Businesses have plenty of reasons to move on from legacy apps and platforms. In many cases, companies spend heavily on keeping legacy systems up and running, so much so that innovation ends up stifled because maintenance tasks end up dominating development and testing activities. In some instances, security risks become an issue. While both of these problems offer plenty of incentive to update legacy products and platforms, data integration may be an even bigger issue. The problem isn’t simply that legacy apps don’t easily communicate with contemporary solutions. Instead, legacy platforms are often built on underlying architectures that don’t work well in cloud environments, have the ability to support big data, or provide support for modern solutions, such as Blockchain.
With organizations becoming more dependent on interconnected digital ecosystems to support operations, gaps that force users to work exclusively from certain device types, work from a specific location or jump through similar logistical hoops can slow operations to a crawl. Furthermore, the maintenance work and security issues we just discussed often come into play when businesses try to migrate information from modern apps into legacy solutions.
Integration presents a major problem for organizations contending with legacy apps. Creating APIs and implementing open architectures across a platform can ease many integration challenges. These strategies may solve immediate issues, but they won’t resolve underlying architectural issues that limit how legacy systems work alongside cloud services or systems existing in highly virtualized environments. Complete app modernization is often necessary to resolve integration challenges fully. However, an app modernization project is a huge undertaking. Ramping up your organization’s development capabilities can go a long way in dealing with modernization challenges, making it easier to take on such a large development and testing initiative.
Looking at the modernization problem
Consider today’s cloud apps and platforms. These systems rely on highly automated, orchestrated and interconnected ecosystems incorporating virtual operating systems, servers, storage machines and network assets. While these setups are complex, they also allow for a greater degree of data sharing and integration between systems as solutions hosted within the same platform can share data seamlessly and apps hosted in separate clouds can often use APIs and similar solutions to talk to one another.
“Integration is a major impetus behind legacy system modernization.”
In contrast, legacy apps are often residing on traditional servers, possibly specialized legacy systems that couldn’t easily be replaced, and operating in a data center and network model that doesn’t naturally interconnect with the cloud. As businesses embrace hybridized IT environments, with modern, highly virtualized data center setups that work hand-in-hand with public and private cloud assets, legacy systems end up sticking out like a sore thumb.
In this setup, data integration becomes a nightmare, and changing the app is problematic. TechBeacon pointed out that many legacy apps are built as monolithic systems, meant to work within closed-off configurations and operate in isolated silos.
On top of this major architectural limitation, most legacy platforms will struggle to work with systems such as Azure, AWS, Google cloud services and Salesforce, and the complexity involved in aligning a legacy solution with such cloud platforms can slow time to market to a crawl. Testing also become a nightmare because any component that changes in order to work with modern systems will need regression testing. In short, you don’t just need to write new code or find a modern app, you need to completely retrofit the solution to bring it up to date.
As data integration becomes acutely necessary in the modern enterprise, companies increasingly must update their legacy applications to keep up in a cloud-focused world. Organizations striving to keep pace in this environment need to ramp up their development efficiency. This may sound overwhelming, but businesses aren’t alone. At KMS Technology, we offer development teams and training to help organizations take on app and platform modernization initiatives. We also offer consulting services to make sure the project aligns with your needs. Contact us today if you want to learn more.