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Elevate Your Business with Legacy Software Modernization

In today’s competitive market and rapidly evolving technological landscape, legacy software systems that once provided a solid foundation for your company’s success can quickly become a barrier to future growth.

Even if a legacy system isn’t constantly crashing, if it’s slow-loading, can’t function in the event of erroneous inputs, isn’t scalable, or can’t be counted on to withstand advanced security threats, it’s a liability that’s almost certainly decreasing your employees’ productivity and end-users’ satisfaction – and ultimately – limiting your business’s profitability.

Application modernization adds adaptability to systems, delivers ROI from reduced operational and maintenance costs, and can even help businesses stave off compliance failures before they result in expensive legal battles.

Because transforming older systems into modern solutions is an intricate process, we’ve designed this page to help companies understand the nuances, challenges, and strategies associated with legacy application modernization.

Assess Your Legacy Software’s Performance Now!

Benefits of Assessing Your Software’s Performance
NOW Vs. Later

  • When you’re busy trying to make your month-end, assessing the state of your legacy software might not seem urgent or even important – especially if your system hasn’t failed yet or your team’s been able to engineer in-house workarounds to cope with day-to-day glitches. You might know it’s less than perfect, but hey, you’ve got bigger fish to fry.
  • But what if we told you that modernizing your legacy software could save you money, give you a leg up on your competition – whose systems are probably loaded with legacy software, as well – and allow your employees to spend more time innovating instead of struggling with software that’s seen better days?
  • Still not convinced? Consider these three additional benefits of legacy application modernization:

Increased Security 

In 2023, the average cost of an enterprise data breach in Canada was a staggering $6.94M CDN (USD 5.13M), requiring an average of 322 days to identify and contain. Think your legacy software could stand up to an advanced cyberattack? Wonder if your company could cope with being locked out of key systems or data for almost a year?

Compliance in a Rapidly-Changing Regulatory Environment 

If your company uses legacy software to house sensitive customer data, you may already be violating regulations regarding data privacy and protection, especially if you do business beyond Canada’s borders. Modern software can easily be adapted to respond to changing regulatory requirements and can even create an audit trail that proves your business is compliant.

Interoperability with Modern Tech

Wonder if your company could cope with being locked out of key systems or data for almost a year? Want to use IoT technology for remote monitoring in your warehouse, task AI to decrease your product development costs without affecting safety, or increase the functionality of your mobile app without having to remake the whole thing? Without application modernization, all these opportunities could be off the table.

Application Modernization Trusted by a Diverse Array of Clients

What is Legacy Software Modernization?

  • Software becomes obsolete due for various reasons, including discontinued support for one or more programming languages, failure to align with current user or business process needs, or non-compliance with industry standards.
  • Software Application modernization is the process of analyzing pain points, evaluating improvement options and transforming legacy software so it meets industry standards for productivity, efficiency, user experience withing what’s considered to be a modern technology stack or supporting integrations. 

When Should You Consider Legacy Software Modernization?

If a legacy application is imposing specific limitations or hindering business progress,
it could be time to evaluate the application. The eight common areas to review are:

Robustness

Involves assessing your software’s ability to function correctly and reliably even in the event of erroneous inputs, network issues, and other unexpected user interactions.

Security & Compliance

Involves ensuring your software can withstand OWASP’s Top 10 critical cybersecurity risks, confirming MFA use, checking for adherence to statutory regulations, and inspecting processes for creating and retaining audit logs.

Scalability

Involves analyzing how well your application adapts when data loads or user numbers increase to 2x or 3x capacity and considering what would happen if loads increased by even larger margins in the future.

Functionality

Involves evaluating how your application compares to functionality benchmarks for usability, internationalization, agility, tenancy and more. 

Performance

Involves comparing your software’s processing speeds and response times for typical front-end, back-end and database tasks to industry standards.

Technology

Involves weighing how well your application’s tech stack is holding up re: availability of support and developer resources, exploring how and where it’s tied to out-of-date or obsolete software, and verifying that it’s developed and maintained according to industry best practices.

Factors to Consider When Modernizing

Assessment 

Ensure the justification for application modernization is well thought-out and tied to both business strategy and goals. If modernizing is not critical to achieving both current and future company goals, resources will be spread thin between competing priorities.

