An Ontological Approach for Recovering Legacy Business Content

Legacy Information Systems (LIS) pose a challenge for many organizations. On one hand, LIS are viewed as aging systems needing replacement; on the other hand, years of accumulated business knowledge have made these systems mission-critical. Current approaches however are often criticized for being overtly dependent on technology and ignoring the business knowledge which resides within LIS. In this light, this paper proposes a means of capturing the business knowledge in a technology agnostic manner and transforming it in a way that reaps the benefits of clear semantic expression – this transformation is achieved via the careful use of ontology. The approach called Content Sophistication (CS) aims to provide a model of the business that more closely adheres to the semantics and relationships of objects existing in the real world. The approach is illustrated via an example taken from a case study concerning the renovation of a large financial system and the outcome of the approach results in technology agnostic models that show improvements along several dimensions.


HICSS 2005, 3-6 January 2005, Big Island, Hawaii, USA


Aseem Daga (Brunel University)
Chris Partridge (BORO Solutions)
Mark Lycett (Brunel University)
Sergio de Cesare (Brunel University)