AhaApps Blog

What makes your Enterprise Younger?

Posted by Satish Reddy

Jun 2, 2016 2:10:38 PM

 

Did you ever wonder what makes your Enterprise younger?

We know that individuals feel younger with Music, Exercise, Being Happy etc.
But what about an Enterprise?
Is it Culture?
Agility?
Growth?
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Topics: Legacy Integration, Mulesoft, Mule ESB, API Strategy

It’s No Fairy Tale: Legacy App Modernization is an Urgent Issue

Posted by Satish Reddy

Feb 16, 2016 2:43:00 PM

Legacy_App_Modernization.jpgOnce upon a time — oh, about 45 years ago or so — there was a business that decided to adopt the very latest in modern technology. While lesser businesses were still mired in resource-gobbling manual processes, this forward-thinking business had invested in automation. And the business was happy.

Which isn’t to say that everything was perfect in the kingdom. The big, bad competition would point and laugh at the piles of money “wasted” on the huge blue monstrosity that sat in a cool room that had to be air conditioned 24/7 and had tape drives outputting data to dot matrix printers. But the business paid the naysayers no mind. The business loved its new technology and even came up with a clever nickname for its favorite computer. They called it their “mainframe” or by its nickname, “Ernie.”

All went well for a decade or two, but then a funny thing happened. Everyone had computers now, but they were much smaller and didn’t have magnetic tape drives or anything. The weirdest thing was that competitors were stealing away customers left and right. The world had gone crazy! First, everyone fell in love with spiders on some Web, and now they were all watching the weather report so they could go outdoors and throw their data up to a cloud! Then, wouldn’t you know it, no one learned computer languages anymore, just bird languages! Everyone was going tweet, tweet, tweet and wearing some newfangled smashtags or hashtags or something.

The business did its best to keep up with the times, mostly by looking over the shoulders of teenagers and trying to do what they did. It spent a lot of money buying the new little computers and investing in websites and blogs and something called “social media.” And the beloved mainframe still sat back in the cool room and its tape drive turned and its dot matrix printer squeaked as it spewed forth customer data on green and white striped paper. The only way to use the data at all was to key it into modern databases and spreadsheets on the little computers.

No one wanted to get rid of Ernie. After all, it had been there longer than anyone else and was treated like a favorite pet. They had humored it for a very long time even though it didn’t work with modern personal computers. Ernie was getting really old, but the business kept trying to keep it going “just a little longer,” because it held the secrets to legacy data that the PCs didn’t know about and because the business didn’t want to spend money to modernize. Besides, they were afraid of the business disruption that could result if they couldn’t use Ernie anymore. So they had specialized programmers spend most of their time babying Ernie.

Still, the CEO knew the truth: Ernie and its legacy apps were holding the business back from optimizing its marketing capabilities. He feared that meteorology would become the business’s undoing. After all, they couldn’t even become partly cloudy when Ernie wasn’t able to talk to the rest of the company’s systems. As if that weren’t bad enough, a corporate governance dragon started breathing hot fire down the CEO’s neck about the mainframe exposing customer data to unauthorized access. The dreaded words “millions of dollars in liability” kept the CEO up at night. He knew that the company’s legacy apps could become its undoing. He didn’t dare whisper his innermost thoughts, that maybe they’d have to get rid of Ernie after all.

Now, most of the current employees weren’t even born when the mainframe was unpacked from its boxes, and finally they held a retirement party for the last of their coworkers who knew how to keep Ernie running. Before the business knew it, poor Ernie broke down and that’s when they learned that neither the hardware nor the software was supported any longer. Apparently, the mainframe had contracted a deadly disease called COBOL. The very sound of the word caused mere mortals to flee screaming in terror.

Just about that time, a knight in shining armor appeared upon a white horse at the corporate castle. He promised to save the business from disaster, so the employees lowered the drawbridge over the moat and allowed him to enter. The brave knight taught the executives about “legacy application modernization,” which they were so pleased to learn meant that they could keep Ernie and its valuable data after all. Apparently, an interpretive layer could be interposed between Ernie and the company’s modern systems, sort of like a translator. Not only that, but quality and efficiency could be improved by eliminating manual and duplicative processes and by adopting a smooth, integrated system. It was decreed throughout the land that henceforth all employees would have the benefit of a single graphical user interface with everyone using the same screens. All would have access to convenient widgets and one-touch help access and, best of all, would have just one password to remember.

