Legacy software modernisation – WHY should you do that?

date: 6 June 2017
reading time: 4 min

For as long as we can remember, CEOs have had innovation at the top of their to-do list. Yet delivering this innovation is a hugely daunting task for those, who fear their organisation isn’t ready for something so ‘cutting edge.’

There’s no denying that software development is a big investment, requiring not only a lot of money but also time and effort. You look for the best engineers and expect the solution to last for years. So, it may seem unreasonable to throw that investment away. This is the place where you are probably asking yourself, why some companies still decide to rewrite their existing software from the scratch?

The answer is simple. In a world of ever-faster change, your business needs solutions that are delivered quicker and that will change with you.

WHY SHOULD YOU DO THAT?

Is your existing system increasing in complexity? Adding to it is more of a business risk than a solution to your problems? Well, if you knew from the start exactly what the market was going to need, you would have architected things better. But how could you know?

  • Your software is too difficult to modify

It is clear that your business is evolving and you want your software to evolve with it. Meanwhile, every functionality takes longer and longer to modify. The code has become harder to change and each time you try to repair something, new problems come up. Changing one thing causes something else to break down. If this scenario sounds familiar, it is a clear sign that legacy software modernisation is inevitable.

  • Your software costs too much money

Companies sometimes decide on software modernisation because it has become too expensive to maintain. Making changes cost more as the quality of your code decreases. Until, eventually, the cost is too high. It is a clear sign that you have to stop investing in your current software and modernise it to keep your business running and profitable.

  • You are falling behind competition

You are doing your best to keep your position on the market and still, you fall behind the competition? While you are busy trying to fix your software, the market is moving forward. Competitors are coming in. Demands change and you are simply left behind.

If you knew from the start exactly what the market was going to need, you would have architected things better. But how could you know?  Given how dynamic the market is, sometimes you don’t even realise that your system is out of date or your website looks obsolete.

Maybe your clients are frustrated and start to look elsewhere? Let’s face it – clients’ needs shift rapidly. They need new functionalities, a system that is fast and can provide them with what they need.

Why legacy software modernisation may be the answer? Well, first and foremost, it can help you build a system that your current clients want to use, one for which they are prepared to give up the system they use at the moment.

  • Your software doesn’t support your changing business needs and processes

You think you don’t need to modernise legacy software because your current product is successful. But after you decided to scale your processes or adjust them to conquer other markets it appears that your platform is inflexible.

Or maybe you want to optimise your processes, add new functionalities but your code can’t support another new feature. You try to fix it but you’ve already hit the ceiling on extensibility and maintainability. If your software is like a house of cards then there is nothing left but to do something about it.

The decision to modernise is the one every CEO has to make at least once in their tenure. It is important to remember that the process will take time and you may encounter some difficulties. It is also very important to go through it smoothly, assuring that the company will operate without disruptions.

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