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Running a new platform side by side with your legacy system

April 27, 2017

Managing legacy systems is often an important part of IT professionals’ and managers’ responsibilities. Every industry must update their software and systems at some point, but few companies can afford excessive downtime and beta testing during the implementation phase. Often, the best option is running new platforms and legacy systems in parallel to maintain your operation effectiveness. The following guide can help you manage your transition and maintain high service standards for your clients.

Step One: Have a Plan

Planning is crucial for any business, but managing parallel systems requires a thoughtful and meticulous plan to maximize your efficiency and minimize errors and frustration. Before you jump in head-first, take the time to plan your approach and seek expert advice from IT professionals. Once you decide that running parallel platforms (new and legacy) is the way to go, take the time to lay out a detailed plan for managing two systems simultaneously.

Step Two: Identify Priorities and Pain-Points

During the planning stage, it’s crucial to identify your priorities and rank them in order of importance. What can migrate to the new system? What are the crucial functions of your legacy system that you must maintain? Can you afford any downtime? What are the pitfalls of each system and how can you intervene to avoid problems down the line? The more time you spend planning and prioritizing, the easier it is to implement your strategy and succeed.

Step Three: Focus on the Users

At the end of the day, your users’ success is your success. If you make it easy for users to use the new platform and your legacy applications/systems, your chances of operational success are much higher. User experience (UX) is often overlooked, but it’s a key piece of any system or application design. When you focus on UX, your employees and clients will appreciate your thoughtfulness and commitment to good service.

Step Four: Monitor and React Quickly

As soon as you identify problems or opportunities for efficiency, it’s imperative that you react quickly. If you rely on brute force and sheer effort to overcome obstacles, you risk burning out your staff and frustrating your client. Form a plan to address issues quickly and effectively, and you’ll be in a great position to react to problems. Get feedback from clients and staff, and make sure you stay on top of any issues that arise during your implementation phase.

Step Five: Look Ahead

As you begin to replace your legacy systems, you’ll quickly realize that a forward-looking vision makes life easier for everyone interacting with your platforms. Plan ahead, and trust in your team to provide feedback and input as you go forward. Don’t stick your head in the sand and rely on doing thing “the way they’ve always been done.” Stay up-to-date with new software development and keep an open mind as you analyze your options as an IT professional or corporate manager. Success in business is akin to a marathon, not a sprint. Keep yourself informed, and stay in touch with platform designers and technical support as you look to the future of your business.

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