What to do when the tech gets old? Migrations of systems
13 Mar 2018digital transformation
Although such revolutions seem like a fad straight out of the fashion industry. Claiming each season’s collections to be revolutionary – such company makeovers constitute our workplace reality. Regardless of the target, turnover or market size, technology impacts each and every company around the world.
Migrations of systems. Revolutionizing an old industry
One of the best examples of customer-driven business revolution is modern retail. Why? Therefore it is one of the oldest industries in existence. From ancient bartering to the Phoenician introduction of money, to mass trade in shopping malls. Similarly, the recipe for success was simple – know your customer, buy cheap and sell with added margin. All of a sudden, along came the Internet and the e-commerce revolution. Consequently, the salesperson has no opportunity to either see or know their customer.
In effect a lack of physical contact with the customer made e-commerce a game changer for retail. What was the effect? According to Forbes magazine. There are two global eCommerce juggernauts (Amazon and Alibaba) amongst ten of the largest retailers in the world. Actually 3-rd and 6-th position respectively.
Revising the revolution
Real e-commerce launched in 1995 with the National Science Foundation lifting the official prohibition of commercial enterprise on the Internet. The next revolution took place a dozen years later with the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007.
“Ten years after the first iPhone, more than a half (50,3%3) of global Internet traffic is generated by mobile devices. As the story goes, retailers (and media vendors among others). They had to make their services accessible and user-friendly”.
With legacy systems designed in the early days of the Internet, this is not an easy task. Customers expect to have easy on-the-go access to services. Including online shopping services, on their mobile devices. This demand is difficult to accommodate in the case of legacy systems designed. It ‘s happened in the early days of the Internet. Today, old technology that used to be a significant competitive advantage. It may become a major obstacle to success in a changing environment.
A common problem
Although the example provided was lifted from the world of retail, all industries and companies face similar issues. The problem were aging technology and legacy apps. For example, the financial and healthcare sectors face the problem of COBOL programmers dying out (literally!).
The 58 years old programming language is considered irrelevant by 70% of modern universities. It is, apparently, perceived as somewhat dated. Yet COBOL code powers 95% of daily ATM transactions. 96% of vacations bookings and runs the Social Security Administration system in the USA.
- The only way to deal with this problem is to migrate from legacy systems to new ones. Currently, there are three options: building technology from scratch,
- migrating step-by-step from old tech to new
- preparing an old-and – new hybrid
In conclusion. If you are interested in a detailed description of these three proposed solutions stay tuned. And wait for upcoming blog posts.
Adam is a natural leader which is often evident during various it projects. Intuitive and visionary, he is skilled at designing software architecture and guiding the team in the right direction.