In this series of blogs, I would like to share about all the aspects of a framework platform called Enterprise Unified Application Platform (EUAP) – right from pain points from legacy applications to introduction to EUAP – adoption models, transformation methods, implementation and its benefits. I hope you enjoy reading all the episodes of this blog and make use of it.

Is your organization still using a legacy application? If so, this series is your cup of tea. Your organization must be facing a tough time now. Have you ever made an initiative to study about this problematic area? Well, whatever your answer may be – let me take this opportunity to explore more about this area of concern.

One of the biggest pain point of every CIO is to gain adequate IT budget from business every year. It is a big challenge for them to achieve the business expectations using the limited budget. However, higher percentages of IT budget are goes for managing and enhancing existing legacy systems alone. In addition, it is hard for the enterprise architects or IT architects to define the roadmap to meet business expectations by make use of legacy applications portfolio.  According to Gartner reports, more than 50% of IT budget is allocated for maintaining the legacy applications and resources. Why legacy applications maintenance and enhancement are consuming more funds?

Most of the legacy applications and systems would have been built when enterprises or corporate establish their business in early days. Over the period, the business would have transformed to modern level with more customers, partners, collaborations, acquisitions etc. On the other hand, the older legacy systems are not efficient to support such rapid expansion of business and target goals. Continuing with the existing legacy systems may appear to avoid the operational risk of adopting modern systems, but it increases the maintenance cost rapidly.  The Legacy applications that built using older generation technologies and tools are expensive to change for various reasons:

  • Most of the legacy applications would have been developed using old proprietary language, tools and technologies. Web and mobile enabling features might not be available. Also finding resource for enhancing those applications should be tough
  • Mostly different application systems would have been developed by different set of teams. There is a high possibility of inconsistency between programming style and approach
  • Documentation might be inadequate and not up to date. In some cases, there might not be any document for references
  • Enhancement and maintenance conducted over a period of years would have been changed the structure of the application and components
  • Most of the legacy technologies are outdated, therefore development resource moved to other technologies, projects or organization.  New development team requires lot of efforts to understand system functions and code structure due to lack of documentation
  • If there were, an inadequate data backup and repository management would increase the risk of losing production data and application functionalities
  • Most of the aged technology based legacy application would have been designed for older hardware capabilities and structure, which might not be suitable for modern processors and hardware configurations

All the above legacy enhancement and maintenance would lead into business risk and excess of IT budgets. To attest that, Gartner did analysis and revised its overall global IT spending growth forecast for 2011. In U.S. dollars, the forecast has been revised up from 7.1% to 7.6% for 2011. If you look at the following chart, Gartner predicted that the IT services (Includes industries such as BPO, call centers and operation support business companies) has to spend more in their IT for business continuity.

Now, I hope you thoroughly realized challenges of maintaining a legacy application and the reasons for the same. So now your question must be – what is the alternative and how to avail it? The answer comes in the next series. Keep watching.

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