Data Modernization

Legacy Application Modernization Strategies and Best Practices

3 February 2022

We are in a world of rapidly changing markets, technologies, and customer expectations. A tool that seems perfect today may not be so five years down the line; nobody is using the first iteration of a smartphone. Technology has managed to make life simpler, more fun perhaps, but at the same time implies the need for constant reinvention. Some industry sectors are eager first adopters of the latest technology, but even conservative sectors meet hurdles that make modernization necessary.

Even though technological modernization has been around in different forms over the years, the current need to reinvent faster has become essential. Legacy application modernization is becoming a primary demand for tackling today’s modern world’s risks and security concerns.

The growing need for modernizing legacy applications

Technology and social relations operate on two different spectrums. Where older links are valued more, technology takes the opposite route. An older software or application is exposed to more threats compared to new and improved ones. So, to address the problems of a technologically driven world, periodic updates of age-old legacy systems become a prime necessity.

But before moving on to the reasons and benefits of investing in legacy application modernization,it is important to understand what legacy applications or frameworks are.

What are legacy applications or systems?

The terms legacy application, or legacy system, refers to a combination of technological tools: compute platforms, software, and UI devices, that are quickly losing their relevance. Each industry has had its heyday of technology overhaul that made headlines in the past. Some have transitioned to modern architecture, others have not, with more than a few becoming obsolete. Thus there are no universal pointers to look for as every industry has its own set of changing needs and ability to transform—or not.

In today’s digitally connected world, there remains a mix of old and new. While some companies rely on old and familiar tools, others have invested heavily in legacy application modernization.While older platforms offer the workforce a familiar work environment, they can limit growth and flexibility. Most legacy applications were made for the early 2000s, but their relevance in the current decade—let alone future years—has faded. But age is not the only defining factor to provide incentives for legacy application modernization strategies.

Common traits of legacy applications

  • The tool does not support the scaling business requirements
  • Problems integrating existing tools with modern systems
  • Difficulty to maintain software
  • Limited scope to make improvements
  • Outdated user interfaces and workflow

Like everything else in this world, software and applications have a discrete lifespan. Most run their course within five to ten years, underscoring the urgency of legacy application modernization.

Legacy application modernization – explained

Legacy application modernization is the process of either updating or rebuilding existing applications to meet current and future business requirements. The upgrades are implemented using strategic legacy system modernization approaches offering advanced compatibility suited for the present day.

But defining a legacy modernization strategy is not always easy. Often, companies and industries need to address specific factors that have prevented them from moving forward. Factors such as:

  • Application downtime
  • Impact on the workforce
  • Operational disruptions
  • Added costs
  • Uncertain redevelopment timeline

These are just a few primary concerns that organizations assess before adopting legacy application modernization strategies. Furthermore, there is never a universal approach to modernizing outdated tools. Every industry and business has its own set of business goals for which tailored solutions become a prime concern. Companies want a perfect balance that ensures a smooth transition to the redeveloped platform.

For a risk-free legacy application modernization, selecting the right approach is a must. Here are the most commonly used legacy system modernization approaches proven to be a success.

Best legacy system modernization strategies

  • Encapsulate – Extends features by encapsulating data and functions using APIs suited for industry-specific requirements.
  • Rehost – Migrate existing applications from costly on-premises services to cloud-based platforms.
  • Replatform – Move applications to a new runtime platform with minimal changes to code.
  • Refactor – Rehaul existing codes to eliminate technical debt and improve non-functional attributes.
  • Rearchitect – Alter code for a shift to new application architecture and incorporate newly updated features.
  • Rebuild – Complete redevelopment of applications while preserving original business goals
  • Replace – Elimination of legacy apps and replace them with modern alternatives for changing business demands.

Proven legacy application modernization benefits

Lower operational costs

Obsolete tools are often the biggest barriers to digital transformation. Most legacy software and application developers stop technical support after a certain point in time, making upgrades and maintenance increasingly difficult. Old technologies do not just pose a risk of downtime but also skyrocketing maintenance costs. The scarcity of engineers who understand decades-old programming languages is genuine.

Optimize performance

Old software and applications generally offer slower workflows with outdated user interfaces running on ancient hardware. Often with adverse effects, legacy applications are usually found to be detrimental to operations and business goals. Redeveloping and reconstructing existing tools with advanced legacy application modernizationtechniques helps eliminate performance hurdles.

Strengthen data security

Data-oriented strategies drive modern businesses. But most legacy systems do not offer the appropriate data security necessary for today’s world. With growing concerns of data security and countless breaches worldwide, the need to invest in legacy application modernizationis a must to ensure client loyalty when their data is at stake.

Faster workflow

Constant changes in customer demands and an on-demand economy have made agile workflow a defining factor in business growth. Also, new technologies like AI, along with machine learning, are fast outpacing most old systems. Finding the right legacy application modernizationapproach has become a primary need to stay relevant in a world of cut-throat competition.

So for companies to stay relevant and build on the years of success, reinventing and optimizing operations for the future is as essential as developing business strategies. Legacy application modernization techniques offer simple and clear solutions making the business ready for the decades ahead.

Want to know more about application upgrades and legacy application modernization best practices? Feel free to connect with us.


1.benefits of legacy application modernization?

  • Lower operational costs
  • Optimize performance
  • Strengthen data security
  • Faster workflow

2. What are the best legacy system modernization strategies?

  • Rehost
  • Replatform
  • Refactor
  • Rearchitect
  • Rebuild
  • Replace

Legacy application modernization powered by PreludeSys

For companies looking for a smooth transition from legacy platforms to modern systems, PreludeSys is a name trusted globally. We are a Microsoft Gold Partner with a proven record of digitally empowering 50+ companies around the world. Committed to providing profitable solutions by implementing tailored legacy modernization strategies, we can help address future challenges. To learn more about our legacy application modernization services, feel free to reach out to us anytime.


Recent Posts