Legacy Modernization | A Smart Way To Its Successful Implementation
Software Development
Silpa Sasidharan February 28, 2024

Do you think that legacy modernization is an immediate need in your organization? Indeed, as technology evolves, you need to update your software application to improve user experience, security, and scalability. Further, it facilitates innovative digital business models and enhances compliance with standards. Before we delve into successful legacy application modernization, find out what a legacy application is.  

Let’s deep dive!

What is a Legacy Software Application? 

A legacy system is an information system that can be outdated software, hardware, or technologies used in an organization. It stays within the business because it plays a vital role in its day-to-day functions. 

However, it has several problems, such as: 

  • Lack of third-party integrations 
  • Performance issues 
  • Poor user experience 
  • Slow loading time 
  • Security risks 
  • Lack of compliance with regulatory standards 
  • Compatibility issues 

When there is a demand for switching to new technology to cater to business needs and customer demands, a company has to eliminate legacy systems.

Increasing security and improving efficiency are the main drivers for the modernization of legacy applications and data.

What is Legacy Application Modernization? 

Modernizing legacy applications is replacing outdated technologies with updated applications and solutions. 

Indeed, legacy modernization deals with improving legacy systems or removing old applications, replacing them with new ones, and migrating to an entirely new system. 

Legacy modernization allows businesses to update outdated applications and helps enhance operational efficiency in the first place. Nevertheless, legacy applications are not classified as outdated based on their age but often lack support to provide for the growing needs of a business.

What are the Reasons for Legacy Modernization?

The following reasons necessitate the need for modernizing legacy applications. 

Reasons for Legacy Modernization

Legacy applications have several significant drawbacks: 

  • Difficult to update 
  • Very complex that they are costly to scale up 
  • Legacy applications are complex to update due to their architectural reasons
  • Challenges in integration attract overhead costs

What are the Most Significant Steps in Legacy Modernization? 

Legacy Modernization is vital for businesses that want to upgrade their outdated technologies. 

However, it is easy to profess but difficult to implement. Businesses need careful planning to migrate from their legacy systems. 

Today, organizations have identified the importance of modernizing their applications. Therefore, like any other processes, you must streamline them if you want legacy modernization to be successful. Follow the steps listed below to adopt a viable modernization strategy.

You might know that the modernization of legacy applications involves several steps. You use the legacy application to create an entirely new application. Let us go through the steps involved in modernizing legacy applications.

Application Assessment 

Assessment is about creating a pathway that focuses on the decisions made for transforming the existing application. First, you need to understand the existing application and how you would need the app to transform to make it successful. Therefore, you need to conduct elaborate research on the functional and non-functional needs of the application.  

The application assessment step covers the following processes:  

Value Assessment is the foremost strategy in application assessment. For that reason, you need to analyze the current app to identify its complexities. This will help you to understand its performance, functionality, service quality, the processes it supports, dependability, and many more. Next, you have to follow a thorough technical understanding assessment. For example, analyze the source code, databases, interface, and so forth. In this sub-step, you get information about the following: 

  • The aspects that are working smoothly in your existing application  
  • The approach that aligns best with your business needs  
  • The priorities in legacy modernization  
  • The estimate of expenses and the timeline 

Choose Suitable Legacy Modernization 

This step deals with selecting the modernization strategies that align with your business’s needs to make the process a complete success that delivers the desired output. 

Minimum Viable Product Method 

Usually, businesses make big mistakes when they prepare for technology transformation. There is every chance they need to pay more attention to the key features or develop new ones. However, the minimum viable product (MVP) approach helps you adopt legacy modernization by incorporating the most vital features needed for your business. It enables you to select those features in accordance with your user needs. 

Besides, it helps you to adapt to the application very fast. At the heart of the MVP approach is prioritizing features that work best for your business and users. As a result, it supports simulating user interactions and analyzes the selected strategy. It provides metrics that justify the adoption of modernization and helps perform testing before the global release of the application.  

Also Read: Why Flutter Is The Most Popular Cross-Platform App Development SDK? 

