Gartner Research

SWLegMod: A Framework for Legacy Software Modernization

Published: 19 January 2010

ID: G00203866

Analyst(s): Joe Bugajski


Legacy modernization is inevitable; all things have an end of life. Software is no exception. Nonetheless, software tends to live longer than its designers would have predicted. This means that legacy software replacement tends to be a sensitive topic. As such, many organizations avoid it to the peril of their businesses and to the detriment of their IT budgets. In this Burton Group guidance document, Senior Analyst Joe Bugajski takes away the fear by dissecting the risks, rewards, and actions required for a successful legacy-software modernization program.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings

Guidance Context

  • Problem Statement
  • Guidance Applicability
  • Related Guidance

The Burton Group Approach

  • Modernize for the Right Reasons
  • Measure Business Value
  • Run Old and New Software in Parallel

The Legacy Software Modernization Framework

  • Prerequisites: Prepare Solid Foundations
    • Institute Effective Applications Governance
    • Include Legacy Software in APM
    • Assemble a Cross-Disciplinary Team
    • Avoid Knee-Jerk Software Modernization
    • Understand Legacy Software and Technologies
  • Plan: Manage the Application Portfolio
    • Measure Premiums Attached to Legacy Software
    • Measure Risks
    • Modernize to Win Measurable Gains
    • Consider Newer Software for Modernization
    • Include Legacy Developers in Succession Plans
  • Strategize: Choose a Modernization Style
    • Decide to Build or Buy
    • Routinely Assess Legacy Modernization Risks
    • Code-in-Place
    • Refactor and Rebuild
    • Create Services
    • Analyze the Strategic Options
    • Avoid Quick-and-Dirty Alternatives to Modernization
  • Execute: Develop and Implement the Legacy Modernization Plan
    • Archaeology
    • Architecture
    • Adaptation
    • Assembly
    • Assimilation
  • Follow-Up: Manage Modernized Software in the Application Portfolio




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