Why large-scale IT projects fail

October 28, 2016
blog

To many companies and institutions, legacy systems are increasingly becoming a burden. Due to the disappearing knowhow and limited scalability, among other things, they can become ticking time bombs.

To many companies and institutions, legacy systems are increasingly becoming a burden. Due to the disappearing knowhow and limited scalability, among other things, they can become ticking time bombs. ‘Detonating’ the bomb in time is particularly difficult in business-critical environments as the mere thought of downtime leaves those responsible in a cold sweat. Leaving things as they are, however, sooner or later will cause health issues to which a cold sweat seems like a mere scratch.

Highly automated transformation

But what if you have the option to modernize and future proof your current legacy system without risk, while preserving all of the existing business logic? This is exactly what we have been doing at Cornerstone for years. Instead of translating the old programming language into a contemporary language command by command, we work at a higher level of abstraction. We transform concepts, such as calculations, data access and screen handling. We pick up the source code of the entire legacy system and transform them into a hyper model. From the hyper model we transform the concepts in new source code that is compatible with the specifications and architectural requirements of the new system. Even though the infrastructure, hardware and programming languages have been adapted, the system still provides the same functionality as before the migration. This is all done in a highly automated way with a small team of experts. By doing so, we eliminate the typical major risks of project failure such as: unclear goals and business alignment, scope changes and people issues like availability and inappropriate skills. Additional functionality can easily be added after the migration is completed using modern technologies and programming languages.

‘Fail industry’

So why is it that we sense a strong reluctance among bigger organizations, and the responsible IT-managers in particular, to let smaller specialized solution providers like ourselves migrate their legacy systems to contemporary, effective and scalable environments? After all, outsourcing it to large, renowned consultancy agencies hasn’t proven to be quite successful in the past. The nickname ‘fail industry’ did not appear out of thin air. More than anything else, the past decade has shown that it is especially young, small and innovative companies that have achieved the most spectacular successes. This was in fact one of the reasons why the Dutch parliamentary IT Commission in their final report, like the British government before, recently recommended involving smaller, more specialized IT companies in managing large-scale IT projects.

Would you like to know how we can help you move your applications from proprietary or legacy platforms to the cloud and enjoy efficient app development benefits? Please don’t hesitate to contact us.