• Andrew Harper

No More Mistakes in Legacy Migration: Eliminating Core Delusions

Updated: Mar 18


Legacy migration topic became the closest thing for businesses. The entire world migrates to new tech stack, cloud, microservices. Sure, the competition requires actions, and companies believe legacy migration is a solution.


Meanwhile, some enterprises still doubt whether to take the first step towards new opportunities or not. Others tried to migrate, but the result didn’t meet their expectations.


What did they do or are doing wrong?


Here, we’ll discover what mistakes about legacy migration can damage business and lead to project failure. Find handy tips on how to avoid them below.


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Top Widespread Mistakes Companies Make About Legacy Migration


“What for?”


The first question some of your stakeholders might ask after hearing about legacy migration is, “What for?” Sometimes the business side can’t understand such an initiative from tech specialists.

Deloitte about legacy modernization

The first thing managers should do is to discover “What for?” Are you sure your business requires legacy migration? Does outdated software slow your enterprise development down? What damages does it cause?


Legacy migration should be a deliberate decision. It’s not about hype or a rat race. Unfortunately, companies forget about it, and it’s the crucial mistake that can lead to project failure.


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“Maybe later?”


The other side of the coin: management knows that legacy migration is vital for an enterprise but postpones its performance. Various reasons come to mind:

  • “a migration can lead to downtime”

  • “we afraid to lose our audience”

  • “we’re not sure the project will be successful”

  • “nobody will help us in the way we need”

Yes, legacy migration is always risky. But when you have a choice: slow down your business or migrate, choose the last option. The right approach to this process will help avoid factors that scare you to death.


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“We’ll forget about it. It is Augean stables”


Legacy systems are complicated. They could be designed 10 or 20 years ago. Specialists who created them might be out of business now. So, new engineers don’t know for sure what features such software has, and how changes might affect the entire infrastructure. So, is it better to leave it alone and pretend that everything is great? - Of course, it’s not. Just unravel the tangle and do it like a jeweler. It’s difficult, that’s why you should:

  • divide the legacy system into components

  • explore its connections with other software

  • discover the most crucial system components to start with

  • predict risks that updates might bring

  • create a detailed roadmap on how you’re going to migrate

  • and not to forget about new project documentation when performing a migration

“We’ll deal with it with no help”


Managers might be sure they can perform a migration with in-house engineers. Sometimes it works, and it’s a great twist when employees have relevant expertise. But it’s the exception, not the rule. In-house specialists don’t face legacy migrations daily.

  • They need to perform a deep investigation to discover how an outdated system works, what it contains, etc.

  • You have to organize quality training to show how to migrate in the right way.

These efforts are costly and time-consuming. That’s why companies prefer to hire an outsourcing company, use an outstaffing option or involve a dedicated team. This way, they save time & money, gaining versatile expertise in the field they need.


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These efforts are costly and time-consuming. That’s why companies prefer to hire an outsourcing company, use an outstaffing option or involve a dedicated team. This way, they save time & money, gaining versatile expertise in the field they need.


“An updated system is a guaranty of immediate skyrocketing”


“Why not? We’ve invested in it!” Management upset is reasonable. Sure, we expect that one legacy migration can solve all the issues our company suffers. But one updated system is not a guarantee of seamless enterprise operation. Don’t apply it to current business processes. New software needs a new environment it will operate in.


One way or another, you’ll tailor all systems and procedures to the updated software (don’t forget that the legacy one is Augean stables affecting countless processes).


When finishing a legacy migration project, you might discover it’s not enough. That’s why avoid a superficial project estimation from the very beginning. Dig deeper into your processes, learn peculiarities of connection with an out-of-date system and start migration step-by-step, considering both the core software and its interaction with other infrastructure components.


“Dear colleagues, you’ll get used to the new software”


Stop neglecting your employees and their perception of changes. Believe me or not, they determine how useful the updated software will be. When your staff isn’t ready to interact with a new system, you can immediately transfer it to the legacy products group. ROI will be equal to zero.

IDG research: Mix of reasons for new tech purchases

Prepare your specialists for new conditions, explain why such measures are needed and how innovation can make their job easier. Teach them how to work with an upgraded system, and they will do it using all software benefits.


The Bottom Line


There’s no room for mistakes in the legacy migration process. They will cost you clients, reputation, effort, and investment. Considering others’ experience can provide an immense advantage: it will forearm your company.


If your legacy migration project is arduous to cope with by yourself, drop us a line. We’ll apply our knowledge and expertise in this field to achieve efficient results together.

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