Legacy applications are outdated (sometimes obsolete) software programs that run a crucial part of a business. Usually, they are very unstable and require highly expensive support and maintenance to keep them running.
Companies often resist on modernising this type of application, because it is still profitable. Unfortunately, as time goes by, running costs and difficulties can morph into a much bigger problem and cause irreversible damage to the business.
Why modernise legacy applications?
Overall, software technology is evolving at a very fast pace, which encourages everyone to go along with it.
Just like a personal computer, which can become obsolete, driving the need to get a new machine to run existing software for which the developers are supporting new and dropping old versions. The same goes for our own software.
Here are two good reasons why we should start thinking about upgrading our old software:
1 – Cost Reduction
Between 10-15 per cent of the cost of legacy applications is estimated to be spent on maintenance alone. Many employees spend a huge amount of their time fixing issues in these type of applications, which can lower both their morale and productivity. On many occasions, these employees leave the company because of it.
Customers are also impacted by these applications as they cannot support a good customer experience, leading to them using them less and less. And so the application starts to look far less cost-effective.
By contrast, modern applications have a more motivating and better development lifecycle to enhance new features, guiding companies to a more reduced time to market.
There are many approaches to modernising the application, which can also help us reduce costs. For instance, migrating applications to the cloud can bring costs down sharply simply by losing the requirement for physical hardware.
2 – Mitigate Risk
Modernising the architectural approach comes with a certain amount of risk/cost to the business, but the cost of doing nothing at all can be far higher. Legacy applications may reach the point where it is impossible to fix unexpected issues, because of a lack of knowledge in company employees. Sometimes we might need to get external (and expensive) help from other companies.
Also, in the current era, security is also of great concern to businesses, especially over private customer data. New vulnerabilities are being found all the time and updates are released much faster for modernised applications. With some products, updates are not regularly released for older systems, making them more vulnerable as time goes by.
Overall, legacy applications are an expensive, troublesome product to maintain for any business. On the other hand, a modern approach will boost morale and be far better, cheaper and more engaging to employees and customers, with new features much easier to facilitate.
These days, there are lots of good strategies for modernising legacy applications which any company can pick up without hurting their business. And by doing it now, we can save ourselves from a lot of problems in the future.
At Xpand IT we have several specialists who have been working on these theme for several years. Feel free to contact our team via email: [email protected] or by clicking on the contact button below.
Senior Developer – Xpand IT