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Top Five Non-Invasive Techniques for Leveraging Legacy

Blog: Jim Sinur

Many organizations are hamstrung with a legacy portfolio that they have invested in for decades. They are now challenged with moving forward to a new digital world without the drag of legacy affecting their progress. Don’t let legacy eat your budget in a change happy and customer focused world like pictured below. I say it’s best to leverage legacy if you can’t kill it or outsource it. In this post I will be identifying the top five techniques for leveraging legacy in a non-invasive way.


Legacy Pigging Out on Your IT Budget

A Mobile Face Lift:

Many organizations have taken a mobile first approach to going digital and it makes a lot of sense for organizations that want to buy time to survive until they can do a better job of designing a set of digital targets. Some smart organizations combine this effort with mapping real customer journeys from the customer viewpoint.


Tapping Fast Data:

Some organizations have leveraged new big data pools & lakes to focus on the data that represents events of interest to produce patterns that require responses. Traditionally organizations have tapped integration data to find opportunities, but with big data combined with the IoT and complex events new opportunities to speed up actions even from legacy applications who run at slower speeds.


Modeling for Legacy Leverage & Elimination:

Understanding the state of your legacy assets is very important these days to know if you want to leverage these assets, going forward, where appropriate. Modeling the process flows inside of these applications and processes are key to understand their scope and impact. This process flow can be brought out of the people who work with the applications or you can use a scientific mining approach.


Mining Rules for Documentation & Analysis: 

It is important to understand process flows, but it may be more important to understand the business policies, rules and constraints that are coded in your legacy logic. Finding the proper code parsers, rule aggregators and rule classifiers that can deal with your pieces of legacy code is important. I found a “one stop” vendor who has helped many of my clients in the past.


Hybrid Mix of New & Legacy:

A major theme of digital is hybrid in terms of resources, speeds, channels and mixture of technologies to leverage. Mixing new functionality with the legacy applications in a surround fashion is a very popular approach to deal with the challenge of the new digital efforts. Legacy can play the core transaction processors and the new functionality can deal with the dynamic change portion of digital. Hopefully you can use the legacy in a large grained way, but there are legacy approaches that allow for the slicing and dicing of legacy for more focused usage.

Net; Net: 

In an ideal world organizations would be able to cope with legacy with non-invasive approaches and techniques. While I have seen successful efforts without legacy invasion in the short term, but over time invasive techniques will likely be needed. I will document the popular invasive techniques in a future post. Watch this space.

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