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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.