In Pursuit of Digital Transformation - Benefits and Strategy

Managing the transition from Legacy to Modern: Challenges and solutions

Legacy IT Systems, or software and hardware that were commissioned in the 80s, 90s or early 2000s, are a significant stumbling block in an organization’s drive towards modernity. While age of these systems per se is not an issue, continued product support is a challenge in most cases leading to reduced functionality with time. Aloha Technology offers legacy systems modernization solutions to make all systems up-to-date with modern technology

There are several reasons for this.

  • Legacy systems were built to accomplish a particular function and were more abstract in their design and output. However, users today demand more specialization and superior user experience.
  • Many of the legacy systems also have closed, inflexible architectures as a result, they interact with a limited set of technology systems and are more verticalized in functionality.
  • Digitalization or the increased need to incorporate cloud-based systems, mobility, analytics and social media has changed the way IT Systems are used.
  • Business models have evolved over the years, so legacy systems with limited interoperability can slow down operations or rob the company of its competitive advantage.

Short-term fixes: affordable but ineffective

The cost of running and maintaining legacy systems prompts organizations to modernize these systems for sustained profitability. It raises the usual questions such as – can a lightweight solution do? Or is a full-scale rip and replace approach required? Some organizations seek short-term fixes such as screen scraping.

Here, the functions and tasks undertaken by the operators are simulated through a software while the data flows out of a modern UI. This way, Aloha Technology takes legacy-specific data and converts it into a format that can be understood by other, modern applications. However, if this UI must be updated from time to time in order to handle newer requirement, the back-end simulation must also be redesigned, which can be a costly exercise with traditional platforms.

Modernization: effective and inevitable

Modernization is the inevitable long-term solutions. The enterprise can choose to either - migrate the legacy systems to modern applications and host them on a modern platform, or, build a new set of systems from the scratch and abandon the older ones. Either option comes with its own challenges.

  • Cost: The single-largest reason to delay or defer the legacy modernization exercise in most organizations is the cost, or perceptions around the same.
  • Time and Disruption: Given the duration of the exercise, there could be disruption to the service. This requires informing users/customers about the same and preparing for disaster recovery.
  • Loss of Data: If the migration exercise is not properly executed, large chunks of data can be lost from one or more systems, applications and modules. And if all these data had no backups, this can cause serious disruption, or conflicts within the organization.
  • Co-existence and Integration challenges: Even as the exercise is happening, some of the older systems must co-exist with the migrated ones. However, integration between them must be smooth. Integration with later-day systems must also be full-fledged.
  • Training/re-training staff: IT departments as well as internal users must be familiarized with the new systems through extensive training programs, which again imply time, cost and disruption.
  • Ensuring user experience: Merely ensuring all the functionality is available in the new system is not enough! User experience is equally desirable.
  • Stakeholder’s commitment: Given the above challenges, stakeholders of the migration exercise may try to abort it midway, so sustaining their commitment is a challenge too.

At Aloha Technology, we have a new and effective approach to legacy migration that makes it hassle-free and ensures better returns on IT investments.