Highlight the benefits of the process, including anticipated day-to-day operational efficiencies, heightened analysis capabilities and advanced technology integrations, as well as expense reduction and ROI from future revenue generation.

Commit to change management. Application modernization requires teams to be aligned as they work separately towards a shared goal. Company leaders need to champion the project, engage with various stages as needed, foster input from end users, and keep relevant information and updates flowing. To support long-lasting change, leaders also need to allocate adequate budget for training and transition time for all users.

Budget

While the need to modernize legacy software in the face of increased competition and rapidly evolving technologies like AI is vital, not squandering your budget in uncertain times can be a powerful reason to put legacy software modernization on hold yet again.

In order to keep your legacy application modernization plans moving forward without putting undue strain on your budget:

Put the customer journey at the center of any potential optimization or rebuild.

Structure your modernization for future growth and leading-edge tech integrations. 

Understand the technological requirements of your supply chain.

Assess an approach and timeline for optimizing vs. rebuilding.

Assess relevant cloud-smart and data-smart approaches.

Determine project resource allocations.

Assess relevant cloud-smart and data-smart approaches.

Technology

When it comes to deciding between optimizing and rebuilding, there are a few things to consider.

First, you should only optimize if your application’s technology framework is supported and expected to remain viable over the next 5-10 years. Second, if you can’t place a checkmark beside two or more of the following support indicators, you’re probably better off rebuilding your system in a modern and well-supported technology stack.

Obvious indicators of long-term support include:

A reasonable assurance of backward compatibility within the software/stack you currently use.

Ample fresh or local talent willing to work on your platform.

Easy-to-access community support online (for example, on Stack Overflow). 

Less obvious indicators include:

Use of key elements within your stack by large tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Twitter, etc.

A regular and substantial number of commits appearing on GitHub (if open source). 



Need more information? Check out our blog about optimizing versus replacing legacy software systems.

Technical Paths to Application Modernization

Options to explore when considering legacy software modernization.

Mantrax Flow Chart

1. Encapsulate

Wrap up legacy software in an isolated environment and manage access and communication with newer systems and technologies through APIs. This is often followed by a plan for a gradual phasing out of the legacy software by reducing access and putting phase-out timelines in place.

2. Refactor

Restructure and optimize the existing code (although not its external behaviour) to decrease technical debt and improve nonfunctional attributes.

3. Replatform

Choose a modern technology stack that can keep up with your unique challenges and structure your application to handle growth and expanded functionality..

4. Rehost (Lift-and-Shift)

Experience unprecedented scalability and reliability by migrating your business-critical applications to the cloud.

5. Rearchitect

Don’t let archaic software architecture slow you down. Whether you have a tiered monolith on your hands or an application that involves multiple microservices, we’ll make the best recommendations for your use cases.

6. Rebuild

Rebuilding is sometimes the most sensible way out of technical debt, and we can make it an affordable choice. Rebuilding involves rewriting and rearchitecting the application from scratch using modern technologies.

7. Reassess

It’s always worth your while to get a second opinion before embarking on a major software project. We’ll examine your situation and provide unbiased options for your application modernization project.

8. Replace

If off-the-shelf software or SaaS offerings meet your requirements, we can help facilitate a comprehensive selection process. We’ll look at various things like technical and functional requirements, as well as external indicators such as market share, Gartner’s Magic Quadrant placement and adoption rate before we make our recommendations.

9. Reimagine

Are you thinking out of the box, or are you stuck in legacy processes and old-fashioned delivery methods? Rejuvenate your users’ experience through fresh thinking and modern offerings with application modernization services designed to make your business soar!

Tell us more about your business and the legacy software pain points you’d like to eliminate. We can help.


Choosing the Right Partner: Mantrax’s Approach to Providing Software Modernization Services

Unlike many other software modernization companies, Mantrax’s application modernization process goes well beyond software development. We work to discover and define what success looks like to you, make sure your project is set up correctly with a well-defined scope and a comprehensive statement of work, and then co-manage the critical path together with you to deliver your project on time and on budget.

