Extending the Life of Critical Systems

Replace some core applications, extend the life of others…

Legacy business applications are critical to any company. On the plus side, they are solid, stable applications that have paid for themselves 100 times over; to their detriment, they are rigid, complex applications that are getting increasingly difficult to support, change and maintain.

Many Companies attempt to replace their legacy applications, but since these key applications are deeply ingrained in business processes and procedures, replacing these critical systems is extremely difficult, expensive and thus rarely approved by Executive Management. According to McKinsey, the ones that have been approved are, “Dogged by cost, quality, and implementation issues, [and thus] less than 30% of the first generation of Core Banking System implementations succeeded.”[1]

JSL believes that large firms should replace core systems when appropriate, but core system replacement can not solve the problem alone: there are just too many integrated systems and as a result, too many business processes that need to change. Even if budgets allowed it, finding enough knowledgeable Business and Systems Analysts required to transform all of your systems and business processes would be exceedingly difficult and the risk would be too great to do try to replace all or most systems in parallel.

Fortunately, JSL can help. We have top-notch business/system analysts, architects and Sr. developers who can lead your team and/or take responsibility of delivering your core system replacement projects. Our ~20 year track record and experience, strong verbal and written communication skills and our vast experience in COBOL, IMS and yes, even Assembler, ensure that we can work with you to understand all the details of your current system and map them to your new platform of choice. Every JSL developer, whether they have been in the industry for 40 years or just graduated from University, are required to learn JAVA, DB2 and COBOL. A well-rounded staff, each of who have their own specialties one of the keys to our success.

But there is another way we can help you out, we can extend the life of the core legacy systems in which you have already invested so much.

Replacing a core legacy application is hard, but what’s harder is the resulting change to all of the business processes, procedures, reporting, training etc. etc. that’s involved in a major system transformation initiative. Which begs the question, “Why change everything, just because the core application is written on old technology that few people understand?”

Imagine if you can eliminate the software currency risk of your core applications without changing all the systems, processes and reporting that have evolved around it over the years? Granted, sometimes it makes sense to migrate an old system to a new platform, but many times it makes more sense to update the outdated technology underpinning the core application and as a result, not have to change the majority of system interfaces, reports or User experience!

JSL has extensive experience “rewiring” core legacy applications. We eliminate the old, hard to support technologies (i.e. Assembler, IMS etc.) and replace them, with easier to support, but just as stable and efficient, newer technologies – thus greatly extending the life of critical applications at a fraction of the cost and time and without major disruptions to the Business and surrounding technologies and interfaces.

We love these projects as we get to deliver exceptional technology, built to last, that maximizes the investments our customers have made over the years (or decades) and we do it at a fraction of the cost and time it would take to re-platform.


[1] Heidmann, Marcus, Overhauling Banks’ IT systems. McKinsey White Paper Sept 2010