Don’t Fall Into the ‘Rewrite from Scratch’ Trap. Choose Software Re-Engineering
Technology is flying at its fastest rate yet and the pace of change can make it hard for businesses to keep up. It seems as if you just finish your software product or application and it is time to tweak things to adapt to change. This adaptation is not just a nice thing to have, it is a necessity. Users will not tolerate poor performance, clumsy navigation or other signs of aging software.
But, IT teams often cannot handle upgrades to Ux or software reengineering, in spite of the fact that these skills are critical if the company is to keep costs down, keep the project on budget and keep the company apps and software up to date to meet the expectations of users and customers.When it comes to these types of projects, it is important to have expert advice and help or you can easily make a misstep that will cost you in the market.
There are several factors that can help you make the case for software re-engineering:
- Improved reliability
- Enhanced features and functionality
- Improved user experience
- Improved scalability
- Improved maintenance and support
- Improved ROI and TCO
The enterprise may focus on the expense of software re-engineering, but there is often little focus given to the expense of maintaining status quo. Status quo may mean the loss of users, increased abandonment on a site or within an app, resulting in lost sales, the need to increase IT support staff, the loss of support or increased cost of support for older technology platforms and products.
In some businesses, software re-engineering is seen as a luxury. In fact, even the smallest local business needs an affordable, dependable technology outreach. The numbers tell the tale. Today, nearly every one of your customers has a smart phone (maybe more than one), a tablet, and perhaps a laptop or desktop computer. Every consumer is familiar with and expects the best support when they are using an app or a website and those businesses that do not satisfy these expectations will lose revenue and customers.
To compete in your market (any market), you must stay abreast of the trends, technologies and expected user experience. Software reengineering allows the business to take a step back and look at existing and new ideas for customer, partner and supplier outreach and consider new designs and models to satisfy the market and gain a competitive advantage.
While many enterprises struggle to keep their IT staff abreast of the newest approaches and technologies, there are plenty of IT experts out there who can offer a helping hand. A good software re-engineering project must be managed by a team with comprehensive understanding of trends, technologies, user expectations, integration, networking, configuration and every other aspect of application development.
But, beyond these skills and knowledge it is important to distinguish between the standard application development project and a software reengineering project. Software re-engineering is rather like the renovation of a house. The designers do not have the luxury of starting from scratch. They must work with the existing foundation and add technology and features that are compatible with the existing foundation and will allow the business the flexibility to grow and change.
The reengineered solution may add new features and remove redundant or old features or functionality in order to improve the workflow, and enhance the user experience and performance and scalability of the solution.
Software development must include requirements planning, while software re-engineering must include requirements planning and a complete understanding and detailed documentation of the existing software. This crucial step ensures that the project will not be derailed or stalled by unanticipated issues. In the software re-engineering world, one does not want to hear the phrase, ‘let’s go back to the drawing board’.
While the management team may believe that a software re-engineering project will be expensive and time-consuming, the cost of starting from scratch or of doing nothing may be extremely high. Lost customers, low user adoption, inefficient solutions, poor performance, and expensive maintenance and support will nag the enterprise. It is better to be proactive and engage an expert software re-engineering team; one that can provide a swift, efficient process that will result in better ROI, TCO, customer satisfaction and performance and provide a competitive edge in the market.