Legacy software modernization

A practical guide for enterprises looking to face legacy system issues head-on

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Case study: Transforming an acquired compliance product

The company

A global organization with a longstanding history as one of the world’s leading B2B data and content providers is delivering solutions to banks and businesses for over 180 years. As the company continues to expand, they acquire multiple companies in the compliance and financial services industry. The effective integration of these new businesses requires a specific skill set. The product maturity and technical debt from these acquisitions introduce significant risks.

The challenge

Devbridge was called to recover a struggling product rebuild effort and deliver to market—stemming from an acquisition of a company in the compliance space. The challenge at hand…save a 20-year-old desktop app that had begun a SaaS transformation previously handled by internal teams, independent contractors, and an offshore agency. Mounting complexity and nuanced per-state filing requirements resulted in unmaintainable business logic and four years of investment without working software. With frustrated executives, exhausting budget, and severely delayed timeline, the client was anxious to demonstrate immediate results and justify the necessary spend to productize the new platform.

The approach

We came in with a laser focus on getting the product into users’ hands fast. We used an integrated approach, blending our teams with the client’s globally distributed teams. Quarterly roadmap planning sessions rotated through all key stakeholder locations with engineering, design, and product management attending in person.

Scrum rituals were strategically scheduled to account for different time zones and facilitated in person—as well as virtually. To effectively reduce risk, the first scrum teams were blended Devbridge and client-side engineers. At scale, three Devbridge teams, the client team, and a pool of domain experts used dual-track scrum to parallelize the workstreams and gather just-in-time requirements within each sprint.

Our team of product managers and product designers extracted user stories from the business through intense daily discovery sessions with client SMEs and users. Our engineering team evaluated and refined technical architecture. A healthy CI/CD pipeline, automated testing, and clear acceptance criteria allowed the team to accelerate UAT before making a release. The first milestone was to release the product to an internal audience as a pilot.

The results

We recovered the failed build and delivered a comprehensive data and software solution to control risk and compliance. The product adhered to Blue Sky Law (state laws in the U.S. that regulate the offering and sale of securities ostensibly to protect the public from fraud). The solution reduced compliance costs by:

  • Monitoring and management of sales activities

  • Electronic filing of products

  • Filing renewals for existing products

  • Expense management and reductions in costs

Devbridge released the initial version within a year and public release in another six months. Our iterative, agile process uncovered recommendations for further enhancements in future sprints.

Continue to:Modernize: The action plan