As the technology your business currently uses outpaces itself, there comes a time when you need to integrate a new platform into your company operations.
With 2017/2018 showing a flat projection for IT spending at most companies, now may not be the best time to add new IT initiatives. But it may be the ideal time to incorporate new technologies into your legacy systems to modernise and update them.
The biggest challenge is to integrate new tools into existing legacy technologies rather than having to start over with a completely new platform. However, there are times where it is best to take the plunge and install a completely new system rather than waiting longer to decide how to integrate the old with the new. It can be faster to just start with a new platform..
When that's not possible though then it's worth taking expert advise from people that can both understand the old and the new and come up with ways to integrate the two giving you some benefit of the modern without throwing away the old.
A great example of this is a new project we've been working on for a UK based client. They've got a functional rich HR system being used by some blue chip clients which is a great system but it's technically old hat and they have a requirement now to get it working on mobile platforms.
The system itself is written using the .NET framework using VB.NET delivering desktop web page views of the application. We can work with most technologies so jumping into an older VB.NET system is bread and butter stuff to us.
The client is not looking to replace the whole application at this stage and just wants to make a sub-set of the functionality work on mobile devices to serve their clients needs whilst operating as a pilot/prototype of what could be done with a full upgrade.
So what we've done with this client is go down a Hybrid Upgrade route by building them a completely mobile front-end onto their system using JQueryMobile, HTML5 and CSS3. So we are able to build them a fantastic mobile front end which will work on Apple and Android devices of all shapes and sizes but keep it sat on top of their older legacy VB.NET system.
With a little bit of a revamp of their back-end we've moved some of the core back-end services into reusable functions which the existing application can use as well as mobile web services.
If you've got an older system that needs a refresh or you have a requirement that the current application just can't fulfil then in a perfect world you'd build a new application from the ground up but lets face it most of the time that just isn't going to be possible.
So if you need to upgrade then get someone in who can work with the old and the new and come up with clever ways to integrate the two.