It was 1947, shortly after the Second World War. British food company J Lyons knew the war had driven significant advances in business methods and sent two of their senior managers to the US to investigate. While they were there, they learned that computers would help significantly with the running of a major business.
On their return, they recommended to their board they support the construction of the EDSAC computer at Cambridge University. After helping to build EDSAC in 1949, Lyons decided to build an improved version for themselves called the Lyons Electronic Office (LEO), which ran its first program in 1951.
This is the beginning of the commercial history of computers. What you may not be aware of is that in the 1980s, there were computers running programs written in the 1960s for those original machines. Today there are production systems still running software written as early as the 1970s. The notion of a five year life expectancy for systems is a fallacy for enterprise scale applications.
There are various reasons why systems don’t get upgraded but we know many of the platforms these heritage applications run on are now nearing end-of-life status. Decision making time is here!
It is often presumed that bespoke software is more expensive off the shelf. This is not necessarily true. It is true the initial setup cost of bespoke software may be higher. However, significant cost saving are made in the medium and long-term by it being tailored to the needs of a single business.
In recent years, development processes and technologies have improved a lot and bespoke applications are nowhere near as expensive as they were. VDS partners have vast experience of legacy modernisation projects and customers are often surprised to find their own legacy development teams are able to perform the modernisation themselves.
Who better to modernise your application than the very people who have been working with it for the last twenty or thirty years, who you’ve probably invested thousand of pounds in, and who know every business rule embedded in the system off-by-heart?
Are you also surprised to hear that, with the right training, you can effectively use modern techniques like virtualization, continuous integration, automated acceptance testing and even TDD/BDD in legacy environments?
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