The term “legacy” applies to outdated applications and systems. Once apps are described as “legacy,” the options are costly maintenance or modernization. How do you modernize old systems?
Regardless of its industry or how many clunky legacy systems and processes it may have, any organization can start to receive the benefits of modernizing legacy systems today. We shared three practical approaches for legacy modernization in our last blog on this topic.
This piece will discuss four more options for improving your legacy apps, systems, and processes. While not an overnight process, the net positive effects will start to accumulate immediately. However, what’s needed is understanding how to modernize legacy systems and why it’s crucial to embark on this journey right now.
Further, modernizing your legacy infrastructure will improve costs, efficiency, and competitiveness as you enhance your process capacity. Why is legacy modernization so critical? Well, it does away with hardwired and hierarchical systems moving towards a future-proof adjustment for how your technology can better serve your customers and become more innovative.
If New Technologies Are so Effective, Why do Legacy Systems Still Exist?
Legacy apps and systems may still exist if they perform core business processes. Still, with new technologies and evolving markets, legacy apps may no longer help your organization grow bigger but instead become obstacles.
You may have two types of legacy applications: those that are a hindrance, and those that function within critical applications.
For apps that perform core business workflows, you don’t have to rip-and-replace your entire system. Instead, you can implement legacy modernization.
Check out the four ways you can tell if your legacy apps qualify for modernization:
- Support and maintenance are no longer available.
- They do not integrate with more modern apps and systems.
- They are no longer available for purchase on the market.
- They cause bottlenecks for your business processes
If you find your legacy apps and systems meet these four criteria, then it’s time to modernize.
Undoubtedly, there isn’t any reason to continue using outdated legacy apps. To preserve your company in the future, you must implement various modernizing strategies. Further, 75% of companies currently listed on the S&P 500 will cease to exist in 2027. Prevent the risk of losing out to more competitive digital businesses. It’s time to take this path forward.
Responding to an Ever-Changing Market
In the always-on marketplace, consumers expect organizations to make faster decisions that are data-based. In light of the world experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, companies must be prepared to be agile at all times and to have the types of technologies that support strategic pivots as needed.
Business demands are constantly changing. As a result, it’s essential to have integrated systems to pull, leverage, and analyze big data flowing from every side of the company. The pressure to do so is on a global scale. In the digitized market landscape, consumers are no longer bound by physical borders.
The most logical response is to use IT to meet these ever-changing demands. Organizations must be innovative and nimble or fail. Moreover, success relies on integrating disparate systems and automating redundant processes. It’s vital to link data and devices to applications.
How can you leverage and reevaluate your core competencies? How can you build new ecosystems that extend their original functionality? In addition, how can you redefine your company’s core competencies? In two words, through legacy modernization.
Declining business models will fall by the wayside in the digital era. The good news is that you can modernize now to ensure your systems incorporate design thinking while improving the customer experience.
How Can You Speed Up Legacy Modernization?
Invariably, you must closely examine your digital and physical systems. To start, eliminate the apps that slow your processes down. You can do so by modernizing or removing unnecessary components of your infrastructure that no longer serve your business objectives.
Think of ways to achieve “Right-Scale,” or “Right-Balance,” between digital and analog systems. How can you improve your processes with more urgency and fewer errors? To illustrate, an option could be to move an app to the cloud instead of using your on-site data center.
Next, apply legacy modernization to address these four needs:
- Consumers who expect seamless transactions and deep personalization.
- The ability to any-scale into new markets or based on customer traffic quickly.
- A technology infrastructure that is both resilient and efficient.
- A team that can adapt with autonomy even during disruptions.
Part of this journey should start with agile scenario planning, where you discuss hypothetical future business workflows and determine potential disruptions. Next, create various response and action plans that are adequate to meet possible uncertainties. Scenario planning helps you to facilitate technology roadmaps down to function.
Unfortunately, a responsive organization is no longer a “nice-to-have,” it’s part of modern business. The need for a fast response to a pandemic or other unexpected disruption means it’s essential for every company to improve agility. Achieving “Right-balance” and “Right-scale” can ensure your company is prepared for ongoing market changes.
If you’re still deciding on prioritizing legacy modernization approaches, then think of which business-critical applications would benefit the most from scalability, agility, efficiency, better security, and better performance. Other metrics to look at include latency, time-to-market, and even sales. Now, let’s review four more effective approaches for legacy modernization below.
Refactoring is a method that incorporates making small code changes to prepare your legacy apps for more extensive modifications. For instance, you can add a new feature when needed. Also, it maintains the app’s external behavior. You might consider refactoring a more drawn-out approach to modernizing since you’re only making small but incremental changes. Over time, cumulative modifications can work to improve your apps as a whole.
Modernizing your legacy apps using this strategy means breaking down the monolith code of application services into micro-services that are independently deployed. You can then go serverless to implement micro-services or use Kubernetes.
If not done right, rebuilding can cause more issues than intended to resolve. Rebuilding involves rewriting the app’s components from square one without losing any specifications or the scope.
Thus, rebuilding is the most time-consuming method for modernizing legacy apps since you have to rewrite systems from scratch. On the other hand, rebuilding can pave the way for enhancing functions, processes, and features that you can use to future-proof your company.
In some cases, using the replace strategy is the easiest option because it enables faster and easier implementation of a legacy replacement. As the name depicts, replacing apps is another form of “repurchasing” or using a new application in place of an old one. In addition to cost and time, the challenge is whether your organization has to deal with vendor lock-in for some of your systems. As a result, replacing applications in their entirety might not be an option.
Since technological advancements are occurring at a rapid clip, many legacy applications are preventing organizations from growing. Therefore, companies must utilize more effective strategies and resources. Since some legacy systems are inherently complex, modernization can take time. However, having the right partner to help manage your modernization efforts can streamline the process. Contact us to learn how Ascendle can help.