Legacy Software Modernisation

Compass data can replace or rebuild legacy systems to enable your business to continue without major upheaval or disruption.

What is Legacy Software?

Many organisations still rely on legacy IT systems and processes, designed and implemented when the company was different, smaller for example. Whilst they were suitable at the time, they no longer ideally match the requirements and it is increasingly difficult to keep them maintained. Skilled personnel are becoming scarce in older technologies, suppliers may have disappeared and the systems often run on legacy hardware which is unreliable and expensive. In addition the system security may be in doubt and upgrading it all may seem challenging and expensive.

These legacy systems present challenges for a business both in terms of support as mentioned above, but also in their ability to adapt to the changing needs of the business. However, despite this, many businesses continue to use such systems due to concerns over the disruption involved in replacing them and migrating to a new system.

With over 25 years experience in developing bespoke software and modernising legacy systems, Compass Data can analyse your current systems and plan an easy to follow, painless migration to a new solution. This may include rebuilding the existing system to address the new goals of the business, replacing it with a new solution or integrating the existing system with a new system providing functionality not available with the existing system, offering the best of both worlds.

Using this approach, we have helped many companies still operating legacy systems update their systems, improve their operations and add value without impact to normal operations.

Issues with legacy systems

Many of these issues will be familiar.

    • Struggling to access data in the right format at the right time
    • Unable to provide new functionality such as remote
    • Inefficient processes creating additional work and duplication for users
    • Unstable systems prone to crashes or issues with login / logout
    • Increasing security concerns through lack of security updates etc

With digital transformation accelerating, increasingly legacy systems are becoming an obstacle to modernisation and the performance of some businesses

Legacy modernisation inhibitors to change

Some of the most common challenges and concerns businesses face regarding legacy modernisation include:

    • Complexity of existing software, often undocumented with limited knowledge available
    • Management uncertain as to the investment needed based on an incomplete picture of the current vs required
    • Business disruption during the process
    • Whether there are sufficient resources to facilitate the software project
    • How best to approach such a modernisation project

Benefits of Legacy Software Modernisation

Legacy software modernisation is the first step towards providing business agility and thereby competitive advantage in the modern fast paced marketplace. Companies need to respond quickly to market change, have fewer costs and happier staff. Compass Data can help you to deliver your legacy software modernisation and streamline processes so that you can deliver high-quality solutions to your customers. Modern software systems, correctly designed, provide significant business value and enable the use of technologies such as cloud computing, big data and mobility.

Compass Data’s Modernisation Process

Any system development has to start with an understanding of your business, your goals, objectives and company and market quirks. We spend time with your management team and staff to understand the business, any current issues and the deliverable required from the new system. We review the current workflow process to identify all the functionality required to enable the team to do their jobs and recommend changes to support the new requirements. This is crucial as the requirements form any system is unique to each company.

During the process we focus on topic such as:

    • Controlling the input of data;
    • Streamlining how the data flows through the workflow stages;
    • Ensuring that your team completes tasks effectively;
    • Warning you when something appears abnormal;
    • Guiding the user through each task so nothing falls through cracks, is misinterpreted or incorrectly entered.

Based on this work, we will then make recommendations around the best approach, designing flow diagrams and wireframes to outline the new systems.

Rather than ripping out all the architecture and starting again, our preference is usually to follow a business driven approach, identifying what needs to be addressed by looking at what is currently important for the business. In addition, by using a measured incremental approach, value can be released to the business much more quickly and on a regular basis. By implementing changes in this manner, enabling you to still maintain and work with your existing platforms, it solves the problem whilst minimising the risk, cost and impact on the company.

Having said that, There are several approaches which can be taken in a legacy modernisation process, the choice of which will be driven by our research and your requirements

  • We can bring across certain functionality – for example, proprietary business processes or formulas – on to a new system that’s able to interface effectively with newer technologies.
  • Or we build a completely new system with the option to “switch off” the old legacy system at the end of the process.
  • Ringfence the old system ‘front end’ and provide additional functionality with a new ‘backend’ system. This has the advantage of maintaining the current userinterface and processes, but may be more limiting longer term.

Protecting your Data

When upgrading your legacy systems, data will need to be synchronised between the old and new systems, ensuring a seamless rollout can occur. Compass Data are versed in managing complex data migration scenarios, so you can be confident that not data will be lost in the process.


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See how Compass Data’s approach can help you