In 40 years of car ownership, I have never replaced a car until it was over 100,00 miles. I like to get my moneys worth’s and don’t need all the latest bells and whistles. My current vehicle is a 2008 hybrid with 270,000+ miles. With standard maintenance, I’ve never had a serious issue or was stranded by the side of the road.
Even though it’s still going strong, I purchased a new car a few months ago. Why? With travel coming back into play this year, I reassessed my risk which went from yellow (the impact of breaking down near my house) to red (the possibility of breaking down somewhere between Pittsburgh and who knows where).
Many organizations view their legacy software systems in a similar way.
You have invested good money to begin with, you take care of it, and it seems to be working fine, so why replace it? Well, if it’s the primary vehicle used to sell or communicate with your customers, manage critical processes, or its limitations are starting to hold you back, its pragmatic to assess your risk. This is not about the newest bells and whistles; it’s about planning to avoid the inevitable red-level event on the highway.
Many organizations are struggling to manage the impacts of turnover and your Salesforce team is no different. If you’ve experienced turnover within your Salesforce team, there’s likely a technical void left behind putting your Org at risk and preventing it from running smoothly. This may be the right time to seek an outside Salesforce consultant to help your company get a solid baseline understanding of your Salesforce Org.
What’s the best to approach your legacy upgrade?
In their research brief Choose the Right Approach to Modernize Your Legacy Systems, Gartner analysts Stefan Van Der Zijden and Thomas Klinect state:
“ . . . application modernization is not one "thing." There are many application modernization approaches (including rehost, replatform and replace) with different purposes, effects, values, costs, risks and impacts. The optimal approach is one that solves your specific problem balanced with an acceptable level of risk, cost, and impact.” - Stefan Van Der Zijden and Thomas Klinect
Having developed scores of custom systems over the past 24 years, part of our work at fivestar* has been maintaining applications we developed, some over a decade or more ago. It’s gratifying to see the longevity, and it’s a nice annuity. Once a year we meet with our clients to evaluate if it’s time to enhance, trade in, or trade up. Because we the know these systems inside and out, it’s not a complex process.
Here's how we do it.
1. Code-Base Analysis
- Analyze the existing code to gain an in-depth understanding of the technical landscape, procedures, and potential for optimization.
- Assess security and other vulnerabilities.
2. Database Analysis
- Review of current database architecture.
- Analyze and identify opportunities for optimization.
- Analyze capacity for data exchange, integration, APIs.
- Assess security and other vulnerabilities.
- Analyze workflows and procedures between database and front-end.
3. Workflow Mapping, UX/UI Evaluation, Develop Requirements
- Map the current user and functional workflows to determine areas for optimization.
- Develop a comprehensive workflow map.
- Develop requirements that will be used in prioritizing the design and development activity.
- Analyze the scale of effort to enhance using the current platform or migrate to a new platform.
On occasion, when we complete this process, staying with the existing platform is the best solution. Typically, there are some security or other vulnerabilities that need to be addressed. In some cases, the client decides an upgrade is required and we determine there is a SaaS solution available that meets their need. Often, the business drivers for a custom solution are still in play and we spec an upgrade roadmap based on budget and timeline. (Alex Gindin, fivestar* VP of Operations, discusses those drivers in his blog Is a Custom Software Solution Right for your Business?)
As business conditions, technology, and vulnerabilities continue to evolve, it's the right time to evaluate your critical applications. I would be happy to start that conversation now. If not, maybe I see you down the road.
About the Author: Lou Camerlengo
As fivestar*s President, Lou seems to effortlessly drive company performance and lead business development and client retention efforts. He is involved in higher education and workforce projects and serves on multiple non-profit boards.