Digital technologies like mobile, cloud and big data are establishing new possibilities for businesses worldwide, as they can quickly transform any business by improving its overall efficiency and productivity, upgrading customer experiences, and reducing general costs.
While each organization strives to be on the top with a modern-day approach to their tech habits, many corporations and smaller-scale businesses still run their everyday tasks on their legacy applications that they implemented twenty and more years ago. Over time, these old systems prove as obsolete and expensive to maintain, so organizations that seek to remain or reach the top are somewhat forced to transform their legacy applications to become more efficient, mobile, agile, and productive.
Meet legacy application modernization. The need to stay relevant on the global market, stand out against the competition, and drive digital transformation within each company in the era of digital technologies caused the imminent growth of legacy application modernization solutions and their utilization. Even though legacy application modernization operations can prove to be a very challenging and complicated effort, every software needs an update. Hence, legacy applications need modernization from time to time, and there’s no other way around it.
In the last couple of years, business entities of all sizes invest in application modernization and additional strategic digital solutions to mold their applications into newer, up-to-date, and performance-oriented solutions. As a matter of fact, the global application modernization industry is anticipated to grow from $11.4 billion in 2020 to $24.8 billion by 2025 as organizations worldwide refuse to fall behind the rapid pace of innovation and technology and invest in their future.
Suppose you’re genuinely interested in aligning your organization’s legacy software application stacks with your current business needs and other functionality requirements by utilizing some new technologies. In that case, you’re in the right place. According to Prolifics, a highly renowned and successful digital transformation company, there are various strategies to approach your legacy applications modernization. How you choose to approach the process will probably depend on your company systems and your budget. Here are their six fundamental strategies that you can use and modernize your business’ legacy applications.
Application Modernization Strategies
Despite the fact that replacing it or redoing it from scratch may be the first thing that comes to mind, modernization should be done on a case by case basis. To decide on the application modernization strategy that is compatible with your organization and system, first, take your time, consult with your IT department, do thorough research, and assess your current system. Only after that will you be ready to select a strategy and modernize your business.
The rehosting strategy is usually employed when you want to move your legacy system’s hosting to a new virtual, physical, or cloud infrastructure without any modifications in code, functions, or features. For instance, it makes sense to move your old legacy app to a cloud or SQL-based hosting environment.
If you opt to migrate your legacy app to the cloud, your system will get more flexible and stable. Besides, cloud infrastructure means improved data security and the option for further continuous updates. The rehosting strategy is pretty common with older legacy applications, can be implemented and finished in a couple of days, and comes with lower cost and very few risks.
Replatforming means that the developers will leave the legacy app approximately the same, keeping its functionality yet adapting it to a new platform. This modernization strategy aims to alter the applications until they can run in new target environments like cloud ones. Using this strategy, you can apply commercial databases to horizontally scalable open-source data services and stores.
Refactoring means optimizing the existing code on the backend within your legacy application without changing its functionality or front end behavior. This strategy is widely used to eliminate particular tech problems and improve the application’s structure and features. By re-coding a few parts of the current legacy system, businesses take advantage of cloud-native features and achieve max efficiency in the cloud.
Re-architecting means completely changing the application’s code to move it to another architecture because by modifying the code, you can entirely exploit new and better capabilities of the existing platform. For instance, you can accomplish that by moving from an old monolithic architecture to modern microservices.
The re-architecting strategy can be a good idea because, according to IDC IT predictions, over 90% of all new applications will feature microservices architectures by 2022. Microservices are known to enhance the ability to design, update, debug, and leverage third-party code.
As the name indicates, replacing means changing or switching to another digital solution that suits your business needs and requirements. In some cases, it’s way more effective to replace your existing legacy system than actually modernize the current one.
If you go with the replacing strategy, you won’t be able to reuse the existing app logic. Still, some level of customization, re-engineering, and rewriting logic may be involved and used. Replacing the current legacy application can be very risky and highly complex, so it should only be considered when maintaining your old legacy application becomes increasingly difficult due to hardware limitations or staff.
Rebuilding or redesigning your legacy application means building a brand new system from scratch with similar functions to the previous one. This way of modernizing your legacy app is a good option when your customers want more out of your business, and their experience with your organization interferes with what your current app can provide for them.
The leading justification of this application modernization strategy is when the costs of supporting your old system have become more expensive than the price of rebuilding it from scratch.
There are many good reasons you should pursue application modernization regarding your legacy systems, as they are vital in your everyday business operations. Keeping them updated means you will work with better productivity, agility, and efficiency. All these strategies differ one from another, but they all have one thing in common. They demand a close look at your existing interconnected systems, applications, and other components. Make sure to consult with experienced industry professionals beforehand, understand the aspects of application modernization, smoothen your transition from your legacy system, and set up your business for success in the future!