IT Provider Northdoor alerted institutions attempting to continue the maintenance and development of legacy IT applications in the face of the retirement, reducing availability and increasing cost of skilled legacy programmers.
Northdoor is advising organisations seeking people skilled in Gupta/Centura, Oracle Forms, Visual Basic 6, RPG, Delphi or PowerBuilder to instead consider application modernisation and transformation.
Various tools recently developed to support such processes are now proving effective, especially with the support of 3rd party specialist consultancies such as Northdoor.
Legacy applications can then subsequently be maintained and further developed using modern languages of better skill availability; languages such as Microsoft .NET or Java/J2EE which then also present the advantages of web-services and a service oriented architecture.
"Many firms are considering the expensive replacement of legacy systems when modernisation and transformation techniques could extend the life of their existing investments for many years to come, saving a great deal of money, disruption and risk."
Of course, it is possible to re-write certain legacy applications manually.
However, Northdoor's experience suggests modernisation and transformation techniques can accomplish such projects at around 20 per cent of the cost of an in-house manual re-development.
Northdoor recommends that legacy modernisation and transformations are considered within an overall strategy for legacy portfolio management.