What is software modernization?
Sooner or later software has to be modernized in order to remain secure and functional. There are various approaches to software modernization, depending on the problem, from partially rewriting the old system to switching to a completely different application.
Software is often in use for a long time, be it because it is the most cost-effective way or because customers find it difficult to lead from the familiar to something new. This legacy software brings with it many problems, such as: B. the ever decreasing compatibility with more modern systems.
The following areas, among others, can be improved by modernizing software:
- Software quality:Organically grown software often hides many legacy issues such as confusing or unnecessarily complex code behind its functional surface. It arises when a legacy system repeatedly undergoes changes over its lifetime that have to be completed quickly or that do not fit well with the original concept of the software. This creates unclean code that is becoming increasingly difficult to understand and therefore difficult to maintain. This problem is resolved selectively or across the board through modernization.
- Performance:Unnecessarily complex, fragmented and outdated code also has the problem that this legacy sooner or later has a negative impact on performance. The system feels old-fashioned and slow – because it is exactly that. During the modernization, such weak points can be addressed in a targeted manner in order to improve performance.
- Security:New security gaps are constantly being found and over time security concepts that once corresponded to the latest state of the art become obsolete. If a legacy system is not modernized accordingly, it becomes a security risk for the user.
- Quality of work:software that is designed according to modern principles supports people more effectively at work. UX occurs e.g. B. in the design of modern software more and more in the foreground. During development, more value is now placed on low-threshold, intuitive concepts for operation. This reduces the time for training and increases the ease of use. Convenience functions such as the automation of certain business processes (e.g. automatic filing of e-mails and attachments to the associated customer file) make daily work even more efficient and minimize the potential for errors. Modernization also brings with it the option of innovation, so that the work of users can be further optimized through new services.
What options are there for modernizing software?
Software modernization can be done in different ways. Which method is appropriate must be decided on a case-by-case basis, e. B. on the basis of questions about costs and benefits or on the basis of the technical framework conditions. There are essentially two broad directions:
- Migration to new software
You migrate all important data to new software and switch to it. The legacy software is no longer used. It can either be up-to-date standard software from the industry or a solution programmed individually for the respective scenario.
- Reengineering of the old system
The legacy software is being developed from scratch in whole or in part in order to eliminate problems.
What are the problems with software modernization?
In many cases, software modernization is a worthwhile and forward-looking strategy. However, one should also be aware that there are obstacles on the way to modernity. Typical hurdles are e.g. B:
The migration from legacy systems to modern standard software is often problematic. In a business environment, the data that has accumulated over time is an important asset. They must therefore be transferred completely and correctly to the new software. The problem here is that current standard software and legacy systems are very likely to use different data models. So a way has to be found to migrate the data according to the technical requirements of the customer. Loss of data must be avoided.
What can the software modernization cost? New, individually developed software can be developed to be perfectly compatible with the data model of the old system and the requirements of the customer. But the costs are correspondingly large and not always appropriate. So a solution has to be found that fits in with the company’s concept in terms of costs.
When a user has got used to something and is coping with it well, companies have a hard time convincing them of a new solution. Updates for the existing software are seldom a problem, because in the ideal case you will only notice a little of them on the surface – but a switch to completely new software? This is very difficult for some users.
Especially in the business environment, persuasion has to be done. After all, the productivity of the company depends on the fact that all employees are confident in handling the programs they use on a daily basis. So switching to a new solution also means getting used to it with training and lower productivity. The prospect of a clean and complete data migration generally makes the transition a little easier.