Staying current with technology can be a challenge for many businesses. However, to facilitate operational efficiency, it’s essential to audit and update legacy IT infrastructures. Yet, although businesses know that digital transformation and app modernization is essential, many still avoid change. Why?
According to Cisco’s 2020 Small Business Digital Maturity Study, the COVID-19 crisis has precipitated increased digital transformation in the SMB world. However, in both North America and Western Europe, digital transformation is still mired in the early stages (> 50%). Meanwhile, Latin America lags far behind: more than 55% of businesses still rely on manual processes and there’s little tactical investment in digitalization.
In eight markets (France, Germany, the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Chile, the U.K. & Mexico), only 4% of businesses have achieved digital native status. Small businesses that have undergone digital transformation see 8x faster revenue growth than their digitally indifferent counterparts. Yet, many SMBs balk at change: Fear is an overriding factor.
What Constitutes a Legacy App?
According to Technopedia, a legacy app is a “software application that is considered obsolete or that is based on technology…older than the current standard.”
A common occurrence with such apps is that they don’t integrate well with newer systems and fail to perform to their utmost potential. Additionally, they may also conflict with newer security standards, which can make them vulnerable to data breaches.
Still, employees appreciate the familiarity of legacy apps. More than anything, these apps reflect a vast investment in time and resources. However, legacy code can precipitate costly interruptions in business operations. As a result, app modernization becomes a necessity rather than a mere policy choice.
Why Replace Legacy Apps?
There are several reasons to undertake an app modernization project. Modernized apps have the following features:
- Overall cost reduction in ownership
- Enhanced response times
- Scalability of operations
- The replacement of obsolete, costly technologies that support the legacy app
Essentially, app modernization constitutes the repurposing or re-coding of legacy code to meet modern business requirements.
Evaluating App Modernization Approaches
Research firm Gartner provides a three-step evaluation process for modernizing apps.
1) Determine what issues, concerns, and impediments the app is creating. Business fit, value, and agility must be considered from a business perspective. From an IT perspective, cost, complexity, and risk must be closely examined.
2) Carefully weigh modernization options that pose the least risk to business processes. These options are as follows:
-Encapsulating the data and its functions, which will expand the app’s features
-Redeploying the app to a virtual or cloud infrastructure without modifying the code
-Migrating to an entirely different platform, allowing only minimal changes to the app
-Optimizing the existing code, improving its nonfunctional attributes
-Making changes to the code to shift to a new application architecture
-Rebuilding the app from scratch but preserving its original scope and specifications
-Eliminating the app and replacing it with a new one that fits end-user requirements
3) Determine the appropriate modernization approach by considering the one that brings the most value to the organization.
Best Practices For App Modernization
Success in modernizing legacy apps can be attained with consideration of the following factors.
- Setting goals to measure the success of app modernization and working to stay within the intended purposes of modernization
- Identifying how app modernization can address COVID-impacted production schedules, cash flow, and supply chain resiliency with the least interruption in daily operations
- Utilizing internal digital talent (staff knowledgeable in Java, .Net, Mobile, and API) to fuel digital transformation
App Modernization With Entrance Consulting
In the era of digital transformation, businesses can retain their competitive edge by leveraging disruptive technology. Essentially, core apps must evolve with the business climate. In light of the current crisis, security is a top consideration.
Obsolete legacy apps often conflict with advanced security models. They are also costly to maintain. As a result, the modernization of these apps, whether through an upgrade or replacement, is necessary. In any case, modernizing the app will enhance its security and protect against malware attacks and cyber breaches.
Entrance Consulting is a custom software development company with extensive experience in legacy app modernization. Contact us for more information on our complete line of software application solutions that can keep your business a step ahead of the competition.