A legacy system, in the context of computing, refers to outdated computer systems, programming languages or application software that are used instead of available upgraded versions.
- via Techopedia
Many enterprise organizations still manage their internal operations through large-scale legacy software, that was built decades ago. The banking sector is a great example because banks are usually conservative when it comes to adopting new technologies and software design models. Banks can go years without any significant, major updates of their software systems. This is not without a reason, as old banking software has very complex monolithic architecture that incorporates hundreds and thousands of dependencies, intertwined between layers of business logic.
Keeping your organization’s software in the same state for years and not following modern trends isn’t a good choice, because it makes your business vulnerable. Staying on top of the latest tech stacks and product development methodologies ensures your software will be efficient, stable, and secure. It also allows you to easily plan updates and provide new functionality to your users. This is why many companies are engaging in software modernization projects, mainly focused on re-architecting business applications and migrating to the latest technologies. Here are three reasons why you should also consider this step:
ACCESSIBILITY AND SUPPORT
Aging technologies are a nightmare to support. The main issues is usually lack of human resources. Legacy systems are build with programming languages and frameworks that aren’t actively taught in schools anymore. People who are experts in these technologies are scarce in the workforce, because they’re either in or close to retirement. At the same time, emerging young specialists aren’t interested in working with old technology. Keeping up with the latest trends ensures you’ll be able to maintain and fix your business applications in the future.
We already mentioned that old systems are usually built following the monolithic approach. This makes it hard to perform updates without detailed planning, because each update could affect various parts of the system - not just the one that’s getting updated. Thus you risk (or even need) downtime. Redesigning your system to follow the modular architecture approach “closes” various parts of the business logic in their own small capsule, called a module. You can perform changes, fixes and updates to separate modules without planning downtime and disturbing your usual business operations - you simply switch off the module, do the work and switch it back on. Scaling is also way easier as new modules can be connected to the system anytime.
If your business app suite has existed for a couple of decades, more often than not there are string of dead code somewhere in it, that don’t do anything anymore. They’ve probably been replaced with new code, but haven’t been erased from the archive. Besides dead code, there are also lots of duplicates - code fragments that serve the same purpose. At a first glance it seems like this code doesn’t do any bad - it just stays there and your application still works, right? That’s true, but it still takes space and resources. It also compiles together with everything else, so your deploys probably take a lot longer than they should. A simple archive clean-up can identify which fragments of code can be deleted from the archive, and thus leave you only with what you really need.
Of course, these aren’t the only reasons to consider software modernization. We prepared a detailed whitepaper where we explain three additional advantages of modern systems. We also included useful information about the phases a software modernization project goes through. This whitepaper is based on our real experience with clients, so take a look!