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Moving into
the 21st Century

Brandon Cross enables an international electronics manufacturing company, with more than 400 staff and a turnover reaching £40m per year, to grow and develop without being held hostage by its technical debt.

The Challenge

Legacy system

They had outgrown their IT system, which had been built more than 20 years ago, and over the years had been patched and developed to suit the business’ growing needs.

Slow and inefficient

The result was a slow and inefficient system that affected all aspects of the business from initial quotation, account acquisition, manufacturing and product delivery.

Whilst the system was functional it was slow, cumbersome and full of defects which affected the productivity of the staff and their overall business experience.

User frustration

The business users were frustrated with the system, and the number of defects led them to distrust it. There were also significant usability issues which had accumulated over the years meaning users were constantly having to find workarounds.

Support challenges

The system had become so cumbersome that the IT team were struggling to support, maintain and patch it to keep it working in a more modern IT environment. Over the decades many of the original developers had left the business, and those remaining were not sufficiently familiar with the legacy system and therefore were struggling to develop it further. This meant the system had developed significant defects and usability issues.

If they had not called in Brandon Cross to help, their system may have ground to a standstill.

Whilst the business users had learned to work around the deficiencies within the system, there were considerable inefficiencies and manual interventions which limited the ability of the company to grow.

The Solution

The team at Brandon Cross audited the company’s set up. This included not only how the system was structured, but also how it was perceived from both the business user perspective and the technical developer perspective. It was quickly identified that if the company wanted to grow, they couldn’t carry on as they were.

Brandon Cross identified four possible ways to tackle the problem:

Patch, mend and extend

More of what they had been doing since the system was originally built and was clearly not sustainable.

Divide and conquer

To replace each function one by one. But with such a poorly structured system this would be a difficult option.

Ditch and replace

To replace business functions with alternative solutions, one at a time.

Hybrid approach

The favoured approach was to progressively replace the current system with a combination of bespoke and preexisting components

The Result

Within a few weeks Brandon Cross, in collaboration with the client’s development team and company stakeholders, had put a strategy in place to transform and reinvent the current system from its legacy roots into a modern web-based application.

The new system, being developed with rigorous development, modern technologies and quality assurance, with a combination of tailored software and current components, allows them to make transformative change to improve, grow and support the business.

As a result of Brandon Cross’ intervention, this company is now able to untangle itself from its legacy systems; to grow and develop without being held hostage by its technical debt.

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