Legacy system migration services and software upgrade

Upgrading legacy systems and modernising your software

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Working with legacy systems has become a common challenge for many businesses. The software could have been cutting-edge at the time of implementation, but now it’s becoming a barrier to progress. 

If software is:

  • Incompatible with newer systems
  • No longer supported by the original vendor
  • Dependent on obsolete hardware
  • No longer meets the growing needs of the business and lacks flexibility
  • Causing security vulnerabilities
  • Causing compliance risks
  • Expensive to maintain 

Then it may be time to upgrade and plan a legacy system migration.

While your team might be resistant to change because it is used to existing systems and processes, it’s important to consider how an upgrade could improve productivity.

Why is legacy software migration important?
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Why is legacy software migration important?

Upgrading legacy systems is crucial to ensure the business can adapt to the changing needs of customers. Legacy applications and software, often built on outdated technology, prevent efficiency, flexibility and innovation, while also resulting in scalability and security limitations. 

When you use outdated systems and end-of-life legacy software and hardware, you're exposing your business to security and compliance risks that could lead to unscheduled downtime, hacking, data loss and fines. These issues often result in low quality services and a poor customer experience, which will negatively impact growth and revenue.

As new employees are trained on current systems and older employees leave, there may be a shortage of knowledge about legacy systems. To attract talent and investors who can help meet business goals, businesses must modernise

When is the right time to upgrade legacy systems?
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When is the right time to upgrade legacy systems?

Knowing when to upgrade a business system is key to remaining competitive and meeting customer needs, and there are many factors that suggest when it’s time to review systems. 

  • Consider the system’s performance — is it slowing down or frequently crashing?
  • Assess its compatibility with other technologies — is it limiting functionality and flexibility?
  • Think about scalability — can the system accommodate growing demand?
  • Evaluate your costs — are your maintenance costs increasing?

When these issues negatively impact productivity or pose risks to business operations, the system no longer meets the needs of the team and needs an upgrade. 

What are the benefits of upgrading legacy systems?

By upgrading systems, businesses can find modern technologies and architectures that improve performance, streamline processes, ensure flexibility and enhance security.

Modern, responsive, agile businesses always have the competitive advantage. They can thrive in the constantly changing socio-economic and technological landscapes that drive customer needs and expectations.

Benefits of legacy software migration include:

  • Improved scalability with full or partial cloud migration
  • Faster responses to customer and partner requests
  • Better business continuity
  • Secure software embedded from the start (shift-left security)
  • Ability to attract creative talent and staff

An upgrade directly affects everyone, from decision makers to end-users. Including stakeholders and communicating these benefits from the outset is, therefore, key to reaping the benefits of a system upgrade. Involving these parties can increase their investment in the process.

Discover further benefits of upgrading legacy systems.

The steps to a successful migration

A comprehensive and well executed plan is essential to the migration process and must consider the specific requirements, resources and constraints of the business.

Key steps to consider when planning a legacy system migration include:

Assessing the current system
Conduct an evaluation of existing systems, identifying strengths, weaknesses and limitations.
Developing migration goals
Use this assessment to determine the scope of the project and set realistic objectives of what the business expects to achieve from the migration. These objectives can include enhancing security, increasing scalability, improving integration or any goals that can affect the decision-making process during the migration.
Creating a roadmap
Work backwards to develop a roadmap outlining the strategy, timeline and resources required to achieve these objectives. Include specific outcomes and break dependencies to ensure a smooth transition.
Allocating resources
Identify what is required for the migration, including skills and technology. By working with the skilled in-house team members and external experts, acquiring the necessary infrastructure and software and ensuring budget is properly allocated, businesses can positively impact the success of the project
Testing and going live
Conduct thorough testing of the migrated system before it goes live. Rigorous testing of functionality, performance and security during the project ensures the new system meets the needs of the business and that it performs as expected.
Overcoming barriers to upgrading legacy systems
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Overcoming barriers to upgrading legacy systems

A legacy system upgrade can pose several challenges, including:

  • Data migration — Transferring data from old to new systems can be complex and time consuming. Thorough mapping, cleaning and validation of data ensures that the new system has access to accurate data in the correct format and is GDPR compliant.
  • Integration issues — Integrating new systems with existing applications can be challenging. Working with a software development expert enables businesses to build a custom solution that ensures compatibility.
  • User adoption — Employees that are comfortable using existing software may struggle to adapt to the new system. Providing comprehensive training and support is key to a smooth transition and minimal disruption during the transition.
  • Legacy system decommissioning — Once the migration is complete, businesses must decommission the legacy system responsibly. Software experts can support during this process to ensure compliance with regulations.
  • Unexpected costs — Migrations can incur unexpected costs caused by issues around data clean up, customisation, training or other issues that lead to disruption. Working with an expert that offers fixed outcome, fixed price engagement models ensure clear accountability and helps avoid costly setbacks. 

Partnering with a software expert can increase the chances of a successful software modernisation and system upgrade. They can use their expertise to navigate challenges, provide valuable insight into best practice and offer tailored solutions that meet your needs.

How does Catapult support your legacy system upgrade?

Understanding the best way to upgrade your systems can be difficult, so Catapult can provide hands-on support to guide businesses through the process.

Catapult works alongside businesses to modernise IT systems as part of their digital transformation plans, ensuring any upgrades directly align with business goals and meet the needs of both internal users and customers. Our expert consultants and software testing engineers will be there to help keep the plan on schedule, upskill teams and futureproof processes. 

For example, when The Maritime Coastguard Agency wanted to become the best performing and fastest growing international flag state, it decided to digitalise the UK Ship Register to reduce internal administration and enhance CX. 

Supported by Atlassian tools, Catapult took an Agile approach to deliver a cloud-native, modular solution that enables 24/7, self-service vessel registration and management.

Read this about this award-winning legacy system migration and other success stories. 

Why work with Catapult?

Catapult’s expert software engineers will provide valuable advice and support at every stage of your system migration, helping to:

  • Deliver faster and more efficient systems to save time and cost
  • Improve business process continuity by quickly resolving any issues in the Cloud
  • Ensure the migration plan includes easier, more cost-effective maintenance 
  • Mitigate for any regulatory compliance risks
Looking to upgrade your legacy systems?

When planning legacy system migration or your modernisation strategy, work with experts like Catapult to ensure a smooth transition. 

Contact our team to set up a meeting.