7 Factors That Can Make or Break Your Legacy Application Modernization


Unlike a premium whiskey, a good cheese or your favorite pair of jeans, software does not get better with age. Left on a shelf to age, legacy applications can hamstring new development and innovation, overburden teams, limit scalability, create security vulnerabilities and cost far too much to maintain and support. A legacy application is best understood as an application that has been around and in use for a number of years and may be based on outdated technologies, but is important in day-to-day operations or still meets some of the needs but doesn’t meet all of the needs. What are the dangers when once top-of-the-line software applications don’t keep pace with technological and business changes?


There are a number of problems with aging software applications. First, legacy applications by definition fail to meet the evolving needs of the business. Your business isn’t the same as it was ten years ago so 2007 solutions aren’t likely to fix 2017 problems. Second, so often software is developed but then the team is disbanded and funding is cut to the bare minimum for hosting and production support. The applications then limp along for the next 5–10 years without the regular maintenance that would help manage the application and grow it with the business. This neglect creates unnecessary handicaps, instability, security issues, and other problems. Third, aging software applications are notoriously hard to improve, integrate or grow. I have seen even small changes unleash a torrent of unintended outcomes and instability that can threaten the whole system. And many dated applications cannot safely scale to meet a growing business. Finally, legacy applications are often costly and cumbersome to maintain and support. Technology improves at a record pace these days, infrastructure maintenance spending on legacy applications can be significantly higher than newer cloud-based solutions. Not to mention that finding software developers to maintain the older system becomes more challenging as developers switch gears to newer technologies.


While a business software application may have served you and your organization well for many years, an aging application presents a number of problems and vulnerabilities that can make modernizing these legacy applications a sound business decision. What problems might you be courting with your legacy application?

The typical dated, monolithic legacy systems:

  • Make even small changes potentially problematic.
  • Increase system instability.
  • Have increased costs as hardware and storage become more cumbersome and expensive than cloud-based solutions.
  • Lack the trained talent to maintain them.
  • May be under supported.
  • Have integration problems that may keep you from taking advantage of third-party APIs that can reduce cost, improve performance and enhance innovation.
  • Make it hard to meet compliance issues.
  • May create security vulnerabilities and leave your system more vulnerable to hacking, malware, ransomware, and DDS (distributed denial of service) attacks.
  • Lack the agility to quickly respond to challenges and opportunities.
  • Constrain innovation and opportunity leaving your organization vulnerable to market disrupters.
  • Have not kept up with the changing business needs and desires.

But just because your platform is clunky or lacks the function, stability or scale you require, doesn’t mean you have to scrap what you have and start over. Not only do legacy applications hold a wealth of critical information, modernizing existing applications can boost your bottom line by getting the most from technology you have already invested in. Likewise, modernizing your existing applications reduces the time and money involved in reinventing the wheel or starting from scratch. Further, legacy systems provide a lot of data on how business complexities are handled. By cataloging and investigating system usage using metrics from actual users, unused functionality can be removed and difficult functionality can be streamlined and improved.

The 7 Factors Can Make or Break Your Legacy Application Modernization

Legacy application modernization offers low risks and high rewards, but there are a number of critical elements that can make or break your legacy application modernization. Understanding the pitfalls and the challenges before you dive in can reduce headaches, save time and money, and minimize wasted hours & misdirection. What do you need to know to position your legacy application modernization project for success?

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About Me


Dedrick is an avid traveler and kid wrangler who made his way up from literally nothing, however, Dedrick has always had a bulldog mentality. Once he sets his mind to something, there is nothing and no one who can turn him away. Dedrick has been in the software industry and was building applications that streamed massive amounts of data in Java back in 2002; long before streaming was a term that the majority of Americans understood. Visit STATEMENT for more information on modernization your legacy applications.

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