Life Cycle Extension Strategies for Legacy Systems
This paper analyzes the characteristics of legacy systems and examines how those characteristics can be used to determine the correct method of life cycle extension. A legacy system is a system that is approaching or already at a point where it is no longer of use to an organization, preventing the group from maintaining its operational objective. Legacy systems are important to study because they are expensive to maintain and can hinder an organization’s performance if not addressed adequately. This study developed a model that will identify the characteristics of a legacy system and the methods that should be used to extend the life of that legacy system. The model was evaluated using case study research to analyze an example of a legacy system; a guidance system for a missile from the defense industry. The characteristics of the legacy system were analyzed to predict the appropriate method to use for life extension. The method was compared with the organization’s life extension method for the guidance system to determine model accuracy. Evaluating the results using simple pattern matching determined if the model could predict the correct life extension strategy. The results indicated that the model can be used to aid in deciding what method or methods could best be used for life extension of a legacy system.