In our previous blog, we had talked about “What are legacy systems and factors to consider before deciding on modernization”. In this blog, let’s look at “10 reasons to overhaul the Legacy System”.

We need to anticipate future problems for currently operational software.

These include:

1. Old Hardware is used

The current hardware may be outdated/obsolete tomorrow.

We have seen numerous examples like:

  • Pager to featured phone then to Qwerty phone and then to touch screen smartphone
  • Floppy Disk to CD-ROMs then to DVD and USB sticks

This is an important factor and a matter of concern for up-gradation. Often, dependable software will not work because some hardware is not available, also if earlier manufacturers discontinue production, hardware could be unavailable or prohibitively expensive.

Software needs to be upgraded on the latest available hardware because hardware components are becoming powerful, like CPU processing and the Storage area is rising with a decrease in price due to advancements in technology.

2. Uses old software or Operating System

  • It is a fact that software evolves and third-party tools also upgrade their software by adding new features, in time support for old software will become unavailable. So we need to check regularly for updates in third party tools and integrate with our system
  • It is also necessary to see the support of the new Operating System before the existing OS is unsupported, like Windows XP and Debian Linux previous versions are now not supported. So up-gradation of IDE and third party tool on new Operating system need to be considered before existing Operating System obsolete

3. No support from Vendor

  • There is a situation where vendors no longer support software because they have shut down their services. You might not know this till you have a new requirement for an existing software. So it is prudent to check latest updates with third-party software by subscribing to their mailing list
  • If a third-party vendor no longer supports your Legacy software it, try to figure out alternative and/or competitor’s software

4. The need of specialized training to use and/or maintain

  • Another issue with Older technology is that fewer people know how to use it well. Modern user interface standards make new software far more intuitive than the old applications. The generation gap with software may add to training costs & be time-consuming then it will add costs and effect productivity
  • There is also the effort of searching right skillful people to maintain software systems if it is on older technology

5. Mobile support is lacking

There is a change in preference by the user while using the system because of the transition of technology. Previously we were using the desktop for our business and then laptop for same and at present every organization transferring their business operation to work with handheld devices.

6. Integration issues with other modern software systems

Older hardware, software, and networking systems many a time have compatibility problems when you try to connect them with new systems. For example our software can run on a 64-bit operating system but other dependent legacy software is built on 32 bit which is incompatible in this case.

7. It is slow and/or unstable

Legacy software works with new machines but crashes often when a user using these systems and the user reports problems repeatedly for inappropriate working due to performance issues, consumption of system resources like memory and network traffic.

8. Adding new features is difficult

If the software cannot be upgraded for new features required by the business, then it is time for a change. Software should not be stagnant and if it is then point to consider for rewriting.

9. Team perform manual processes

With the advent of automation technology like continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), there is a need for automation processes in software if the current system does not support these needs there could be a need for modernization.

10. Security risk

  • Security risk is major concern in today’s world. Malware, Trojan may give bad reputation to organization when old systems are have a break in, like we saw in 2014 Heartbleed vulnerability and in 2017 Ransomware exploit to system
  • Hence, it is necessary to for modernizing legacy system to minimize these kind of risks

About the author:
Jagdish Gundeti

Jagdish Gundeti is working as a Technical Architect with Application Development and Maintenance department on technologies like C++, VC++ and Embarcadero at Direction Software LLP.