There are a variety of approaches to the modernization of legacy applications. Though the business analyst may not be involved in all the technical intricacies of the discussion, it is a good idea to understand these options because they will have a direct impact on your team’s ability to implement the solution. You should ensure that the technical groups fully understand the business requirements of the solution so that they can choose the best possible approach.
Initiatives fall into 3 main categories as follows:
- Cloaking – the most common form of application modernization, cloaking involves putting a new front end on an older system. Cloaking can also be used to make enhancements to the system.
- Consolidation – large companies can sometimes fall victim to multiple implementations of the same system. (One company recently reported 7 instances of SAP!) Over time, the cost of maintaining so many systems is astronomical. At some point, the consolidation of multiple instances of the same application make fiscals and practical sense.
- Replacement – a full replacement of the legacy system with a newer technology, either via a packaged application or a custom-developed solution.
With a deep understanding of the business requirements and technical challenges of the legacy system, the best approach can be selected with confidence.