How to Choose the Right Application Modernization Strategy

Oleksandr Kruglyak
Head of Dev Department at TRIARE
11 min read
Application Modernization Strategy

Choosing an application modernization strategy can make or break your business.

In a time where everything is going digital, businesses are constantly looking for advanced tools and solutions that can do things faster, cheaper, and easier. Many have vanished from the market because their legacy systems could not keep up with changing consumer demands.

But, many have also survived and even dominated the marketing by upgrading their IT capabilities, UI/UX, and removing anything old that slowed down their performance and didn’t allow them to fulfill their potential. That’s called app modernization and we can show you how to use it.

What is app modernization?

The process of turning outmoded applications into modern apps using the newest technologies is known as legacy application modernisation. Modernizing old apps allows them to be upgraded or rebuilt so that they can operate in today’s operating environments.

Because legacy systems are built using outdated technology, it is more difficult to protect, enhance, and transmit key application components. To handle crucial company activities properly, these apps must be replaced or updated.

Why do you need an application modernization strategy?

Change will always occur. To save money, assure security, be ready for fresh opportunities, maintain competitiveness, and survive in the market, companies must accept change and upgrade their old systems.

Although many legacy systems are critical for business operations, IT heads must weigh the continued cost of maintaining them against the cost and migration of application modernization.

The practical value of modern apps in resolving issues related to legacy systems, such as customer experience and staff training, is another major reason to go for modernization. This goes beyond just the cost.

Outmoded apps have an effect on employee happiness, limit corporate adaptability, and ultimately reduce competitiveness. Although the choice to update outdated programs is difficult, the main force for modernization is achieving consumer expectations.

Legacy systems

Legacy application and legacy systems: What is it and why is it so important?

As the name suggests, a legacy system is simply an old, outdated system that your company still uses. It can be anything from an old hard drive or monitor to outmoded file formats and coding languages. Of course, a system can be both outdated and functional.

Many legacy systems still work even when they are outdated, and businesses typically utilize legacy systems as long as they are essential to their everyday operations and business objectives.

A legacy app is also an outmoded app that is not considered the “best” by modern standards. These apps may still function, but they may be unreliable due to problems with modern operating systems (OS), websites, and IT networks.

Despite being old and somewhat vulnerable, there are some reasons why companies keep using them:

The importance of legacy systems Why Companies still use them
Handling many current tasks Some legacy systems are ancient, but they still function within the existing infrastructure. These systems are frequently built for optimum performance and are generally secure. For instance, the majority of transactions are handled by mainframes and legacy networks in bank systems. And even though they may be challenging to maintain, they are nonetheless effective for carrying out daily tasks.
No major changes or disruptions The complex process of updating software or transitioning to wholly new technologies might stop company operations. Of course, that depends on the modernization experts too.
Familiarity A legacy system offers a certain sense of ease and security. One of the most typical justifications for keeping old systems is this strong connection. Everybody is familiar with how to access records and utilize the program, so the entire workflow is seamless. So, it makes it simpler to do routine tasks without any problems.

Most businesses still utilize legacy software and systems to meet essential business requirements. Usually, the issue is to maintain the old application’s functionality while updating its code to better use modern coding languages.

Pillars of application modernization: What does it consist of and how to start?

So, now you know why some companies love and some hate legacy applications. But, in any case, modernization is non-negotiable and there are several steps to do it. Before you start to roll up your sleeves, you need to assess your current system and identify its threats.

#1 Assess your current system to identify threats

See what makes the legacy system harder to use for customers or staff. are difficult for customers or staff to utilize. When deciding to continue with the old systems or replace them, usability and cost should be vital too. If you find more and more bugs, it’s a clear sign to change things up.

#2 Define some goals and KPIs

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and company objectives should be in line for application modernization to be successful. For example, a clinic may want to improve patient satisfaction by updating its systems. The clinic’s goal can be to create a modern infrastructure where different sections (like pharmacy and ER) can quickly access and exchange patient data.

#3 Find a fitting IT modernization strategy

Companies have to assess each strategy for application modernization based on cost, design, workload, security, and logistics before choosing one. Each company will prioritize these elements differently, and other elements like evolving client demands and market competitiveness should also be taken into account.

  • Rehost: Rehosting means moving application elements with little to no modifications to various infrastructures. This technique, often referred to as “lift and shift,” is typically used for migrating an on-site app into the cloud.
  • Re-architect: To transfer a legacy system to a fresh framework with better capabilities, you need to significantly change the code. In other words, you have to re-architect the whole code.
  • Rebuild: As you can guess, rebuilding is taking a legacy application and creating its code and design from scratch.

#4 Find an expert modernization team

Most firms do not prioritize application modernisation, therefore their internal teams may need more knowledge and resources to decide on the best modernization strategies and cloud options. So, it is essential to collaborate with a reputable software development expert with experience in using different modernization techniques.

Have you already noticed that it's time to upgrade your application?


What factors should influence effective modernization?

