The process of digital transformation relies heavily on up-to-date software and apps. In fact, digital-first user experience and business processes can be limited by outdated technology. On the other hand, if your business makes the switch from legacy to cutting-edge infrastructure, you may anticipate a substantial gain in income. In addition, your organization will be more prepared to benefit from the upcoming stage of technological development.
What is legacy software?
Legacy software is one that uses technology that has now become outdated. Not only does this apply to computer hardware that is no longer supported, but also to coding and software that are no longer adequate for a company's current technological demands.
Why do businesses still use systems from the past?
Why do businesses continue to rely on legacy systems despite the many difficulties and high costs associated with doing so? Why do they resist modernization so much?
The reluctance or fear of change is a major contributing factor. Since we are, by nature, creatures of habit, not all of us are prepared to go out into the unknown to embrace the radical shifts necessary for successful digital transformation. Employees are frequently the ones who are unwilling to accept new technology and commit to novel procedures and applications.
In addition, companies may choose to stick with outdated infrastructures because of a lack of funds. Concerns regarding the return on investment (ROI) of introducing new software might be a strong obstacle. Lock-in with a single vendor might be a problem as well. And if workers are already hostile to new systems, how can businesses ensure a return on investment (ROI) if they experiment with anything new?
The decision to continue using outdated systems is partly a question of complacency. The old proverb goes something like this: "If it ain't broke, don't repair it." If something is operating as intended, then there's no reason to alter it. Why introduce new software and then have to educate people how to use it if they are already accustomed to utilizing such systems?
Fear of failure is another reason that encourages people to stick with older technologies. Many businesses, especially those involved in banking and finance, can't afford to lose data under any circumstances. Regardless of the reasons, we are now in the year 2022, and businesses have to adapt or risk falling behind.
Drawbacks of legacy software
Even while there are certain economic advantages to using legacy software, they pale in comparison to the problems that might arise from sticking with them. The issues of using outdated technology are discussed further on.
Failure to innovate
It is well-known that businesses are hampered in their efforts to improve by their reliance on outdated technology. Discomfort forces companies to focus on technological advancement and adaptation. The ramifications have a negative effect on company strategy and prevent companies from making the most of their working hours.
Additionally, because strategy and operations are inflexible, legacy software keeps companies stagnant. Another obstacle for companies that want to allow employees to work remotely is the fact that many legacy software still rely on in-person interactions and data saved on local devices.
There is a widening gap between new technologies and older infrastructures as yearly technological advancements accelerate. Both introducing a new technology and upgrading the current one may be a hassle for many companies.
Low levels of data security
Due to their age and absence of further development, legacy software poses security risks in several areas, including document security.
In addition, without consistent upkeep, vulnerable older software would not receive the latest security upgrades and patches they need. For this reason, any business, no matter its field, faces risks from insufficient data protection.
Not efficient in terms of cost
The cost of maintenance is yet another drawback of legacy software. Of course, there will be expenses associated with whatever system you implement but keeping legacy software running may be rather costly. First, it's becoming increasingly difficult and more expensive to find developers and engineers who work with old software because most of them are keen on building their careers on cutting-edge tools.
Secondly, legacy software maintenance ensures that essential functions continue to be carried out, but there is little room for expansion in a stagnant infrastructure. The cost of upkeep for older software is a serious issue. If an organization does not effectively manage its outdated technology or replace it, it will incur additional expenditure. Legacy systems are often criticized for being inefficient and wasteful.
Incompatible and out of date procedures
As technology advances and shifts away from more traditional processes, legacy systems become less relevant. In addition, many companies prioritize effectiveness and the quality of their customers' experiences. Therefore, having software that works well together is essential for delivering excellent service and/or goods.
For example, document automation is a modern business necessity that is not supported by outdated systems. In the long run, system upgrades may improve data accuracy and decrease processing times.
What is application modernization?
