With each passing day mobile adoption across the world is rising. According to a study by Gartner, by 2018 more than 50 percent of users will use a tablet or smart phone as their preferred mode for all online activities. Organizations have already initiated tapping in these consumers by including mobility and cloud services in their strategy. However, enterprises have witnessed several trends in the mobile industry compelling them to change the way they operate.
It is not uncommon for companies to face difficulties after building their first app. They often realize too late that their legacy system is incompetent as it fails to function in tandem with the apps. These legacy systems are not able to support real time mobile interactions with the customers. Even a perfectly designed app might fail to deliver results due to the failure of the current infrastructure to support real time interactions with the backend business applications like ERP, CRM or EAS. In order to curb the losses incurred due to a failed mobile strategy, organizations are forced to change the way their backend works.We have discussed 3 possible alternatives for the given problem.
One option is to change the legacy system into a Services Oriented Architecture (SOA). By employing this architecture, a company can make its applications and databases available as “services” to be consumed by mobile devices. Again, this amounts to a considerable development costs as new services have to be built within the legacy systems, also exposing them to security threats. Moreover, the legacy system becomes more and more complex with every new module, further increasing the operating costs.
Another method is to build a new “front end” to the legacy system. This front end will simplify the complex legacy operations and deliver the aggregate data on to a server, which can be accessed by the mobile device. In this case the data is presented, most likely in XML format, directly on the mobile. In a similar fashion, the mobile device can upload data to the server, which would update the legacy system. One advantage of this approach is that since most of the work is done on the front end, there is limited need to get your hands dirty with the legacy code. Although this method involves less risk and cost than a whole system replacement, it includes copious amounts of development and testing work.
The third alternative to this situation is “legacy modernization” to a platform which can articulate with the mobile operating system. The modernization project will have 2 advantages: it will reduce the legacy operating and maintaining costs and will also preserve the investment done in mobile app development. The only concern here is to choose a robust and easy to deploy modernization solution.
In most of the cases the third alternative is more favored by companies. There are various options available in the market that can handle such transformation of legacy system.