Monday, September 25, 2023

Legacy App Modernization: What CIOs Need to Know

By Apoorva Kasam - September 13, 2023 6 Mins Read

Legacy App Modernization: What CIOs Need to Know

Firms are adopting cloud transformation, operational modernization, and DevOps to meet user expectations. But, legacy infrastructure cannot keep up with the evolving digital landscape. App modernization lets firms revamp legacy apps with better features and internal architecture.

As per a recent report by Konveyor, “State of Application Modernization Report 2022,”

State of Application Modernization Report 2022

Operating outdated apps or legacy systems is difficult when it does not align with modern business objectives. Upgrading legacy apps with the latest features can help them function efficiently and enable them to address business challenges.

1. What are the Benefits of Legacy App Modernization?

  • Boosts Productivity

Training the team to operate legacy apps is costly and time-intensive. At the same time, outdated apps cannot automate redundant tasks and integrate new processes. All these factors affect the team’s productivity.

App modernization binds various parts of the development lifecycle in a consistent ecosystem. It also allows companies to automate redundant tasks, boosting time-to-market.

  • Better Business Agility and Scalability

Developers work on monolithic environments to update the code, server, and configurations. With app modernization, there is no longer a need to work on servers or plan major release updates. This is because the app is dispersed into many independently managed workloads. Constant upgradation helps firms adapt and grow technologically and ultimately drive more revenue.

Moreover, adding new features becomes complex with legacy apps. Modernization gives companies the solution to changing needs. With enough scalability, firms can remove or add IT resources to accommodate larger or smaller loads.

  • Minimizes Technical Debt

Investments that go into maintaining legacy apps may lead to high-tech debt.

Moreover, these apps are usually hosted in expensive old-world data centers. The lack of documentation makes it hard to add the latest features.

Legacy app modernization usually entails deployment on the cloud. The potential of the cloud to meet digital business demands is much higher. While it does not need a separate data center, the cloud databases offer a pay-as-you-go (SaaS) model that enables firms to pay only for the services they use. This helps in saving costs.

  • Better User Experiences

Digital experiences have become the need of the hour. It is, today, a core aspect of app modernization as it refines the legacy system’s user-facing elements.

It ensures that the new design provides better access to data, enabling users to explore and interact with a system or app. In addition to refinement, it combines visual factors to create a unique look for the application, improving user experience.

  • Robust Security

Security is one of the critical issues behind legacy apps. Vendors do not support outdated apps due to the high likeliness of data breaches and malware attacks.

App modernization offers better security and protection for vital transactions. It also provides DDoS protection, security upgrades, and App Delivery Controllers (ADCs) to secure the infrastructure from threats.

2. The Challenges of Legacy App Modernization and How to Overcome Them

  • High Costs

Budget overrun is the highest pain point for companies. There is a concern about overspending when retiring the existing system for a new one. But, firms must understand that cost is not a challenge for modernization. Instead, it saves costs of maintenance and other hidden costs. Ultimately, modernization costs pay for themselves via application interoperability, gained efficiencies, and customer reach.

How Can Companies Overcome This?

Companies must separate the legacy application into components and only invest in the necessary upgrades. The DevOps team can help firms manage the desired combinations and build full-stack expertise.

At the same time, the budget must also address unforeseen costs concerning deploying new technologies and scaling the workforce. Firms can communicate this with their service provider to seek more transparency.

  • Integration of Legacy Systems with New Ones

Maintaining business continuity is the key to all app modernization methods. For companies with large legacy footprints, app modernization is an overwhelming task. It is more complex and needs careful handling.

How Do Companies Overcome This?

Advanced tech capabilities can facilitate seamless integration of on-premise and cloud infrastructure. This offers a complete view of the business. Moreover, they can break the app modernization into simple stages that can handle various apps simultaneously.

  • Lack of Skilled Workforce and Reluctance Towards Change

Finding a workforce built or worked with a legacy system is hard. This leaves firms without the needed skills to migrate the data from the legacy system. These complexities hinder the app modernization efforts.

Furthermore, with increasing digital disruptions, firms prefer to operate with legacy systems. This reluctance involves both the employees and executive leadership.

How Can Companies Overcome This?

Companies must change the regular and short-sighted approach and understand the benefits of legacy app modernization. Some of them are-

  • Reduces operational costs
  • Helping gain a competitive advantage through enhanced performance and agility.
  • Modern apps encourage innovation as they are highly scalable and allow automation.
  • Improved customer satisfaction because modern apps meet the advanced performance and user experience standards

3. What are the Strategies to Implement Legacy App Modernization?

  • Set a Purpose and Think Holistically

Before any modernization initiative, companies must set a purpose that the initiative will address. The goal can range from cost savings to improved functionalities. Lack of purpose leads to hindrances in the long run.

Thinking holistically allows companies to combine patterns across the software delivery lifecycle. This speeds up app transformation, deployment, and verification under a solid modernization approach.

  • Assess Resources, Partners, and App Architecture

Firms must determine the workload and assets with dependencies, licensing impacts, use cases, and benefits. They must engage stakeholders (tech providers, app testing groups, and internal and external teams) to better define, build, and execute optimal business migration and modernization paths.

As app modernization is complex, looking for external partners for guidance is essential. This will ensure minimal business impact during the transition. Lastly, firms must choose an ideal app migration strategy that aligns with the company’s resources, timelines, and goals.

  • Build a Maturity Assessment Framework

Building a solid maturity assessment framework will give insights into existing challenges and outcomes. It also helps understand the current tech stack and architecture and create a roadmap.

An assessment framework boosts ROI and allows firms to build new capabilities into the modernized app. This leads to seamless operation of multiple apps with the current apps. Moreover, it maximizes productivity and integration to create new user experiences.

Also Read: Data Center Modernization: Balancing the Benefits with the Increasing Costs


Legacy app modernization will enable companies to stay competitive and resonate with the changing consumer needs. Modernization helps businesses to

  • Reduce operational costs and enhance performance and agility
  • Boost efficiency and innovation since modern apps are scalable and flexible
  • Maximize customer satisfaction as modern apps offer better performance and user experience
  • Keeps app secure from new security threats

Legacy app modernization lets firms merge the relevant components from the current apps, harness Big Data, ML, AI, and the Cloud, and use it for customer service.

Firms must strategize to anticipate the possible challenges and take the right actions to address them. Robust modernization and risk mitigation strategies help devise a well-defined roadmap to resolve the bottlenecks.

Check Out The New Enterprisetalk Podcast. For more such updates follow us on Google News Enterprisetalk News.


Apoorva Kasam

Apoorva Kasam is a Global News Correspondent with OnDot Media. She has done her master's in Bioinformatics and has 18 months of experience in clinical and preclinical data management. She is a content-writing enthusiast, and this is her first stint writing articles on business technology. She specializes in Blockchain, data governance, and supply chain management. Her ideal and digestible writing style displays the current trends, efficiencies, challenges, and relevant mitigation strategies businesses can look forward to. She is looking forward to exploring more technology insights in-depth.

Subscribe To Newsletter

*By clicking on the Submit button, you are agreeing with the Privacy Policy with Enterprise Talks.*