The Role of Software Reengineering in Business Success

The Vital Role of Software Reengineering in Business Evolution

The pressure on enterprises from new technologies has been accelerating exponentially in recent times. We observe a significant increase in business demands on companies, compelling them to keep pace with rapid technological changes in order not to lose customers and profits. No matter how much a company may prefer to steadfastly use a custom solution created long ago, the world does not stand still. It becomes necessary to step out of your comfort zone and adapt to the evolving landscape by changing existing software. The adoption of technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud solutions, and others compels us to reconsider the concept of ‘stability.’ In this context, stability is synonymous with constant renewal and modernization.

Updating software to ensure competitiveness and meet the requirements of modern business has economic rationale. After all, those who work faster, adapt to existing business requirements, have no security problems, and seamlessly integrate with the latest technologies tend to generate more profits and achieve success faster. The state of a modern company is characterized by a continuous process of renewal. Therefore, it is vital to apply Agile and DevOps methodologies right from the implementation stage, emphasizing rapid implementation of changes and maintaining agility.

And what if the system is outdated? What if it resembles a clumsy mechanism that works stably but does not take into account modern requirements? This is where the reengineering service comes to the rescue, enabling the rapid adaptation of software to changes. Software reengineering is the re-implementation of a legacy system to improve its usability, expand functionality, or introduce updated technologies while simultaneously minimizing the risks and costs associated with redesigning the system from scratch. Reengineering is the key to the success of your business.

Reasons for engaging the software reengineering services

1. Outdated programming languages

Let’s say the key programming language of your company’s system is Cobol, Pascal, Ada, or Fortran. Or if it utilizes obsolete frameworks like JQuery or Silverlight. In such cases, the absence of support for new releases, lack of updates, slow system development, sluggish performance, and insufficient integration with modern technologies can result in data security vulnerabilities, decreased productivity, inefficient workflows, or complete system failure. Moreover, finding specialists familiar with your outdated software may be challenging and expensive.

2. Poor architecture

The application’s outdated and disorganized architecture hinders its development in line with new requirements and scalability needs. Despite the necessity for changes, deciphering the confusing system appears daunting, resulting in numerous errors. Resolving issues stemming from the poor architecture requires substantial financial investment, yet unraveling the complexity of the system seems highly challenging.

3. Poor UI/UX

Suppose your system features an outdated design that falls short of modern UI/UX standards. If a customer explores your website or a potential partner examines your app for potential collaboration, an uncomfortable user experience could deter them from finalizing any deals.

4. Business requirements have changed

The need for reengineering arises when there is a shift in business requirements that the existing system cannot support. This entails the implementation of new applications and system components. For instance, changes such as adopting a different order placement process, incorporating user cards, or entirely revamping workflow due to the elimination of a division may be necessary, among other possibilities.

How to switch from all this to normal operation mode? Let’s analyze the approaches to modernization of the company’s software.

Approaches to modernization

Imagine being the owner of a sizable hotel in a tourist hotspot – complete with a restaurant, swimming pool, and park. Once upon a time, this establishment lured in tourists and raked in substantial profits. However, as the years passed, the influx of visitors dwindled. Old, faded carpets, rusty plumbing, a neglected park, and an empty pool no longer captivate them. Modern hotels with sleek designs, conveniences, and updated infrastructure now capture tourists’ preferences.

Now, you face a crucial decision: should you sell the hotel for a minimal sum or invest in its revitalization? Bear in mind that the hotel is situated in an appealing tourist destination. However, significant investment is needed, while financial resources are somewhat limited. After weighing the advantages and disadvantages, you opt to breathe new life into the hotel. Someone else might step in if not you, as the refurbished hotel is bound to yield substantial profits.

Likewise, your company’s software is akin to this aging hotel – it has become rigid and unprofitable, requiring a rejuvenating transformation.