Application modernization refers to the process of updating the functionality, architecture, and/or platform infrastructure of older, outdated software programs. Your company may get fresh business value from old apps by moving and modernizing them to take advantage of today's best practices and cutting-edge technology. Many methods of application modernization aim to replace on-premises maintenance and updates with cloud-native design.
How to understand that you need to modernize your application
Listed below are five indicators that it is time for a change to the current era. If you notice that these issues exist, it may be time to push your business toward modernization.
1. High operating and upkeep expenses
When the upkeep of the current software is more expensive than the upgrade, the choice is obvious. Updates to increase efficiency may cost more up front, but they will save money in the long run.
And isn't that truly the point? To make better use of time and resources. Because if you can increase your organization's efficiency, you'll be able to bring in more money and cover the price of any upcoming projects.
2. The software is simply... clumsy
Is there feedback from customers about the system's usability? Are users' efforts hindered by a process that requires many, time-consuming steps? Could it be described as sluggish?
If your software is clumsy, it's probably old. Fitting a modernization plan to the demands of your company's regular employees can increase output and boost morale.
3. Your company's procedures have been altered
If you made your application choice some years ago, chances are that your company processes or the way your workers execute their jobs have evolved significantly since then. Furthermore, if the legacy system was designed to perform tasks "the old way," it may prove challenging to integrate your new procedure with the software's essential features.
4. No strong integration with potential future applications
It goes without saying that you'll require seamless connection between the new apps and the legacy software if you plan on employing them in the future. However, if your existing vendor doesn't have the necessary integrations and your IT department can't develop them, modernization may be your only option.
5. It is not optimized for mobile devices
Your workforce will be more productive and efficient overall if they can access the software from anywhere, at any time. To be competitive in today's business climate, mobile access must be supported by your system; otherwise, you'll be stuck in the same inefficient, expensive setup you're wanting to get rid of.
In order to ensure that as many people as possible have access to the system and take advantage of its features, it is important to invest in cloud-enabled, mobile-friendly solutions. By making this significant technological leap, you will see a surge in efficiency. Your staff will appreciate it as well.
Benefits of app modernization
Take a moment to consider the benefits of updating your software.
1. Flexibility to develop new features and services
Every business owner's first consideration when selecting software for their operation is whether the program will serve their needs. However, businesses are adaptable, and they readily embrace new methods and ideas. However, it might be difficult for organizations to satisfy the expectations of current clients when the legacy technology they're using becomes outmoded.
When an organization modernizes its applications, it gains the ability to develop and launch brand-new offerings that are perfectly tailored to the demands of the market at the present moment. Additionally, businesses may customize these functionalities to guarantee that older programs keep adding value.
2. Boosted employee productivity
If you stick with obsolete software, you should expect a decline in employee morale and output. In a similar vein, as a business expands, additional workforce is required. Thus, it is highly time-consuming and expensive to train people to use an older IT system.
However, with today's technology, mundane tasks may be automated, and new workers can be trained quickly and efficiently. Additionally, if your administrative and development team has access to contemporary technology, they could be more effective than they were previously.
3. No technical debt
A company's technical debts begin to accumulate when it is not prepared to update its legacy application. The inefficient software is riddled with issues including bugs, expensive application maintenance, and inability to scale.
It's also impossible to fix one part of the legacy software without also affecting the others. It's a huge drain on resources and slows down development.
It may be highly expensive to keep an aging IT software operational. However, market experts claim that updating the old tech might save companies as much as 13 % on operating expenses. In addition, their annual income might increase by more than 14%.
4. Enhanced customer experience
The market is flooded with companies selling essentially identical wares. In such a crowded marketplace, what sets your company or product apart from the rest? Statistics show that seventy-five to eighty-five percent of customers will pay more for an exceptional purchasing experience. Thus, we may conclude that providing a nice experience for the client is just as important as offering a reasonable price.
But, just due to the age of the legacy programs in use, customer service has declined. As a result, it might be challenging to offer a quick and effective solution for such uses.
However, you might benefit from the cloud environment while using current apps. The whole archive may be quickly restored from backup anytime it is needed. After you've updated your applications, your users won't have any trouble finding their way around.
