As disruptive technologies continue to change the cyberspace, there is a need for vendors to implement application modernization to keep their apps responsive and adaptable to new technologies. The goal is to ensure that their legacy software systems are digital-ready, mobile-responsive, and cloud-enabled.

It’s easy to overlook the benefits of legacy application modernization when you think about all the hassles and pains you’ll go through to modernize your apps. Some even think that since their old software still works well, serves its intended purpose, and still generates steady revenue, modernization can take a backseat. While some legacy applications are best left untouched, you might be missing out on the advantages of reprogramming your product.

So, do you need application modernization? Below let’s take a look at some basic facts and myths surrounding application modernization.

What is application modernization?

Application modernization means reprogramming an application so it becomes adaptable to the current technology and market demands. Basically, app modernization aims to preserve the “DNA” of the original software program while making it responsive to mobile platforms, web-based front end, modern cloud service, and current coding languages.

Now, you may be wondering, what’s all the fuss about? Why businesses are looking towards modernization?

Why the need to implement application modernization?

Many monolithic, legacy applications were never designed to run on the current technologies. “Heritage” or old applications are designed to exemplify the technology and business landscape of their time. For example, some apps have characteristics and architecture not precisely intended for mobile platforms. As a result, they either don’t run well or are incompatible with tablets and smartphones, making them inaccessible to the billions of mobile users. This renders the app useless.

Skills are also a consideration for app modernization. As earlier programming languages, particularly COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) become outdated, it’s high time to shift to modern coding languages, such as C# and Java. Some apps would need to be modernized, completely re-coded or a new one would have to be built.

App modernization is also vital in ensuring speed and responsiveness of an application. Modern applications are equipped with technologies, such as Node.js cross-platform runtime environment and development platform. These technologies boost app speed in terms of transactions and data transfer. This is something that real-time, mobile cloud-based social applications use to gather and analyze big data streams.

Cost-efficiency is another reason why you should consider app modernization. Gartner estimates that around $3.5 trillion will be spent this year on IT, 1.3 trillion will be allotted on IT services and enterprise software. For businesses with monolithic applications, a huge chunk goes to just maintain their old enterprise applications. Modern infrastructure, such as containers and cloud, can help significantly reduce IT spending.

Competition is also a major consideration. In a crowded tech industry, you can easily get left out even by startups. Without modernization, your legacy application runs the risk of being replaced by an agile competitor with a better, state-of-the-art application. Getting ahead of the pack and making your application future-ready is vital to stay competitive.

Compared to modern apps, legacy applications are not as versatile or scalable, and cannot fully optimize new and emerging technologies. Sticking with your old, monolithic application can make your business a laggard – something no business ever dreams of!

Final Thoughts

Considering the rapidly changing technology and business landscape, you have to always think forward and be ready for the future. And the only way to go forward and stay on top is through implementing application modernization. There are different approaches to app modernization, each having its pros and cons. To formulate and implement appropriate and holistic modernization strategy, you have to evaluate each approach and find out which one will work best in your case.

App modernization shouldn’t be equated to banishing everything about your monolithic application. Instead, it is leveraging the existing application’s domain expertise, accumulated business value, and making the app open, scalable and reliable.

Modernizing your legacy application may not yet be on the horizon, but it’s an inevitable change that you have to consider now.