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3 Tactics for Modernizing Your Legacy Applications

Author: Tom Moore | | July 22, 2021


 

Modernizing legacy applications is one of the most rewarding ways for your organization to enact digital transformation.

 
According to research by Vanson Bourne, senior IT decision-makers believe that modernizing legacy IT systems can reduce their business operational costs by an average of 13 percent, while boosting revenues by 14 percent.

Businesses that continue to use legacy IT systems face significant challenges related to supporting outdated computer systems, programming languages or application software. The ripple-effect manifests into missing modern features and functionality to difficulties hiring the right in-house talent. Although most organizations can agree on the need to modernize legacy IT systems, too many of them aren’t sure how to evolve or put this into practice.

In this article, we’ll discuss three methods of moving away from legacy IT systems and modernizing your legacy applications to help you along your digital transformation journey.

  1. The Cloud

    Today, cloud computing has become a well-established platform for businesses of all sizes and across all industries. According to Flexera’s 2021 “State of the Cloud” report, 99 percent of companies report using at least one public or private cloud.

    Although nearly every organization is using the cloud in some form or fashion, many of them still have a significant on-premises legacy IT system footprint. Migrating these legacy applications from on-premises to the cloud is one of the most common, and most fruitful ways of modernizing your enterprise IT.

    For example, major cloud providers such as Microsoft and Oracle have taken a decidedly “cloud-first” stance: new features and functionality are rolled out to cloud software before they reach their on-premises equivalents. The cloud also offers benefits such as lower costs, greater flexibility, fewer maintenance obligations, more uptime, and increased business agility.

  2. Microservices

    Software applications have traditionally been built with a “monolithic” architecture that acts as a single, indivisible unit. Monolithic software typically consists of a client-side user interface, as well as a server-side application and database.

    However, monolithic applications have several significant disadvantages. In particular, a monolithic codebase can be highly complex, making it difficult to implement changes or scale the application. For these reasons, many organizations are decomposing their monolithic software to use a microservices-based architecture instead.

    As the name suggests, software using the microservices architecture consists of many smaller independent components, all communicating with each other using APIs (application programming interfaces). Thanks to this independent nature, microservices architecture offers advantages such as ease of development, less downtime, and greater scalability.

  3. DevOps

    DevOps is a software development methodology that seeks to foster closer collaboration and tighter feedback loops between your development and IT operations teams. DevOps is closely connected with CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous deployment), a set of development practices that encourage small, incremental changes to the code base. Other techniques associated with DevOps include the heavy use of automation and “shifting left,” i.e. identifying ways to perform testing earlier in the development process.

    According to a 2019 survey, more than 60 percent of DevOps practitioners said that they had seen benefits such as faster time to market, greater productivity, and higher product quality. While the methodology has many benefits, successfully bringing DevOps into your organization will require a cultural shift, especially when it comes to modernizing legacy IT.

Conclusion: How to Modernize Your Legacy IT

Cloud migrations, microservices and DevOps are just three examples of how to go about legacy application modernization. But if you aren’t already using these tactics, how can you start to bring them into the organization?

Businesses that want to modernize their legacy IT systems are increasingly joining forces with managed services partners like Datavail. As a Microsoft Gold Partner that has been with many of our clients for 10 years or more, Datavail has both the skills and the experience to help with your next IT modernization project.

To learn more about how we helped a recent client modernize their IT portals using DevOps, microservices, and the Microsoft Azure cloud, check out our case study “Public College Modernizes Online Application Process with Azure.” You can also get in touch with our team of application development experts for a chat about your business needs and objectives.

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