The steps involved in realizing your legacy application modernization project include:

Discovery

An initial discussion with one of our seasoned Solution Architects to understand your requirements, urgency of the problem and learn more about your company’s long-term goals.

Assessment

We perform a detailed assessment of your current system to understand your pain points, identify and document mission-critical business processes, and evaluate your dependency on them. This enables us to come up with an optimal project plan for your application modernization project.

Statement of Work

When you’re confident with the high-level roadmap we create for your legacy software modernization process, we’ll develop a detailed statement of work outlining the granular and prioritized functional requirements, solution design, technology stack recommendations, project plan and other critical components of the task.

Project Setup

We assign a dedicated team to your project, including a single point of contact that will work with you to coordinate all discussions, questions and deliverables. We provide you with access to project management tools, our code repository, plus a variety of other resources designed to give you full visibility into the work we’re doing.

Agile Development

Our software development process for application modernization strictly follows the Agile Methodology. We believe a good software system results from excellent development practices coupled with continuous collaboration with our clients. We strive to deliver working software every two weeks (we call these two weeks a ‘sprint’). You’ll get complete visibility into our work through daily updates and real product demos with our developers, where you can see our progress and provide feedback. 

We believe having the opportunity to provide early, meaningful feedback on designs, wireframes, and prototypes helps clients feel more comfortable and confident with a process that’s both complex and time-consuming.

Launch

We work hand-in-hand with you to launch your new digital product, and recommend using a pilot launch before the full application is released to ensure all critical bugs are identified and fixed.

Transition

Using our Build, Operate and Transition model, our goal is to fully transition the system to your team as soon as possible. Our team is available to provide the necessary post-launch support as well.

Kickstart Your Project with Discovery That Yields Actionable Insights

legacy software discovery

Designing An Engaging Discovery Phase

The Discovery Phase is a pivotal part of every application modernization project. This foundational stage is the bedrock upon which the entire transformational journey is built. Through meticulous exploration and inclusive practices, we unveil the power of discovery through a dynamic platform that captures user perspectives and envisions the desired future state of your software.

legacy software development

Functional Analysis

Our approach to functional analysis goes beyond the surface and incorporates market research designed to uncover best-in-class functionality within your sector. We delve into typical user expectations, and use our industry prowess to analyze competitor strategies and decode industry megatrends. This deep dive and the insights it produces serve as a compass that guides your legacy application modernization journey and informs the application modernization services we recommend. Together, we’ll work to sculpt a narrative of innovation and excellence that propels your organization forward.

technical analysis software

Technical Legacy System Review

In the Technical Legacy System Review, we navigate the interior landscape of your existing systems. Our seasoned experts conduct a thorough examination, identifying areas for enhancement and optimization. This review is vital to aligning your legacy systems with contemporary needs and technological

software modernization strategy

Discovery Phase Output

The culmination of the Functional Analysis and Technical Discovery Phases yields tangible results. These may include a refined set of User Personas, detailed Technical Specifications/Recommendations, and ideas from market research. These outputs become the blueprint for the subsequent stages, shaping the scope and direction of your legacy software modernization. They also serve as the foundation for informed decision-making, enabling you to navigate priorities and budget constraints and establish a vision statement for your modernization endeavor

Stay Ahead of Your Competition and Future-Proof Your Business by Embracing Application Modernization

Legacy application modernization helps businesses in key ways, including:

Reducing programming and maintenance costs

Boosting employee productivity by realizing efficiencies through streamlined processes 

Enabling scalability, mobility and integration with advanced technologies such as IoT and AI by migrating data and applications to the cloud

Ensuring regulatory compliance, including by creating audit trails

Introducing flexibility and agility that not only lets you easily customize features and add functionalities but future-proofs your business by keeping your systems from becoming obsolete.

Although software modernization companies or consultants supplying application modernization services will each approach the process differently, it generally involves discovery, functional analysis and technical review phases that add inform refactoring, rearchitecting and reengineering tasks, and more.
While legacy software modernization can be challenging, with the right team working with you and for you, application modernization can drive digital transformations that are capable of creating incredible success for your company.

Ready to Get Started? Take Our Legacy Application Modernization Assessment