The goal of an application modernisation project is to create new business value from existing applications. An application is a program designed to perform a specific function directly for the user or, in some cases, for another application program. Keeping legacy applications running smoothly can be a time-consuming, resource-intensive process, especially when the software becomes so outdated that it becomes incompatible with newer versions of the underlying operating system (OS) or system hardware.
Traditional methods for modernising applications include rewriting existing application code written in COBOL to a more modern, Web-friendly programming language or placing a Web interface in front of an outdated application to salvage parts of the application that might still have value. The challenges in modernizing legacy applications come mostly from the fact that, in many legacy applications, the business process workflow is hardcoded and tightly coupled with other aspects of the legacy code.
Our road to a successful migration
It’s not uncommon today to find 20- to 30-year-old legacy systems that have been upgraded and re-patched. Banks, government agencies and other businesses rely on these systems to perform daily customer and business transactions. Some systems aren’t able to keep up with ever-increasing demands, particularly when it comes to large amounts of transaction and data. As a result, many software architects’ and CIOs’ agendas are weighing the risks of legacy application modernisation.
To keep up with technology changes, some slow-performing and resource-intensive old systems have been updated, and others are being considered for legacy application modernisation on new platforms. The latest platforms deliver resource optimisation, higher scalability, faster data speed and quicker workload balancing over the Internet.
One legacy migration approach is to repurpose old applications into resource-efficient and optimal applications in-house or for the cloud. If a legacy application has been successfully modernized in-house, it doesn’t mean it can also be used as a Software as a Service, or SaaS, application.
Not all applications that run successfully in-house can be migrated to the cloud. In order for the migration to be successful, the behavior of the application needs to be changed for use over the Internet.
Changing application behavior come with risks, however. The dangers include slower performance; generation of garbage output; poor scalability; high resource consumption; frequent application failures; and in the worst possible scenario, system crashes.