Challenges associated with transformation projects from Legacy System to Digital Platforms

One of the major challenges that lie ahead of digital transformation is the legacy systems that the businesses run on.  Legacy systems are the software programs that have remained in use with the organization since its establishment or for several years.

With the modern technological advancements, the legacy system fails to keep up with the pace and often becomes outdated and unfit for business uses. It can hinder the efficiency of the operation process if data sets and other information can be leveraged to the extent of modern systems.

Hence, it becomes necessary either to upgrade or replace the legacy system to keep up with the current trend. Failing to do so, the organizations may not survive in the highly competitive market and may lose their business value. Hence, regular update/ upgrade or replacing the legacy system is required to align with modern-day digitization and improve the ROI metric of the organization.

Though the upgrade of legacy systems is inevitable, it is often a daunting experience to update them. Organizations should address the associated challenges with the legacy systems and resolve them for a smooth transformation to digital platforms. Once they are upgraded, they will ensure to offer an efficient operational and infrastructural process being leveraged by modern technology.

Legacy Systems: Everything you should know

Do you remember your first smartphone? How would you rate it in comparison to the one you have today? Undoubtedly, the one that you own today is way more advanced in terms of features and functionalities compared to the one that you had a decade ago.

Likewise, companies install a certain system at the time of their establishment which, over time, gets outdated and underperform. It is important to upgrade the system periodically to yield the best business outcome, but there can be a few challenges to upgrading the legacy systems. One such challenge is that it can be cumbersome, unruly, and challenging to update. End users might also be complacent with their existing systems and may be reluctant to transform their legacy platform.

The Characteristics of Legacy Systems explained

  • The system still fulfils the purpose it was initially meant for
  • They are not well integrated with other modern business solutions in use
  • The old technology of these systems does not allow it to interact with newer, modern systems
  • They do not permit the growth of the business tools and solutions specific to a company
  • Their support and maintenance services are longer available from the service provider
  • They are incompatible with modern and advanced solutions
  • It requires frequent patch upgradation
  • It requires multiple interfaces or multiple standalone systems / in-house systems to run the business smoothly and efficiently
  • It requires heavy customizations
  • It runs on obsolete technology  

Due to these limitations of legacy systems, organizations are adopting modern technologies that can provide solutions with greater efficiency, scalability, and adaptability.

Risks & Issues with the Existing Legacy System

  • Maintenance

Legacy systems typically have a huge codebase and are monolithic in nature. A little modification or replacement of one system module or even a small update can create conflicts across the system. It requires more time and effort to implement any new changes.

Every system in an organization requires regular maintenance to calibrate the system, clean up the junk data of the existing database, and ensure its efficiency is not compromised. Outdated software is hard to maintain in recent times as it is difficult to find the people with the required expertise and skillset. The maintenance cost of legacy systems can also be expensive.

Further, these systems have been loaded with large amounts of corporate data for years, the struggle of migrating this data-intensive system to a new platform can be full of hassles. An inefficient maintenance process may give rise to unexpected defects, which further leads to operating issues. Workforces familiar with handling modern IT solutions might face issues in managing old systems that reduce the operational speed.

  • Talent pool

Developers who are just starting are learning programming languages like JavaScript and C#. As legacy technology moves further past the point of manufacturer support, there are fewer and fewer IT professionals with the knowledge of those technologies. Thus, the costs of the smaller pool of experts in that technology grow. 

  • Cyber Security:

Cyberattacks are rising, which increases the cost of running legacy systems. Systems with obsolete infrastructure are highly vulnerable to cyberattacks due to inadequate protection and cyber protocols. The bottlenecks in these legacy system solutions pave the way to cyber-attacks and malicious tasks.

Organizations cannot afford to remain non-compliant with the latest security standards. It does not safeguard their systems from potential threats. A single unpatched vulnerability can enable attackers to access all applications, middleware, and databases running on the server platform.

Thus, associations still holding on to legacy systems are prone to risks of unauthorized access and neglect of their safety. This burdens developers with the priority to protect their systems and prevent hackers from fetching essential information.

The number of attacks that lead to privacy breaches is escalating every year. It can cost millions of dollars penalty to an organization. Hence, the Cloud storage system is becoming a booming substitution for legacy systems with enhanced security features.

  • Integration:

The most significant disadvantage of any legacy system is its inefficiency in integrating modern advanced software. A typical result of this lack of integration is the emergence of data silos, whereby different departments across a company cannot freely access the data they need.

Many modern clouds and other SaaS solutions can be incompatible with older legacy systems. It requires incorporating new tools and programs, extensive custom code to make it functional. The incompatibility of these applications gives rise to tedious steps that need to be followed in data migration.