1. Small changes and improvements

The most straightforward and cost-effective approach involves systematically updating your system by replacing complex code with simpler, more readable alternatives and incrementally introducing small code segments to enhance system functionality. This process is akin to the step-by-step refurbishment of a hotel: starting with a redesign of the facade and lobby, followed by room renovations on each floor. Over time, you progress to repairs of the pool and restaurant.

Implementing these adjustments in the system has a relatively minor impact on your budget, while progressively enhancing the productivity and speed of your application.

2. System migration to the Cloud

System migration to the Cloud involves relocating data, applications, and various business elements from the organization’s local infrastructure to cloud-based services. This transition offers numerous benefits, including cost-effectiveness, scalability, convenient access to applications, and improved collaboration. With this move, your applications gain protection against potential attackers, ensuring that your employees and customers enjoy seamless and prompt access to the system.

In our analogy, outsourcing the hotel’s tasks to specialized services relieves you from concerns about security or maintaining the pool. You no longer need to retain a plumber, gardener, or security guard on staff; instead, you engage services with expertise in these areas, guaranteeing high-level service provision.

3. Complete reengineering

It’s important to grasp that complete reengineering involves crafting a new design and architecture for the application. In our context, this entails transitioning from a monolithic system to microservices. Essentially, your revamped system will comprise small, independent components that can change without impacting other parts of the system. This flexibility allows for code rewriting and modifications without compromising the integrity of the entire system.

Developing a system based on microservices can be likened to establishing distinct businesses within the premises of your hypothetical hotel, each operating independently: a restaurant, a bar, a souvenir shop, a yoga club, and a spa salon. A microservices-based system is resilient in crises, adaptable, and more scalable. As a result, your hotel flourishes and generates profits!

Benefits of software reengineering

Organizations that regularly update and enhance their software through reengineering gain a competitive edge. They can respond more effectively to market changes, customer demands, and emerging technologies, positioning themselves as industry leaders.

Reengineering efforts that result in improved performance, enhanced features, and a modern user interface contribute to higher user satisfaction. This, in turn, can positively impact user adoption and loyalty.

Here are some of the top bonuses you’ll achieve by upgrading your systems.

1. Enhanced maintainability

Reengineering allows organizations to update and streamline their software, making it easier to maintain. This includes fixing bugs, updating libraries, and ensuring compatibility with new technologies. Improved maintainability reduces the overall cost and effort associated with ongoing software support.

2. Improved performance

By re-designing and optimizing the software architecture and code, performance bottlenecks can be identified and addressed. This leads to improved system responsiveness, faster execution, and better utilization of resources, resulting in an overall enhanced user experience.

3. Technological upgradation

Keeping software up-to-date with the latest technologies is crucial for staying competitive. Reengineering allows organizations to migrate to newer programming languages, frameworks, or platforms, taking advantage of advancements in technology to enhance efficiency and security.

4. Increased adaptability

Software reengineering enables organizations to adapt their systems to changing business requirements and technological landscapes. This adaptability ensures that the software remains relevant and can incorporate new features or functionalities as needed.

5. Cost savings

While the initial investment in reengineering may be significant, the long-term benefits often outweigh the costs. Improved efficiency, reduced maintenance efforts, and the elimination of outdated technologies contribute to cost savings over the software’s lifecycle.

6. Extended system lifespan

Reengineering can extend the lifespan of a system by modernizing its architecture and components, ensuring continued usefulness and supportability.

7. Enhanced scalability

Scalability is essential for accommodating growing user bases and increased data volumes. You will be able to redesign your systems to scale more efficiently, ensuring that the software can handle increased loads without sacrificing performance.

8. Improved quality and reliability

Through code restructuring, elimination of redundant components, and rigorous testing, reengineering can significantly improve the overall quality and reliability of a software system. This results in fewer defects, reduced downtime, and increased user confidence in the system.

9. Easier integration with other systems

As businesses evolve, the need for interoperability between different software systems becomes crucial. Reengineering allows organizations to redesign their software to facilitate seamless integration with other systems, improving overall workflow efficiency.

In summary, software reengineering is a strategic investment that can lead to a more robust, adaptable, and cost-effective software system, providing both short-term and long-term benefits for organizations.

