Any outdated software, technology, or approach/language that an organization uses is referred to as a legacy system. Even if a legacy application may still be in use and vital to the organization, there are a number of issues with its technology, architecture, or functionality that are in the way of either the business (value, agility, fit) or IT (cost, complexity or risk).
Applications become legacy systems when they start to face the following typical problems:
- Difficult to update or manage, rising staffing and time expenses for IT
- Performance problems, instability, or scaling constraints might be caused by code bloat or compromised integrations.
- It is challenging for new IT workers to work with bloated code in monolithic apps or undocumented code components.
- The application’s third-party components might no longer be supported.
- The program might not work with more recent systems.
- The system no longer adapts quickly to changing client needs
- Risks to compliance or security
Although the term “planned obsolescence” refers to product life cycles, legacy systems are unavoidably caused by the quick speed of technological advancement, market conditions, and organizational change.
What is Application Modernization?
What is legacy system modernization, one might wonder? The procedure of taking a legacy system and updating it to integrate contemporary platform infrastructure, architecture, and/or features is the correct response.
Depending on the status of the legacy system, the issues the organization is experiencing, and the business objectives driving the app modernization, the road of application modernization can take many different turns (and digital transformation). There are numerous modernization techniques to move, update, and optimize legacy systems to more contemporary architecture, so application modernization goes beyond simple replacement.
Why Modernize Legacy Applications?
Although IT has always prioritized agility, systems created five or ten years ago could not have anticipated the competitive environment or advances in technology that have occurred since.
Even while many legacy systems are essential for the running of businesses, IT managers and executives eventually need to weigh the cost and migration of application modernization against the ongoing cost of sustaining a legacy system.
Additionally, the strategic value of contemporary apps must be considered while deciding whether to modernize a historical program.
List of Modernization of Applications’ Key Technologies
- Containers and Kubernetes
- Orchestration and Automation
Detail of legacy application modernization services
The application modernization approach always includes re-platforming or rehosting apps on the cloud. By utilizing a variety of solutions, such as public, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud, organizations may help make the benefits of cloud computing—such as scalability, agility, and lower cost—available.
2. Containers and Kubernetes
- Packing technique.
- Deploying and running software components on the cloud.
- Resulting in advantages for development and motility.
A method for orchestrating containers called Kubernetes is used to automate procedures.
The majority of legacy applications are monolithic, or single-tier, self-contained programs. Developing adaptability to meet shifting consumer and staff expectations is one of the modernization’s key motivators. To do this, the majority of businesses chose a microservices model that emphasizes services connected via API, enabling them to pick and choose best-of-breed solutions to meet shifting customer demands or scale as necessary.
4. Orchestration and Automation
While orchestration automates numerous operations as a process or workflow, automation sets up each activity to execute independently. Introducing deployment, scaling, networking, and security efficiencies through automation and orchestration.
Modernization of Legacy Applications in 7 Steps
To assess legacy systems and select the application modernization plan best suited to the needs at hand, organizations should follow the 7-step strategy outlined below:
1. Evaluate Legacy Systems
Gartner advises measuring old systems against each of the six drivers in light of our historical difficulties with legacy systems:
- Business Value
- Business Fit
The legacy application should be upgraded if it isn’t assisting in the success or if it isn’t addressing the business requirements of today’s competitive environment. It’s also time to update if the application is increasing the total cost of ownership or posing an unnecessary danger. Overall, the advantages of updating legacy programs increase with the number of drivers.
2. Define the Problems
It’s time to further refine the issues if the legacy system doesn’t meet current organizational or IT needs. What specifically is frustrating users (either clients or staff)? Choose the relevant user stories.
However, it’s equally crucial in this strategy to comprehend what legacy software does well. This knowledge of what works and what doesn’t can be used to choose the best modernization strategy.
3. Evaluate Application Modernization
The next stage is to choose how the program will be changed once the opportunity to modernize a legacy application has become apparent and the issue has been precisely identified. The “7 Rs” are seven methods for application modernization that are rated from easiest to most difficult and from least to most significant in terms of impact.
4. Retain / Encapsulate
A low-risk method of incorporating legacy application components into the new design. The legacy program is encased or wrapped, and an API is used to access it as a service. This method also introduces the ability to gradually expand the app using a microservices structure.
5. Choose the Application Modernization Approach
Picking the best of the seven possibilities requires taking into account more than simply time and results; you may also evaluate them according to theirs.
- Cost (modernization and continuing operations)
The importance of each of these will vary depending on the organization. However, issues like consumer demand changes and competitiveness are also taken into account when determining the true worth of each modernization strategy. Therefore, when assessing each choice, one might take into account the relative significance of traits like scalability and agility.
6. Prepare for Future Growth and Changes
The demands of customers, the intensity of competition, the volatility of the economic climate, and the possibilities presented by new technologies all contribute to a continuous evolution of business practices. The lifespan of a typical application is 6–8 years.
Legacy software’s monolithic design makes it challenging for firms to upgrade to newer versions of the software. In the current digital environment, greater agility is needed to put out new features or capabilities. The best modernization strategy involves deciding which level of adaptability to change will work best. An encapsulated program has the same limitations as its original code base but can communicate with other microservices. However, refactored or rearchitected software is more likely to meet an organization’s future needs.
Find the Best Partner for Your Modernization Project by Doing Your Research
Due to the fact that it is not their primary emphasis, the majority of firms do not constantly develop or modernize apps. It’s possible that internal teams lack the requisite knowledge to function in the “new” environment, making education a need for participation. Therefore, it is quite unlikely that enough internal resources will be available to make all the necessary decisions about the modernization approach, the cloud, or the support for microservices.
Rather, many companies rely on a trustworthy software partner for assistance with application modernization. Look for a digital transformation firm that has experience re-engineering systems, processes, and technology using a variety of modernization strategies. You should hire a team that makes use of Agile and DevOps techniques to shorten the time it takes for your modernization project to become live.
7. Observe and Optimize
To make sure there are no hiccups with the hosting, software licensing, or connectivity to other services or databases during the transition, it is essential to iteratively test and optimize the application’s modifications once a project has started. Plan for ongoing modernization projects to ensure that the application can adapt to shifting demands.