Looking After Legacy Applications
Every business has applications they rely on to keep their business running. Often these applications span years. It’s easy to forget they exist because they seamlessly integrate with all the other ‘businesses as usual’ systems. But what if one of these business-critical apps suddenly stopped working? Would your IT team know how to fix it? Or even be able to identify where the problem lies? We worked with forward-thinking international engineering consultancy Cundall who were keen to ensure this wasn’t a problem they’d ever have to deal with – here’s how…
As a rapidly growing consultancy practice, Cundall’s business requirements have evolved resulting in the development of many bespoke applications – speeding up business processes and reducing overheads. Cundall has an in-house IT team, but keen to ensure they could add value throughout the business they decided to outsource the development and maintenance of their legacy applications to a trusted partner. Knowing trust is one of our key values, Cundall got in contact.
We started with an audit assessment. This included reviewing all the underlying data storage – looking at how data flows through all Cundall’s systems. It quickly became clear that many of their bespoke apps were interacting with, and it was this interaction that allowed their internal team to work more efficiently. We were able to understand their internal infrastructure, who was responsible for it, and how often applications were used. From this information, we were able to decide what was no longer needed and rationalise the environment. Collaborating with their IT team, we started building a picture. What did each application do? Why did it do it? Who used it? And when was it used?
With a full picture, we were able to explore how we could best support Cundall. Due to the number of legacy applications, and to ensure a smooth support transition, we proposed that one of our software consultants work onsite, part-time within Cundall’s IT team. Having this resource, combined with full-time support from our dedicated service desk, we were able to provide a quick response to any problems. We were also able to identify any future projects or system upgrades, and how these would impact the legacy apps.
Since we initially engaged with Cundall, we have continually looked after and added functionality to the legacy application estate, whilst also developing further apps and integrations to meet their ongoing business needs.
"Having access to the full depth of skills and resources through Waterstons’ team has enabled us to quickly grasp business advantage by rapid development of new technologies, as well as reducing the risk associated with supporting our legacy applications. Changes were completed in weeks without compromising operational activity, and thorough change control and documentation gave us confidence in the supportability of the environment."
Global Head of IT and BIM
When taking on the responsibility for legacy applications we often find older technologies in use. That’s why we know it’s important to understand how a business operates and uses their applications – and Cundall was no exception. When it comes to quirky settings, unusual errors, or specific account permission requirements, we know that its important information for us to understand. Its these everyday obstacles that can often take hours or even days for a support consultant to discover by themselves. However, if applications are properly documented and handed over to our support team, then these issues can often be resolved on the spot. Hence our approach to helping Cundall. We want our customers to have satisfied users and more efficient working. Knowledge transfer is key with any legacy application. And that’s why we spend our time making sure that we get all the detail that we need.
Cundall’s in-house IT team now have the confidence that all their business-critical applications are properly maintained. As trusted partners, they know that we’re always there to support their needs and keep them up to date with the latest applications or integration solutions. We help keep their business running smoothly and where possible, ahead of the game.