Cooperatives Gain Efficiency with Legacy System Migration

Transitioning from Cobol to Java optimized internal processes, enhancing the performance of operations and management in hundreds of financial cooperatives across Brazil


The largest financial cooperative system in Brazil was experiencing inefficiencies and losing business opportunities due to the outdated nature of its legacy system. The issue affected over 350 cooperatives, which faced information processing times exceeding a day, thereby compromising customer experience.


The act digital team addressed this project by migrating the legacy system, changing the programming language from Cobol to Java. The technological transition was executed using agile methods and within a short timeframe due to the specific business needs.


The migration of the legacy system enabled information processing, previously taking a day, to be conducted in real-time, enhancing the institution’s operational and strategic capabilities. Additionally, the reprocessing step, frequently required in case of data inconsistency, was completely eliminated. The institution also improved cost and resource efficiency by 40%.

Technological upgrades are essential for companies to maintain competitiveness and operational efficiency. However, this can be challenging for organizations that rely on legacy systems developed long ago.

One of Brazil’s leading financial cooperative institutions faced this challenge with the support of act digital, which helped the organization transform its processes. The project involved migrating the legacy system by updating the programming language from Cobol to Java.

The institution comprises an extensive network of financial cooperatives serving approximately 8 million customers. Given its significant role, it relies on efficient and secure technologies to stay competitive in the market. However, the old Cobol-based system had limitations, such as excessive information processing times that took a day to complete, affecting both customer service and business opportunities.

To address these issues, act digital implemented a solution involving the gradual migration of the legacy system from Cobol to Java, using agile methodologies such as Scrum and Kanban. This process ensured service continuity and provided a more modern and efficient technological platform, resulting in operational improvements for the institution.

With the implemented update, information processing is now executed in real-time, optimizing all internal processes. Learn more about this successful case in detail


Client: A Reference in Cooperative Financial Services in Brazil

The institution comprises over 350 financial cooperatives, which collectively serve more than 8 million people. Their services are available throughout Brazil, requiring a proactive and strategic approach to their technological infrastructure. Therefore, the company continuously invests in modernizing its systems, such as the recent migration from Cobol to Java, to ensure efficient and secure service to its cooperatives. With more than 4,600 service points, the institution relies on its robust technological infrastructure to carry out daily operations. In this context, updating its legacy system is indispensable to make operational processes more agile and efficient.

Challenge: System and Methods Incompatible with the Institution’s Needs

Before updating the legacy system, the institution faced several operational and strategic difficulties due to technological obsolescence. The existing system, with consolidated program routines over the years, was not suitable for the modern demands of fast and secure processing.

Due to the old architecture, processing was carried out one day after receiving the data (known as D+1). This meant that data received on one day would only be processed the next day, resulting in slowness and inefficiency for operations. This limitation negatively impacted the institution’s ability to create business opportunities and develop innovative products, restricting its competitiveness in the market.

Given this context, the need to modernize the legacy system became evident, a project conducted by act digital. At this point, new challenges were identified, such as the lack of system documentation and limited communication between the project team and the specialists.

Additionally, the institution’s team was accustomed to the Waterfall model, a software development methodology where project stages are carried out sequentially and linearly, like a waterfall. That is, each phase must be completed before the next begins, which can be less flexible and more time-consuming compared to agile methodologies. Furthermore, there was a high turnover within this team, compromising the engagement and resilience (ability to adapt and respond to challenges) of the project members. Lastly, the project needed to be executed in extremely short timeframes due to specific business needs.

Solution: Migration from Cobol to Java

Considering the challenges faced by the institution, the project team implemented a solution to modernize the legacy Information Technology (IT) system by converting batch processing from Cobol to Java. The primary goal of this migration was to improve the efficiency and security of operations, enabling faster and more flexible data processing, reducing the response time from one day to immediate processing.

The solution involved a gradual migration, where functionalities were transferred step by step to Java, while maintaining operations in Cobol simultaneously until the migration was fully completed and verified. This method ensured service continuity without significant interruptions, minimizing the risks associated with the transition.

Technologies and Methodologies Used

The technologies and methodologies employed enabled the project team to successfully migrate from Cobol to Java, aligning with business objectives and end-user needs. The modernized architecture resulting from this transition improved operational efficiency and opened opportunities for the development of innovative and competitive products in the financial market.

Agile Methodology

The team adopted an agile approach to software development, using frameworks like Scrum and Kanban. These methodologies allowed for recurring and incremental deliveries, promoting continuous collaboration among team members, constant feedback, and rapid adaptation to changes during the migration process.

Java Programming Language

Choosing Java was crucial for the success of the migration. Java is known for its portability, robustness, and wide range of libraries and frameworks, which facilitate the creation of modern and scalable systems. The migration to Java provided a more flexible and updated technological foundation.

Java Frameworks

Frameworks like Spring Boot, Hibernate, and Apache Camel were used to accelerate development and simplify common tasks. Spring Boot facilitated the configuration and creation of microservices, while Hibernate simplified database access management. Apache Camel was used for system integration, ensuring that new services communicated efficiently with legacy systems and other platforms.

Results: Efficiency and Integrity in All Processes

The migration from Cobol to Java significantly enhanced the operational efficiency of the institution. Upon completing the migration and reviewing processes, the organization observed substantial improvements in system stability, cost reduction, and user satisfaction. The project’s approach focused on enhancing business performance and aligning with the organization’s corporate strategies. A notable highlight is that the legacy system migration impacted more than 350 financial cooperatives within the institution. This large-scale solution boosted business opportunities and improved service for over 8 million members.

Results Achieved with the Migration

The efficiency achieved with the legacy system migration resulted from faster processing of operations, significantly impacting the organization’s overall performance. These improvements extend from strategic business areas to routine transactions.

Reduction in Processing Time

The migration to Java resulted in a 99.9% reduction in processing time. The system evolved from a one-day delay model (D+1) to real-time online processing, eliminating wait times and providing unprecedented efficiency to the institution.

Reduction in Support Calls and Resolution Time

The stability and reliability of the new system resulted in a 50% reduction in both the number of support calls and the time needed to resolve them. This substantially improved the end-user experience and reduced operational disruptions.

Optimization and Efficiency Gains

The optimization of costs and resources in the new system provided a 40% efficiency gain. This reflects more effective resource management, resulting in leaner and economically viable operations without compromising service quality.

Complete Elimination of Reprocessing

The migration completely eliminated the need for reprocessing due to data errors and human intervention. Reprocessing was a significant inefficiency before the migration. When an error occurred during processing, the execution was automatically interrupted and had to be restarted entirely. With the migration, this no longer happens, resulting in reduced operational costs, greater data integrity, and increased system reliability.

How We Can Help Your Company

Our expertise in innovation, agility, and technology mastery ensures a safe and efficient digital migration for financial institutions. We deeply understand the challenges and opportunities in the financial sector and develop projects that address market complexities, optimize operations, and enhance our clients’ performance.

Using agile and effective approaches, we provide greater efficiency and security in all your transactions and processes. Our data management allows financial institutions to operate optimally, serving various digital channels through new operational models and comprehensive solutions that cover the entire process, from conception to implementation. Empowering financial institutions to expand their digital presence is part of our commitment to excellence and innovation.

Legacy systems play fundamental roles in organizations but can become more efficient and effective with modernization. Want to learn more about how this solution can transform your company? Talk to our specialists!

Article copied

Do you want to transform your company and lead the innovation process? We have the right methods, technologies, and experts to support your business