We strongly believe that Custom Development can and should adapt to IT Legacy systems.
As an IT Consulting firm offering Custom Development Services, we have developed over the years the knack for analysing and recognizing the minutiae of IT legacy systems and designing different communications protocol to exchange data with them.
Of course, if you ask IT how to go about addressing new challenges, they will probably go with the systems and technologies in place. It’s a question of comfort and risk management because it is not usually appreciated to add other systems and applications to the existing IT environment.
But the thing is, that’s not always the best course of action.
Anybody who had to deal with IT departments in recent years will tell you that there is a ton of reasons not to work with their systems; among others, security constraints, customization fees, restricted availability or none at all for several environments (Web or Mobile), obsolete technology (hardware & software), management policies, undocumented enhancements and modifications, multiple ownerships, etc.
All things rendering IT legacy systems heavy, fragile and often, inefficient to work with.
And of course, development costs!
Unfortunately, for many companies, IT Development projects have become just like the Internet; you know where you start but you never know where you’ll end up.
Sometimes, adapting to the situation simply means working your way around.
Think Agile, Cloud, Web… think Custom Development
So, why not aim higher? Every new Application Development project or business challenge is an opportunity to look at things from a new perspective, to look for better solutions.
Approaching the design of a software solution for a particular business problem just like if you were to start from scratch, without constraints, provides greater design creativity and much clarity regarding potential issues, challenges and the efficiency of the proposed solutions considering that you can now take into account the most efficient Web and Cloud technologies and services available.
Here are four situations where thinking outside the box, going with Custom Development outside IT legacy systems, is strongly suggested and much more sound:
- The Client desperately needs this new application now for competitive or compliance reasons but he has so much personalized its core IT systems that any new development turns into uncertain and costly ordeals.
- The Client needs existing features from his IT systems ready but he wants to make them available in other environments; Web and Mobile, for example.
- The Client desperately needs this new application now but he is not ready to migrate its core IT systems to a new technology.
- The Client is ready to migrate its core IT systems to a new technology but he wants to keep them “vanilla” in order to benefit from future updates and upgrades at a reasonable price.
One must think of these stand-alone custom applications like pilot fishes feeding on sharks, they evolve parallel to your core IT systems.
All the while, this approach will also most of the time lead you towards lower development cost.
Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk
We have developed stand-alone custom applications communicating with secured and restrictive IT legacy systems in recent years, mostly in the field of Finance & Banking.
Here’s one example on how we went about things…
Business Case – A Finance Application & Supertrump Data Exchange
- A client has developed a comprehensive IT system (ERP + CRM + Mobile App) automating an equipment and real estate financing process
- One key functionality of the system is calculating the ROI of any financial transaction
- Even though highly complex algorithms were developed, the system can only process 80% of all transactions
- Process any type of financial transactions, calculating the ROI of 100% transactions no matter the currency, duration, amount, terms, etc.
- Defining a new architecture that can process 100% of all business cases
- Maintaining performance of the actual software solution by avoiding any latency even though the web service used is outside our client’s premises
- We don’t have months of development available to create new algorithms
- The whole process must be totally transparent to users
- Selecting and communicating with one of the leaders of financial calculation in North America with the aim of developing a financial calculation service
- Developing a Communications Bridge with Supertrump Web Service, a financial calculator
- When a user makes a calculus request, the custom application prepares a data package (inputs) required for the financial calculus, then sends it to the Communications Bridge which will translate it into a XMAL format specific to the financial calculator. The Communications Bridge can process many calculus demands simultaneously.
- Once the calculus is done, the Communications Bridge will get a data package back (outputs), will retranslate it and send it into a readable format for the user
- Lower development cost
- Short development time
- 100% transactions processed automatically
- Manual calculus of 20% of transactions eliminated
- Increase in productivity (since all transactions are calculated in seconds now, while manually calculated transactions could take hours)
- Increase in sales volume and number of quotations done (since complex calculus previously avoided by sales representatives are now done automatically)
If you can sell it on the inside and if it’s sound from an architecture, design and security standpoint, you should validate if starting a custom application development project from scratch and building it parallel to your IT legacy systems, with the help of a communications bridge, would not be more profitable for the enterprise.
Thus, free of most IT legacy systems’ constraints, your application development project can benefit from the most efficient Web and Cloud services and technologies available on the market and, from your IT Consultant of choice.
And, most probably, you’ll also benefit from reduced development time and cost.