Legacy systems might still be critical for a few businesses, but we can’t deny that it still functions on outdated technology. Replacing legacy systems and applications with advanced technologies is one of the most challenging tasks for any enterprise. As enterprises upgrade or change their technologies, they must ensure compatibility with old systems and data formats that are still in use.
Let’s start with some industry examples where companies across the world have been working with legacy systems as they are critical to their business.
- Mainframe systems that airline companies use for reservations and ticketing systems
- Command-line interface systems based underwriting engine used by insurance companies
- Companies with a core platform on legacy systems (such as COBOL, DB2, etc.) and being used by numerous customers
Many companies are generating good revenues from their operations and supporting the business, but they are missing out on the opportunities for connected data across the ecosystem. The architecture is not supported for enabling seamless data porting, scalability, and speed. Moreover, these systems have a higher cost of operation and high maintenance; and are plagued with usability and security issues. Technological obsolescence and resource scarcity are a few more challenges.
Key challenges with the Legacy systems
Integration issues with other systems: Gone are the days of monolithic architecture; nowadays, solutions are designed to have benefited from multiple systems connected via APIs. Modular and SOA-based architecture are common with scalability benefits and integration with other 3rd party systems. Legacy systems are not designed to integrate with other heterogeneous systems and thus cannot achieve fully integrated systems.
Go to market is slower: Legacy systems usually follow the waterfall model of software delivery, and aligning with the market demand of releasing software features on the fly is not feasible.
These systems are heavily focused on a manual way of working with little or no integrations available for 3rd party build, configuration, and CI/CD tools, causing the entire process to become slow and error-prone.
Misalignment with customer requirements: In the current era of a customer being the king, legacy systems are not synchronized with customers’ needs, especially in terms of flexibility, agility, usability, and customer experience. Legacy systems are still tightly coupled with OS, interface, screen, etc. In the case of growth, these systems cannot scale at the same pace as that of business.
Artificial Intelligence and machine learning: Legacy systems are not built to integrate 3rd party data sources and are relatively inflexible. When the world moves towards NoSQL, a flat-file kind of database, legacy systems still run on relational DBMS, slowing the entire operation. Creating intelligent dashboards analytics is a cumbersome task, if not impossible, in these systems. These systems cannot harness the power of AI/ML and achieve predictability and digital transformation benefits.
Human resource challenges: The availability of skilled resources with expertise in legacy systems is seeing a decreasing trend. Universities and institutions, nowadays, focus more on newer technologies such as cloud, AI/ML, Internet of Things, Intelligent Automation, Blockchain, DevOps, etc. This means the engine to produce the team with legacy application skills is dying; moreover, the new generation of engineers is inclined to work on the latest technologies and not on legacy ones.
Compliance and Regulatory requirements: Nowadays, regulatory authorities and governments are very keen on adhering to compliances or heavy penalty is imposed on them. HIPPA, SOX, PCI, GDPR, etc., require your technology to be current and aligned with the regulations. These rules demand specific data to be shared with government bodies, and their implementations/modifications are very time-consuming in legacy systems.
Solutions to legacy technology challenges
We understand the challenges legacy technologies pose, like speed bumps, to leverage data modernization and use it to achieve higher revenue and innovative offerings at the utmost speed to enhance customer experience.
The question is, how can we resolve these legacy issues?
Digital transformation is the key to reducing the risk and unpredictability and improving the customer experience in the current market.
The implementation of Agile and DevOps coupled with a technological revolution comprises cloud, IoT, and AI/ML with enriched and interconnected data that will resolve the issues mentioned above.
Each organization is unique in the context of a market, customers, products, ecosystem, etc., so there can’t be an umbrella approach. The approach must be customized to different companies to harness the full benefits of digital transformation.
How can IGT Solutions help you?
With its technological expertise and process champions, IGT Solutions is well placed to implement methodologies and achieve a faster delivery cycle, cost optimization, and excellent customer experience.
IGT’s expertise in transitioning from legacy to cutting-edge technologies in a phased manner does not disrupt the ongoing business engagements. It can easily transition into the latest technologies fitting to customers’ needs. IGT’s expertise in Agile, DevOps, Cloud, and experience in implementing AI/ML, IoT, and Blockchain will help you ensure a smooth journey from legacy to latest technologies.
Yatender has 20+ years of experience in software test engineering. As the head of Testing Practice at IGT Solutions, Yatender is actively involved in innovations related to test engineering covering new tools, technologies, and solutions, and enabling IGT’s clients to achieve faster time to market quality improvement, and optimization of developer efforts in overall SDLC. A result-oriented leader, proficient in delivering high customer value and achieving excellence in service delivery management with proven skills in consulting and managing large and complex test programs. When away from work, he enjoys reading on a variety of topics and spending time with kids.