From room-sized computers to the compact netbooks of today, businesses and consumers have benefited a great deal from the rapid evolution of computer hardware and software systems; such that this modern era is aptly called the Age of Information
Potential Risks of an Aging Technology
There are very predictable problems that will come home to roost in the very near future with some of the systems running the backbone of our most critical social and government systems today.
As it turns out, many of the most effective systems that managed our healthcare,
The End-of-life cycle of a technology may sound foreboding or downright gloomy (remember
We can take the proactive approach of having the right resources in place while there is still time, if and when a transition to newer hardware or software systems may be necessary, or we can take the passive (and very much more expensive) stance of waiting for disaster to confront us, before we move.
The choice is ours.
Where the Problem Lies
In the present case, here are a few areas where some legacy or aging systems (listed in no particular order) are still being used:
a. State Financial Management Systems
b. Educational Support Systems
c. Child Welfare and Human Resources
d. Health Care and Insurance Software Applications
From a survey conducted by NASCIO, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, back in 2008, legacy systems in operation have been labeled and given criteria according to the potential problems expected when dealing with them.
82.8% of the respondents have identified legacy systems as those that can no longer be “adequately supported, maintained or enhanced”.
With expected heavy risks facing those who may be tasked with the challenge to modernize or facilitate the transition to a newer system later on, some IT personnel today are already being groomed in a “baptism-
Most of these problems arise when handling upgrades and maintenance on the legacy software. Of course, most of these applications may no longer be adaptable, extensible or agile enough to compete or interact with modern web-based systems. More so, the application tools and documentation may be far out-of-date or non-existent at all to aid our IT staffs in handling problems that may crop up prior to modernizing the systems, like the potential security-risks in accessing the information stored in some of these legacy systems. And, many of those staff are eligible for retirement,
The Best Solution
Modernization is not an option –it is THE very best solution.
With the rapidly evolving demands for faster and more secure technologies today, business processes drive the primary need to modernize existing legacy systems in the various States as well as in corporate offices.
Funding is a major issue that must be properly addressed. With the size and scope of legacy modernization programs, especially in departments handling operations for government administration,
Time is a major constraint as well, given that some of the most proficient IT personnel in the era of COBOL, ADABAS, and the heyday of FORTRAN are either already in retirement (grayed out) or others have already been introduced to other coding languages or may need re-training in the legacy languages. But universities don’t teach COBOL and FORTRAN any more.
Looking ahead, there are several obstacles that the various States may need to overcome, more so in allocating the right budget and finding the best people to rescue the legacy software systems. Corporate and government agencies have been well on top of the issue for years now, and many have IT plans in place to handle the retirement of legacy systems.
So after all, there’s no simple answer to the question of how far ahead already we are or how far we need to go to maintain our technological advantage in this day and age. Our drive to modernize our social and government hardware and software systems will help determine our response in a bright new chapter in the Age of Information and Technology.
For more information on legacy modernization, and how we can help modernize your critical software systems, please visit our website http://www.ResQSoft.com, or send us an email via the contact page on our site.
ResQSoft Inc. offers a full range of software development and modernization services for the public and private sectors.
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Founded in 2000, ResQSoft has built a reputation as a resourceful and reliable software development firm capable of undertaking large, complex, and often unconventional projects. For more details, you can visit http://www.Resqsoft.com or call:703-821-