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Challenges Unique to Legacy Mainframe and Client-Server IT Investments

June 30, 2020
Volodymyr Rudyi

After considering whether a commercially-available SaaS application could eliminate the need for a much larger investment in custom software, logistics and supply chain executives should address legacy mainframe and client-server challenges.

Outdated Proprietary Software With Limited Extendability

When legacy systems are isolated from the rest of a company’s more modern SaaS and cloud-based assets, there’s usually no opportunity for a normal integration.

So, you need a workaround. AgileVision, for example, is typically hired to create these kinds of workarounds and extract data.

After all, what may have been bleeding-edge technology 10 years ago is now outdated and very difficult to integrate.

As an alternative to upgrading to more modern technology, legacy systems vendors will many times offer the latest version of the system at the same cost as 10 years ago and require a long-term agreement.

Locked Into Long-Term Contracts With Legacy Systems

With both legacy mainframes and client-servers, sometimes companies “accidentally” sign three-year agreements. Why is “accidentally” in quotes? Sometimes, the purchase was inadvertently made. Many times, however, it’s really buyer’s remorse.

This dissatisfaction becomes especially problematic when managers and other users are already unhappy with the system during the very first month but have to “live” with their decision for the next 35 months.

Sometimes, companies buy really bad technology and are severely budget-constrained. Therefore, they have no other choice but to use outdated technology until it depreciates.

For example, there’s an inventory management system we’ve come across in logistics and supply chain companies that’s a good product. But it has a lot of problems when trying to use its API for integrations. In this particular case, it’s really hard to extract data; it just can’t be done in a conventional way.

Overall, when a company like AgileVision is present during the systems evaluation phase, the goal is to prevent companies from making bad technology decisions with bad consequences.

Evaluation Framework for Hardware

In addition to mindfully evaluating how legacy mainframe and client-server systems solve today’s business problems, it’s also often important to evaluate hardware that’s part of related technology investments.

For example, when ordering a sample of a hardware device, consider:

  • How does the hardware work?
  • Will the hardware successfully integrate with the company’s current and future technology stack?
  • Will the hardware do what the client wants?
  • Is the hardware applicable to the overall needs?
  • Is it acceptable?

What legacy mainframe and client-server challenges is your company facing? Share your comments below.

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