7 Effective Approaches to Legacy Software Modernization

Apr 24, 2019, 4:58:00 PM

legacy modernization

Despite Windows XP being the most stable Operating System, 49.9% of all PCs running Windows have Win 10 today. And the fact is, current computers are more capable and user-friendly, as compared to those running on decade old legacy OS by Microsoft.

To stand out against the competition and meet customer expectations, Microsoft has been replacing its legacy Operating Systems with a newer and better one. While Microsoft has been following the Replace approach for modernization of their OS, it is not the only or most relevant approach. In fact, replacement isn’t the only option.

Rehost, Recode, Replatform, Rebuilt, Reengineer - businesses are trying every means to mold their application into a new, performance-oriented solution. But, what’s the right approach to modernize your legacy software application?

Application modernization refers to the process of migrating a legacy to a new application or platform. To decide which is the right approach to modernization, it is important to realize the problem that has to be solved.

Generally, legacy applications hold back the business initiatives that rely on them. Thus, depending upon what’s missing in the application, any of the 7 modernization approaches mentioned below can be adopted:

1. Encapsulation: If the application has to be modernized at the presentation level, then the encapsulation approach works the best. This involves leaving the code at its original state and environment and at the same time, connect the new interface and access layers via an API.

2. Rehost: This approach to legacy modernization involves redeploying the application to another physical, virtual, or cloud infrastructure. The application code, in this case, is unaltered, uncompiled, and there are no modifications in features and functionalities. Rehosting is a faster process and leaves almost no impact on the business logic of the application.

3. Replatform: When an application or its components are migrated to a new runtime platform, it's called re-platforming of a legacy application. There are minimal changes to the code to adapt to the new platform. However, the code structure, application features, and functionalities remain the same.

4. Code Refactor: This approach to legacy modernization covers restructuring and optimization of existing code, without any changes in the external behavior. Such an approach removes technical debt and also helps in improving a component's features and functionalities.  

5. Rearchitect: The idea of re-architecting involves shifting the application to new architecture in order to explore new and best capabilities of a platform.

According to IDC Worldwide Digital Transformation 2019 Predictions, “By 2022, 90% of all new apps will feature microservices architectures that improve the ability to design, debug, update, and leverage third-party code.”

ALSO READ: Monolithic VS Microservices Architecture: Fundamental Differences

6. Rebuild: In this modernization approach, an application or its component is rebuilt or rewritten from scratch, while preserving the scope and specification of the application.

7. Replace: This should be the final resort for modernization of legacy software applications. This involves eliminating the former application and replacing it with a newer one, taking new requirements, specifications, and customer requirements into account.

Success Story: Modernization of a Legacy eCommerce Platform

Problem: One of the largest sellers of healthcare supplements based in Canada came to us with a unique problem that many would say is a good problem to have. In the past few years, his e-commerce store had grown exponentially to the point where he was struggling to keep up with his order volume.   

Requirement: Our client wanted to migrate from a legacy eCommerce portal built using .NET to a customized Magento based portal. This included migration of their 10 years old business data of over 1 million customers and 6 million orders.

For an improved customer engagement and reduced cart abandonment rate, a new UI/UX had to be designed, which is integrated with a custom ERP system, logistics support, advertising and customer loyalty modules.

Impact: With this eCommerce portal modernization, the client improved their efficiency by 28%, reduce cart abandonment rate, and get a bird's eye view of all business operations from a single dashboard.

Approach: Replatform and Refactor

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Planning to Modernize your Legacy Software?

Legacy applications hold back an organization’ growth. Whether it for improving the customer experience or for optimizing internal processes, a software application needs constant modernizing to stand by the rising competition and customer expectations.

If you’re planning to modernize your legacy software, then schedule a 30-minute free consultation session with our tech-experts to know the right modernization approach for your software.

Archna Oberoi

Written by Archna Oberoi

Content strategist by profession and blogger by passion, Archna is avid about updating herself with the freshest dose of technology and sharing them with the readers. Stay tuned here as she brings some trending stories from the tech-territory of mobile and web.