Legacy Software and System Support Solutions
There is a saying that the only certainty we have is change. Technology is increasingly a prominent facilitator to change and how quickly technology dates. Expertise moves to newer versions, platforms and deployments. Yesterday's systems and applications rapidly become dated, lose attraction and attention by IT teams and a void forms.
Legacy Applications and Systems are there to provide services for existing business processes, managing data and information flows necessary to the business and underpin frontline application services and systems. Thus they remain important whilst the void forms.
OCS secures and sustains Legacy Application and Systems suites.
What is a legacy software application or system?
A legacy Application or System is an IT solution or service that uses old methods, technologies, computer systems, database management systems or application development software programs that have been superseded and increasingly less commonly used.
Perhaps you have some of these systems and technologies. For your organisation it is any technology stack where your IT resources no longer seek to or are able to provide technical expertise. Examples of the sort of technologies OCS currently provides Legacy Application and System Support for include:
- PROGRESS 4GL
- VB6, VBA, VB.NET
- Informix 4GL
- Access, SQL Server 2000, Sybase.
What are the challenges with legacy software and systems?
Regulation and legislation is ever more entwined and complex. Customers even better informed, diverse and fluid. Business models evolve, change and displace quickly. New technologies emerge to satisfy demands, innovations and disruptions. Expectations for what technology provides is exponentially growing, including meeting and demonstrating compliance. What of the business's Legacy Applications and Systems?
Regardless of a business's IT strategy and plans for Legacy Applications and Systems, there remains a need to comply with the evolving business standards and policies. This is not a new situation, OCS Consulting's CEO Maurice Aroesti commented in 2011 for the BBC News, "When to pull the plug on old software". Options exist.
What are your options?
- Migrate - move the application(s) into new strategic technologies and/or platforms
- Transition - maintain application(s) and components in preparation for migration based on business change
- Mothball - "lock" application(s) into a suspended state based on maintenance only.
Migrate will be driven by your IT strategy and based on priorities of the relevant programmes. A continual balance is necessary between the impact of sustaining the application(s) and what is required to migrate. Internal teams offer many benefits in terms of efficiency for sustaining and migration, yet such benefits may be easily lost if inadequate governance is allowed or resourcing risks are realised.
Transition will be reliant on business change to trigger a change in status, justifying the increased investment required for migration. Residual maintenance becomes more complicated with time and if transition is undertaken in a phased approach the risks associated with sustaining the application(s) and/or components progressively increases. Sustaining internal teams is prone to difficulties as there are limited events that ensure appropriate skill and knowledge is maintained.
Mothball seeks to exploit the business value in the application(s), whilst restricting investment, sometimes referred to as "cash cowing". The need to assess the value derived versus the costs, including lost opportunity costs provide a continual challenge. The use of internal resources is increasingly difficult as the primary driver is to reduce investment, whilst maintain benefits.
How can OCS solve legacy software and system challenges?
As a specialist in custom application development for over 30 years, OCS has a pedigree that enables it to cover Legacy Applications and Systems more effectively. A high staff retention rate enables OCS to secure technical specialists who are proficient with modern current technologies and methods, yet equally skilled on the past variants that constitute our clients Legacy Applications and Systems. These experienced consultants form the kernel of our Legacy Applications and Systems Support Services.
In an environment of diminishing technical capability, decreasing capacity, a dynamic resource market, having a service provider as consistent and stable as the business's Legacy Application and Systems suite is a desirable outcome. OCS delivers such outcomes.
So if you're thinking about how to maintain and support your legacy application or system during the coming year and onwards and would like to have an initial chat regarding OCS' experience and how we can help please contact 020 8731 4338 or email firstname.lastname@example.org