Core Software Revival: On the fear of failure and how to overcome it

​​​​After having dealt with the terms “core software” and the question of when a "revival” is required in our first Blog entry, we would like to delve into even more sensitive topics this time.  

Today, we are looking at fears and risks connected with Core Software Revivals. Modernising core software, after all, is a challenge – not least because large parts of your business depend on the core systems’ availability. Fears of failing are therefore understandable.

Core Software Revival: It's about more than just technology!

​​​​​As a thoroughbred technician, we often find ourselves conveniently looking at technical topics only. However, especially when it comes to Core Software Revivals, there are other aspects that need to be considered. In such a project, one is faced with different levels of fear:

Core software systems are the digital backbone of any company. If they are not working properly, the company faces direct revenue losses as production comes to a standstill, products can no longer be sold or services can no longer be rendered.

This is why the people in charge often avoid large core software system changes, which is only too understandable. Some have personally experienced failed modernisation attempts or are afraid of suffering possible downtimes in their daily business. They also know that their processes are unique and that a simple standard implementation model can therefore not be used. Moreover, such modernisation efforts are often connected with large investment which means their cost/value ratio needs to be well-considered and -planned.

Employees that have spent half of their lives with the existing software (as a user or technician) become anxious about their future when legacy software is to be renewed or replaced. This is why it’s important to get everyone on board. After all, these people and their comprehensive technical knowledge is urgently needed to make any change a success. By involving them in analysis and replacement workshops and giving them the feeling that their knowledge is important and will continue to be so after the change, one can prevent them from jeopardising the project or act stubbornly later on.

Of course, any upcoming modernisation also presents technical challenges. Often, modernising a core system is not enough, but requires accompanying infrastructure renewal at a broader level. This could, for instance, comprise the simultaneous moving of systems into the cloud or accompanying creation of a new, real-time-capable architecture for highly automated real-time data transfer between the various systems, or the parallel design of a contemporary data lakehouse for cross-department reporting / analysis purposes with possible AI integration. In the case of core systems that have been in operation for a long time, grown code, a lack of modularisation of the business logic including "forgotten" features, missing technical documentation or inconsistent databases often become stumbling blocks in the subsequent implementation. The necessary parallel operation during the modernisation phase often makes things even more difficult.

Safety in unsafe terrain: A proven procedural model & step-by-step modernisation 

How can we make such a volatile environment safer? Even if there are no standard implementation models, a basic concept helps with a Core Software Revival.

We at DCCS have been dealing with software modernisation processes for many years now and know the pitfalls involved in the particularly sensitive modernisation of core software systems. From this, we have developed our 3-stage procedural model that has been tested and used many times.

​​​​​​​Our model picks you up where you need it.​​​​

Do you have a rough idea that you need modernisation in a technical department or at corporate level?
In the first stage of our procedural model, we specify this need for modernisation by analysing your processes, the underlying IT systems and investigating your employees’ needs together with them. As early as this stage, it’s important to involve all players, listen to them and their concerns and take them seriously.  

Building on this, we work out matching modernisation scenarios and mutually create strategy recommendations for your decision makers so they can derive required investment and approve next steps.

Together with your team, we will create an optimal modernisation concept for your project. We will determine whether your technical processes still meet your requirements and look into their optimal orchestration in the associated core IT systems.  After all, yesterday's processes don't necessarily match tomorrow’s requirements and since you have already decided to invest, we should make other benefits of modernisation available to you. Additionally, we will build you future target architecture on your IT strategy and derive the technical modernisation concept. Together, we will create an implementation plan including migration and required investments that is tailored to your needs. The result is an implementation concept for your project.  

Would you like to implement a scheduled modernisation project?
The last and usually longest stage is concerned with implementation. In this stage, it is important to find a step-by-step modernisation path that is right for your company. Modernising step by step does not mean to modernise the entire core system at once, but to replace processes and functions following prioritisation and to launch them one after the other. This method is always based on business continuity and a business value first approach. Using a smart modernisation strategy, this does not necessarily mean that both systems are run at the same time. Such a procedure can minimise the risk for the company while ensuring value.  

Furthermore, the result can be checked and, if needed, adjusted after every single modernisation step. What’s more, issues in a small detail process would be less fatal than a complete failure of the software resulting in the business no longer being able to be served.  

In the context of this process, the well-known saying “the journey is the reward” by Chinese philosopher Confucius is probably the best guidance. What’s important is to move forward purposefully, each intermediate goal should generate business value, then you know you are on the right track.

Since you're already familiar with the term "Core Software Revival" from the first blog and the path has been outlined in this blog, it's time to delve a little deeper into the practical side of things. I invite you to read the next blog, in which I, together with Roland Bäck, Senior Business Consultant, will be happy to share some practical insights with you.​​​​​​
Kontakt Roland Bäck

Get in touch!

We are looking forward to your message

I expressly agree to the processing of my data and have taken note of the privacy policy.
Roland Bäck, DCCS