If you are reading this, chances are you struggle with legacy monoliths and are looking for the best modernisation approach for your situation. Traditional one-size-fits-all platforms that once served business needs are no longer effective. This necessitates an upgrade, a legacy system modernisation, and among the varied methodologies to achieve this, replatforming legacy systems is emerging as an increasingly effective strategy. Here we will delve into understanding replatforming, explore how it differs from other modernisation methodologies, detail its benefits, discuss potential challenges, and explain how the process works.
Unpacking Replatforming Legacy Systems
Replatforming is an innovative method of legacy system modernisation where components of the existing system are moved onto a new platform that offers similar functionalities. The essence of replatforming is in minimalism – it advocates for minimal changes in the system's structure, features, and functions, allowing the new platform to retain the essence of the legacy system. This facilitates better functionality, reduced infrastructure costs, and optimal value extraction from your legacy investments.
Replatforming vs Other Modernisation Methodologies
The field of legacy system modernisation boasts several methodologies, such as refactoring, rehosting, and rewriting. Replatforming is distinct in its approach and offers a unique set of advantages.
While refactoring involves modifying the system's structure without altering its external behaviour, replatforming preserves the system's structure while enhancing its functionality on a new platform.
Rehosting involves moving the applications to a new physical, virtual or cloud infrastructure without modifying the code, while replatforming includes slight code modifications for better adaptation.
Rewriting includes a complete system overhaul, which could be time-consuming and expensive. Conversely, replatforming retains much of the original code, allowing businesses to continue receiving value from their initial investment.
Benefits of Replatforming Legacy Systems
- Improved Functionality and Efficiency: Replatforming enhances the functionality and efficiency of the legacy system on the new platform.
- Cost-Effective: By preserving much of the legacy system's original structure and features, replatforming saves businesses the costs associated with a full-scale system overhaul.
- Agile and Flexible: Replatforming allows businesses to implement changes progressively, adapting and innovating at their own pace.
- Future-Ready: A replatformed system can better keep pace with the latest digital trends, making businesses more adaptable to future challenges.
Challenges and Solutions in Replatforming Legacy Systems
Despite its advantages, replatforming is challenging. It is essential to understand potential roadblocks and prepare effectively.
- Identifying a Suitable Platform: Finding a suitable new platform that meets your business needs while maintaining legacy system features can be challenging. Make sure you thoroughly evaluate potential platforms, focusing on compatibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness, which can help you make the right choice.
- Ensuring Business Continuity: With significant system changes, there's the risk of disruption. We always encourage our clients to adopt a phased approach, gradually implementing changes to ensure business operations are not interrupted.
- Employee Training: Your team may require training to adapt to the new platform. Consider implementing a comprehensive training programme to help your team understand and utilise the new platform efficiently.
Legacy system replatforming example: Savings Champion
Savings Champion faced challenges with their existing setup, juggling Salesforce for product management and reporting and Django for their website. The functionality was subpar, data management was complex, and operating two platforms was inefficient. Calls9 addressed these issues by replatforming their systems to Calls9 Nucleus, consolidating product management, reporting, and content management on one platform. This resulted in increased customer satisfaction, improved operations through automation, enhanced data management, and considerable time and cost savings.
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Understanding the Replatforming Process
The process of replatforming begins with a comprehensive analysis of the existing systems. This involves a deep dive into the current architecture, highlighting gaps or areas that may benefit from enhancements. Simultaneously, a thorough evaluation of potential new platforms and cloud environments takes place to identify the one that best fits the business's needs.
The critical phase of data and application migration commences upon identifying a suitable platform. The transition to a new environment, especially when moving to the cloud, often involves automated tools and processes. These tools ensure a smooth, efficient migration and help maintain data integrity and security, which are paramount in cloud-based systems.
Once the migration is complete, rigorous testing of the new platform ensues, validating its operational effectiveness. If the new platform is a cloud environment, it is crucial to examine data security, privacy, and regulatory compliance during this testing phase.
Following successful testing, the new platform is gradually introduced to users, marking the successful completion of the replatforming process.
This process, woven seamlessly into the business's daily operations, ensures that replatforming does not disrupt workflow continuity while preparing the business to stay agile and competitive in the digital age.
Looking for a Legacy System Modernisation Partner?
Our unique Team-as-a-Service approach builds a team of digital experts around your needs and budget. Acting as a stand-alone team or an extension of yours, we partner to modernise your legacy technology at speed and within budget:
- Legacy systems audit: We can help you assess the state of your legacy technology to uncover efficiency problems, understand how you manage your data, reveal security vulnerabilities and identify opportunities to lower costs. We will then help you choose the right modernisation approach and create a legacy system modernisation strategy built around your needs.
- Legacy systems integrations: We can help you integrate your legacy systems with your ERP, CRM and other cloud applications. We connect your data from your on-premises system to the cloud enabling you to increase performance, access buried data and eliminate financial inefficiencies.
- Custom front-end experiences for legacy systems: In many cases, the back-end of the legacy technology works fine, but the interface is outdated and becomes hard to use. We can create a new interface for your legacy component, making it easily accessible to other software components via an API. This does not change the code of your legacy technology, allowing you to leverage the existing application features and extend its value.
- Replatforming legacy systems: We can take your legacy system's components to a new platform with similar characteristics and features. We make minimal code changes to adapt to the new platform without fundamentally changing the structure or the system's features and function. By re-platforming to new software, you take advantage of reduced infrastructure costs, and better functionality with minimal effort, continuing to receive value from your legacy investment.
- Updating, maintaining and supporting legacy systems: We can help you update and improve the configuration of the legacy technology to solve technical problems. We can then maintain the updated and more efficient solution at a lower cost allowing you to avoid system failures, security breaches and maintenance cost escalations.