application modernization services
Mike Jackowski Updated: 14 Nov 2022 8 min to read

Understand Application Modernization Services for Improving Future Business Needs

With the rapidly changing Information architecture landscape, many companies are looking to modernize their legacy systems to give the product a fresh look with optimum speed and efficiency.

Application modernization can help businesses update their products and improve the whole business outlook to keep up with the pace of the ever-growing IT space and ensure digital innovation.

But before you jump into application modernization services, you need to take care of some important aspects of digital transformation. Let’s discuss those in detail here.


What is a Legacy Application?

A legacy application is a system made on older software or hardware. While it may have been enough to cater to the initial needs and wants of the company and users, most of the time, it’s not able to scale up to meet the new capabilities of the user and is not able to add as much business value as required.

There are multiple reasons why you should modernize your legacy applications:

  • Working with the latest technologies/applications
  • Optimizing User and Customer experience
  • Achieve performance efficiency
  • Enhance security
  • Innovate faster and get ahead of the competition
legacy app

Legacy Applications are often a major blocker to business growth.

What is Legacy Application Modernization?

The process of transforming Legacy applications built with older technology (such as on-premises servers etc.) to applications that utilize cloud services to work faster and improve efficiency to tackle all business needs.

In this day and age, it’s absolutely essential to stay ahead of the curve and meet the standards of speed and security to ensure business value grows exponentially. Companies that don’t leverage multi-cloud technology and artificial intelligence to enhance their business processes start to slow down and eventually stop.

Legacy application modernization is just like a software update these days. Legacy transformation enables your business to take advantage of legacy applications with the added benefit of the latest infrastructure and technology to boost performance and scale productivity.

The change is part of the definition of business. Those who keep up or stay ahead of change succeed. That’s why our approach to software modernization is to design for future needs. Creating functionality that covers current business processes is not enough. Digital solutions should push the business forward and keep it on a path of continuous development. This is the philosophy we believe in, and this is the kind of software our customers expect. Paul Jackowski CEO, ASPER BROTHERS Let's Talk


When is it worth modernizing legacy applications?

Before jumping in to find out how to modernize legacy applications, let’s discuss when is the right time to modernize outdated systems.

Little to no room for Upgradation or Improvement

If you feel like every time you talk to the developers about an upgrade, they find the implementation difficult due to architecture or error-prone software, that is your hint to take the help of modernization services to upgrade your system. Standing still and not being able to push upgrades to the system will cause your business value to decrease very quickly, and you might not be able to compete in the market with other giants.

Bugs, Errors, and Crashes are more frequent than ever

Legacy applications tend to cause errors and crash much more frequently than newer systems using cloud-native or Microsoft Azure technology to host their applications. It might also be because of the user’s load that the legacy system cannot handle. Consider that a sign that your system needs an upgrade.

Weak Integration with third-party Applications

We’re now living in a world where cloud environments use APIs to talk to other systems, even the IT world has become a global village now. Most of the applications these days offer public APIs to help integrate other systems with their own, to enhance usability, and increase connectedness. But that is not how legacy applications were designed, they used legacy databases and outdated business layers, which makes it hard to integrate with third-party applications.

Security Risks

Just as software development pushes updates daily, hackers are also growing and improving on making cyber attacks. Legacy applications are prone to such attacks a lot more since they’re not pushing updates and security patches as often. The best practice is to stay ahead of the curve and modernize your application as soon as possible before a cyber attack costs you millions in revenue and public image.


How to Prepare for Application Modernization?

Choose the optimum strategy! Here are a few things to look at:


The system’s architecture is the foundation on which all future developments and automation will occur. If the foundation is weak or outdated, the upper layers will collapse at the slightest risk. To ensure the application runs smoothly, ensure the architecture is built right. It all depends on the business processes, requirements, and current and future needs of the business. It will allow systems to transform requirements into working logic and ensure good navigation.

app modernization

Modernizing an application is not only an opportunity to add new features but, more importantly, changes in architecture and technology. Such changes will significantly simplify the further development of the application.

Software development and Business Plans

To map out the best strategy, you must know what you need to change to improve scalability and make the system more efficient at the optimum costs. Another important thing to keep in mind is business processes, current, and future. The new system should be able to support all the ongoing processes and enhance productivity instead of hindering it.

Business value and opportunities

It’s best to plan out the budget for application modernization options in advance. This is to ensure that the transformation is not stopped halfway. Given the financial conditions and the value it’s going to add is defined from the very start, you will be able to achieve much better results with higher efficiency and quality.


What are the Main Steps of Application Modernization?

You should follow these seven-step guidelines for application modernization and go for the approach that best suits your business needs at hand.

1. Analyze the legacy system

Gartner defines six major drivers that organizations need to address as the first step on the road to successful application modernization. The first 3 things that come up on the list are Business related. The value, agility, and business fit will ensure that the application modernization is able to bring the required change and upgradation.

