Why You Need To Transition Your Legacy System Out And Into The Future

Everything ages — some more gracefully than others. Software and systems are no different. While it may work, the declining user experience can impact your business negatively. It can cause forced inefficiencies in your staff, reduce your ability to pivot your business and slow your day to day processes down into a grinding mode of constant frustration.

But why upgrade when everything still works? You could almost ask the same question for your clunky 15 inch TV from the 90s.

Don’t let Legacy Systems Kill your Advantage

Startups are popping up everywhere with the latest tech stacks and abilities to quickly implement features and pivot their strategies. However, established businesses have something startups do not — market recognition, prestige and an existing customer base.

But these advantages could be lost due to the upkeep of a legacy system. 

As new methodologies of software creation, iterations and cycles become mainstream, the older and legacy software built in a different era becomes obsolete. Speed becomes a major problem, along with usability and user experience — creating a disadvantage for your business.

This in turn becomes the Achilles heel of your operational processes. Startups and businesses that have opted to upgrade their system lessen this potentially crippling issue through newer tech stacks. 

An Efficient System Makes for Effective Staff

Software and digital systems are tools that employees use in order to complete the tasks that make up their work. When the tools are inefficient, there is a flow on effect on your staff’s maximum efficiency and productivity potential. 

The long term costs of inefficient staff is often more than the initial investment of upgrading your legacy systems. While the cost of upgrade and maintenance is quantifiable, inefficient and ineffective staff due to your current systems can impact negatively on your brand and market standing, in conjunction with time lost trying to battle with your current clunky digital platforms. 

A skilled staff’s potential then becomes underutilized and their ineffectiveness in performing their tasks can add to an overall sense of frustration and long term job dissatisfaction.

Faster Response to Market Demands

When you own a legacy system, the pool of talent available for feature implementation is also much smaller. This limits your business’s ability to pivot to market demand, making you slow to adapt to the needs of your customers. 

It also means that you are slow to leverage new technologies, limiting the potentially impacting strategies that can contribute towards achieving your business’s vision. 

Not only that, adding to a legacy system, rather than migration out, can negatively impact your investments as you are essentially adding to a sunk cost that’s potentially running past it’s used by date. When you’re adding to an old system that’s no longer effective, it’s like doing upgrades on a car that’s already got high mileage. 

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Legacy software and systems don’t impact just the business. It impacts the people using the system, including, but not limited to staff, external users, report consumers and the customers.

While software and systems don’t have an explicit expiry date, this can still be felt through its performance, ability to fulfill your business’s needs and support your company’s ongoing strategies and vision effectively.

When one or more of these areas are not met, it’s usually a sign for an upgrade. Startups often have the advantage of speed and ability to pivot their strategies because they are not tied down by legacy systems and software. Established businesses, however, face a different and potentially crippling issue that needs to be addressed. 

Co-authored by:

Dave Wesley ~ President, SRG
LinkedIn

Aphinya Dechalert ~ Marketing Communications, SRG
LinkedIn

Why Portugal Should Be Your Next Software Development Destination

When we talk about off-shore, no-shore and remote software development, we often associate it with Asian countries such as China, India or freelance developers working from incubation hubs and cafes in Thailand or Malaysia. However, a rising star in the south western borders of Europe sits a seemingly quiet little country known as Portugal.

With the allure of fine wine, beaches and Spanish influenced architecture, Portugal is a rapidly growing economy with a labor force that still sits under the radar on the exchange rate, a smaller time zone gap and good English skills — the last being something that can help determine project requirements comprehension and quality of delivery. 

Educated Tech Workers

Apart from being a great tourist destination, it also hosts the Web Summit — the latest tech conference in the world. Yet Portugal continues to fly under the radar as a software development hub for those looking to hire off-shore. 

According to the SEP Monitor Report, Portugal’s tech industry is growing twice as fast as the European average. In part, this is driven by the growing number of external companies looking to Portugal for it’s software development and platform integrations. 

The OECD Indicators reports that approximately 100,000 students graduate each year from the eight Universities available in the country, with up to 21% opting for study areas in science, engineering and mathematics related fields. This in turn fuels the growth of the country’s young and highly qualified talent pool. 

Right in the Middle 

The country’s geographical location is also fueling the tech industry’s growth for off-shore work. In contrast to alternative off-shore hubs in Asia, Portugal’s physical location makes it ideal for businesses to hire developers outside of the United States. 

Sitting in the same time zone as London, Portugal is an hour behind Central European Time and only five hours ahead of New York — making it convenient for communication and online conferences.

