What to do with applications, developed in old technology?

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The perennial dilemma. What was once a shiny new application in a modern language can fall quickly into the legacy technology bucket. Many of these applications are still being used extensively, adding real value to businesses of all size. With estimates of 220 billion lines of COBOL source code alone around the world, there is clearly a significant volume of applications that were developed with old technologies. Frequently these are not properly documented, the original developers may have moved away, they may be hard and expensive to update, may have become bloated with new features tacked on, and have become a risk to the Company.

What are my options for modernisation? Do nothing and hope it does not cause an issue? Rewrite it in a modern language? Buy something off the shelf? The route of the problem is actually the amount of source code in these applications and the knowledge of how these lines of code work and are put together. None of these options above solves the route cause and eliminates the cost and risk created by all this.

From our conversation with customers, there are often 2 major inhibitors to change. The first being that these systems have become so devolved from what the business processes should be to serve the current business. Simply rewriting a legacy application in a modern language does nothing to improve the internal process. Secondly, to put ones head above the parapet to modernise a huge legacy system carries a significant element of risk. Perhaps a lower risk solution is to eat the elephant in smaller chunks. Commission small, agile projects that can tackle smaller components of the whole system to build confidence in the ability to transform the main application.

A meta-data driven methodology with a framework of customizable building blocks, that cover the spectrum of the end to end business process, offers customers a solution that is language-agnostic (future proofing them against the inevitable shifts in technology). A 40% plus reduction in the volume of source code with a 30% plus lower cost than traditional development options, with the majority of the remuneration orientated to delivery milestones – may be an attractive option for companies looking to move their business forward?

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Shaun Orpen

Managing Director - International

Shaun is an accomplished commercial leader with extensive experience in the IT and Telecoms industry. Much of his early career was spent with Microsoft, where he progressed from launching Excel into the UK market to the UK Executive Board, responsible for Marketing. He then went onto Orange where he ended up running the business unit responsible for selling to Small, Medium businesses.

Since then he has worked with a number of smaller technology businesses in both Commercial and Advisory roles. His strong commercial focus has led him to consistently contribute to the growth of every organisation that has engaged him. Shaun is heading up the Commercial side of SCAD Software.

He is spearheading the company’s expansion in the UK, Europe and the USA as well as the launch of SCAD Solutions, a business focused on launching innovative solutions to the international market. Shaun’s strong sense of ethics is perfectly aligned with Andy’s vision for SCAD Software.

Andy Fensham


After working as a software consultant to the global banking industry for six years, Andy has devoted the last two decades to realising his vision to transform the software development industry.

Since 1998, when he founded SCAD Software, Andy was aware that the business world was accumulating a vast and unsustainable level of technical debt, with legacy source code becoming a risk factor for organisations of all size. As markets change and digital transformation becomes integral to every business, Andy realised that out-of-date software would put the future of many organisations in jeopardy.

To address this risk, Andy developed a radical new approach to custom software development, which time and time again has delivered large-scale software projects 75% faster than other methods.

Andy is now overseeing the expansion of SCAD Software into new markets in Asia, Middle East, UK, Europe and North America as well as extending the portfolio to include a number of packaged solutions.