Every dollar invested in digital business innovation till the end of 2020 will require enterprises to spend at least 3X that to continuously modernize the legacy application portfolio.” – Gartner prediction

With the ever-changing and dynamic digital environment, obsolete and redundant softwares are a prevailing threat for IT companies and software users. Thus, application modernization, or legacy modernization, is steadily getting much-needed recognition. Though it may not be possible for companies to migrate or completely upgrade their softwares in one-go, the best way to achieve this feat with minimal losses of time and productivity is through a rigorous and thoroughly planned modernization strategy.

Need for software modernization:
Software modernization goes far beyond just increasing the efficiency of a process. Apart from the fact that it is needed for enhancing productivity and to prevent the risk of being out-dated, there are many more reasons which, sooner or later, make it more of a necessity.

  • Having the latest and the most advanced systems not only improve the image and ranking of the company, but it also increases the trust of the company’s clients, employees, associates, vendors and prospective customers.
  •  From a safety point of view, latest technologies are always more secure than the previous ones, the simple reason being that the problems and shortcomings found in older versions are identified and corrected in the new ones.
  • As the organization grows, any new requirements which arise can be systematically incorporated in the system, rather than a stop-gap arrangement.
  • Application modernization increases compatibility of the machines with other processes, which in turn, make the entire network stronger.

Legacy Modernization strategies:
The balancing act of modernization of applications, while keeping the systems running and acceptable for current market standards, is what lies at the core of modernization strategies. Based on whether the system undergoes partial modernization or complete replacement, the entire modernization process can be invasive, non-invasive or a mix of both. In an invasive procedure, the changes are made to the very code of the application and there are basic structural changes in the original software. A non-invasive software modernization can be about linking the application to an external device or cloud to increase its efficiency.

Based on its type, there are majorly 5 different ways in which legacy software modernization can be done.

1. Rehost
Rehosting involves moving your application’s resources from a ‘premise-based’ location to cloud. This remains a non-invasive process, as your application code base remains the same, but your infrastructure is migrated to the cloud.

2. Recode
This involves making structural changes to the code of the software. Though this doesn’t require the replacement of any hardware or database, it can be a very effective tool for systems which need to increase compatibility or efficiency.

3. Rearchitect
It involves breaking down of a large legacy application into a bouquet of services that can be built, deployed and managed. The core application is broken down into micro-services and re-architected into a complete one.

4. Rebuild
It means starting your application building from scratch – first razing it down completely and then rebuilding it. It is a far more cost-effective alternative to building a new application, given the modern tech landscape, the current languages, frameworks and other efficiencies.

5. Replace
It means to completely replace the old functionality of the application with an off-the-shelf softwares like CRM, ERP, etc. This can include replacing of the mainframe, OS, hardware, database and coding as well. Also, this remains as the only option in the event of discontinuation of any sub-parts.

The cost of legacy software modernization is something which companies have to bear, sooner or later, to reclaim their competitive edge. The only right way to go about it is to constantly and periodically update the process as much as the company’s resources allow.

In the absence of modernization, the effects can be long-lasting and disastrous. However, the benefits of app modernization can far outweigh its investments and, in the long run, prove a very profitable decision. With the right partner, you can choose the approach that fits your business and the context the best. If you are looking for the perfect app modernization solution partner, write to us at contact@vsplc.com.

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