Legacy software application modernization is a complex process. In this article, we will go through the steps needed in preparation and briefly overview each step.
You are reading an article which is part of the blog series on Legacy Application Modernization:
- Part 1 - What is application modernization
- Part-2: The Top 5 reasons why you should consiler application modernization
- Part 3 - 5 Key challenges when modernize your legacy business app
- Part 4 - 4 Steps to Preparing for the legacy software application modernization
Here are the steps to get started with preparing for the legacy software application modernization:
- Evaluate existing legacy software
- Choosing the strategy
- Choosing the Legacy software Modernization approach
- Find a legacy application modernization partner company
1. Evaluate existing legacy software
In this step, you should be evaluating the proposed legacy software modernization from the Business Perspective and IT perspective.
While evaluating the business perspective, you can consider the current state of the business, the current and future priorities of the business, and also take into consideration the future growth that you are expecting. Based on this information, you can list out the business critical features that will fit into maximizing value for the business now and agility to support future business needs comfortably.
IT perspective requires evaluation of the one-time and recurring costs, the complexity of the most critical processes or features that we are going to implement, and the risk associated with it.
2. Choosing the strategy - Key strategies and approach to legacy software modernization
Once you decide your business-critical application(s) requires modernization, you need to decide the strategy and approach to legacy software modernization.
Depending on when the application has been built, you can decide to take either revolutionary modernization (complete rewrite) or evolutionary modernization approach towards rewriting it.
Revolutionary modernization is an approach where you completely write a new application to make it fit the business goals that you decided. In this approach, the old system is completely replaced with the new one.
A revolutionary modernization approach will require a significant amount of work and may require a higher budget. You may need to decide to go for revolutionary modernization for many reasons:
- Your company is going through a major change that makes the majority of the features of the existing legacy software deprecated.
- Your existing legacy software isn't compliant with recent legal changes.
- Your existing legacy software has so many data security issues.
- The current software is too old and has too much technical debt.
Evolutionary modernization is an approach where you take a granular and iterative approach keeping in mind that your most critical business operations are not affected. Since, this approach targets only some business operations to migrate to the new modern software, it's easy to plan, execute, switch over, train, and adapt to the new system for the business and technical team.
The businesses where legacy software plays a critical role and cannot be interrupted should take this approach. That is why the evolutionary modernization approach is the most preferred and recommended approach for modernization.
3. Choosing the Legacy software Modernization approach
Once you have a decision on your legacy software modernization strategy, you can choose your legacy software modernization approach. Here we will describe six methods through which you can choose your approach to legacy software modernization.
- Re-host - Host your application to new infrastructure (new Server, Virtual-server, or Cloud)
- Re-platform - Migrate to a new platform, and keep existing data, features, and/or functions the same.
- Refactor - Restructure or optimize existing code to address the legacy issues.
- Re-architect - Migrate to new software architecture for better capabilities, performance, and code structures to address the legacy issues.
- Rebuild - Rebuild or redesign an application totally from scratch
- Retire - Eliminate the part of the application altogether
Find legacy application modernization partner company
Being a business that depends on a digital product, you must have a suitable partner company to modernize and maintain it for the long term. While there is no precise and accurate way of finding your legacy application modernization partner company, we can provide some key factors to make the right decision.
I would recommend shortlisting someone with high technical expertise, relevant case studies, time zone alignment, and lots of in-depth experience handling all stages of the modernization.
Legacy application modernization is a complex and challenging process. A highly-experienced partner company like Facile Technolab can help you in evaluating your existing system and choosing stretagy and approach.