Rescue Your Legacy Software: Modernizing Corporate and State Legacy Systems

Aging software systems used by businesses and federal agencies may pose a serious risk to corporate investors and clients, as well as the general public.
 
 
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Vienna - Virginia - US

Feb. 2, 2012 - PRLog -- Vienna, VA -- “Out with the old and in with the new‭”‬.‭ ‬The United States has seen its fair share of the technological revolution.‭

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 ‬Technology.‭ ‬But how far ahead‭ ‬are we,‭ ‬really‭?

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,‭ ‬social benefits,‭ ‬law enforcement,‭ ‬administrative programs and even our military operations way back in the‭ ‬1960‭'‬s to the late‭ ‬1990‭‘‬s,‭ ‬are meeting their technological demise very soon.‭

The End-of-life cycle of a technology may sound foreboding or downright gloomy‭ (‬remember‭ ‬the Year‭ ‬2000‭ ‬crisis,‭ ‬or‭ ‬Y2K‭)‬,‭ ‬but it does not mean we are going to throw all our aging systems out of the window.‭  ‬We also don’t expect our decades of compiled data to disappear when‭ ‬the‭ ‬date of retirement‭ ‬for those systems‭ ‬arrives.‭

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
e.‭ ‬Administrative,‭ ‬Federal Interaction and Military‭ ‬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-by-fire,‭” ‬when dealing with some of these legacy systems in their everyday operation.‭

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,‭ ‬and may choose to do so rather than facing daily fire drills at work.

The‭ ‬Best‭ ‬Solution

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkL8tFS3VCs



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,‭ ‬social welfare and security,‭ ‬there will be some resistance to the idea of modernizing these legacy systems right away,‭ ‬given the‭ ‬condition‭ ‬of the economy and lowered tax revenue.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬it will remain a necessity to modernize in the soonest possible time for a host of reasons that will ultimately impact the smooth operation of government and civilian programs,‭ ‬and it’s much less expensive to do it now,‭ ‬in a controlled way.‭  ‬The cost savings of the new system will pay for the effort sooner than you think.‭

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.‭ ‬ And when we modernize,‭ ‬we can ensure that we can hire and retrain staff and start saving money immediately.‭  ‬Continuing to spend money on old systems rather than modernizing is just another form of deficit spending‭ ‬– why‭ ‬not cut those costs now,‭ ‬and realize the savings faster‭?

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:703-821-6999
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Tags:Legacy Modernization
Industry:Technology, Computers, Business
Location:Vienna - Virginia - United States
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