Why Legacy Modernization and How to Select the Right Tools?

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In today’s business world, alignment of IT systems to an organization’s business goals is much needed to stay ahead of the competition. If the IT systems were built a long time back, they would be inflexible and difficult to use, due to their limited abilities, for today’s business needs. Legacy systems impact an organization’s ability to take new tasks and require huge investments and costs to maintain than the profitability that they generate. It is said that more than 75% of IT spend is consumed in enhancing the legacy systems.

As we discussed in our earlier post, adoption of agile delivery approach has grown increasingly over the last decade since organizations are ever more challenged to meet faster delivery schedules at reduced costs. For the success of agile delivery approach, legacy modernization is much important. Organizations need to choose the right tools and methodologies for software development and testing. Legacy tools that are in use for software testing need a strategic relook to achieve better business results. As the Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) technologies continue to gain steam, bringing the most out of legacy tools is a challenge. An organization’s success lies in its ability to manage change. Organizations need to consider embarking upon the journey of legacy modernization.

Modernization of legacy systems or migration from legacy tools to modern flexible tools / systems doesn’t just happen without proper planning. With strategical planning and appropriate management, modernization of legacy systems/tools can be a cost-effective and low-risk approach while maximizing investments. Organizations can achieve the best results when they embrace a holistic approach that’s future-oriented and takes organizational goals into account.

Factors to be considered to choose the right tools

Agile delivery approach demands faster delivery schedules and rapid iterations that leave less time for testing. Hence, a thorough analysis is needed to select the right and necessary testing tools. Most of the project managers and agile teams might know that they require tools to develop and test successfully, but the challenge is to select the right tool.

Agile software development emphasizes on an iterative approach to achieve defined requirements and design. As a result, functionality and UI designs may change fast. Hence, tools that best fit for the agile testing in the areas of test automation, defect tracking, test management, etc. need to be chosen.  So, what are the factors to be considered to choose the right tools in an agile delivery approach?

  1. Take evolving requirements into consideration: In agile software development approach, requirements are subject to change. Hence, the testing tools that you choose have to support test scripts at requirements level instead of just an individual input-output combination. In the case of a change in the requirements, the testing tools need to have the capability to deal with such a change.
  1. Consider scalability of the tool: The tool that you choose should be usable not just for a few tests but should have the capability to handle a large number of tests. Assessing the scalability of the tool is much required so as to understand its ability to manage an increasing volume of tests and to manage ongoing maintenance of tests.
  1. Look for portability of the tool: Evaluate the tool if it is portable in a variety of test environments. Assess if the tool is suitable for your requirements, make sure that it operates well with the environments and applications under test, and integrates well with other testing tools that are currently in use.
  1. Understand usability of the tool: Ease of use or the usability of the tool by different people with varied levels of technical expertise is another important factor to be considered. Do-it-yourself kind of tools, or the tools which are easy to understand and start using are preferable over the ones which require great learning curves. Such steeper learning curves lead to higher frustration levels and sometimes to tool abandonment. If training is required to use the tools, there is a need to check the training costs and if the vendor allows you to conduct your own training.
  1. Assess maintainability and support offered: In the agile delivery approach, change is rapid and continuous. The testing tools should be able to handle the tests up-to-date. Therefore they should be easily maintainable. And, while learning the tool and employing it, you would have a number of questions and need support from the vendor. So, it is important to know how well the vendor supports the tool and have a look at the vendor’s support forum to learn the known bugs and how they are addressed.
  1. Evaluate affordability of the tool: Last but not the least, you need to plan your budget and know your limitations while selecting the tool. Also, you need to consider that additional licenses of the tool might be required in future.

All in all, organizations need to move on to the modern tools for the success of agile delivery approach that offers faster delivery, increased productivity, reduced project risk and cost. Clearly, legacy modernization requires proper planning and evaluation. An experienced technology partner can play an important role in helping you to migrate to the modern tools by proposing the right tools. Legacy modernization is more of a journey than a simple project.  Legacy modernization, when done right, helps your business to address the new requirements more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Cigniti, in association with SmartBear, is going to organize a webinar on July 20th, 2016 on “Developing a Robust Testing Approach for Agile Transformation.” Register for the webinar to know how the legacy tools can hold you back and how to line up the right tools for an agile delivery approach.


  • Cigniti Technologies

    Cigniti is the world’s leading AI & IP-led Digital Assurance and Digital Engineering services company with offices in India, the USA, Canada, the UK, the UAE, Australia, South Africa, the Czech Republic, and Singapore. We help companies accelerate their digital transformation journey across various stages of digital adoption and help them achieve market leadership.

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