Modernisation for Mutable in large enterprises with effective Legacy

I first looked at, and liked Rocket LegaSuite back in 2014, as part of my interest in legacy modernisation. As companies like TSB are currently finding out, “rip and replace” modernisation of high-capacity business-critical systems is high risk.

It is often better to modernise what you have, as you can have confidence (after many tears of use) that your legacy is reasonably performant, reliable and usable (if it isn’t, it was probably thrown away, whenever a chance was offered, starting with y2k). Of course, it is important (especially for a mutable business in a constant state of business evolution) that modernisation doesn’t inhibit change. The devil is in the detail, but this means, I think:

  • Modernisation in the context of User Experience (UX) and business logic (ideally, perhaps, with a Business Process Model);
  • Service enabling legacy, with orchestration of “wrapped” legacy components, with service-based APIs;
  • The legacy being modernised is reasonably well-written and well-structured;
  • The business processes being modernised are well-understood at the business level, even if they are not fully documented.

So, I was interested when LegaSuite popped up on my radar again, now split into two full-function modernisation applications: LegaSuite Web and Rocket API.

My vision, for the established large enterprise hoping to move into the realm of Mutable Business, is that it mines and repurposes its legacy as services to support agile service-based business evolution. It can’t afford the overheads (especially verification and testing) of technology “rip and replace” and it certainly can’t afford the breakdown of trust associated with a debacle such as the TSB is currently going through.

I haven’t had a chance to look at LegaSuite as it is today in detail yet, but it looks like it could be part of the solution for enterprises with Mainframe and IBM i legacy. There simply has to be an alternative, for companies going Mutable, to throwing away many years of investment in effective business automation and recoding everything in something like Python! Perhaps, for enterprises with well-coded and effective legacy systems, legacy modernisation is the ultimate in no-code business development.

David Norfolk

My current main client is Bloor Research International, where I am Practice Leader with responsibility for Development and Governance. I am also Executive Editor (on a freelance basis) for Croner's IT Policy and Procedures (a part-work on IT policies). I am also on the committee of the BCS Configuration Management Specialist Group (BCS-CMSG). I became Associate Editor with The Register online magazine – a courtesy title as I write on a freelance basis – in 2005. Register Developer, a spin-off title, started at the end of 2005, and I was launch editor for this (with Martin Banks). I helped plan, document and photograph the CMMI Made Practical conference at the IoD, London in 2005 (http://ww.cmminews.com). I have also written many research reports including one on IT Governance for Thorogood. I was freelance Co-Editor (and part owner) of Application Development Advisor (a magazine, www.appdevadvisor.co.uk, now defunct) for several years. Before I became a journalist in 1992, I worked for Swiss Bank Corporation (SBC). At various times I was responsible for Systems Development Method for the London operation, the Technical Risk Management framework in Internal Control, and was Network Manager for Corporate group. I carried out a major risk evaluation for PC systems connecting across the Bank’s perimeter to external systems and prioritised major security issues for resolution by the Bank’s top management in London. I also formulated a Security Policy for London Branch and designed a secure NetWare network for the Personnel Dept. Before 1988 I was an Advisory Systems Engineer in Bank of America, Croydon in database administration (DBA). on COBOL-based IMS business systems. Before 1982, I worked in the Australian Public Service, first as a DBA in the Dept of Health (responsible for IMS mainframe systems) and latterly as a Senior Rserach Officer 2 in the Bureau of Transport Economics. Specialties: I have the ability to extract the essence of significant technical developments and present it for general consumption, at various levels, without compromising the underlying technical truth.

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