Legacy Software Modernization: How to determine the best course for your existing applications.
Keeping Pace with the Software Market
With the rapid pace of change in the marketplace, keeping your existing custom software ahead of the game can be challenging. At the same time, as your development staff changes over time, so do their approaches which can compound the challenge and direction of your needed changes. Modernizing an existing application can be an enormous challenge with significant investment, but on that same note, the business benefit of your existing process and results driven by that application make it worth it.
Do Mainframes still exist
Let’s take mainframes as an example, they are still here and not going anywhere. Have you purchased something from Lowe’s or Home Depot recently? As you can see when checking out, their infrastructure is still running strong on technology introduced in the 50’s.
When evaluating the direction of your existing software application, system, or product, aligning the benefits of it to your business requirements is always a first step. Once that is complete, you can accurately assess the costs of not having your existing solution and most commonly those cost far outweigh the investment to modernize. But don’t get concerned that modernization will only take one form of needing to rebuild the entire application from the ground up. This is most commonly not the case.
We’ve worked with many companies to bring their existing application or product in to current times. A good example is our client who won a large contract at a major international airport. The contract was for managing the dispatch of the cleaning crews to airplanes that have a short window to be cleaned once passengers exit the plane. You could think of the application as Uber for cleaning crews. The application managed teams through a dashboard that would dispatch them to the plane that needed to be cleaned.
Rebuild, Refactor, or Just Make it Happen
The challenge with the software was the ability to integrate into modern software systems and scale appropriately depending on time of day. The Sparkfish team assessed the current code set and began to re-write only the necessary portions of the code that were causing issues when integrating with some of the airport systems. This was a great relief to the company’s owners and board members as they believed they would have to rebuild from the ground up. The savings could now be channeled into building out current day feature sets that would improve the efficiencies of the crew on the tarmac.
The project was a complete success leaving the owners and the customer, the airport, very happy with the service they had contracted. We were pleased that as a trusted partner, could step, take the reins and get this solution integrated cost effectively. The product has now moved from being a single contract solution to 22 of major international airports across the country and Sparkfish continues today to provide all their application support and custom software development.