Then the three IT-related drivers are there for organizations to ponder that their current system’s maintenance, security risks, and the complexity of understanding might be bigger than the value it is adding to the business. But it doesn’t end here, and the more drivers you can add to this first step of application portfolio modernization, the better results the organization can achieve.

2. Jot down your problems

What areas of the application are causing the most problems? What’s working and what’s not? What business areas are being affected?

At this step of application modernization, specify the problems further and go into specific user stories of the issues. Have a clear picture in mind of what’s working for your users and what’s not. It’s essential to note what’s working too so that you don’t end up changing that into something different.

3. Assess Application Modernization

After the successful completion of the first 2 steps, you should now have a clear idea of the problem at hand and where your legacy system stands now. The next step will be determining how the application will be updated.

The 7 Rs of application modernization are categorized from easiest to implement to complex and from least impact to most.

  • Retire

If and when a legacy application is not working as intended to address business needs, it’s time for organizations to go back to the development cycle and figure out the right product to address their needs. In this approach, the original application will be retired. It will be followed by a software development process to give birth to a new working application that meets the present and future goals of the organization.

  • Replace

In this method, the existing system is scraped fully, and a new system is brought into place to replace the previous one. The things to take care of in this approach is to make sure the integration of data from an older to a newer system is smooth and done without compromising on quality or integrity of the data,

  • Relocate

Relocate approach, also known as rehosting approach, means moving the entire application to a new hosting system via cloud migration. This is also called the ‘Lift and shift’ approach in which an organization doesn’t need to re-code any of its systems. They just lift the code from on-premises and shift it to cloud technology, basically leveraging the benefits of the cloud’s speed and performance without having to redo any of the lengthy processes.

  • Re-platform

As can be understood from the name itself, re-platform involves moving the system to a different and better platform. In this approach, the features and functionalities of the apps remain the same while benefiting from the optimized performance of a different platform.

  • Re-build

This is possibly the hardest approach to application modernization, and it costs the most too. But as all things, it harvests the most benefits as well. The other Rs mentioned can be utilized by most organizations to modernize their systems. Still, re-building means the digital journey of transitioning from a legacy system to a completely new integrated cloud-native system for the company.

This method includes hefty developers’ operations using technologies like microservices, APIs, etc.

  • Re-Use

The self-explanatory name of this approach includes the ability to modernize a system by reusing some of the coding and architecture baselines to improve the overall system’s efficiency. This can be done by writing new backend code while utilizing the same front-end or vice versa. Whichever is reused goes on to save cost for the company.

  • Re-Architect

The Re-architect approach can deliver modernization by altering the infrastructure level codes to open up new arenas of possibilities and capabilities. The cost of this method can be comparatively lesser than re-building it altogether since it only includes changing the architecture level while the business layer remains the same. Modernizing the system this way can deliver scalability and open automation for the clients.

4. Choose the best modernization approach

You can go beyond the impact and cost of these approaches to carefully consider the following while making a decision on the approach to opt for:

  • Current architecture
  • Workload
  • Risk
  • Security
  • Team structure and capabilities

5. Plan for future growth

While it may seem like the client’s requirements right now are your biggest priority, it helps to take a holistic view of the market and realize the kind of changes that might be coming in the next few years. The company’s CTO and technical heads should plan for Agility and scalability to ensure their system is up to challenge when a new requirement comes in.

6. Pick the right partner for Modernization

Many companies have in-house capabilities to modernize their systems, but it still helps to consult the experts in the field to run an audit on all the above-mentioned points. Look out for the best DevOps expertise, experience, and the process they follow to modernize a particular legacy application.

7. Implement and Improve

The 7th and last step is to implement the decisions taken based on careful consideration of all the points and once the process has started, keep observing all the things that are going right or wrong. Based on those observations, improve your way of modernization to get optimized results in the end. Remember, application modernization is a gradual process that can change or improve based on each organization’s needs and wants.

modern software vs legacy software

Modernization of the application is a benefit in many areas.



Organizations now have a good understanding of the importance of application modernization and are on their path to the digital transformation of their system. But the number of systems that fail to reach the finish line remains alarming, with 1/3rd of them failing to realize their desired goals.

It’s important to perform all the steps carefully and with consideration to make sure your organization’s journey to a bigger and better system goes smoothly. To sum it all up, application modernization is pertinent, and it’s here to stay. The earlier your organization takes on the challenge, the faster it’ll grow in terms of customer satisfaction, revenue generation, and staying ahead of the competitors.


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Whether you need to create solutions from scratch or build on existing software – we will provide you with a holistic service. We’ll advise you on the optimal way to successfully digitize your business processes.

Mike Jackowski

Operating Brother



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