It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint: Legacy Modernization

Kyle Miller
"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."

If you’re considering making changes to your legacy IT system - things like moving to business-managed solutions (which two-thirds of businesses now do), blowing up your existing enterprise suite or just tinkering with it a little - hear us out. A patchwork solution is probably your best bet.

Business and IT at Loggerheads

Why did we modernize only parts of our legacy IT instead of swapping it out entirely? In almost any organization, leadership clashes over this approach. While everyone wants the best outcome, wholesale legacy software upgrades just sound sexier.

But as with any cap-ex, be it hardware, software, widgets - anything - people expect a lot. They want features and functionality galore, with the kitchen sink on top. Rarely do hardware or software upgrades meet those expectations.

No matter how painful your current suite, new implementations can cause a different set of headaches - business continuity, technology and others you want to avoid. While shutting down to reboot sounds like a theoretical homerun, a staged, integrated solution, carefully deployed - mixing new tech and old - is often the best way to satisfy everyone, leaving you with a newer, faster, better functioning enterprise solution when done.

People compare legacy modernization to home renovation for good reason. Like when you started work on your mid-century modern, it sounded like a good idea at first to fix it up. But once you started messing with the plaster, new issues pop up.

With time delays, cost overages and other unforeseen headaches, enterprise legacy system upgrades often end up similarly. In fact, new solutions are commonly cited as one of the most frequent ways to lose customers, cash and often times both.

But wait! There is another way!

Avoiding Legacy Modernization Armageddon

Modernizing current enterprise software is often about identifying the right implementation and development process. To get it to work like you’ve always wanted, try going agile as one approach. Something we’d recommend.

By modernizing as needed and as you go, you’ll avoid a couple challenges. Firstly, this approach means first crack at new solutions as they’re introduced to the market. They might not might be perfect at this stage, but they’ll be close and likely better than existing solutions. Subsequent software upgrades will iron out the rest.

Secondly, agile enables you to diagnose issues early because it’s easier to spot shortcomings when looking at software in parts rather than the sum of enterprise headaches.

Lastly, agile is faster. We’re talking lightyears, here. Weeks for individual implementation, versus a months or years’ long endeavor were you to tackle the whole software solution conundrum at once. As far as upgrades go, this is definitely what success looks like.

Get Some Perspective

No matter how foreign the proposition may seem, hiring someone from outside - a professional software development firm - to give you a second opinion on your enterprise roadmap is recommended.

Yes, the Development Factory does diagnostics and strategy, but that’s not why we’re recommending it. Seeing solutions sometimes requires a fresh set of eyes. It’s no slight on your current team, but it is why the billion dollar consulting business exists. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the trees when you’re stuck in the forest all day, is all.

Enhancing enterprise software isn’t a small decision. Take the time you need to consider the best implementation method and the best professionals who can help.

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