Businesses are changing and transforming at an ever increasing pace, and their business processes and systems must evolve and adapt, or become a straitjacket which stifles growth and progress. Legacy systems and applications are frequently business and mission critical, however, they present a dilemma in the decision to re-use or replace. Leveraging legacy systems is more important than ever, but how can this be done in a cost-effective, low risk, and time effective manner?
We start from the position that “legacy” is not a dirty word: legacy applications and systems have demonstrated that they work, and worked well for lengthy periods of time (within our JobTraQ development team, several members have worked on systems more than fifty years old).
While “legacy” may be used as pejorative, replete with negative connotations, legacy systems are not all bad. Often it is the unchanged operation of legacy systems within a changing business environment which is the root cause of distress. We are not arguing that all legacy is good, as there are many cases where legacy applications have been in situ for years which are a terrible mess under the hood.
Regardless, there is usually a great deal of business value to be derived from legacy applications and the data they contain, but the challenge is how to extract this value for the continuing benefit and advantage of the organization.