Comprehensive Legacy Application Transformation   

In all cases, legacy modernization performs well when you need a complete transformation from the existing application- For example, when you add new features to the application. You can use the re-architect method for the comprehensive transformation approach. It creates applications from scratch using new platforms and technologies that match your business’s specific goals. 

Also, you can utilize it along with application suites such as supply chain management, customer relationship management, and enterprise resource planning. You can make your legacy application your base to develop a product that is way better than the existing one in terms of performance, aesthetics, scalability, and many more. 

Steps in Legacy Modernization

Migration from Legacy Application

Many businesses need to understand that system reengineering is just one of the choices for application modernization. Application migration fixes minor limitations using the newer codes and applications. It covers a wide range of aspects, such as porting from legacy software and immediate migration to a new platform or a new version. Sometimes, it involves a complete change of code to optimize performance or update the user interface without influencing the basic functionality of the legacy application. 

Robust Data Migration   

It would help if you planned well in advance when preparing to migrate from a legacy application to a new system. Be careful to ensure a smooth transition between the two systems. Use accurate data from the legacy system to the latest platform. In the first place, you need to avoid redundancy and loss of data.  

Also, you should take care of the data security as well. Once the application is migrated, refactored, or re-engineered, you can add new features via custom-built modules and third-party integrations. The purpose is to modernize every single aspect immediately. You can rely on a step-by-step application modernization strategy, as it will give you the desired results. 

Further, it only affects the rest of the business processes. Top of all, it helps end-user experience on the new application/ platform. Also, training and education further help users and lead to a smooth transition process.   

Also Read: Which Programming Language Should You Select | TypeScript or JavaScript? 

Automation in Legacy Modernization  

If you are looking for a viable transition, both financially and technically, make sure that you adopt automated solutions in legacy application modernization. Sometimes you want to add several lines of code, and manually implementing it can become tedious. 

At this point, you can make use of automation in legacy modernization. However, automation cannot address every single aspect. You can use automated solutions in code migration and data migration by getting help manually. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the few significant approaches to legacy modernization?

Modernizing legacy applications involves selecting between rearchitecting, refactoring, rebuilding, and replacing. Rearchitecting is financially feasible with fewer risks. On the other hand, refactoring has higher costs, and therefore, it involves risks as well.  

What are the benefits of a legacy system? 

A legacy system guarantees continuity in operations. Therefore, it enhances efficiency, reduces operational costs, and supports growth and innovation. 

How do you modernize a legacy application system?  

First, you need to understand the business objectives, define the problems, set goals for modernization, fix the budget, and establish a timeline. 

Parting Thoughts 

Fundamentally, legacy modernization helps your business to improve scalability and performance. Further, it allows businesses to add useful functionalities very fast. But it comes with advantages and disadvantages. It poses challenges such as risks in continuity, lack of expert personnel, and huge costs. However, looking into the following aspects, you will find a feasible way to carry out legacy modernization. 

  • Checkout cloud-based solutions  
  • Prioritize portability  
  • Adopt architectural simplicity  
  • Evolve gradually toward modernization
  • Breakdown application
  • Document the modernization workflow 

Do you think legacy application modernization takes a toll on your business’s health and performance due to its challenges? Leave all your worries about legacy modernization to ThinkPalm’s experts. With over a decade of experience and expertise in product engineering and development, ThinkPalm helps you streamline your legacy modernization tasks. We can offer you the ideal solutions that align with your business requirements. Therefore, embrace our robust software-building approach to make your modernization efforts successful.  

Software development companies in the UK as well as companies around the world adopt the most legacy modernization to enhance scalability, incorporate new functionality, and improve overall user experience. If you want to gain the upper hand by modernizing existing applications, talk to our team now.

Future-proof your legacy apps with ThinkPalm's modernization expertise

Author Bio

Silpa Sasidharan is a content writer and social media copywriting expert working at ThinkPalm Technologies, who aspires to create marketing texts for topics spanning from technology, automation and digital business solutions.