When did you think about migrating from legacy software? Probably when technical drawbacks tried to spoil your business achievements. Some managers are confused by the high operating costs. Others don’t have enough people to deal with complicated maintenance.
Ultimately, migration is the solution to business issues performed in the technical field. Ask involved engineers how the legacy software worked before and what the new one is capable of. They will provide you with a clear and detailed answer since the results of tech transformations can be noticed almost immediately.
Top management considers migration as work for the long term. For instance, at the end of the quarter, a company will feel a decrease in operational costs, or over time, it will discover that processes have become more streamlined.
I suggest looking at the benefits and risks of migration through a business lens. What does it give an enterprise? Can it be considered the central engine of development? Let's find the answers below.
How Legacy Migration Affects Business Development
Business and the migration process should always stick together. Any change at a technical level is initiated or approved by the business side. It serves as a means to achieve a specific business goal. Therefore, migration will affect the company's prosperity. The only question is “How?”.
In 2019, CGI reported that over 1,500 responded executives made modernizing app portfolios a high priority. Any upgrades to existing software or its replacement with a new one include migration as a milestone. Why do companies need it?
The most common problems with legacy software are:
complicated support procedures
Enterprises want to eliminate them, often mistaken migration for a lifeline. Indeed, it’s not bad. However, I have to warn you: migration is not a panacea. When performing it, a business has to sacrifice something or take risks.
What Benefits & Challenges Does Legacy Migration Bring To Business?
Significant Project Costs - Savings and Higher Revenue
Often, companies delay migration because of the necessity of investment. The truth is, nobody avoids it. A new system requires building robust maintenance flow and infrastructure development. Otherwise, it will not operate as it should. But don't you spend too much on maintaining and repairing your legacy system?
An advantage of migration is that it allows an enterprise to save resources and even get additional profit. By modernization or introducing a new product, a company optimizes current processes. It enables management to spend less, speeds up a time2market, etc.
Moreover, boosted software can collect customer data that helps increase sales or transform the business model. In practice, an enterprise has many options to extract commercial benefits from migration. All of them cover the project costs in full.
Recently, we finished a new online delivery calculator for our partner and performed a migration from the legacy one. It took a lot of effort from both sides. But now, 10 mln customers can receive their purchases without any issues.
Customer loyalty leads to improved customer experience and e-commerce development. Due to it, the client will expand its audience and get more profit respectively.
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Migration is not a guarantee of absolute success - Updated systems are more convenient to manage
Unfortunately, the migration process alone will not transform your business beyond recognition. It is a way to eliminate certain bottlenecks and make processes transparent.
You will have to change the existing software to a base for migration. Moreover, legacy systems are usually tied with processes. The last ones should be improved or completely changed to work effectively in new conditions.
Meanwhile, modern systems are always convenient in maintenance and lightweight. This circumstance will affect your business and employees. Moving towards digital transformation, you will see how a series of migrations can change the current state of affairs.
We used to support long-term relations with our clients. One of them recently began to implement its digital transformation strategy. As seen, one migration cannot provide a needed level of confidence in further business operation.
So, our team improves the company’s software step-by-step, transiting data to new systems. We’ve already performed a migration to a newborn order management middleware and contact center software. A logistics management system is as follows.
My point is companies never stop after one system improvement. They try to change everything their business needs without a rush. Now, both employees and management feel what "business-process optimization" means and how it affects customers.
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Employee Training - Work Optimization Impacting EX
Did you know that legacy software is not always about product age? Any solution people don't use is considered outdated. Yes, the core value of software lies in its functionality and convenience for employees.
When changing from one system to another, you should consider your staff attitude and level of training. In this case, management is often frightened by employees' unpreparedness or ambiguous perception of something new. That's why a company needs to educate people and explain why traditional things are changing in favor of something innovative. It is a challenge.
On the other hand, the result of migration is the above process optimization. It means that your employees will spend less time on routine tasks and devote more resources to performing fascinating tasks. This approach will prevent burnout and allow people to feel their professional growth. The employee experience will be improved.
One of our clients, a convenience store chain, experienced issues with the legacy Point of Sale system. It was arduous for employees to deal with a complicated interface and serve a large flow of buyers. The software was so incomprehensible that the onboarding process lasted for months, distracting experienced employees from their core duties. Sales dropped, staff burned out, customers were unsatisfied with slow service and employee mistakes.
The company decided to migrate to a new POS with a built-in self-service module. It meant that employees had less work to do. Consequently, it eliminated almost all the issues. Staff mistakes decreased by 21%, upsales grew by 13%. - Remember, I said about extra revenue from migration?
However, changing the service is a significant change in working conditions. For conservative employees, it's real torture. Therefore, the client made every effort to educate people and explain the feasibility of innovations.
An employee-centric approach is crucial in such cases. It shows that a company respects its people and tries to help them adapt.
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What Is a Migration: an Engine of Progress or a Development Tool?
I often come across stories where journalists describe software migration as the engine of company development. Perhaps it is. After all, you cannot organize a 10-minute delivery service without appropriate transformations.
But what about the source of the initiative? Migration is just a way to achieve business goals established earlier. When the last ones are a motivation to change something.
For example, an enterprise strives to transform its business model and create a cross-industry service with a different domain representative. But the main obstacle is the outdated system. What should the enterprise do? - Of course, find a more suitable product and migrate. Through this process, the company can implement its strategy.
If a migration points the further development direction - it does not lead to any specific business goal meeting here and now. It's a process for process's sake.
The Bottom Line
Business needs to migrate and implement new products. Sooner or later, this need becomes relevant for every company. If you feel it now, don't postpone migration. Every day of inaction equals lots of missed business opportunities.
You should not be afraid of all the above risks if you have an experienced team performing migrations daily.
If you are still looking for it — write to us about your issue. Our experts will dig deeper into your conditions and advise on the most suitable way to solve it.