The CEO heeded the advice of the handsome knight and, while Ernie continued to purr in the back room, the business knew that it had gained not only cloud capability, but also the ability to meet future challenges by expanding to accommodate new technology as it emerges. And as the knight rode away on his white horse across the drawbridge, all the employees in the kingdom shouted “Hurrah!”

And they lived happily ever after.

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Topics: Legacy Apps, Legacy Integration, Legacy Modernization

9 Benefits of Legacy Application Modernization through Integration

Posted by Satish Reddy

Feb 2, 2016 1:06:54 PM

Legacy_Modernization_Integration.jpgChanges in business processes typically involve things like software testing, putting up with bugs that have not yet been fixed, crossing your eyes in an attempt to navigate poorly-written user manuals, sitting in training classes and being told that you have to change your comfortable routine because nothing works the same way anymore. Is it any wonder that the mere suggestion of modernizing systems may be met with groans and choruses of “Do we hafta?”

Resistance to change, cost considerations and concerns about business disruption often make businesses reluctant to modernize outdated hardware and software. And yet, the business pressures to integrate legacy apps with modern software packages mount:

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Topics: Legacy Integration, Legacy Modernization

5 Steps to Success with Cloud

Posted by Satish Reddy

Jan 22, 2016 4:16:11 PM

legacy_modernization_-_success_with_cloud.jpgBack in the early dot-com days, if you wanted to build an application or a site, you would make significant investments to buy hardware and software and hope you succeeded. Today, if you said you needed funds for hardware, an investor would laugh you out of the room.

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Topics: Cloud, Legacy Integration, Legacy Modernization

Got Legacy Systems? Modernize and Teach Your Old Dogs New Tricks

Posted by Satish Reddy

Jan 19, 2016 11:44:01 AM

legacy_modernization.jpgA famous saying claims that “you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.” But have you ever tried it?

Dogs are just like people in that they like mental stimulation. Believing that your faithful companion doesn’t have the ability to learn anything new is largely a self-fulfilling prophecy. Just as today many people are going back to school and earning degrees in their 70s and 80s, there is no reason that your canine best friend can’t learn to shake hands or roll over at any age. Dog trainers will tell you that’s it all a matter of patience, positive reinforcement and motivation. But most of all, you have to believe.

The same principle applies when a business needs to teach new tricks to its legacy hardware and software. There will always be naysayers who will tell you “Oh no, your old programs will never be able to do that” or “Who are you kidding? That technology didn’t even exist when your code was written!” If you buy into that mindset, your business will likely be stuck with data running on a variety of platforms that don’t communicate with each other very well and a stack of apps developed in different decades. Your IT operation can find itself swiftly transformed into a regular Tower of Babel.

The value of software integration capability is one reason that packages such as Microsoft Office have become so popular. You can dump your rows and columns of figures from Excel into a chart in your report over in Word, into your Power Point slide deck and into an Access database with just a few clicks. Wouldn’t it be great if you could modernize to obtain this type of interoperability among the various programs you’ve invested in over the years, even if they run on different platforms?

Just think of the advantages:

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Topics: Legacy Integration, Legacy Modernization

Seamlessly Integrate Your Legacy Systems and Unlock the Power of Your Data

Posted by Satish Reddy

Jan 12, 2016 1:00:11 PM

legacy_integration_modernization.jpgThere are still a lot of us around who went to school in the 1970s and remember doing assignments for COBOL class by keying lines of code onto punch cards. It would be easy to dismiss such Cold War era technology as a bad memory or an obsolete relic of the past — except that cumbersome data processing dinosaurs involving tens of thousands of lines of code live on as legacy applications in businesses large and small throughout the world. To make matters worse, the Baby Boomers who know how to wrangle unwieldy code into submission on an IBM mainframe are retiring in droves. Who will be left to hold your antediluvian systems together with spit and baling wire when the old school programmers hang it up for good?

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Topics: Legacy Apps, Legacy Integration, IT Modernization, Legacy Modernization