Database Driven Software Modernization
1. What is database driven software modernization?
CHAMPS will modernize any software application that is working with a database that is ODBC compliant. Our modernization process is independent of the programming language used for developing the application. The process retains the existing database structure, or it can be modernized based on the customer’s needs.
2. Why modernize legacy applications?
Many organizations continue to use their legacy applications because they are functionally complete and free of errors. These applications, through built in business rules, also reflect the way an organization functions. So why does it become necessary to modernize these completely functional applications? Here are several reasons why organizations invest in modernizing their legacy applications:
As time goes by, it becomes more and more difficult to find the expertise to maintain and enhance older solutions. This translates into increased cost of hard-to-find resources, time taken to make changes and licensing fees of older technologies — all driving up the total cost of ownership (TCO). Software maintenance is the largest IT line item in larger corporations today.
Lack of Integration:
Legacy software typically does not integrate well with other IT systems. Any integration project ends up draining scarce resources of time and money. Often times, the expertise to tackle such integration projects is long gone and organizations end up with many disparate solutions as opposed to a well-integrated solution for the enterprise.
As competitors adopt new technologies to stream line processes and attract customers, CEOs are under constant pressure to ensure that their organizations remain competitive by implementing technologically advanced solutions. Doing nothing is not an option in a constantly changing environment. Staying with legacy applications too long could lead to deterioration in market position and an upward struggle to catch up as competitors penetrate their market space.
Government agencies such as FDA, NRC, OSHA and EPA place varying demands on organizations to meet regulations for safety, product testing and other compliances with regulatory requirements. Most organizations depend on their software systems to meet these regulatory requirements. Legacy applications may not be adequate to support the newer rules and regulations imposed by government agencies, requiring the organizations to implement newer solutions.
Mergers & Acquisitions:
As organizations consolidate through mergers and acquisitions, the software solutions implemented by merging organizations create an urgent need for integration, consolidation and interoperability. Many legacy solutions may not be fit for such consolidation without huge investment of time and money. This offers a good opportunity for the organizations to modernize their legacy solutions.
In today’s fiercely competitive environment driven by constantly changing technologies, top management is striving to gain market share by ensuring that their organizations are nimble to adapt to market forces. Software solutions play a leading role in making an enterprise agile by providing the capabilities to enhance work processes, get an insight into customer purchasing habits or reduce cost through enhanced procurement processes. There are many such opportunities to create an agile business. This is achieved through advanced software solutions as opposed to outmoded software applications that prevent organizations from responding quickly to the changes demanded by business.
3. What options exist for modernizing legacy applications?
CIOs will be presented several alternatives for moving from old applications to those that are modernized. Some of the probable options include:
- Rewrite the existing functionality with new tools and technology.
- Discard the old and develop new custom applications.
- Purchase off the shelf packaged software like SAP, IBM, CHAMPS, ORACLE etc…
Rewrite the existing functionality with new tools and technology:
This takes a huge investment in time and money. If one goes by the industry projections for programmer productivity it would take a 15 person team approximately two years to convert an application with 1 million lines of code. And don’t forget the debugging efforts on top of that! Rewriting such an application will cost several million dollars.
Discard the old and develop new custom applications:
Be prepared to go through the entire development life cycle which includes requirements analysis, functional specifications, software architecture, technical specs, coding, testing and deployment. You are looking at even greater investment in time and money than the rewriting option.
Implement off the shelf packaged software like SAP, IBM, CHAMPS, ORACLE etc:
Off the shelf applications provide a comprehensive set of business functionality, at a steep price. What you really need to consider is that unless any third party software meets over 90% of your requirements, you will get into the customization battles that lead to lengthy implementation periods and huge cost overruns. Your business processes are what differentiate your organization from the others. Third party software packages are highly unlikely to deliver your work processes out of the box. You will have to go through the gap analysis to determine the differences, and then of course pay the huge price to fill the gap. Many CEOs are well familiar with the woes of implementing large third party solutions from companies like SAP and IBM. There have been some horror stories of lost market share, revenues and profits due to lengthy and unsuccessful implementation of third party solutions.
4. What is the application modernizing process developed by CHAMPS?
To demonstrate the speed of development and visual look and feel of the modernized application, CHAMPS partners with prospects to complete a proof of concept. This will answer all of the technical questions and familiarize the prospect with the look and feel of the modernized application. Upon satisfactory completion of the proof of concept, the prospect may decide to enter into an agreement for the modernization project.
The project is initiated by setting the project goals and schedules with your business process owners, Database administrators, and Application administrators. At this time, we also identify requirements for functional enhancements, integration and training. Based on this information exchange, we will provide a firm price cost estimate for the project, or work on time and material basis if so desired by the customer.
After all of the information and resources are gathered, the project will be completed in the following sequence:
- Review of available application documentation
- Database analysis
- Application foundation structure
- User Interface development
- Business logic development
- Go live support
- Ongoing maintenance and support
5. What advantages does CHAMPS offer with its approach to modernizing legacy applications?
The database driven techniques developed by CHAMPS offer the following benefits and advantages to modernizing legacy applications that goes unmatched by any other approach or vendor:
Accelerated Project Completion:
Our methodology does not require lengthy requirements of gathering and software engineering because the functionality is defined and the database already exists. We also reuse previously developed foundation programs for functions such as login, security, work flow and other administrative set-up components. Having substantial development work already in place, our approach is by far the quickest solution for modernizing your legacy applications.
Least expensive proposition:
Accelerated project completion means substantial reduction in cost. Consider any modernization approach that you wish, then compare your project cost with what we commit to with our approach. You will find that we can complete your modernization project cheaper than full re-write; cheaper than manual migration; or cheaper than implementing off the shelf software.
Minimum risk alternative:
Retaining existing database, business rules and work flows not only minimize the cost of modernizing legacy applications, but it also offers the best chance of success compared to all alternate approaches. We will be dealing with a lot of knowns as opposed to struggling with a lot of unknowns.
Completely “future proof”:
CHAMPS methodology delivers complete “future-proof” applications configured with reusable and easily maintainable business components. Each component can be enhanced to meet the changing needs of your organization without impacting the entire application. New components with consistent architecture can be easily integrated with the existing applications to meet the needs of the users.