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Updated: May 29, 2023

Managing legacy systems is one of the toughest challenges faced by Enterprises. Failure to maintain ageing systems can lead to instability or security vulnerability with immediate business consequences. In the medium term, older systems which remain critical to current business processes cannot be developed quickly reducing business agility.

With the emergence of AI a further problem can be added to this list. Unless an organisation has complete control of all of its data it will not be able to take full advantage of AI capabilities. Data languishing in old systems, hard to access and with many corrupt or out of date records will make effective use of AI technologies extremely hard.

The challenges related to legacy systems include the fact that it may be running on old unstable and unsupported hardware, it may be written in a software language where skills are very hard to find. Finally, there maybe no one left from the original team who really understands the code.

Some of these issues can be “band-aided” by a lift and shift into the cloud. At the very least businesses must ensure all systems are fully documented and have some coverage in terms of access to software engineers able to maintain the code and handle urgent fixes

If the business wants to develop new features a full migration onto modern technology will be required to untangle the legacy code and take advantage of all the advanced cloud features for managing performance and security. Projects of this type need to be approached very carefully. Changes need to be made incrementally in order to avoid de-stabilising operational processes and the migration of data must be thought through in extreme detail with all future uses in mind.

In order to have any chance of success a legacy programme must be visible to senior management and have their explicit support. This will enable resource tradeoffs to be made effectively and will clear the way for closing down legacy business processes which are otherwise expensive to support.

Pluralit can help by providing access to experienced software engineers with experience of managing business critical systems on many legacy platforms . We can also provide guidance and leadership on deploying complex environments in both Azure and AWS and access to data engineers able to make data available for future needs.

See our white paper on ‘Managing Enterprise Legacy Systems’ for further technical details and recommendations.


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