The technology stack and architecture
will remain competitive for years to come.
A well-built system can ensure that maintenance
costs are reduced in the future.
The system will no longer be
constrained by old components. This can mean that developing the application in
the future is easier because it does not have to be integrated with old
This approach presents an opportunity
to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the business.
This approach presents an opportunity
to improve the businesses processes leveraging new systems.
is an excellent modernization approach for companies that possess the required
resources, including manpower and funding. There are several things that can
factor into the success of this approach and they include:
A proper assessment should be conducted
when selecting a new technology.
The assessment should define the
timeline and outline key milestones.
Choose a roll-out strategy that will
minimize the volume and impact of change vs. having the new system go live all
It is important that end-users are
properly trained and accept the new system.
All non-functional requirements should
be considered. Examples of non-functional requirements include availability and
It is important that the IT department
has the ability to learn the new technology
The company should have the ability to
bring in outside talent if needed.
transformation approach can offer great reward to a business. It is important
to note that this approach is the riskiest. The risks include:
This approach is the most risky but also potentially the most
The entire functionality of the
application is at stake and any issues that arise can impact business
The likelihood of failure is high due
to cost or missed deadlines.
End-users may not accept the new
properly done, the total transformation approach is the best option as it gives
the company a competitive edge. Though this is a great option, there are
several challenges associated with this approach. Organizations should only
take this approach if they have the required IT capability and available
funding (Malinova, 2016).
gradual replacement approach involves updating individual components or
functional blocks of the system and moving them to production as a separate
application, while the rest of the system remains using the old technology.
This approach will eventually result in the entire system being rebuilt. This
option is best suited for the following situations:
When the high cost associated with a
total transformation is not an option. This method can allow the company to
replace the entire system one component at a time with controlled release of
When there are only a few components in
the system that causes any issues.
Replace terminals with new UI that
supports internet browser and mobile devices.
When the cost of licensing can be
reduced by switching to an open-source platform.
are several advantages of using this approach. The benefits include:
This method offers a lower risk, but also allows the company to
upgrade their entire system over time.
This method allows for more budget flexibility due to the fact
that it does not require the same one-time budget approval.
There is less business impact and the cost of failure is lower because
only a small portion of the system is changed at once.
With a lower work volume, this approach does not require a large
management team to oversee large projcts.
Because the smaller components will take less time to implement,
the company can begin seeing results faster than with a total transformation.
allow the company to update the technology for newer components, ensuring that
the latest and best technology available is used.
The gradual replacement approach to system modernization is
an excellent way to update legacy systems without the high risk and high one
time cost. In order for this approach to be successful there are several things
that should be considered.
possible, components should be made reusable in future applications. For
example, object-oriented design should be considered if not already
all best practices for new applications for consistent architecture and design.
lead management team to ensure that all components are aligned and have a common
communication between development teams to ensure consistency across
is important that non-functional requirements are captured in the early stages
of this approach.
Duct Tape Approach
duct tape approach involves making small changes that address issues with the
current system, while the application core architecture and technology remain
situations where the duct tape approach can be used include:
The Company has decided to keep system
as-is but there are still issues that need to be addressed.
There are small issues with the system
that must be addressed immediately.
An issue with the system is
encountered, yet, there is no funding for a more comprehensive solution.
There are problems that must be fixed immediately
while planning for a more large scale modernization.
The company currently does not have the
required number of employees to take on a large scale modernization.
duct tape approach is a much smaller scale project that requires much less time
an money invested. Some of the benefits include:
The small changes associated with the
approach can offer big returns.
This approach does not require a large
The company can begin seeing results
much faster than with a total transformation or gradual replacement.
There is much less risk associated with
this approach due to the fact that the changes made are small scale.
This approach does not require large
management teams to oversee the projects.
success factors associated with this approach include:
The future strategy for the company
should be considered. This approach is not necessarily a long term solution and
other methods of modernization may need to be considered in the future.
If the duct tape approach requires too
many changes it may be more cost effective to use the gradual replacement
Best practices and project management
processes must be followed even when the changes being made are small.
risks associated with this approach include:
If the company overuses the duct tape
approach, they may end up with an application that is poorly designed.
The cost of this approach may
eventually exceed the cost of gradually replacing the system.
fixes can often result in a large amount of technical debt, where coding
shortcuts are used rather than following best practices.
If the system requires a larger scale
modernization in the future, the costs associated with this approach may be a
waste of money.
Due to the small-scale and low budget,
this approach is often overlooked and proceeds without proper review and
duct tape approach is the most commonly used approach in software
modernization. This is because it delivers quick results with low investment
and risk. It is important for companies using this approach to have a long term
strategy (Malinova, 2016).
Improving Existing System
this approach, the existing system is upgraded but the core technology stack
remains the same. Situations where this approach would be best suited include:
IT department are highly skilled in the technology used for the legacy system
has strong association with legacy app and wants it to continue.
the technology used has a modern foundation but the application is old,
improvements can be made to the design of the system to increase performance
Benefits of this approach include:
any issues that require immediate attention
approach gives the company additional time to develop a strategy for future
employees at the company are already familiar with the companies tech, so no
outside talent will be required.
is recommended that the company consult with experts to ensure that all improvements
employ best practices and the best design.
approach can offer a great opportunity to document the system.
large investments may be a waste of money if the system will eventually be
unusable due to the outdated technology.
is often difficult for companies to find IT professionals with expertise in
older technologies. Continuing to use outdated technology could result in a
shortage of employees.
approach can extend the life of a legacy system. It is important to note that older
software will eventually become unusable and will need to be modernized. This
approach is best used to buy an organization time while they plan to move to
No System change
There are many reasons why a company may choose to keep the
system as-is. A company may not have the resources to upgrade the current
system. For example, they may not be able to find the required number of software
developers to take on a large scale project. Some other applicable situations
is indecisive and not able to decide on a modernization approach.
believes that upgrading technology is not necessary to achieve business goals.
The benefits of keeping the system as-is include:
need to invest in new projects
workload for IT department and they can work on other things like adding
had the option to choose a new platform in the future.
method will not work long term. The company must continue to observe the
industry in order to remain competitive.
There are several risks associated with continuing to use
outdated systems and applications. These include:
company will lose its competitive edge in the industry.
cost of regular business processes is likely to increase.
cost of maintaining legacy software may eventually become more than the cost of
This approach can be very risky and should only be attempted
if the company has a plan to address any outdated systems in the future. If
this approach is used long term it will
most likely result in failure. The one key benefit of this approach is the
ability to wait for better and newer technology that can be used when replacing
or transforming their systems (Malinova, 2016).