Enterprise app modernization is inevitable, but it doesn’t mean that it’ll be a success every single time. Many factors can make or break the whole process. Here are the top four:

  • The current infrastructure. It’s critical to recruit and keep the top talent since the best apps are developed by the most brilliant programmers. It’s crucial to provide your engineers with the freedom to do what they do best: coding. But, developers are slowed down by heavy legacy platforms and technologies, therefore it’s important to reduce friction in the development environment and foster an atmosphere where teams can concentrate on achieving goals.
  • User adoption. You can’t start upgrading apps without consulting the people who’re going to use them: The employees. In most cases, employees don’t like working with modern apps because of heavy UIs and lack of training. So, make sure to involve the users in the UX and UI design process and let them test it so you can boost adoption and shorten the learning curve.
  • Metrics & KPIs. Sometimes your metrics may show progress, but not in the right direction. For instance, you may focus on migrating X code lines to the new platform, and succeed. But, does that mean the code is running? 
  • Security. When modernizing your infrastructure, you need to add extra security layers through deployment and optimization. The last thing you need is to update your apps without changing security protocols accordingly. With this strategy, current design principles, a unified security platform, and reduced risks, you can find vulnerabilities and problems more quickly.

Pillars of Application Modernization

How can app modernization improve your business processes?

To meet their goals, businesses put a lot of value into updating corporate applications with new infrastructure. They are right to do so because there are lots of benefits on the other side of the bridge, including:

  1. Competitive advantage. One of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve is to increase your tech adoption, and there’s no way better than app modernization. You want your company to combine cutting-edge platforms and technologies through app modernization.
  2. Compatibility. The biggest benefit of app modernization is making the application compatible with new platforms and codes. Also, it gives businesses the ability to effortlessly link their applications, improving their capacity to fulfill both present and future customer needs.
  3. Better security. The majority of IT decision-makers agree that legacy applications raise a company’s exposure to security risks. This is due to the incompatibility of outdated programs with current authentication and security standards. By updating your apps, you can substantially decrease the security risks that older systems create.
  4. User satisfaction. Using old systems may be hard for your staff or customers. Customer satisfaction and company image can improve by updating programs with a polished UI, cutting-edge functionality, and novel features.

Key factors for effective modernization

How to choose an effective team to upgrade your mobile app?

As we’ve said throughout the article, the modernization partner can make or break your success. So, you need to consider several criteria before choosing a team for your app modernization services.

  • Experience. It goes without saying that this is the best place to start. With new technologies coming onto the scene every day, tech life is always changing. Your partner should be very skilled and capable to keep up with new customers. 

Plus, they need to have a background and track record that supports their claims. The perfect team must be ready to show how they can help with modernizing and improving your apps in a reliable framework.

  • Agility & flexibility. Sometimes, you may be forced to tweak the modernization plan or strategy to overcome unanticipated bottlenecks. Therefore, your service partner has to adapt to the changes quickly without hindering the other operations. They also need to have a solid change management plan to minimize the impact of their modernization journey changes.
  • Cost. Today’s businesses don’t realize how important cost is to the legacy modernization approach. Although cheap modernization services may initially catch your attention, you’ll ultimately get dissatisfied with them due to their poor results. Some service providers offer high-quality modernisation services at competitive prices. To cut expenses and boost profitability, your partner must have a clear pricing model.
What features should be optimized in your application?

Business processes

Mobile app upgrade cost. Real cases

There’s no clear-cut way to estimate an app modernization cost because there are many factors involved. 

First, you need resources for routine maintenance, such as personnel, external tools, etc. Obviously, even the most advanced, modern systems require routine maintenance. However, it is substantially harder to maintain an outdated software system. Second, It’s not easy to find qualified tech support professionals who are familiar with the app and its modernization process. This is another major cost factor. The problem of special licensing is the third factor. Some apps have licensing requirements, which raises the total cost of maintenance. 

Most of all, the exact pricing is different based on where you get the app modernization services. In other words, the rates change from one agency to another.

There are many cases of app modernization leading to a significant cost savings in the long run. Most nobable examples include the following:

  • FedEx modernized its mobile application to enhance the visibility and tracking of shipments. The new app provided real-time tracking updates, allowing customers to monitor their shipments on the go. By empowering customers with self-service tracking capabilities, FedEx experienced a significant reduction in customer inquiries related to shipment status. This led to cost savings in customer support and call center operations.
  • United Airlines modernized its mobile application to improve the check-in process and enhance the overall customer experience. By providing self-service functionalities, such as mobile check-in, electronic boarding passes, and real-time flight updates, United Airlines reduced the need for manual check-in counters and paper tickets. This streamlining resulted in operational cost savings and increased customer satisfaction.

Team to upgrade mobile app

How TRIARE can help you upgrade your mobile app?

So, now you have a general idea of the benefits of modernizing your applications. Of course, there are many challenges along the way that you have to navigate. Doing so requires a level of experience and expertise that most companies don’t have. 

That’s why businesses look for expert teams to handle their app modernization services. Over the years, our team at TRIARE has helped many companies in healthcare, real estate, retail, education, and other sectors to modernize their web and mobile applications

Thanks to years of experience, cutting-edge technologies, and a vibrant team, we can design a winning IT modernization strategy at an affordable price point. So, don’t hesitate to contact us as our experts are ready to answer any questions you may have.

Oleksandr Kruglyak
Head of Dev Department at TRIARE