software modernization

Software Modernization: Is It Necessary?

IN-COM Code Review

What is software modernization? It’s far more than a buzzword. In the fast-changing digital marketplace with more transactions and business operations performed digitally than ever before, an up-to-date system that can keep pace with modern business is critical.

Customers expect the amenities of a modern business. Unfortunately, even something as simple as slow load times on a website can ruin the opportunity to convert leads. If a company can’t meet expectations and achieve the bare minimum on legacy modernization software, it must either modernize or risk losing its customer base.

Why Modernize?

Even if your business doesn’t see the need for software modernization, your competitors do. A failure to perform an assessment now will make catching up more difficult in the long run.

As the pace of doing business accelerates, it puts a greater strain on IT and internal systems. With many business operations systems written years or decades ago, patches won’t cut it. They complicate everyday business and slow the system.

When you need speed and flexibility, this reliance on legacy solutions cripples your business.

Software Modernization Benefits

Reduced Costs – While legacy software modernization costs money in the short term, its return on investment can’t be overstated. Legacy systems cost more to maintain, and when combined with lost revenue from failure to retain customers and capture revenue, outdated software costs more than an upgrade.

Modern technology moves faster on the back end, as well. Cybercriminals move at a furious pace, and businesses that retain legacy systems without cutting-edge software open themselves to devastating cyberattacks. Data breaches can cost millions in fines and lost revenue — they aren’t worth the risk.

Businesses must also consider the cost of legacy talent. Old systems require rarer, near-outdated skill sets that drive up hiring costs. Contemporary tools attract new staff with a desire to learn or with modern expertise and a better understanding of today’s technology market.

High Technology Scalability – Many modern solutions combine flexibility, security, and savings on storage with cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) models. Specialists look to the future and can pivot on a dime to meet market changes and accommodate enterprise growth.

It’s easy to add new applications and users without the high costs of additional storage.

Increased Agility – Finally, modern SaaS services decentralize their applications, which makes it easy to test and roll out new functions without disruption in other systems — and isolate compromised systems in the event of a breach.

Software Modernization Challenges

In addition to the unique challenge every business faces, a few common threads plague attempts to modernize.

A lack of a unified software modernization strategy turns any attempt at efficiency into a slow program that lumbers along without end. Few employees have an objective view of their company’s entire software suite. The missing big picture makes it hard to plan.

Even worse, many enterprises decide to modernize without specific goals. If a modernization team doesn’t know which step in the process they’ve reached, they have no idea how far along they are or when to stop. Since the definition of “legacy software” is ultimately subjective, unclear communication diverts attention.

legacy software modernization

Tips for a Successful Software Modernization Strategy

The first step in any modernization, big or small, is to ask yourself why this is necessary. What business need started the modernization discussion? Did a business function suffer major downtime? What caused it?

List the actual, objective technical limitations and bottlenecks, and assess the software portfolio to see what needs are addressed.

Don’t throw everything out — know which of your legacy systems provide value and produce a solid return on investment. Some legacy systems last as long as they have because they work better than anything else available.

Next, it’s important to determine how you want to modernize. Should you replace software solutions entirely? Should you rebuild critical systems or refactor them to fit modern expectations? Or should everything be ported to the cloud without changes?

No one method fits every program. Meet the needs of each application to create the most optimal performance. This process takes time but is well worth it.

Most importantly, be agile. Document everything through the long process and respond to it. Make changes as they are needed, with small rollouts and constant testing. Monitor system performances and update as much as is necessary.

Modernization is designed to make the business work faster, not slower.

How SMART TS XL Facilitates Legacy Software Modernization

The volume of code needed to operate a modern business is staggering. The SMART TX XL application modernization software makes it easy to search through millions of lines of code to find dependencies and redundancies.

Tackling legacy modernization with solid planning and the right tools will ensure you bring your legacy systems into the modern age.

Contact IN-COM today to learn more.