“The global application modernization services market size is expected to grow from USD 11.4 billion in 2020 to USD 24.8 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.8% during the forecast period.”
‘Change is the only constant’ – this is a fact of life, especially with technology and business requirements. The umbrella of technological advancements that we use – software, hardware, frameworks, architecture etc., become obsolete as time passes. Even the business requirements keep changing from time to time.
The applications of yesterday start becoming legacy apps of today and they must be modernized to keep functioning effectively. Since modernization is a continuous process, organizations must keep a stringent eye on updating/upgrading the applications that they are using.
Legacy systems are highly important for any business since they contain a huge bulk of information that has been captured over the years. Hence, keeping them productive and functional is vital. But, at the same time, if these apps don’t gel well with the latest tech updates or business needs, there is bound to be a clash and that is where the concept of legacy app modernization comes into picture.
Top industries like banking & finance, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, automobile, oil & gas, IT have been taking up legacy app modernization and the others are set to follow.
The world is witnessing a variety of trends like containers and microservices, cloud revolution, DevOps, orchestration and automation, AI, Big Data, mobile first etc. that emphasize on the concept of revolutionizing the existing legacy apps for a better tomorrow.
Before we understand what transforming legacy apps mean and why is it a must, let us understand the major hurdles that organizations can face, if they keep continuing implementation of legacy applications.
Key Challenges Faced with Legacy Apps
- Older systems may not be able to gel well with today’s modern-day technologies like the cloud systems, IoT devices, AI, and ML algorithms etc. If these applications are integrated with cutting-edge technologies, they tend to perform poorly, leading to low business output. The older applications may tend to get outdated and may not perform updates/releases appropriately.
- Keeping legacy applications in a working condition for a longer time may lead to reduction in skilled resources since these resources will keep looking for upgrading themselves, in terms of newer technologies. A time may come when you have lesser resources to manage your IT applications.
- Over a period, application documentation may also turn outdated, insufficient, and incomplete. Newer resources may not find the needed information from the documents leading to confusion in further steps to be taken.
- Lack of support, accuracy, productivity, efficiency, decision making, competitiveness and client experience may be experienced by organisations in case they keep continuing the legacy systems for a long time.
- Security and data breaches are big challenges for legacy applications. These systems, because of outdated features are more prone to cyber-attacks, security issues and data manipulation.
- Managing and supporting legacy applications may prove to be costlier than its original value. The overall IT maintenance costs may rise higher, with lack of resources and ineffective results. Also complying with industry standards, rules and regulations may not be feasible, as needed.
What is Legacy App Modernization?
Legacy app modernization refers to modification or upgradation of those parts of business applications that are outdated and need a transformation, to achieve best of business results in terms of efficiency, cost effectiveness and productivity.
It emphasizes on updating the old software units with newer frameworks, languages, applications, and infrastructure. There are various ways in which it can be done, but the final goal remains the same – modernizing your applications and loading them with competencies that can make it an advanced app.
The major advantages that organizations gain, due to modernization of legacy apps are increased collaboration, reduction in IT costs, enhanced consistency and security, higher flexibility, and productivity.
How Does Transforming Legacy Apps Work?
There are different approaches that can be taken, enroute legacy app modernization, they are:
- Rehosting the application by changing the deployment option and deploying on a cloud-based system without much change in code or features
- Rebuilding the complete application from start with newer programming languages and technology stack, keeping the scope and ideas intact
- Rearchitecting the current system with least modification and adding on newer features as an addendum
- Replacing the current system and creating a new one, with newer technologies, ideas, requirements
- Re-platforming to a new technology with least changes in the code and keeping features intact
- Encapsulating by bringing in features via APIs and reusing current application code with complete readability
Why is Legacy Application Modernization Vital for Organizations?
- Access to New and Advanced Functionality with Least Cost and Efforts
With old applications getting revamped, users are bound to get higher functionality access with least costs involved. These newer functionalities will offer multiple benefits to the organization that can boost profitability to a great extent. Even employee trust worthiness will increase multi fold as the modern system will cater to almost all their needs.
- Increased Agility, Productivity, Performance, Customer Support
With availability of latest resources, infrastructure, functionalities and support, organizations are bound to garner more of success in agility, performance, productivity, and customer support. A modernized application will have a direct impact on the business success and hence all parameters pertaining to it will surely shoot up. Developers will be encouraged to offer their best skills, teams will become more agile and give their best shot, performance of resources and applications will directly show an upward trend and the direct effect on customers will be a positive one.
Because of a new look, new user interface and user design, newer tools, there will be increased performance and users will be more than happy to use the updated version. Scalability and flexibility will increase, making the system much easy to maintain and manage. The new system will be powerful enough to embed all modern-day requirements and offer best of business results amidst stiff peer competition.
- Greater Security and Control
Security has been a matter of concern for all industry segments and with passage of time, newer ways and means are being extracted to provide the best of security control over IT applications. Bringing in a wave of modernising the legacy apps will surely get in better security control.
- Garners Huge Business Value and Comprehensive Visibility
Upgrading your legacy applications and its features with modern-day technologies like Big Data, cloud, IoT etc. will offer a great business value to your business. Client satisfaction ratio is bound to grow higher with updated functionalities that offer a futuristic view. Even the overall visibility globally will expand and thereby, elevate the organization to a different level.
- Availability of Real-time Information and Detailed Insights
Transforming legacy applications into today’s modernized versions will exhibit real-time information that will be of great help to access detailed and insightful information. Data accessibility and storage are now an easy task with cloud-based infrastructure and hence organizations can easily access desired data and extract needed reports out of that.
- Adherence to Global Standards and Regulations
Compliance to global industry standards and rules is a must now for all organizations. Legacy apps may not be adhering to these public standards and hence may not be fulfilling the acceptance criteria of the global community. Organizations may have to bear the noncompliance costs heavily. It is better to have a system that follows all compliance standards and hence the revamped version must keep in mind the applicable rules and regulations right from start.
- Reduction in Costs Incurred
Initially, there may be costs involved while migrating to a newer version or while installing newer features. But the long-term effect of this will have a direct impact in saving big time on expenses incurred in implementing the project. The maintenance costs will reduce by a great margin which otherwise would have been a big figure.
As We Wrap Up
Obsolete systems tend to deprive organizations from the best of security, efficiency, privacy, productivity etc. Legacy app modernization is the only way out to help organizations achieve their business results, be it any method or any technology.
It is now a basic requirement for all industry segments to keep upgrading their applications and ensure a modernized version for their users. Be it any domain, any size or segment, legacy application modernization is the best way to accept the changes that are bound to always be there.