Taking advantage of the latest technologies has become the key to business competitiveness and the main challenge for manufacturers in all industries. In today’s fast-changing IT world, new software development technologies, methods, tools, and paradigms are constantly being developed: the benefits for first-movers are huge (in turnover, efficiency, and reputation alike), and the consequences for laggards devastating.
Software reengineering, porting, and code refactoring may be a cost-effective way to keep your product up to date with the cutting-edge developments and thus competitive in the market. However, many businesses find it tricky to determine when their software needs to be enhanced. Here are five canaries in the coalmine that clearly show it is time to reengineer your software. Do you recognize any of them in your own company?
- Unsupported Software
Once your software has reached end-of-life, no further updates, useful patches, or hot fixes are released for it. It is no longer officially supported by the manufacturer, and no support means no security. Numerous security breaches are often used by cybercriminals to infiltrate corporate networks. According to the F-Secure survey, 70–80% of the top ten malware infections could have been prevented with up-to-date software.
- Outdated Hardware
During the life cycle of your product, many changes are likely to happen. For example, the provider of hardware components for your product may stop manufacturing them. In this situation, you most definitely have to update your hardware, and new hardware means porting to new hardware architecture and re-designing software to support new components.
- Lost Talent/Data
Software re-engineering is particularly required when no experts are available (“lost talent”) or when important documentation is missing, incomplete, or outdated (“lost data”). Reverse engineering, code refactoring, redesigning architecture, and porting to another platform are key methods to deal with a lack of experts and documentation when it comes to giving a second life to an abandoned solution.
- Technological Progress
Sometimes, new developments in technology make an existing market dominator suddenly uncompetitive, just as the touch screen technology made push-button cell phones (and those who make them) take a back seat in the market. To provide up-to-date and efficient solutions, you always have to be on the alert for tech innovation and update your product in accordance with changing market requirements.
- Critical Mistakes/Vulnerabilities
Critical software mistakes and vulnerabilities may lead to catastrophic failures and damage your business in terms of productivity, reputation, and relationships. Of course, it is always better (and cheaper) to detect them at the early production phase, but this is not always done. When creating a new product is not an option, analyzing and refactoring the code help to identify vulnerabilities, avoid mistakes, and attain better system performance overall.
Naturally, businesses vary greatly, and every industry has its own unique characteristics and requirements. Your reengineering/refactoring needs will certainly depend on the business environment in which your company operates, your position in the market, the technologies you use, and the product itself. Nevertheless, there are at least five general reasons to reengineer software. If you recognize any of them, worry. If you recognize several or all, act!
Auriga’s Experience in Reengineering, Refactoring, and Porting
Auriga has vast experience in assisting its clients with various re-engineering needs, such as re-designing the architecture to support new platforms, components, or features; refactoring the code for maintainability and portability; replacing databases, middleware, and other architectural layers, and reverse engineering.
Auriga’s engineers provide a full range of support in accomplishing our customers’ porting requirements, including porting to new hardware and processor architecture, new operating systems, new programming languages or compilers; migrating to new databases, middleware, and third-party components; and updating versions of the components.
Recently, Auriga has successfully delivered a reengineering and porting project for an outdated life-supporting healthcare product. Also, we have carefully refined practices in place to manage knowledge transfer and missing data difficulties.
To get more info on Auriga’s experience in re-engineering, refactoring and porting services, please consult this webpage.