5. Improved safety measures
As new cyber threats emerge, there is a need to constantly review and upgrade the security measures in place inside older programs. A cyber-attack can cause you to lose not just your customers but also data that is crucial to running your business.
However, cloud-native apps provide cutting-edge security while saving significant amounts of both time and money. Therefore, you don't have to exert as much work as you would with an older system.
Types of app modernization
There are several different ways to modernize your app. Let’s discuss a few of them below, so you can understand which one meets your needs best.
Desktop to web migration
Desktop application migration is the process of moving a company's vital functions to modern web technologies, where they can benefit from increased accessibility, security, and efficiency. This change permits not only the renewal of the technology stack but also the scalability and mobile-friendliness of your company's services, making them more available to users.
Migration to cloud
The term "cloud migration" describes the process of transferring data, programs, and systems from a company's own servers to those of a third-party service provider.
When executed properly, a cloud migration may provide substantial benefits, including the capacity to scale on demand, to save money over time, and to use the cloud's immediate resources as a sort of R&D lab for digital innovation.
Refactoring is the process of making changes to code in order to enhance it without affecting the code's functioning. When done properly, software restructuring should have no noticeable effect on the user experience beyond speeding up responses.
Code refactoring can be done for a variety of reasons: for more convenience in upkeep, to increase its efficiency and speed up its operations, to make use of cutting-edge tools and industry standards.
In the history of software development, programs were typically created without future evolution in mind. When an app's architecture doesn’t meet existing workload, speed, cost or reliability requirements, it's time for a redesign. When you update the framework of your app, it's easier to meet the evolving needs of your users.
Having a well-thought-out user interface and user experience is crucial to the success of any software system. While updating your present UX/UI may seem like a tedious task, the benefits will extend well beyond aesthetics. It will boost business outcomes like customer satisfaction and retention rates.
Adding third-party integrations
It may take a long time to perfect tools developed in-house, even if you have the means to do so. The refining process has already been completed on the tools that were produced by the experts. So, integrating software from a third party enables you to rapidly add features and capabilities to your business operations that would otherwise need a significant amount of time and effort to build in-house.
How Blackthorn Vision can help
In our work, we often observe how user needs evolve to keep up with the rapid technological progress. Launching a product onto the market requires careful planning for future updates and scaling. And Blackthorn Vision ensures that!
One of our clients from the Netherlands needed to modernize their outdated POS system into a modern web application. So, here’s what we did:
- Migrated from single-tenant to multi-tenant architecture. This gave more flexibility in how resources are allocated and utilized. The client can schedule or delay system updates for all restaurants or specific tenants only.
- Updated a legacy tech stack to Angular and ASP.NET. This improved the app's efficiency and let us redesign user experience according to stakeholder needs.
- Implemented a CI/CD pipeline. This automated the software delivery process, so that developers could deploy changes faster without downtime or performance disruptions.
- Integrated third-party services. We implemented Google Geolocation API so that solution could bring restaurant data from all locations directly to the user. In addition, we enabled multilingual support by integrating Google Translation API.
- Implemented reports module. Our dedicated team developed a custom reports engine with Telerik reports, dashboards, scheduled email reports via SendGrid API, and forecasting. This automated various tasks associated with data collection and analysis, streamlined decision-making processes, and boosted overall transparency and accountability within the end-user's organization.
- Created the back-office module. This allowed users to manage restaurant inventory by goods, groups, categories, etc.
- Developed mobile applications for data management and POS. On top of displaying the main app’s content, we added several mobile-only features and developed two mobile apps for iOS and Android that work directly with the POS.
Our application modernization services helped the client turn their legacy system into an efficient and feature-rich web app for comprehensive restaurant management. The solution automates essential tasks of restaurant business, saving time and labor costs for restaurant owners.
If you want to revamp your legacy software and stay competitive in today's market, our skilled team of developers will create a custom solution according to your objectives, specifications, and budget.
Contact us today and learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your business goals.