Busting Myths: You CAN Disrupt Your Market with Legacy Applications

Part of the Modernization Readiness Boot Camp

A common misconception amongst organizations is that they need cutting-edge digital tech to be disruptors. They think they can’t be market disruptors because the bulk of their business relies on legacy applications. This simply isn’t the case. You can be a major disruptor in your market, even with legacy applications that are 10, even 20, years old.

Disruption isn’t just about having the latest technology. Disruption is about knowing how to position yourself as a leader and innovator in your market to take advantage of new ways that people seek products and services.

What is Market Disruption?

Being disruptive means that you look at your industry and create a new way to give your organization an edge over the other players. Examine your customers’ needs and identify how you can meet those needs better than they’re being met by others in the market.

According to Forbes, disruption is “literally uprooting and changing how we think, behave, do business, learn and go about our day-to-day … Disruption displaces an existing market, industry, or technology and produces something new and more efficient and worthwhile. It is at once destructive and creative.”

Disruption takes many forms. It allows businesses to connect applications, systems, and services that haven’t been connected before. In order to be a disruptor, you need to have the ability to shift how you do business and take advantage of these new connections. Your legacy apps can enable you to do this, if you overcome their unique challenges.

What Challenges Do Legacy Applications Pose?

 One of the biggest challenges legacy applications pose to those looking to disrupt their markets is that it can be difficult to connect to compelling new developments of IoT, machine learning, or cloud-based infrastructure.

Another challenge that legacy apps pose is that they carry years of inefficient processes and technical debt. Before you can tap into the new opportunities hidden with your systems, you’ll need to address the lingering issues. A full application analysis can help with this step.

Of course, we fully believe that disruption can be accomplished with legacy applications, even with all of these challenges. In fact, the key to unlocking the disruptive potential of your application is that you see the potential at all. The next piece is to figure out how you can execute on bringing these opportunities into reality. We can tell you from experience: there’s no reason a legacy app can’t be an integral part of new opportunities for your business.

One Way Legacy Applications Can Benefit Market Disruption

One excellent example of turning a legacy application into a market disrupting development is to make an internally facing application into a revenue generating, customer-facing service. Create a customer facing self-service portal by transforming your internal legacy app. You can realize operating efficiencies by turning more control over to your customer base, and they frequently find value in the multi-channel communication and engagement opportunities that such an approach gives them.

Re-engineering your app into a market leading, customer facing portal opens up revenue streams, changes how you engage with customers, more analytics by driving customer interactions through digital channel, and acts as a stepping stone to new services.

AAR recently partnered with us to take an existing internal application and create a customer facing service called the PAARTS store. Learn more about this successful market disruption project here.

For our client AAR, we utilized ADF REST web services to expose their underlying data structures to a modern front-end technology, Angular.

Old Can Be New Again

As a business culture, we’re drawn to the newest technology that’s making waves and the latest buzzwords that get the most press. We’re often led to believe that we need every new tool in our toolbox to be successful, but that’s not always true.

The secret to market disruption is completely knowing your market, your customers, your tools, and knowing how everything works together. Then, you can innovate and make the most of your systems. Don’t throw away a process or software that works—it can work even better by injecting some fresh ideas.

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