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Characteristics Governing the Selection of a Legacy Modernization Vendor

By CIOReview | Thursday, September 22, 2016

Enterprises, at times, find it absolutely necessary to modernize their legacy systems owing to the transforming nature of the industry. But, they are often riddled by the lack of experience in executing legacy modernization projects. In such a scenario, companies generally resort to services furnished by legacy modernization vendors. The relation between the organization and the vendor predominantly dictates the course of a legacy modernization venture, in order to realize significant benefits. However, if the provider is not competent for the job, the such projects could go haywire. It’s essential for companies to figure their business needs, so as to set the base objectives while selecting the vendor. Finding out if the vendor has the required experience for the job and if his modernization strategy suits your enterprise goals are few aspects which helps set foot towards this legacy modernization journey.

Enterprises can realize significant rewards such as increase in productivity, reduced expenses, and complete support by appointing the right vendor. A legacy modernization campaign executed properly helps in streamlining enterprise infrastructure, bringing more value to the companies. Here’s a catalogue of essential attributes that should help organizations scrutinize the legacy modernization proficiency of their vendors.

Involvement from both Client and Vendor

A legacy modernization project is usually a continual process being executed in several phases. There are many cases where enterprises initiate a legacy modernization plan with one vendor, but complications down the road force them to switch to another vendor. Consequently, vendor involvement varies according to situations. The providers also use the assistance of consultants, engineers, and account managers for maintaining customer relationship.

On an enterprise level, companies are concerned about queries relating to the ensuing changes, vendor access, and investors, to determine vendor involvement. Moreover, all the modernization projects are not identical, and this difference also determines the nature of customer and vendor involvement.

Assessment Based on Business Objectives

Business goals vary from enterprise to enterprises. For some companies the purpose behind implementing legacy modernization strategy might be to realize reduction in enterprise costs, while some might consider enhancing efficiency or streamlining the infrastructure as priority. It is highly imperative in such a scenario to select the legacy vendor based on his ability to comprehend the market, recognize technologies that would help the enterprise, and last but not the least, the ability to identify the internal business demands. It is, thus, advisable for organizations to enlist their business goals, and choose the provider based on those objectives.

Capabilities Furnishedwithin theLegacy Modernization Campaign

Different vendors have different approaches at executing a legacy modernization policy, and the capabilities furnished could be different depending on the provider. However, there are few important capabilities that any vendor catering to this space is expected to deliver. Re-host, re-architect, replace and re-platform are the most important capabilities included in the list and the vendor must be able to provide these.

The need for these capabilities is realized only when the company can identify the enterprise requirements. More importantly, organizations must be able to deduce the driving factors behind these needs, so as to gather an idea about what skills to look for in the vendor’s modernization strategy.

Pre-modernization Assessment

The difficulty faced in defining the end goals to the modernization strategy or lack of clarity about what is expected from the project is something that constantly perturbs enterprises. Pre-modernization assessmentis an important facet included in the legacy modernization policy and is basically about estimating what an enterprise contains within its application portfolio. Moreover, companies might have lot of capital tied to their IT infrastructure in the form of mission-critical applications. Vendors must be able to provide their clients with pre-modernization assessment techniques, so that customers can ensure the viability of such modernization projects.

Post-transformation Training

Is modernizing the legacy system enough to ensure smooth functions around the enterprise? Not necessarily. At times, the personnel working at the organization might be completely clueless about using the new technology, or they might find it a taxing task to understand the use cases. Such situations render the entire legacy modernization strategy inane, besides the apparent loss of money. Moreover, in certain cases, the IT departments lack the proficiency in imparting training based on legacy modernization, and enterprises have to consequently budget for training as well. Such predicaments make it imperative for organizations to appoint vendors who can manage the entire application suite in later stages, besides executing the modernization strategy.

Apart from these key points, companies can find out if the vendor has a large global presence to support the organization’s objectives or if they reflect expertise in leveraging the newer technologies such as the cloud, big data, mobile, and more. Vendors are expected to have a deeper comprehension of the legacy applications and related infrastructure, besides incorporating a wide range of tools, techniques, and practices. Summing it up, legacy modernization is a long journey, where enterprises often end up leveraging the services provided by different vendors, one after the other. Selecting the right vendor for the job will help organizations save significant amount of money.