Industry experts agree that Integration Software is a key component of Application Modernization.
Legacy Modernization: a very broad offering
Legacy Modernization is a very broad offering which includes:
a) Migration from legacy data stores/data formats, languages, platforms
b) Refactoring existing legacy applications
c) Retirement of old applications
d) Development or Purchase of new applications (to replace existing functionality)
e) Analysis of business processes (as reflected in applications); assessment for improvement
f) Development or purchase of new applications or capabilities to create new functionality (that was not possible or cost-effective to create before)
g) Risk mitigation strategy for incremental modernization and migration strategy to ensure that systems remains fully functional during the modernization effort.
In any Legacy Modernization effort, where large applications are refactored into new custom-developed code and COTS software (SaaS and On-Premise), these components must be linked together as well as back to the other existing applications (and data). An Integration engine would be of incredible value.
In any such Legacy Modernization initiative, Integration MUST take place – it’s just a matter of HOW it is done. Doing this integration with “custom coding” is almost always a bad solution – truly a last resort.
Some key notable mentions on the topic:
1) Ted Friedman, VP and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner Research.
Perhaps the most knowledgeable person about data management and integration anywhere.
Identified five key “Use Cases” for integration software, one of which is “Data or Systems Migration” – which includes Legacy Modernization.
Data or System Migrations and Consolidations or Distributions
Increasingly, enterprises face large-scale data migration projects (often due to merger/acquisition, modernization, consolidation).
Traditionally addressed most often via the custom coding of conversion programs, data integration tools are increasingly addressing the data movement and transformation challenges inherent in the replacement of legacy applications and consolidation efforts.
Source: Gartner Research, Critical Capabilities for Integration Tools, Friedman et al.
2) “Application Modernization and Migration Trends”, a study by Forrester Consulting – a division of Forrester Research.
Details the three major modernization activities: Migration, Modernization and Retirement.
Defined Modernization in terms of 3 key technology components – one of which was Integration.
With respect to Legacy Application Modernization, the report stated: “Forty-nine percent of firms surveyed will increase spending to modernize applications using techiques other than migration – which include integration at presentation, data or process layers, packaged application options, rewrites, etc.”
3) Gartner Research – Press Release on Modernization.
Detailed the four major “major contributing factors to why IT modernization is needed now” – with Integration being one of those four:
“Increasing integration among portfolios. Integration is capable of delivering real value to the business, reducing latency and increasing the throughput capacity of the organization. However, there is increased complexity in managing service delivery and maintaining the portfolios of assets needed to support the integrated organization. These benefits come at a price with increased complexity in managing service delivery and maintaining the portfolios of assets needed to support the integrated organization.”
source: Gartner Research www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=611507
4) Nexaweb 2012 Application Modernization Survey
A survey of 750 organizations on their Modernization priorities.
The top reason cited by respondents as motivations to modernize their legacy applications was integration: “Facilitate integration with other applications in their portfolio”
5) Kimberly Harris-Ferrante, VP and Gartner Distinguished Analyst
Discussing Application Modernization in the Insurance Industry discusses the need for Integration in a Modernization initiative.
“Many…companies run multiple systems and simply replacing one application…creates integration nightmares.”
Source: Gartner Research http://www.europe.gartner.com/it/products/podcasting/asset_201940_2575.jsp