Many modernization projects start only after a major incident in production
The problem with legacy applications is that they outlive their original mandates, but remain in production long after. To keep up with evolving business needs, the applications are modified extensively to the point where they are completely different from their original design, making it hard for IT staff to understand them and make further changes. Many businesses are still being held prisoner by their legacy applications.
All too often businesses look at the costs and risks involved in modernizing applications and hastily conclude ‘if it isn’t broken, let’s not fix it’. This increases technical debt which sooner or later will need to be repaid. Unfortunately many IBM i modernization projects start only after there has been a serious business impact caused by the failure of a legacy application.
Today many companies are held prisoner by their “legacy” applications
Kody Robinson, Software Developer at Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. – Challenges of a young developer joining an experienced IBM i development team, and value of RPG Free Form.
Specific IBM i technology skills, such as development in the RPG language or CASE tools, are increasingly rare. IT departments face staff shortages and young developers are unable or disinclined to maintain columnar legacy code developed for a “green-screen”.
This “generation gap” has already forced some IBM i shops to abandon the platform and either redevelop their in-house custom applications in another language or replace them by a standard package. Both of these approaches are costly and high risk, involving a complex change in architecture and a loss of competitive advantage.
Well planned modernization projects can be low risk and high return
When well planned and managed, modernizing legacy applications is a low risk and cost effective way to conserve critical intellectual property and leverage investment. Of course legacy application modernization doesn’t just happen. The best results focus on business goals.
Tim Rowe, Business Architect Application Development at IBM, gives a 360 degree view of modernization on the IBM i platform – both the development methods and the application itself
Automate the key phases in your modernization project!
1.Analyze your application to detect anomalies and redundant code
2.Implement a structured process for version control and regression test
3.Transform your application automatically
Arcad and Profound Logic offer complete, integrated IBM i modernization tools for each tier in an application:
Source code: convert your RPG IV code to RPG Free Form, easy to understand and maintain
Database: convert your DDS to DDL (SQL), for a fully relational database on IBM i
User interface: replace your 5250 access by modern Web et mobiles interfaces