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Some insights into the maintenance of legacy systems within small manufacturing and distribution organisations in the UK

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3 Author(s)
Edwards, H.M. ; Software Eng. Group, Sunderland Univ., UK ; Mallalieu, G.M. ; Thompson, J.B.

Within small organisations, where software and IT are often seen as simply technology to support the business (rather than as a central component of it), the issues associated with legacy systems are rarely assessed. What constitutes a legacy system and how such systems should be viewed are considered. From case study material four distinct acquisition policies used by small organisations are identified: in-house professional software development, third party bespoke software development, specific commercial off-the-shelf packages and general commercial off-the-shelf packages. In addition, from the collected data it has been possible to classify the different strategies that are adopted in integrating these varied software artefacts into a company software portfolio. The areas of concern that affect the success of such strategies are highlighted. Details are then presented of the RAMESES method which has been developed to ensure that when changes are proposed they are evaluated within the context of the organisation: its culture, working practices, expectations, expertise, and experience. Current work and future extensions related to the method are outlined and overall conclusions are presented

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Computer Software and Applications Conference, 1999. COMPSAC '99. Proceedings. The Twenty-Third Annual International

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