Factors Affecting Success in Migration of Legacy Systems to Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) - Shared Experiences from Five Case Companies
Abstract: Background: The term ‘legacy systems’ refers to existing Information Systems that have been deployed in the past and have been running critical business processes within an enterprise in its current IT architecture. Based on their important role, legacy systems are considered the heart of a company’s operating enterprise system and therefore are of significant business value to the company. Therefore IT architects have not neglected the value these existing assets can bring to the adoption of service-oriented architecture and have been studying different methods and factors to migrate the legacy investments into the new architecture and take advantage of their business value. However, not in all cases has the process of migrating legacy systems into SOA been successful. In fact, the level of success in adapting the legacy systems in a company with the new service-oriented architecture is dependant on some factors which vary from one legacy infrastructure and series of business processes to another. There is no quick fix to transforming the existing legacy assets which highlights the fact that considering the right factors to reach legacy system migration success in a specific company is of key value. Therefore, we hereby studied the factors influencing success of migrating these legacy investments into SOA in five different companies which include a Large European Bank, SAS, a Large globally-known Company in Sweden, Sandvik AB and a large UK Bank. Purpose: To identify factors affecting successful migration of legacy systems into SOA in five companies. Method: The main adopted research method in this study has been interviews for different case studies. Through separate interviews, critical success factors of migrating legacy systems into SOA have been collected and identified in each case. Finally collected results are analyzed and presented as the recognized factors affecting successful migration of legacy assets into SOA in five different enterprises with their own Information System infrastructures. Conclusion: The success factors identified include potential of legacy systems for being migrated, strategy of migration, SOA governance, the business process of the company, budgeting and resources, legacy architecture, close monitoring, dependence on commercial products, information architecture, testing and technical skills of the personnel. Out of all these factors, only three factors have been applied and mentioned by all the case companies in this study, which are the potential of legacy systems for being migrated into SOA, strategy of migration and SOA Governance.
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