Legacy modernization: adapt and evolve your organization

Legacy modernization has emerged as a key strategic element in digital transformation. Most enterprises have made large investments in systems and architectures that can no longer meet their evolving data needs. Since few organizations can manage an end-to-end rebuild – either in terms of cost or complexity – the best course of action is to modernize existing architectures for better workloads that can create the most value. The question, of course, is how to do it.

Questions to ask in legacy modernization

What should we modernize first?

Everything in the enterprise data environment is interconnected, so approaching legacy modernization in a piecemeal fashion opens the door to data loss, system incompatibility and a host of other problems. Of course, this will require a broad assessment of the existing technological landscape.

What role should product lifecycles play?

It is tempting to modernize the oldest equipment first, but this may not be the best thing for data operations. Just because it is older does not mean it delivers less value or is less suitable for application modernization.

Should legacy modernization be handled through the normal refresh cycle?

Sometimes, but not always. In many cases, legacy systems can be modernized through new components or new software. But this process should proceed according to the enterprise’s requirements, not a vendor’s support schedule.

What about databases and libraries?

Both can be incorporated into a legacy modernization strategy; in fact, it would be foolish not to consider all the historical data they hold. The trick is to ensure these legacy stores are accessible by modernized data ecosystems.

The right approach to legacy modernization

Legacy modernization is not the same as rebuilding. A full architectural retrofit is complex, costly and actually takes a lot longer than a typical modernization program. With Mendix as a partner, legacy modernization can be implemented in a streamlined fashion that targets key systems and components first without causing undue disruption to ongoing data processes.

A key factor is to focus the legacy modernization program on the software development process. Through automation and systems integration, development processes can be converted to a DevOps model that more accurately supports the modern digital ecosystem. For this aspect of modernization, it is also crucial to partner with a company that does not lock the enterprise into a dependent relationship for fear of upending long-standing business processes.

This is perhaps the most important aspect of legacy modernization: it is not a one-time upgrade, but a continual process of creating a flexible, agile digital ecosystem. By carefully segmenting the enterprise IT landscape and targeting the critical elements first, Mendix allows organizations to craft small development teams around DevOps processes that can concentrate on continuously alleviating backlog problems and modernizing components in ways that make the most sense to the enterprise.

With the combination of technology, team-based development and the speed of cloud services, the enterprise can evolve in a careful, controlled fashion in any direction the business model demands.

Ready to embark on a legacy modernization journey? Learn how Mendix can help you continuously evolve.