What’s the risk-to-reward ratio of maintaining Legacy?
What’s the risk-to-reward ratio of maintaining Legacy?

What’s the risk-to-reward ratio of maintaining Legacy?

Legacy applications are often described as old, outdated, or obsolete software programs. But they are not all twenty years old, and some of these dinosaurs still provide real value.

Legacy applications are really any type of application that users regard as being a hindrance, rather than providing any real value to the organisation.

As the saying goes “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” – For many organisations, it makes sense to keep their critical systems working for as long as they’re useful. But these legacy applications can quickly become risky, expensive, and time-consuming to maintain. These systems can often be viewed as the main blocker holding back growth and innovation initiatives, so there comes a time when legacy modernisation becomes critical to the life of the business.

The tipping point: What’s the risk-to-reward ratio?

The balancing act: Finding the right strategy is easier said than done.

When that tipping point is reached, product owners must look to application modernisation to help remove the obstacles. How this legacy modernisation process is managed, can mean the difference between growing/being competitive or losing market share.

One of the biggest challenges is knowing the risk-to-reward ratio before acting.

To know when a legacy application needs modernising, we can start by asking a few simple questions:

From the business perspective:
  1. Is it business fit?
    Is it able to meet the new requirements imposed by the business?
  2. Does it provide business value?
    Should it be upgraded to provide greater business value?
  3. Does it lack flexibility/agility?
    If it is inflexible or lacks the agility to keep pace with the demands of business, it may be a cost or risk liability. 
From the IT perspective:
  1. Can we sustain it?
    Has the technology reached end-of-life, or is it too complex/cumbersome to keep running?
  2. Can we risk it?
    Is security, compliance, support, or scalability being compromised?
  3. Can we maintain it?
    Is the total cost of ownership too high?

The barriers to modernising legacy

Once a clear view of the ‘what and why’ has been established, the next logical step is the ‘How’. 

But experience has shown us that for many organisations the mounting challenges around uncertainty, perceived risk, or the potential of causing any business interruption, can either put off the modernisation project indefinitely or push it into the ‘too hard basket’.

A lot of these challenges are typical of any IT delivery project.

  • Budget, time, skillset, and resourcing constraints
  • Competing strategic priorities vs operational perspectives
  • Inadequate capacity or methodology to drive the delivery process
  •  Lack clear requirements and understanding to be able to get started
  •  Information overload, or lack of confidence when assessing new technology options

Weighing up the risk-to-reward ratio of your applications? Take the next step with one of our solution offerings. 

Playtime Solutions AKS Best Practice Guideline eBookPlaytime Solutions’
AKS Best Practice Guide

A 23 page best-practice checklist, leveraging Playtime Solutions’ hands-on experience in designing, developing and delivering enterprise-grade application. This guide assists IT and DevOps professionals in creating an enterprise-grade Kubernetes environment in Microsoft AKS.

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