4.8 min to readApplication Services

Building a legacy application modernization strategy

John DuqueApplication Services Business Owner, North America

Our digital environment is always changing, and we are increasingly spending most of our time on it. Legacy applications are defined as systems that are essential to daily business operations, yet rely on outdated technology. The quality and efficiency of your organization’s applications define how your business operates, and the rapid rate of innovation in this space means they must continually evolve. 

The need to keep up with the times has organizations around the world wondering what the best course of action is. And the first step you need to take is building an Application Modernization strategy. Let’s take a look at what this means, how to execute, and where SoftwareOne can help.

What is an application modernization strategy?

When legacy applications are left too long without being modernized, they cause problems around maintenance, support, integration, and user experience. Also, it can affect the business goals making it vulnerable to costly, reputation-damaging privacy breaches. And you may not be able to find enough developers who are proficient in dated programming languages to maintain your current system.

Application modernization is a huge part of keeping up in an ever-changing digital world, but it can seem daunting and overwhelming. However, it’s best to look at your modernization strategy as an ongoing process adapted to your enterprise’s unique needs. A strong, realistic and sustainable legacy application modernization strategy will reduce inefficiencies, strengthen security, and increase employee satisfaction - all routes to improving your bottom line. 

Plus, a proactive approach to modernization keeps you competitive, agile, and ahead of technical debt - huge advantages in a marketplace where overcoming the barriers if legacy technology is one of IT’s most significant challenges.

How to build an application modernization strategy

Application modernization is an umbrella term encompassing a wide variety of strategies, including re-platforming, re-hosting, re-coding, re-architecting, re-engineering, interoperability, replacement and retirement, as well as changes to the application architecture to find which option should be selected. Your application modernization strategy should be all about innovation. Enterprises need to close the modernization gap or else they won’t be able to keep up with the evolving industry, competitors, and ever-changing technology.

Modernizing legacy applications is a significant undertaking. Starting the process with an in-depth assessment of your legacy application portfolio, and determining the best course of action based on its findings, will help businesses ensure they’re choosing the best strategy for their needs. By performing a gap analysis, you’ll be able to identify exactly where your weak spots are and use them to begin mapping out a strategy.

Additionally, your organization’s budget and risk tolerance are both important factors in constructing your application modernization strategy. For example, a complete system rebuild or replacement might solve your application issues, but may be unsuitable due to expense or time constraints. These are the types of factors you need to identify through analysis so you’re not hit with major roadblocks later down the line.

Since it can be incredibly frustrating to choose the wrong approach to application modernization, consider testing out a small application first. This test run will help inform your strategy by providing insights into what may or may not work best for your individual organization. There are different ways to approach application modernization, from reprogramming to partially rewriting to containerizing for the cloud. Nailing down which of these is best for you is a crucial aspect of defining clear, set path to modernization.

That being said, while a drastic strategy might seem appealing, remember that this is an ongoing task - legacy modernization is not a one-time event. Once your system is completely replaced or updated, it will still need to evolve along with its competition and consumer expectations of the digital sphere. Maintaining applications on a hybrid cloud can be an excellent way to retain what worked about your original application while making space for new priorities like enhanced security, cost savings, or better capabilities for integration with external APIs.

Bringing your strategy to life with SoftwareOne

For businesses, the time commitment involved in embarking on application modernization is often the most stressful and challenging part of the process. For that reason, the partner you choose to work with on modernization can be a defining factor in how your team’s morale and productivity are affected by the experience. Instead of adding complexity and administrative load to an already demanding task, the right modernization partner removes extra workload and makes the process effortless for your staff.

At SoftwareOne, we understand the constant juggling and prioritizing that are involved in day to day business operations, and our Application Modernization services were designed to define and design the best approach to modernize your applications using cloud technologies. This way, you won’t ever have to sacrifice agility, productivity, or experience in the name of modernization. 

Plus, we know that application modernization may sound like a big job, but SoftwareOne’s services bring the benefits of modernization within reach. By closing the modernization gap, your organization can access the cost savings and risk avoidance of this strategy to remain competitive and drive business forward. 

The bottom line

When considering application modernization, the takeaway for organizations and businesses should be that this task should be viewed as just another process integral to doing business in a digital world. Application modernization must be tailored to your organization - while it certainly can be a large and complex undertaking, it is not a rigid, one-size-fits-all endeavor that will eat up time and resources while draining staff effort and morale.

Digital systems are fluid, and the challenge of keeping them up to date is one shared by the entire IT sector, and even the business world as a whole. There are modernization solutions available that work within business needs and capacity, such as SoftwareOne’s Application Modernization Advisory service. With the right partner and an honest and data-oriented approach to your own needs, application modernization can maximize business productivity and efficiency without interrupting day-to-day operations.


Ready to make your applications future-proof?

SoftwareOne is ready to help you build a legacy application modernization strategy that lasts. Discover how our Application Modernization services can bring your organization to the next level.

Ready to make your applications future-proof?

SoftwareOne is ready to help you build a legacy application modernization strategy that lasts. Discover how our Application Modernization services can bring your organization to the next level.



John Duque
Application Services Business Owner, North America

Digital Transformation, Application Modernization