- February 28, 2023 by Sakshi Aggarwal
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Mobile app development is quickly becoming a necessity for businesses. As the world becomes increasingly digital, companies of all sizes rely on mobile apps to reach customers and increase customer engagement. But with this trend comes a vital challenge: legacy application modernisation.
Legacy applications are not always equipped for today’s competitive environment and lack essential features that enterprises need to survive in the digital age.
If you want to stay ahead of the competition, it’s time to consider modernising your legacy applications. This blog post will explore what legacy application modernisation is, why it’s important to modernise your applications, and how you can do it.
What is Legacy Application Modernisation?
Legacy application modernisation is transforming and updating existing systems to keep pace with changing business needs. This approach allows businesses to continue using their current technology investments while ensuring they remain compatible with modern frameworks, languages, and architectures.
It can involve replacing outdated hardware or software components; restructuring data storage; integrating new technologies such as cloud computing or artificial intelligence (AI); or migrating from an old system to a newer one.
In addition to these technical aspects, the legacy modernisation process also involves business process reengineering and organizational change management initiatives to ensure successful outcomes.
What are the Benefits of Legacy App Modernisation?
The benefits are many; however, to reap the full rewards of legacy app modernisation, it is crucial to hire mobile app developers who are equipped with the necessary skills and experience.
- Improved Responsiveness and Performance: Modernisation can help speed up your applications, resulting in improved responsiveness to customer demands and better user experience.
- Increased Security: Legacy applications are often vulnerable to modern cyber threats due to outdated security measures or architecture. By modernising the application, organizations can remain secure from cyber threats while ensuring regulatory compliance with industry standards.
- Cost Savings: Modernisation of a legacy system can often result in significant cost savings as it eliminates the need for expensive maintenance or patching of an aging platform that is increasingly difficult (and costly) to sustain over time. Additionally, moving away from manual processes can reduce labor costs associated with maintaining the existing infrastructure.
- Streamlined Processes & Automation: Introducing new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) into a legacy system helps eliminate manual tasks, increasing efficiency and throughput by automating mundane tasks like data entry or reporting requirements which would require manual input previously.
- Increased Scalability & Flexibility: Cloud-based solutions enable rapid scalability so companies can quickly scale up when needed without investing large sums into hardware resources upfront. Cloud solutions also allow organizations to respond quickly to changing market conditions and adjust resources as needed rapidly.
Steps for Legacy Application Modernisation
Following a set of steps is crucial to successfully modernise legacy applications. Here are the key steps involved:
- Step 1: Analyze the current application
The first step in developing your legacy app modernisation strategy is to analyze the existing application and its architecture. This includes looking at the underlying operating system, hardware infrastructure, database technology, programming language(s), libraries, APIs, and development tools.
Step 2: Identify business goals for modernisationAfter a good understanding of the existing system and architecture, it's time to identify the business goals you want to achieve by modernising your legacy applications. These can include improved customer experiences (better usability or performance), shorter times to market for new features or products, cost savings from eliminating maintenance on old technologies, etc.
Step 3: Outline potential migration pathsAfter identifying which areas need improvement in functionality or technology stack compatibility with other systems in your enterprise environment, you can begin outlining potential migration paths that will bring those improvements while minimizing disruption to operations during transition periods.
Step 4: Develop a comprehensive plan of actionDevelop a comprehensive plan outlining each specific task involved in migrating from an older version of the platform/technology stack to a more recent one and tasks required for preparing any necessary test environments.
It should also include training requirements for users unfamiliar with the new platform, estimated time frames for each job, and other considerations. The plan should also include steps to implement a change control process to ensure decisions are appropriately documented, communicated, and approved before making changes to the system.
Step 5: Establish a testing strategyThe migration of legacy applications can be complex due to differences between their core functions and architecture compared to newer platforms or technologies. You must test the target environment to understand how the migrated application will perform when fully operational.
Step 6: Automate the implementationOnce a comprehensive plan has been created and agreed upon, it's time to begin automating the implementation of the legacy application modernisation strategy. Automation is essential for ensuring that all aspects of the migration process are successful and cost-effective. This includes tasks such as:
- Creating automated backups
- Configuring servers
- Deploying software updates
- Testing system integrations and more.
Step 7: Develop a training planYou should develop a well-thought-out training plan before migrating from one platform/technology stack to another. This will ensure users have adequate education on utilizing new features, updated software versions, and overall navigation within the more recent version.
Additionally, proper user engagement throughout this process allows for feedback regarding potential issues or features you should address or implement before the application is fully transitioned.
Step 8: Monitor and evaluateIt's essential to regularly monitor and evaluate the success of your legacy application modernisation strategy. This will let you identify potential problems that may arise throughout the process and allow you to adjust any part of the plan if needed to ensure a successful transition to new technology stacks.
Additionally, this allows for a greater understanding of how each stack can work together within one system instead of individually, allowing for more efficient use of resources.
Read More:- Tech Trends Transforming the Business Landscape
What Are the Technology Trends in App Modernisation?
- Cloud Migration:
Moving applications from on-premises to cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform enables organizations to scale up quickly in response to changing needs, reduce operational costs and simplify IT management.
- Microservices Architecture:
By breaking down monolithic applications into smaller services that can be independently developed, deployed, and managed, microservices enable rapid development cycles, the ability to add new features or functionality quickly, and improved scalability and reliability of apps.
- Containers & Kubernetes:
Container technology provides a secure way of packaging code and its dependencies to run consistently across different computing environments while reducing resource consumption compared to traditional virtual machines (VMs). The popular container orchestration Kubernetes helps automate containers' deployment, scaling, and management in large-scale production environments.
- Serverless Computing:
This allows developers to focus more on business logic without worrying about managing underlying infrastructure components such as servers or databases, which are maintained by cloud providers like AWS or Azure automatically for you when needed based on usage patterns.
- Automation & DevOps:
By automating many manual processes related to software delivery — such as building, testing, and deploying applications — DevOps can help reduce the time it takes to deliver apps. With automated processes like continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines in place, teams can also ensure that their applications are always up-to-date and secure.
- AI & Machine Learning:
Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning enable developers to build sophisticated features into their apps without investing in an entire engineering team devoted to that particular technology stack. This allows app modernisation projects to be completed quickly with less effort and cost than ever.
Legacy application modernisation is critical to any organization's digital transformation journey. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your legacy applications are ready for modern technology and enable your business to take full advantage of opportunities offered by digital transformation.
How to choose the right strategy for modernising legacy applications?
When choosing the right strategy for modernising legacy applications, it is essential to consider your current needs, budget, and desired outcome.
Additionally, it is vital to consider the core components of legacy systems that need to be updated or replaced to ensure a successful modernisation process.
It can also be helpful to review existing processes and technologies within the system to understand what will work best for your organization clearly.
What are the different types of legacy application modernisation strategies?
Legacy application modernisation strategies have three main areas:
- Reengineering: This involves re-writing the entire application from scratch using modern technology and architectural frameworks;
- Refactoring: This consists in restructuring existing code and changing its design or architecture to make it more efficient, secure, and easier to maintain;
- Integration: This typically involves connecting legacy applications with new systems by integrating their data sets.
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