Legacy applications is a misnomer

This week I am writing a feature for a newly launched website devoted to cloud computing pros. My subject matter in hand is legacy applications and their potential migration to the cloud.

Interestingly, when I asked openly for some industry feedback on this subject I got more than I could eat by a magnitude of roughly 10 times.

This “content overload” is because:

a) new websites are sexy and companies want to be seen on them
b) PR companies want clients to be seen anywhere & everywhere, whatever
c) cloud computing is super hot and every IT vendor has to have a public stance on it
or d) it’s a real world IT issue that we should all be more concerned with…

Or is it all of the above?


Anyway – two of the most interesting things I read on legacy apps (in relation to how we should view them) are the following teasers:

i) Legacy applications need not be old, cranky and ungainly – they are still in use after all! So this (you could argue) means that this is quite simply SOFTWARE THAT STILL WORKS.

… or if you were very snide and cynical; this is software that ACTUALLY works – given that so much of it is argued to be badly delivered.

i) Forget old, cranky and ungainly – legacy applications need not even be old. We should think differently. Windows 95 running that year’s version of Excel is a legacy app – but so is Windows 7 running last week’s company database on Excel without that latest Microsoft Service Pack update.

I’ll say it one more time. The term “legacy” implies negativity in technology-centric circles and, as it stands, does not convey a robust application’s true worth.

Perhaps we should use a term that suggests heritage, robustness and strength and call them LONGEVITY applications?

Do I have any takers?