Companies looking for development in their work processes face tremendous hassle in opting for suitable techniques that will build a bridge between legacy systems and present-day IT solutions. One of the most preferred technologies of this era is the Cloud storage service that covers up most of the loopholes present in the old systems.

  • Organizational agility and efficiency

Timing is extremely crucial to seize business opportunities. How fast can you respond to the market challenges? Will it take weeks to adopt new technologies and solutions? Or rather several months? The truth is, in most cases, businesses bound to legacy systems lack organizational agility to adapt to the upcoming challenges.

One of the most damning implications of continuing to use a legacy system is the stifled ability to modernize and improve. The most significant goal in digital transformation strategy is improving efficiencies and capabilities to remain competitive. Legacy systems in business are extremely inflexible, which becomes an obstacle for most organizations operating in today’s digital environment.

Customers expect organizations to be digitized, and executives see the digital transformation to be competitive. By not investing in new technology and sticking with a legacy system, you’re hampering your ability to compete and giving ground to your competitors. Maintaining data on Cloud is cost-effective compared to maintaining on Premises. It is more convenient to get access to the data when it is on the cloud than fetching it from on Premises.

  • Performance & Productivity:  

Legacy systems become slower and slower over time, which means performance, efficiency and productivity can also decrease. The older your application gets, the slower it becomes. Legacy systems usually consume more resources causing more frequent failures, which leads to inefficiency and unproductivity. As performance speed depends on the optimal usage of technology capabilities

The technology sector is fast-paced, and evolutions in software are emerging every day. A poorly performing software has no chance to stand out in the market, eventually incurring a huge loss to the company. Legacy Systems lack performance, efficiency, and productivity as they are incompetent with the modern approach. Therefore, upgraded systems can undoubtedly provide better data accuracy and speedy processing.

7 reasons why digital transformation of Legacy Systems is necessary for Business

Some of the advantages of transforming your systems digitally are as follows,

  1. Competitive advantage: Modernizing a legacy system, whether it’s an ERP, CRM, or your data center, can bring a plethora of advantages to your business. This allows you to become more capable, agile, and give you an upper hand over your competitors.
  2. Maintenance and Operation Cost: With the support of In-house staff like engineers and developers, organizations will be able to maintain and reduce operational costs. Organizations can also use third-party tools to fill the missing features of the systems. It would be easy to streamline the task whether automated or manually for the employees.
  3. More content employees: User interfaces have evolved significantly over time, and most employees will be accustomed to the modern UIs that improve customer satisfaction and performance over an older-style system that’s not as user-friendly. 
  4. Growth opportunities: Modernizing your legacy system gives you much more room for growth in the future.  Keeping pace with the latest tech and software developments gives you a competitive edge. It also puts you in a great position to further expand the services you use.
  5. Make use of big data: A major issue posed by legacy systems that digital transformation attempts to remediate is the silos that emerge from disparate systems within an organization. Transforming the legacy systems digitally remove these barriers and allow users to make use of the vast amounts of data big data that the Bank possesses to help support business decisions.
  6. Security and Performance: Digital transformation is highly secured compared to the legacy system. From the performance point of view, digitalization will be able to meet the expectation of the NextGen group and tap the market with new additional business from the Next G population as well as cope with the fast-moving pace of the global market.

How can a thorough test automation solution help in moving from legacy systems to digital platforms

When an organization is planning to upgrade its legacy system or move to new digital platforms, it is essential to conduct thorough test automation to ensure the new system is working seamlessly.

Successful automation strategies leverage the convergence of digital technologies with evolving systems to enhance the benefits gained by any organization. Digital technologies involving codeless test automation, automated regression testing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing have boosted productivity and accelerated the end-to-end process transformation. As a result, the steps to centralize, standardize, optimize, and automate software processes have become a lot more straightforward.

To ensure that the data is efficiently moved from the legacy system to the modern platform, it should be made sure that it is moved with minimal disruption and minimum data loss, in the most secure and scalable manner. Further, it should be made sure all the functional and non-functional objectives are achieved. Testing helps to achieve all the above said with increased speed, accuracy, consistency, and ROI.

How can Yethi help you?

Yethi is a niche QA service provider to banks and financial institutions worldwide. We assist professionals from the BFSI industry looking for end-to-end software testing solutions like Manual Testing, Automation Testing, Performance Testing, Security Testing, and more to improve Banking / Financial software quality.

We understand the importance of testing while moving from legacy systems to modern platforms, hence, we carry out thorough test automation to ensure the high quality of the system. We have the right resources and tools to carry out testing in the most efficient manner and yield the expected outcome. Our test automation platform, Tenjin, will perform all kinds of testing activity with utmost accuracy, precision, and consistency with nearly 100% results. It is a 5th generation codeless test automation tool; Tenjin is built with intuitive features that work flawlessly across multiple applications and is a fast and scalable test automation platform.