IT companies are well aware of the value of modernizing their legacy technology systems—and they’re also aware of the challenges they face if they choose not to. As was stated in a recent Forrester study: “Modernize now or suffer the consequences.” According to Forrester, IT leaders reported that their mainframe applications and systems prevent them from achieving the following initiatives:
- Integrating existing business applications with mobile applications
- Deploying existing applications to private, public or hybrid clouds
- Measuring business intelligence activity against data from Web apps, social media, mobile apps and back-end transactions
If you know you need to modernize your legacy systems, you’re on the right track; however, you may find that the unknowns—the unexpected bumps in the road or a general lack of readiness—can bring a promising modernization project to a halt. It’s not that uncommon for modernization efforts to miss the mark. According to research from Fierce CIO, overall modernization project success rates range from 24 percent to 39 percent, and half of the projects that cost more than $15 million deliver only 44 percent of their intended value.
So, why do some legacy modernization projects fail? Findings from the Forrester study provide insight into why this is the case. Below we list some errors the research firm cautions to avoid:
- Short-term strategizing: If you’re not strategizing for the long-term, you’re going to add more long-term technical debt, according to Forrester. In other words, stop treating each back-end application individually. “Instead, plan for victory by treating them all as an opportunity to create a strategic plan to minimize [overall] technical debt.”
- Failure to make a strong initial pitch: According to Forrester, nearly one-third of survey respondents said their inability to make a successful business case prevented their modernization project from seeing the light of day. Having your legacy modernization project pulled will leave your company open to competitive threat. So, don’t fail to make a strong pitch for the switch.
- Attempting legacy modernization independently: Forrester makes it clear that unqualified companies shouldn’t attempt it on their own. Don’t be resistant to ideas developed outside of your organization; Forrester identifies this as a sign of poor institutional efficiency. “The skills required for modernization are unique; leverage third-party firms and agencies that have the benefit of experience from previous engagements.”
This is where a strategic IT resource like AAJ can come into play for companies looking to effectively sidestep challenges of legacy modernization. Our team boasts nearly two decades of experience in legacy systems and applications development, modernization and integration to help you reduce time and effort and ensure project success.
Remember: When the going gets tough, you need to kick operations into high gear; you can’t give up. Click here to schedule a consultation with AAJ’s team of experts to see how we can get your legacy modernization project up and running.