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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Legacy Modernization
Legacy Software
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Legacy Systems


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

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, 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 or call:703-821-6999
Source:ResQSoft Inc.
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Tags:Legacy Modernization, Legacy Software, Resqsoft, Software Development, Legacy Systems, Java, Net, Saas, SOA, Cots
Industry:Technology, Computers, Business
Location:Vienna - Virginia - United States
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