Every year, technology improves at a dizzying pace across various business sectors. Fortunately, many firms know that staying current with modern business processes is critical to addressing today’s customers and achieving continuous progress. However, many of these same businesses continue to employ old, or “legacy,” software in their operations.
If your firm is still using obsolete software, many service providers can assist you in achieving effective digital transformation and a modernized system by implementing an efficient legacy modernization project.
Continue reading to discover the best legacy system modernization strategies for modernizing your company’s software.
1. Evaluate Legacy Systems Using Six Drivers
Six factors primarily fuel the modernization of applications. Business fit, business value, and agility are three drivers from a business standpoint. The legacy application must be adequately modernized to fit and enhanced to offer higher business value if it is not meeting the new standards imposed by digital businesses.
Applications that can only change slowly enough to meet the demands of the digital corporate world may be costly or even harmful.
From an IT perspective, cost, complexity, and risk are the other three driving variables. If the total cost of ownership is excessive, the technology is overly complex, or security, compliance, support, or scalability are in danger, it’s time to upgrade.
Notably, from an IT and business perspective, modernization opportunities with various drivers have the most potential.
2. Evaluate Modernization
Look at the legacy system modernization approaches when the opportunity has been decided upon, and the issue has been located. We have ranked the below solutions according to how easy they are to execute. The easier something is to deploy, the less risk there is and the less influence it will have on the system and business processes.
By enclosing data and functions and making them accessible as a service through an API, application features can be used and expanded.
Encapsulating a system with third-party APIs restricts system access to match the workflow of existing systems interacting with it. To provide the best UX, you could, for instance, integrate the system via an API into a general UX platform so that its information is displayed in a way that users can readily understand.
Encapsulation has the benefit of making a legacy system behave like a new one and relieving the immediate discomfort of poor UX.
Replacing entails switching to another package solution that meets your company’s needs. Switching to a different system is sometimes more advantageous than upgrading the current one.
However, you cannot utilize the old business logic when replacing—some level of re-engineering, customization, and rewriting business logic may be required.
Notably, altering a product can be challenging—and deadly. It should only be considered, like rewriting, when maintaining an existing legacy system becomes challenging due to staffing or hardware limitations.
To migrate a system to a new physical, virtual, or cloud infrastructure without altering its code, features, or functionalities is what this acronym refers to. For instance, moving an old system to the cloud or a SQL-based environment would make sense.
• Moving to the cloud increases data security, reliability, and ongoing updates, making the system more versatile than on-premises hardware.
• Using SQL-based x86 architecture computers results in cheaper purchase costs and less stringent cooling and space requirements.
The rehosting technique is less expensive and less risky than re-engineering. The business logic is kept, though. As a result, the system keeps working as it did previously.
The developers leave the software unaltered, maintaining functionality while changing to a new platform.
Since we have the rebuild approach, rewriting apps is not the goal here. Systems are instead altered to function in desired contexts, such as cloud-based ones. With no modifications to the business logic, developers transform an already-existing system component into a managed service.
For instance, it can entail a move away from commercial databases and toward open-source data repositories and services that are horizontally scaled.
Optimize the current backend code without changing the front end’s functionality or behavior. Refactoring is a technique to fix technical problems and enhance a component’s capabilities and structure.
Re-architecting refers to completely rewriting the app’s code to migrate it to a different architecture. You can completely use new and improved features of the existing platform by modifying the code. For example, you can transition from old monolithic architecture to new microservices architecture.
Rewriting means building a brand-new system from the ground up to carry out the same functions. It might be a great solution if your clients need more than what your current system can provide. This system modernization approach is the most cost-effective when the costs of maintaining an outdated system outweigh the cost of reconstructing it.
For instance, your team might transform a monolithic app’s functionality into a cloud-native microservice that runs in a cloud-native environment.
Despite the differences between these techniques, they all require a thorough analysis of your interconnected components and applications. This is because you cannot update one legacy system component while disregarding the others.
3. Choose The Modernization Approach with the Highest Effect and Value
Finally, select the modernization approach that will have the best impact and value for your business by mapping the seven modernization alternatives in terms of their influence on technology, architecture, functionality, cost, and risk.
Ultimately, choosing between rearchitecting, rebuilding, or replacing legacy programs is necessary. Rearchitecting is less expensive and risky than rebuilding or replacing, which yields the best benefits but is more expensive and riskier. The objective is to evaluate your options to see which will have the most impact with the least effort.
Regardless of the approach and technique used, software modernization is a difficult, time-consuming, and hazardous process. Nonetheless, the outcomes are worth the risk.
Digital transformation will reach macroeconomic size within three to four years, transforming businesses’ operations and reshaping the global economy. According to research, “by 2023, more than half of the global economy will be digital, necessitating new types of enterprise to compete and thrive.”
Businesses must update their core technology and replace outdated software to compete in the new digital economy. They benefit only when businesses see modernization as an ongoing process rather than a one-time project.