Legacy application modernization projects can be tough. Adjusting existing apps to the new needs of a company requires a smart approach. While outdated programs may be interfering with a smooth work process, spending too much time and resources on modernization is hardly beneficial.
Legacy app modernization involves more than upgrading and updating existing software. However, it’s less financially taxing and time-consuming than creating a new custom program from scratch.
It’s highly important to streamline the application modernization process for it to be time and cost-efficient. Teams tend to make several common mistakes that often lead to unexpected downtime.
Let’s go over these mistakes and simple ways to avoid them.
1. Underestimating the Scope of Work
Custom software used by companies of all sizes can be highly complicated. It’s often more complex than a rocket ship. Countless features, functions, and tweaks made over the years create an intricate system with a diverse functionality. As numerous users have been entering information, the software has been evolving gradually.
If you have a large company and a complex program, it’s important to understand the modernization process needs a serious approach. When evaluating the amount of work, it’s easy to underestimate the complexity of the software.
Such underestimation can ruin the entire modernization strategy, causing you to lose time and money. Be ready for the modernization process to be longer and more difficult than you hope for.
2. Relying on the Wrong Service Provider
While legacy application modernization projects aren’t as tough as some software development tasks, they need professional attention. Even if you have a large in-house IT team, its expertise may not be sufficient.
When choosing a service provider for your modernization project, you need to pay special attention to the following points:
- Experience with similar projects – chosen vendors may have done modernization before, but not all software is created equal. Select the provider that has experience with projects similar to yours.
- Time estimates – ask how long the developer believes the project will take. If the timeline doesn’t suit your expectations, consider interviewing other candidates. Remember, you may have the wrong idea about the complexity of the project. Getting several opinions can help.
- Payment options – different companies work out different payment plans. Are you comfortable with what the vendor is asking? If they charge hourly rates, compare them to prices on the market. The cost of a legacy app modernization project can vary from $5,000 to $150,000 and beyond.
- Communication quality – you need to feel comfortable working with the modernization specialist. If there is a communication barrier, you may have trouble getting what you want from the service provider.
- Search for reviews – to narrow down your choices, ask the vendor for references and search for reviews online. You can get a better picture of what a company can and can’t do.
3. Failing to Establish Proper Communication
Whether you hire a third-party app developer or work with your in-house team, the key to the project’s success is clear communication. When it comes to legacy app modernization, you need to maintain regular communication with the team. Meanwhile, the team should have access to all the necessary information and tools associated with the project.
To address all challenges timely, each team member should know which steps to take when a problem arises. While daily meetings have the best effect, not all teams can achieve such regular communication. Try to arrange weekly meetings to ensure clarity and track progress.
4. Overestimating Your Team
Another common mistake is not involving a sufficient number of team members in the project. For legacy app modernization to be successful, it requires committed resources. Delegating the job to a third-party source may not be enough. You need to appoint project managers to arrange meetings, communicate with the vendor, and keep all involved parties on track.
Involving that many people may seem overwhelming. However, it’s vital to remember that modernization is much more than an upgrade. It’s aimed at saving time and money for your company and requires a substantial investment.
Legacy app modernization has a high ROI but only if you allocate sufficient resources.
5. Leaving Existing Functionality Behind
Custom software is usually loaded with features and functions. A single member of the IT team or an individual user is unlikely to know everything the program has to offer. That’s why when the project is discussed with the vendor, not all functions may be accounted for.
Many important features valued by one department are overlooked by another. As a result, the necessary functionality is cut during the modernization process. In many cases, companies notice these mistakes after modernization is completed, leaving them without the much-needed functions.
That’s why it’s important to communicate with all program users to figure out which features are vital to their work. Ideally, none of the existing functions should be removed while modernizing the software.
6. Testing Too Late
The legacy modernization project should be arranged using an agile approach. You should have an opportunity to test it every step of the way. Otherwise, after modernization is completed, adjustments may take extra time and money.
When you make corrections during modernization, you are speeding up the process and ensuring the proper functionality of the program. By testing properly, you are eliminating unpleasant surprises.
Using an agile approach also helps you speed up the implementation. Parts of your project could be functioning within days or weeks instead of months.
Taking Full Advantage of Legacy App Modernization
Legacy app modernization is an excellent alternative to new custom software development. However, it still requires a big investment of the company’s time, money, and effort.
By taking a well-thought-out approach to the task and hiring top-notch specialists, it’s possible to minimize time losses and enjoy an impressive ROI.