Know your business needs first!

Are you looking to retire your legacy applications or invest in new technology platforms to serve the need of your business better?

It’s important to remember that Technology is a Business Enabler

  • Buying a new technology will not fix your broken and/or inefficient business processes.
  • Do not choose and invest in new technologies unless you clearly understand the business problems you are trying to solve.
  • Technology will drive process improvements and transform the way business function if and only if it’s carefully chosen based on the business needs and used to support optimized business processes.

Here are some questions that will help you when formulating the migration strategy for your legacy applications:

  1. What are the purpose of your applications?
  2. What business processes do your applications support?
  3. If you have multiple applications in scope for the migration, are there any commonalities between them?
    • Important! Do you see an opportunity to consolidate them into a comprehensive, integrated enterprise system to reduce technology footprints and improve business processes?
  4. Are your applications integrated with each other? If so, what are the integration points?
  5. How large, complex your applications are?
    • # of forms, screens, menus, # of reports, complexity of reports…etc
    • # of databases and database tables, and its association to applications/forms/screen
    • Any plugins?
  6. Are they all internal applications (i.e. internal corporate use only)?
  7. Are they external facing applications (i.e. external users/stakeholders involved)
    • What are external users’ impact?
    • What are the risks involved?
  8. How authentication and authorization are handled?
  9. Is database migration also in scope along with the applications?
    • Is there a central database that your applications are currently interacting with?
    • If so, what are the integration points?
  10. Can each of the application be broken into individual modules (or group of functionalities) to migrate them in groups/phases?
    • You can use this as an indicator for determining how you can run the project in agile way.
  11. How well your applications are documented (i.e. business rules)?
    • Is there any tools that you can use to scan existing code to extract business rules?
  12. Are all functionalities exists currently being used and that they all need to be migrated over to new platform?
    • Any unused functionalities that you can retire?
  13. Can you determine the migration priorities?
    • If you have a limited resource capacity, priority must be determined.
    • Which application will provide the most business value when migrated over?
    • Which application will be most simple to migrate over?
    • Which business groups are most open for changes and new technology adoptions?
  14. Any enhancements that must be considered?
    • Are there any pain points raised by the stakeholders that you would like to address right away as part of the migration?

Once you define the strategy, a key to succeed in any migration project is planning, with an understanding that each migration project is different.

Remember:

  • Set a clear migration vision, goals, expectations
  • Not one approach fit all, spend adequate time on planning really goes a long way.
  • Use agile approach as appropriate for executing development work (see a diagram below for one of the potential agile approach you can take when migrating legacy application)

Database Application Migration

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Throughout my career, I’ve been involved in various digital transformation and migration projects as Applications Architect, Developer, Quality Assurance, Technical Team Lead, Business Systems Analyst, Business Analyst, Project Manager and Scrum Master. To name a few:

  • Website platform migration
    • Oracle WebCenter Interaction > Oracle WebCenter Portal
    • Oracle WebCenter Portal > WordPress
  • Enterprise search platform migration
    • Oracle Secure Enterprise Search > ElasticSearch
  • Enterprise Identity Management platform migration
    • Oracle Identity Management > EmpowerID
  • Online collaboration spaces, Intranet & Records Management platform migration
    • Oracle WebCenter Spaces > Igloo Collaboration platform
    • Oracle Universal Content Management > Igloo Collaboration platform
  • Database Application migration
    • PostgreSQL/Java Application to > MariaDB/Custom PHP Application
  • Enterprise E-learning platform migration
    • WebCT/Blackboard > Moodle
  • Enterprise In-house Legacy Applications (analysis only)
    • Custom Visual Basic applications > Java application

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