How do professionals perceive legacy systems and software modernization?

Ravi Khadka, Belfrit V. Batlajery, Amir M. Saeidi, Slinger Jansen, Jurriaan Hage

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Existing research in legacy system modernization has traditionally focused on technical challenges, and takes the standpoint that legacy systems are obsolete, yet crucial for an organization's operation. Nonetheless, it remains unclear whether practitioners in the industry also share this perception. This paper describes the outcome of an exploratory study in which 26 industrial practitioners were interviewed on what makes a software system a legacy system, what the main drivers are that lead to the modernization of such systems, and what challenges are faced during the modernization process. The findings of the interviews have been validated by means of a survey with 198 respondents. The results show that practitioners value their legacy systems highly, the challenges they face are not just technical, but also include business and organizational aspects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 36th International Conference on Software Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationICSE 2014
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781450327565
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


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