Repeating Trends: Legacy Modernization and SOA

by Ronald Nunan on August 25, 2011

Industry trends represent a movement toward a specific practice. Typically, after a short period of time, another trend will take over. However, some trends continue for years.

Looking back to 2006, I found an IT Jungle published article, “Legacy Application Modernization Strategies Hinge on SOA,” which highlighted a report done by Aberdeen that pointed out the same trend – businesses recognizing SOA as the key to mainframe modernization.  The link to SOA enable legacy applications has been a trend for some time.

More recently, an Attachmate white paper, titled “Legacy Modernization Survey,” illustrates an SOA-enablement trend for enterprise legacy applications.  The survey captured a strong need for SOA to aid in modernization efforts. The survey was completed in September 2009 by z/Journal. It confirmed that 80 percent of U.S. data is still stored and processed in mainframe systems and the need to have a modernization plan for these applications is important.

It also captured that while SOA is considered a desired modernization method, “IT staffs lack the tools to yield a clear and rapid ROI,” and are still thinking of how to bridge legacy modernization to SOA. Though the survey reflects data gathered nearly two years ago, the trends identified seem even more current in what I work with on a daily basis, SOA and legacy is a current reality that continues to gain steam.

Legacy applications were never designed with SOA in mind, so identifying ways to implement SOA into legacy applications, easily and cost-effectively, is necessary. Legacy applications are not going away and neither is SOA, so bridging that gap is important. The Attachmate survey referenced above concludes that IT shops would benefit from a smaller-scale SOA enablement plan to help realize the benefits along the way – interesting conclusion as this is now a reality I see in numerous modernization projects.

To view the results, including respondents’ demographics, industries and IT environments, read Attachmate’s white paper.

 

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