Navigating digital transformation: Triaging legacy architecture

For companies embarking on a digital transformation, a frequent obstacle is legacy architecture—dated, monolithic systems that have grown unwieldy over time.

How can organizations best diagnose and treat their legacy code challenges? In a recently published white paper, “Your Customer is the North Star: Navigating Beyond Digital Transformation,” we assess the challenges of legacy code and how companies can overcome them.

Navigating digital transformation by triaging legacy architecture

(Download your copy here)

Gartner Research labels legacy architecture as code that “may be based on outdated technologies,” yet remains “critical to day-to-day operations.” In addition to being fundamental to the business, such technology can require a massive investment in time and resources to modernize.

Touched by hundreds of software engineers over several decades, these monolithic and often unwieldy systems have been the subject of numerous last-minute hacks to meet regulatory or business requests. As a result, they have become a convoluted, unmanageable web of tightly coupled systems with growing technical debt, as we discuss in the white paper.

Digital leaders must develop strategies to address the architecture of legacy systems beyond abstraction alone. They should begin by asking some critical questions: Which legacy applications can the business tolerate? Which systems should be adapted or migrated to a new platform? Which can be eliminated altogether via application rationalization?

When it’s evident that maintenance is too costly, and the aforementioned artifacts are too detrimental, the best path forward may be to upgrade the architecture, rather than to apply a bandage.

To accomplish this, first, take inventory and analyze applications, dividing the code base into two categories: their unique features and their features that could or should be obtained elsewhere (commodity services). The former should be built into a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), exposing the business capabilities to the enterprise via web services. In this way, companies will expedite the delivery of business value, while adapting to changing stakeholder requirements.

Look for more blog entries in our Digital Transformation series over the next few weeks. In the meantime, you can download and read the full white paper at

In the video below, Aurimas Adomavicius, Devbridge president, and Chris Wilkinson, Director of Product Design, discuss some of the analysis and insight you'll find in the white paper.

Email us at to request a free printed copy.