9 Tips for Choosing a Legacy Modernization Partner

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 10-21-2016 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    9 Tips for Choosing a Legacy Modernization Partner
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    9 Tips for Choosing a Legacy Modernization Partner

    Modernization is a challenging process, but companies that forgo an IT update will face bigger challenges in the future.
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    Do You Offer Up-Front Risk Assessment?
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    Do You Offer Up-Front Risk Assessment?

    Many legacy modernization vendors offer free risk assessments of your code. They will review your current systems and diagnose the issues. This is a great way to determine trouble spots and how much time and money it may cost to resolve them.
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    Can You Work With Different Languages?
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    Can You Work With Different Languages?

    If you have multiple products in different software languages in need of modernization, your partner must support all your requirements and drive you towards a standard technology stack. Your requirements will change over time. Finding a partner who can handle multiple source software languages and target Java and .NET will ensure that your partner can grow and change with you.
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    Can You Refactor the Code as Part of the Transformation Process?
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    Can You Refactor the Code as Part of the Transformation Process?

    Can they identify duplicate and dead code to reduce the application footprint? Often when tangled code is unravelled, it becomes obvious that multiple modules serve the same purpose. Eliminating such redundancies is key to keeping a small application footprint and organized system.
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    Will You Offer a Prototype Solution?
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    Will You Offer a Prototype Solution?

    Just as your partner should be able to determine the level of overhaul before beginning a project, you should also expect them to provide a play-by-play prototype of how they plan to fix the problem, and the timeframe.
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    Can Enhancements Be Included as Part of the Automatic Transformation Process?
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    Can Enhancements Be Included as Part of the Automatic Transformation Process?

    Some modernization partners include enhancements in their automated modernization process. For instance, companies can make certain applications responsive in their new form, saving significant time and effort over having to add this functionality afterwards. Adding enhancements on the front end can also save companies money, and improve the bottom line.
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    What Is Your Strategy for Modernizing the Application and the Database?
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    What Is Your Strategy for Modernizing the Application and the Database?

    In some cases, it will be necessary to modernize both the database and applications within the database. Ask potential partners how they would manage that process and ensure QA demarcation between the application transformation and database migration.
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    Can the Partner Work With Your Current Team to Execute Updates?
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    Can the Partner Work With Your Current Team to Execute Updates?

    A third-party partner's ability to recognize which systems are best updated internally, which can be shared and which should be handed off entirely to the third party will increase efficiency and save the company money. Look for a partner who can work with in-house IT team to shave time off the project.
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    Can the Product UI Be customized?
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    Can the Product UI Be customized?

    Many partners offer to customize certain aspects of the user interface. Ask potential partners if they can easily work with your user interface. Can they easily include multi-lingual functionality as part of the transformation process?
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    Do You Have Credibility?
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    Do You Have Credibility?

    As with any hire, credibility is important. Ask the vendor for case studies it has worked on. Some projects are confidential, but examples of how companies have helped similar businesses speak volumes, and that information should be readily available.
 

Outdated software systems negatively affect businesses and users on a daily basis. Sometimes, internal issues are minimal (e.g., user interface issues), but too often outdated systems are responsible for millions of dollars in lost business and threaten the security of personal information. This puts companies on the fast track to negative headlines and customer loss. Modernization is challenging. Costs associated with a system overhaul force many companies to choose between keeping customer data safe, internal systems running smoothly, and squeezing as much time as they can from outdated software. Many CIOs weigh the pros and cons of updating systems and determine that a breach would, in fact, be less costly than a modernization project. But less costly to whom? Depending on the type of business, a breach can cost companies millions (or more) in their bank account, and cost their customers. Other CIOs choose a partner to modernize legacy software systems. Sometimes it is still necessary to bring in another resource. Here are nine questions to ask potential modernization vectors from Neil Hartley, director of U.S. Operations for enterprise legacy-to-cloud software company Morphis.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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