The decision of whether to create a new software application or to continue to maintain a legacy system is always a difficult one. But once you have carefully considered all the pros and cons and, keeping the long-term goal in mind, decided to modernise your software, you’ll need an effective strategy.
Legacy software modernisation is without a doubt a big change that may present you with challenges. That is why, basing on our experience, we have prepared some tips that may help you go through the process as smoothly as possible.
Don’t rewrite all the software. Probably you don’t need to modernise everything at once and taking on the project gives you an opportunity to simplify your business processes. Focus on what is going to be valuable to your users. Think of the software rewrite as of a move and only keep the important stuff.
Legacy software modernisation is a technically complex project, therefore you should limit work in progress. Replace a part of your system at a time. Finish one feature before you move to another and release as soon as possible.
Prioritise the features. Throw out the ones that are not absolutely necessary and make room for adding something new that may help your business grow. Identify the features your business cannot function without and focus on that core set.
Test, test and then test some more. This approach will not only speed-up the whole process but also you will be sure that your software is bug-free. You should also involve end-users in the process and ask their opinion. Believe me, doing it right from the start is cheaper and more time efficient than fixing poor code at the end.
Use a well-established technology. Doing the big rewrite may lure you to use the newest technology, as you may be under impression that your software will last longer. You couldn’t be more wrong. Ultimately, you want the developers using the technology they have already mastered, not the one they will have to learn from the scratch, costing you time and money.
Apart from the above mentioned, bear in mind that to help your business get what it needs you need to think beyond a simple statement of requirements: it means using experience, technical expertise, innovation and creativity to deliver the right functionality at the right time.