We are living in 2022, the world is more connected than it has ever been and is going to be more than ever before.
Consumers are living in a world surrounded by AI-powered technologies. They can order the food right from their bed without needing to reach their wallet and if the food is stale it’s easy to get the refund right into their bank accounts without needing to write an application or to knock at a bank’s door.
Remote work has become the new normal and the list goes on…
With consumers getting used to modern technologies it has become imperative for businesses to offer a seamless user experience and the only way to stay competitive is to evolve with the ever-evolving technologies.
Both when used in the organization and when sold to end clients; legacy applications become a serious problem to business continuity. Therefore, organizations must upgrade their legacy applications with agile strategies to ensure better consumer engagement, experience and drive better sales.
A well-thought-out legacy application modernization strategy allows you to use contemporary technology, automate bottom-line activities, decrease manual errors, and gain a competitive edge.
But what’s the most difficult task in devising a legacy applications modernization strategy?
The answer is calculating risk to the reward ratio.
Modernization of an outdated application is a complicated technical and business process that requires proper planning and it also becomes important to consider an analysis of all the business and technical risks. Proper analysis of these risks helps you with actionable data and allows you to select the best strategy for your legacy application modernization.
Let us first briefly understand Legacy Applications or Systems then we’ll dive deep into the top 6 reasons why we need to modernize legacy applications and the technologies & business risks these applications possess in modern times.
What defines a Legacy Application or System?
Any application which is built with an older technology stack; but still has to be used for day-to-day business operations can be defined as a Legacy Application or System.
Some examples of Legacy Systems are —
- Ancient applications running on mainframe computers.
- Coding languages, such as COBOL, Fortran, C, C++
- Older operating systems such as MS-DOS, Windows 3.1, or XP
- Hardware like Apple IIGS machines or Intel 286 computers
Then there are some applications that are built of technologies with limited life cycles, and when the buzz for those technologies fades, developers lose interest in them, making it more difficult for businesses to get resources.
These things can happen to you if you make technology decisions in a hurry, or if you’re under pressure from your boss, and you make a hasty decision to use the first technology that comes to mind.
Let’s take a look at some of the major issues that may arise because of Legacy Applications which can make you consider Modernization.
Technological and business risks of Legacy Applications
Many businesses continue to use and maintain legacy software, despite costly and inventive digital transformation initiatives. That’s because, over time, such systems have become critical to the organization’s operations, and replacing them with more current alternatives isn’t always easy.
But technologies change very quickly in the IT industry. Every year there is a new version for an application— not to mention totally new technologies — which are generally beneficial because they expand our application development options. It doesn’t mean you should go wild and upgrade to new technology whenever it arises, but there will come a time when you will need to think about Legacy Application Modernization
Here are the top 6 reasons to Modernize Legacy Application —
First and foremost, outdated systems frequently pose a significant security risk. This is due to the fact that they are invariably outdated and, in some cases, are no longer serviced by the vendor or firm who built them. Legacy Applications have the disadvantage of not being updated or patched to fix security flaws. As a result of deploying an out-of-date system, you may possibly end up risking the security of your entire network.
Unstable and Inefficient
Legacy applications are not only insecure, but they are also inefficient. In other words, they aren’t necessarily helpful to increasing staff productivity. This is due to the fact that they were created and implemented at a time when business processes and practices were different. Those were suitable during those days when it was developed. Often Legacy applications are unstable; since there’s a lack of support from vendors these applications may not receive timely bug fixes and security updates.
Compatibility Issues with New Technologies
Legacy Applications were designed as standalone systems to operate in isolated runtime environments; these applications were never designed to integrate with other applications, in today’s time, it becomes a roadblock in utilizing the full potential of new technology or a platform. You might automate most of your applications using DevOps and Cloud practices available. However, one legacy application may limit your speed of delivering a richer experience in no time to your customers.
Company perception and new hire training
What happens when you recruit a new employee and then have to teach them how to use your old legacy applications? While it may not appear to be a significant factor, your new hires’ impressions about your company do matter — especially when these hires come from an organization similar to yours (which is often the case). While it is difficult to train new hires on outdated legacy systems, it becomes cumbersome for new employees to work on legacy applications with poor user experience.
Hiring talent to work on these systems is not the only concern; hiring great talent to maintain these systems is another big cause of concern as these days not many people are willing to work on Legacy Technology Stacks. It’s also crucial to assess how much time and money you spend each year training new employees on legacy systems. If you know you’ll be updating the systems in the near future, evaluate whether your new employee training today is a waste of time and money.
Single point of failure
Legacy applications or systems are often a two-pronged point of failure. The reason we call these applications two-pronged is because of the fact that these applications can become a single point of failure on both the user as well as on the IT side.
What happens if you have a legacy system that is critical to the operation of your business, but only one or two of your business users know how to use it — and only a few of your IT team know how to support it? Is it possible that your company does not execute those tasks on a temporary basis? Wouldn’t it be a better use of your IT resources’ time to concentrate on the more current technologies you’ve introduced rather than spending their days spending resources to keep legacy software running?
Lack of information
When it comes to generating deep data insights and supporting crucial business choices with reliable facts, modern software is unmatched. The majority of legacy applications, on the other hand, aren’t. That’s because it was created at a time when big data, NoSQL, wasn’t necessarily a thing. Data storage, data processing was cost intense.
You may gain more powerful data insights and provide the reports that your business stakeholders require by legacy application modernization.
In today’s digital economy, innovation and growth are strongly intertwined. Whereas, with legacy applications or systems, you might be limited by data and older ways of working. You might experience revenue leaks and won’t be able to tap into several other revenue streams. Any business’s ultimate purpose is to generate revenue. As a result, embracing Legacy Application Modernization can help you produce more money than their traditional counterparts.
For example, if you are in a retail business having an application at retailers end linked directly to your inventory or order management system can help you manage your orders and inventory in real-time, and with new IoT technologies, retailers can even track the status of consignment movement and delivery all in real-time like the way we track our orders on food delivery apps.
AnAr Solutions Legacy Applications Modernization Services — If you are planning to modernize legacy applications in any of your business verticals our team of experts at AnAr Solutions can analyze your existing technologies and can help you come up with the most suited agile application modernization strategy.