Cost of software reengineering

The extent of changes needed in the software, including whether it involves minor enhancements, a complete redesign, or rewriting of the code, will significantly impact the cost. Larger and more complex projects generally require more resources and, therefore, incur higher costs.
Migrating to newer technologies may involve additional expenses for training, licensing, and implementation.

You can’t save on testing either. The more comprehensive the testing process, including unit testing, integration testing, and system testing, the higher the associated costs. Quality assurance measures contribute to the overall reliability of the reengineered software.

It is very important to choose a technological partner – reengineering service provider. This choice can have a significant impact on costs. Different vendors may have varying hourly rates, expertise levels, and methodologies.

The geographical location of the service provider can influence costs due to differences in labor rates and operating expenses. Here it is worth paying attention to specialists from Eastern Europe, where reengineering services can cost much cheaper, compared to Western European and American counterparts. Eastern European countries are becoming popular centers for nearshoring – remote development in a close geographic location. It is difficult to overestimate the quality of IT services of Eastern European countries. Usually, when ordering reengineering services in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, you will receive, in addition to lower development costs, highly qualified developers who easily integrate into teams thanks to language skills and an outgoing mentality.

The process of software reengineering

The process of software reengineering involves analyzing and understanding the existing system, making necessary changes, and re-implementing parts of the software. An advanced blueprint of the reengineering process will provide you with a better understanding of the magnitude of the work that development companies encounter.

1. Understanding the Existing System
– Documentation Review: Gather and review existing documentation, including requirements specifications, design documents, and user manuals.
– Source Code Analysis: Examine the source code to understand its structure, dependencies, and overall quality.

2. Requirements Specification
– Identify Stakeholder Needs: Understand the current and future needs of stakeholders.
– Define New Requirements: Based on stakeholder needs, define new or modified requirements for the software.

3. System Assessment
– Functional Assessment: Evaluate the existing system’s functionalities and determine which ones need modification or enhancement.
– Non-functional Assessment: Assess non-functional aspects such as performance, reliability, and maintainability. Identify areas where improvements are required.

4. Risk Analysis

5. Migration Planning
– Select Migration Strategy: Decide on the approach for migration, whether it’s a phased migration, parallel operation, or a complete system replacement.
– Data Migration: Plan for the migration of data from the existing system to the reengineered system, ensuring data integrity and consistency.

6. Re-Design and Implementation
– Architecture Redesign: Based on the new requirements, re-design the software architecture. This may involve restructuring modules, introducing new components, or eliminating obsolete ones.
– Code Modification or Rewriting: Implement the necessary changes in the source code. In some cases, parts of the code may need to be rewritten for better performance, and maintainability, or to incorporate new technologies.

7. Testing
– Unit Testing: Test individual components to ensure they function as expected.
– Integration Testing: Verify that the reengineered components work seamlessly together.
– System Testing: Perform end-to-end testing to validate that the entire system meets the specified requirements.

8. Deployment. Deploy the reengineered software in the target environment.

Throughout the software reengineering process, effective communication with stakeholders, thorough testing, and careful planning are essential for success. It’s important to strike a balance between preserving valuable elements of the existing system and incorporating innovations to meet evolving needs.

In conclusion

Software reengineering stands as a strategic investment in the future of your company. To sustain profitability, you have to update or replace outdated elements.

To initiate this process, start by answering the following questions:

– Is your system constructed on obsolete technologies?
– Is your software experiencing sluggish performance?
– Does your system exhibit vulnerabilities or security concerns?
– Does your system align with new business requirements?
– Are there new features needed in the software?

If you responded “yes” to at least one of these questions, it is imperative to conduct a comprehensive system audit and analyze the source code. Following this, determine an appropriate reengineering method based on your specific requirements and budget constraints. Our specialists are ready to assist you in this endeavor. We will pinpoint the weaknesses in your software and craft a modernized system tailored to meet your evolving business needs.

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    Alyona Zhernovnikova
    Business Development Manager

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