7 Approaches to Legacy Application Modernization

The limits of outdated technology can create significant challenges for companies in competitive industries. Organizations that don’t go for legacy application modernization may lose critical business functions resulting in reduced productivity and possible losses of revenue.

Given the pandemic and its impact on the economy, many companies have accelerated their shift to expand their digital capabilities. Hence, more companies want to do legacy application modernization.

This process can consist of different approaches. These range from a completely new system to patchwork updates. The approach you choose will depend on your organization’s needs.

When choosing the right approach for your organization, consider the return on investment.

Let’s learn about 7 common approaches to legacy application modernization.

Learn about seven common approaches to legacy application modernization.

Approach #1: Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

APIs are a set of rules that govern how one program will communicate with another software application without any human interference. They can be a simple way to improve legacy applications by facilitating real-time interactions and data exchange options between applications. APIs provide a relatively easy way to integrate data, improve security, and extend the capabilities of your legacy application.

Approach #2: Change Platforms

Migration to a different platform or moving to a different hosting service is another way of legacy application modernization. For example, a company might decide to change website platforms or move to a cloud-based accounting system. This method gives organizations a chance to take advantage of advanced technology functions with relatively minor changes. Usually, this method requires the migration of data from legacy systems to the new system, which should be considered before choosing this option.

Approach #3: Move to the Cloud

A cloud-first approach is an operational strategy where companies move all or most of their infrastructure to cloud computing platforms. Rather than using on-site resources, businesses house their infrastructure and sensitive data online. Moving to the cloud can automate and simplify workflows, while also offering new opportunities to derive business intelligence from data.

Moving to the cloud can take different forms, depending on a company’s needs. For example, one possibility is serverless computing, where the cloud computing services provider allocates machine resources on demand. When an app is not in use, no computing resources are allocated to the app. Pricing is based on the actual amount of resources consumed by an application, which can be more cost-effective.

Approach #4: Patchwork

As the name implies, the patchwork approach uses quick fixes for smaller parts of an application. It can remove bugs and improve performance quickly. Eventually, you can use this approach to completely modernize a legacy application over time. It’s commonly found in game development and mobile applications. You also can forecast the need for modernization in specific areas of your application before they need to be made. Assuming your projections are accurate, you follow the schedule and make changes to the code as necessary.

Approach #5: Microservices

Microservices architecture allows a large application to be separated into smaller independent parts, with each part having its own realm of responsibility. To serve a single user request, a microservices-based application can call on many internal microservices to compose its response. Modern cloud-native applications are usually built as microservices using containers. Container software comprises the complete runtime environment in one single package. By containerizing, the differences in the environmental infrastructure can be extracted away. The greatest benefit of containers is the great degree of modularity they offer. You can break the entire complex application into a number of modules and make different containers for each of these modules.

Approach #6: Complete Re-engineering

Completely re-engineering your legacy software is a method that requires more resources than most of the other approaches to legacy application modernization. It can provide large improvements, although it takes the most time and planning. If you choose this option, you should take steps to prevent replicating the unwanted behavior of your legacy software in the new application, which simply brings problems with it. You want to expand your capabilities, not reduce the performance of your new application by harnessing it with old workflows.

Approach #7: Digital Transformation

While digital transformation will look different based on a company’s needs, a transformation strategy shows what the business wants to achieve using technology. Digital transformation takes a higher view of your organization by identifying bottlenecks, tasks, and workflows that play a significant role in business operations, and then finding ways for improvement. The process evaluates digital tools and disruptive technologies to improve processes and workflows, one of which includes legacy application modernization.

Note that migration from legacy systems can be complicated, and should be carefully planned. Contact us to learn how InApp has helped our clients with legacy application modernization, and how we can do the same for your company.