Legacy Application Modernization: Why and How to Update Your Tech

FEBRUARY 6, 2023

Legacy applications are the backbone of many organizations. They provide critical business functionality but are often difficult to maintain and support. The issue is that they don’t follow the best practices of modern development. They use older programming languages, database technologies, and frameworks.

Most organizations are under tremendous pressure to modernize legacy applications. The growing pace of technological change is forcing organizations to reevaluate legacy systems. Legacy application modernization can update your IT system without rebuilding it from scratch. 

The task of modernizing legacy applications is not an easy one. It is a complex process that requires thoughtful planning and execution. But, with careful planning and execution, you can modernize your legacy apps. 

Main takeaway: 

  • Legacy systems have inherent design problems that can hinder business goals 
  • Modernizing legacy applications benefit companies across industries in many ways 
  • Digital solutions like low code and cloud migration can help solve specific challenges 
  • Each business needs unique solutions to maximize the effectiveness of its technology investments


Why Legacy Application Modernization is a Top Priority

Legacy system modernization can help you keep up with digital transformation goals. Many organizations have a large amount of code that’s decades old. And as time goes on, these applications become less and less efficient. They are no longer in sync with current needs and industry standards. 

With modernized applications, you can: 

  • Improve performance – Migrate to a cloud-based platform for agility and scalability
  • Strengthen reliability – Because cloud platforms use modern architecture, they are reliable 
  • Lower Costs – Reduce the need for frequent maintenance and use fewer IT resources
  • Speed up development — Use the latest software development methodologies like Agile and DevOps 

Legacy application modernization involves analyzing the current system and developing an improvement plan. This plan may involve replacing some components or upgrading others. It may also include new features in the application, such as mobile capabilities. The goal is to increase stability, security, and scalability while maintaining original functionality. 

The Problem with Legacy Apps

Let’s talk about legacy apps built before the cloud took off and before widespread mobile use. Some companies still have Classic ASP, ColdFusion, Visual Basic 6, or COBOL. These applications are everywhere, but they’re also aging. And when they age, there are specific problems that come along with them.  

  • The cost of replacing legacy apps often rises as businesses try to speed up development 
  • Maintenance costs for legacy apps increase, and older hardware versions become obsolete 
  • Technology stacks need scalability and security (but aren’t with old code bases) 
  • Many legacy applications were not designed for flexibility, scalability, or maintenance 

You should consider your company’s plans to determine if your application requires modernization. Think about how improvements will affect the existing system. Examples include adding new features or processes. 

Re-architecting legacy applications is a complex and costly process. It often results in more bugs and a higher cost of ownership. But, with low-code tools, you can modernize systems affordable without disrupting business processes.

Applying Modern Solutions for Outdated Systems

Before you begin any legacy application modernization efforts, understand the existing application landscape. The research will help determine what systems need upgrading or replacing. It’s essential to consider the unique needs of your technology stack. 

Next, identify what business requirements you need to meet with the modernization efforts. Also, consider requirements, such as security and scalability requirements, when making this assessment. 

 Low-code tools are an effective way to modernize legacy applications. You can use them to build new applications or update existing ones. Low-code platforms are also accessible for non-technical users to use and adapt. This ease of use is essential if you have many employees who need access to modernization tools. 

What it Takes to Modernize an Application Successfully

Updating an application is not a once-and-done project. You should have a long-term vision in mind. When you start to modernize an application, you need to think about what your end goal is going to be. Is it so that the app works on newer platforms? Will the architecture change? Are you striving for the best performance? 

 Have a plan of action before starting on anything major. Before beginning any project with significant changes, write down your goals. Create milestones along the way. If things don’t go as planned, there won’t be too much-wasted effort or resources lost if things go awry. 


Legacy applications are a significant business challenge for many organizations today. The sheer volume of legacy apps can make managing and maintaining them overwhelming. Many have stayed the same for years. So, they’re vulnerable to security threats and out-of-date technology. They may also be difficult for employees to use, leading to high employee turnover rates.

RD Global can help speed up your digital transformation. Contact us today to learn how RD Global can help modernize your legacy applications.

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"Insurance Technology leader and Software entrepreneur with decades of experience leading technology initiatives for fortune 500 organizations. Rajesh Nambiar founded RD Global to create a unique digital consultancy offering high-quality software solutions with an extreme commitment to customer experience."

FEBRUARY 6, 2023
RD Global Empowers Insurance Companies to optimize total digital experience, unify data, and harmonize processes by developing high impact technology solutions infused with a 5-star customer experience.