elements such as the distributed workflows, Machine learning, and open protocols. These will serve as the basic foundation of a modern architecture that you can later augment with flexible frameworks and other emerging technologies like blockchain or IoT.

 

Customers come first

 

When your company is adopting new technology, the thing that really matters is how your customers will be impacted. Modernizing the tech stacks can be very detrimental to user experience early in the adoption cycle, however, they will certainly pay dividends in the future. This balance between short and long-term customer satisfaction is what agile teams always evaluate.

 

Opt for agile tools that support existing systems

 

When you are considering new technologies, look for how it can be integrated with other tools in your tech stack. It is not only critical that the software can do its job, but that it can also play well with others. Fragmented customer data will not just work in the current customer focused era, and any money that you would have spent in the maintenance of the legacy tool must go into integrating all the systems together.

 

Designing the rollout

 

It is a known fact that poor execution is what causes the death of technology adoption. Users have a distinct experience when migrating from one solution to another, or to technology from another medium. If the rollout is designed to be informative and easy, the adoption rate is way higher than something that is deployed poorly with no information. The ultimate decision maker is your workforce.

 

Migrate to cloud

 

Move all your data to the cloud if you have not already, after which you can take some time off to research on new technology. Find out what competitors are using and understand what tools are trending in your industry. Most of the technologies offer free demos or webinars for you to get more familiar with the tech before making any investment.

 

Question yourself on the business impact and other possibilities

 

All the current business leaders know that adopting new technologies will not put a company at risk. However, having a slow approach will. The bigger challenge is when companies fall behind security and remediation. You will have to ask yourself some serious questions such as Will the new technology add value to your business? Will it bring down the risk? Will it help the customers? if you feel that the change would benefit the business as a whole then your path is pretty clear.

 

Solve evidence-based problems

 

Most of the company owners are really excited about embracing the latest technology to whatever problems may be in front of them. However, this often results in over-engineering, spending time as well as money without a cost-effective benefit. With this in mind, it is best to start off with actual evidence-based problems. If there are none and your tech is already tech proof, focus elsewhere.


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