Why Modernize Your Legacy Software?

Kseniia Goldovska

Legacy System Modernization: Grow Your Digital Business

Legacy systems modernization is one of the hard but still effective ways to improve your customer acquisition strategy, re-engage the returning customers, and cut costs. The technologies come the long way even in the last 5 years, constantly picking up the pace.  Thus, staying one step ahead of young & bold competitors becomes impossible without the persistent strive for improvement using all the possible options.

Software life cycle graph from release though EOL/EOS date
Source: Product EOL/EOS 2018 Report

Technologies that were on top five or three years ago become increasingly irrelevant as well as the decision logic and architecture patterns. Customers, inspired by the best user experience practices and stunning web designs require more and more, frequently preferring the brand-new products over the legacy applications.
This is one of the reasons to consider the option of modernizing your old software.


What Is Software Modernization?

Let’s start by figuring out the concept of legacy software. The phrase is defined as outdated methods, technologies, and applications, in general. Thus, legacy app modernization means the replacement of an obsolete software product by the modern one, using the latest tech trends and the properest stack to upgrade your old project. 

Usually, the support of such projects consume a large part of a budget, and the other part is spent on adding new features to meet the customer demands. Thereby, new features are added into the legacy code turning the complex systems into sophisticated ones, interfering with making a decision on application modernization.

IT product spendings graph

In addition, the more you delay taking the final decision, the more complicated it becomes for the team to modernize the application.

“Legacy software is used everywhere”, you may think, “so there is nothing bad in it.” Nothing good either. According to the statistics, now you have the great chance to get ahead of your competitors by modernizing your old systems, while they will be spending much of their time and budget on supporting the legacy application without creating new opportunities for their product.

Reasons for Legacy Modernization

Better Maintenance

The more up-to-date the application is, the easier is to support it. 

Legacy software maintenance consumes much time, budget, and human resources, and what’s worse, their amount will be increasing. 

The cause lies in the monolithic architecture the most legacy software relied on during the development. So, it’s impossible to modify the parts without modifying the whole. It’s evident that modifying the whole requires much more resources. 

Monolithic architecture complicates the process of application modernization

Besides, the real problem of many legacy applications that prevents the teams from optimizing the maintenance process is a lack of modular architecture that enables making changes and adjusting the specific functionality and scaling the project parts that need it the most. 

In a perfect world, the monolithic architecture requires changes to cater for the flexibility of an application. 

Unfortunately, even if your application already contains multiple modules, it can be still considered as legacy software and needs modernization. The next step to turning the functionality into the independent easy to maintain units is the technique of microservices.

This architecture style enables building, deploying, and supporting the autonomous services in isolation from the other system parts without the necessity to interfere in the whole. 

Microservices makes it possible to modernize application segments

Exactly these microservices will considerably simplify regular software modernization in the future.

Cleaner Code

The cleaner code is, the easier is for the developer to work with it. 

Theoretically, the code quality should be such as to enable a developer who knows nothing about the project to open the code and understand its functions. 

A project doesn’t even have to be on the list of the legacy applications to have the code that is far from being perfect due to various reasons:

  • High speed of project development (when the main objective is to outperform the competitors, launching the product faster than the rest of the world);
  • Insufficient skills of a developer;
  • A great number of successive developers who worked on a project;
  • Lack of specifications.

Indeed, legacy app modernization will help you get rid of the most frequent errors:

  • Comments (the well-written code does not require an additional explanation).
  • Code clones resulted from the weak communication between two or more developers who are working on similar tasks or the rush. 
  • Dead code (code that doesn’t perform any functions but hasn’t been deleted for certain reasons). 

Greater Collaboration

The better is the performance characteristics of an app, the easier is for the user to collaborate within the application. 

High load speed, absence of bugs, data security, an option for a user to quickly understand how the application is working or at least the user manual based on the clear app documentation will make the process of collaboration easier. Not to mention the better user experience and application appearance that are the icing on the customer cake.

Clear Project Documentation

The clearer the app documentation is, the easier it will be for a new team to develop or maintain the project. 

Most often, the lack of project documentation, its incompleteness or sophistication become the related components of the legacy systems for numerous reasons.

  1. In many companies, this legacy application became the first major project executed without much experience in creating and managing documentation (or controlling this process). 
  2. Frequently, the speed of project development is a priority to get a competitive advantage, so the documentation management is overshadowed. 
  3. Legacy code entails legacy documentation that should be modernized together with the app. 

Why the documentation is a crucial part of the project? The main purpose of project documentation is to make sure that in the case of emergency one team of developers may leave the workplace, and another team is able to take their place without losing time and compromising on code quality.

Stronger Security

After all, the legacy systems can’t be competitive with the up-to-date software in security issues. Obsolete software products are much more vulnerable to all types of cyberattacks, increasing a user’s chance to become a target of cybercriminals. In this way, by using and proposing to use such systems, you put your customer security at risk. 

Simpler Integrations

Integration with third-party services is a must for applications of today. Of course, five years ago the platforms we built didn’t include the integration possibility that’s why to move with the times, you should add this feature. 

Legacy application modernization brings better security, cleaner code, easy cloud integration and improves cooperation

Time to Modernize Your Legacy Software?

Legacy systems modernization allows you to discover new opportunities and grow your business by bringing in technical partners and key customers.

Don’t know where to start? Check out the manual where we discuss the major steps to take on the way to software modernization. Hope this will help you to properly plan and control this process if you already have a dedicated team of web developers.

If no, you can always schedule a call with our specialist to get an estimate of your project and pick up the custom strategy for your product.

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