While Portuguese is the official language of Portugal, English ranks second as the major language, especially in tourist areas such as Lisbon. English is also taught in schools as a second language and is gaining in popularity among youths. 

Same Quality for Less

In conjunction with the massive pool of software engineering talent available, Portugal’s tech scene is starting to catch the attention of startups who are looking to increase the efficiency of how their budgets are being spent.

Five and a half years ago, Sursumcorda Resource Group (SRG)  was one of the first US based companies to recognize the benefits of an external development team. As a result, we became one of the first people to establish as a no-shore software development company, helping businesses connect with the local Portuguese talent. 

With an established network of quality developers and energetic talent, SRG is thriving with a Portuguese tech team. By specializing in areas such as healthcare platform development and integration, we are able to effectively provide clients with quality solutions. 

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Portugal is fast becoming a desirable alternative in the off-shore software development scene due to their reliability in product quality. Costs, time zones and communication proficiency also add to the list of additional desirable qualities. Beautiful beaches, good wine and a wide range of foods are perks, as well. 

With SRG being an established no-shore, out of house company means that we are skilled in our ability to coordinate and communicate efficiently, making the no-shore experience feel seamless and borderless. Effective agile delivery thus becomes possible due to team members being familiar with each other and working like a well oiled machine.

For these reasons, startups and businesses should look beyond their local hires and popular overseas markets. Perhaps it’s time to look somewhere outside but a little bit closer to home. 

Co-authored by:

Dave Wesley ~ President, SRG
LinkedIn

Aphinya Dechalert ~ Marketing Communications, SRG
LinkedIn

Why Smaller Quality Teams Matter

There is a misconception that the more people you have working on a project, the faster it will move off the ground. However, more isn’t always better and there is a point of no-impact and diminishing returns once a team reaches a certain size.

Why quality matters

When a project’s budget is focused on the quantity of developers rather than quality, the long term value and stability of the software is often impacted in an inverse manner. The project’s final delivery is only as good as the developers behind the code. 

Quantity does not equate to, nor does it guarantee quality as there are different calibers of developers available. An effective developer can often accomplish a coding task in a third of the time and at a higher standard than a sup-par developer who may appear initially cheaper by the hour. Cost effectiveness of your investment often materializes in the form of good and solid software rather than what you originally spent. The stability of the code produced also determines the long term costs, maintenance and price of future extensions and upgrades. 

Smaller teams makes better agile teams

When it comes to software and agile delivery, sprints are most effective when the amount of communication required is reduced. A small core team of developers is much better and easier to coordinate than large teams with varying levels of skill. With smaller teams, quality assurance across the code base becomes a much simpler task. When less people are working on the same code, the amount of potential code conflicts is often significantly reduced. Errors and misunderstanding is minimized as smaller teams are much better at communicating with one another. 

For an efficient and high quality piece of software, everyone working on the project needs to keep in sync. When there are more people on the team, each team member ends up spending more time working on communication rather than actual work, resulting in reduced overall output. If communication is not maintained, delays often occur as code bottlenecks and misinterpretations arises. This is known as the Ringelmann Effect - where the productivity of individual members reduces significantly as the size of the group increases, resulting in less value for the total money spent. 

Bigger isn’t always better

According to a study done by QSM, the difference between projects with approximately 10,000 lines of equivalent source code for large and small teams is barely a week, with large teams averaging 32 developers and small teams being 4 people. Not only that, the defect rate for large teams was five times greater than small teams. Code defects and bugs are unavoidable and it requires time for the discovery process, documentation and fixing. This often results in unnecessary inflated costs financially and the project’s schedule delivery. 

For faster and leaner development, more people in a team often results in the opposite effect. 

When it comes to an agile no-shore or non-inhouse approach, a small team of 8 people is easier to pivot than a large group of 40 developers across multiple time-zones. Smaller teams often result in simpler processes with less cross-team dependencies. While code management tools like Git and methodologies like agile don’t specify team size, smaller teams are most effective for these tools due to its nature to streamline and simplify. 

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While the idea of increasing manpower to increase output works well in most manufacturing scenarios, your software and infrastructure is much more complex than well defined processes that can be replicated mechanically. Creating software is the process of transforming business requirements into tangible digital products. 

More minds working on the task doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the project’s velocity will increase. Creating a strong team of developers who are able to effectively communicate with each other is a better way of coding software that is able to perform and support your business. 

Co-authored by:

Dave Wesley ~ President, SRG
LinkedIn

Aphinya Dechalert ~ Marketing Communications, SRG
LinkedIn