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Save Money and Gain Agility Article

Successful business organizations are heavily dependent on their IT systems working efficiently and having the correct business logic that is vital for the companies’ operations. To date, many organizations are using legacy systems in order to enable their business operations. Despite their obsolescence, legacy systems continue to serve as a corporate asset representing core business processes, containing invaluable knowledge and historical data.

The Challenge

Maintaining and upgrading legacy systems is one of the most complex challenges CIOs face today. Older technologies are more demanding when it comes to maintenance: a key point of pain for many legacy system owners. On average, a company spends between 60% and 80% of the IT budget on maintaining existing systems instead of on new developments. Half of these costs are related to the time and resources spent on the research and adaptation of legacy systems.

 CIOs struggle with the problem of modernizing these systems while keeping their functionality intact. Over time, applications and software evolve due to maintenance efforts and the addition of new functionality. Constant technological change often weakens the business value of legacy systems, which have been developed over the years through huge investments.
Moreover, documentation of changes is very often insufficient and this lack of information – coupled with the accelerating retirement of baby boomers - leads to an increasingly poor understanding of the system.

 Gartner recommends that organizations allocate 10% to 20% of their annual IT budget to application renewal, since legacy environments are considered to be potentially problematic for several reasons:

  • platform support

  • diminishing skill base;

  • increased support and maintenance costs;

  • reduced level of enhancements;

  • lack of flexibility;

  • lack of native support for e.g. business intelligence tools and other modern enhancements

 

The Solution

Many approaches have been undertaken in the past; from rewriting the applications to implementing packaged software. Too often however, these projects – once of a certain size – have not been successful, because the business processes had to be adapted to the supporting application instead of the other way round, or because the correct specifications could never be documented properly, or simply because the implementation became too costly. Eventually, many such projects were even cancelled.

Today, more efficient ways of evolving Legacy Systems exist: Anubex provides a proven, cost-effective solution to modernize and migrate to a more desirable target system in a fully automated way.

An automated modernization initiative provides benefits in the operating and technological areas:

  • availability of specifications;

  • reduced support requirements;

  • faster response to business needs;

  • re-assignment of IT staff in order to support

  • emerging new technologies

  • a platform to facilitate native support for business intelligence tools, SOA, etc.


The switch-over can occur off hours or during a week end so that business interruption can be avoided and code freeze minimized.

Yet, equally important is the financial Return on Investment (ROI), which can relatively easily be quantified. Anubex has assisted many customers with modernization initiatives over the years.
Experience shows that typically companies reach a positive ROI as soon as one year after they have effectively modernized their applications!



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