Every public sector organization has aging technology infrastructure and disconnected systems that have been deployed over time—customized, upgraded, and patched through years of expansion to meet the evolving needs of Canadians and often faced with inadequate documentation and diminishing technical support. This is well recognized in the federal and provincial public service, and remediation is vital to progress on the government's digital agenda. This is so significant that modernizing legacy IT systems is identified as the first of the strategic pillars in the federal government's 2021-2024 Digital Operations Strategic Plan—along with improving service, implementing enterprise, and transforming the institution to map the federal public sector's digital plan.
Adding to the issue of outdated technology, the original business and technical owners of legacy applications may have retired or moved on to other roles or organizations. Loss of knowledge and critical information about legacy applications, exacerbated by inadequate documentation and diminishing technical support, creates a significant challenge to the organization as you prepare for your cloud journey.
What's the solution? Reverse engineering of the logic and functionality can determine an application's intended purpose and how it works, but that alone doesn't complete the picture. In many situations, organizations need to combine reverse engineering with a top-down approach that prioritizes new business requirements and capabilities, as well as identifies applications of low business value or that are no longer needed.
The Government of Canada Right Cloud Selection Guide provides guidance when deciding whether to target public cloud, private cloud, or non-cloud infrastructure. Performing an options analysis can also determine the best cost-value scenario for an application, allowing you to determine the best strategy for each application - whether that is repurchasing a software as a service (SaaS) solution to replace it, developing a modernization/refactoring plan, or another option.