Highlighting four prevalent myths holding developers, and IT leaders back from successful legacy application modernization projects.
As new cloud, AI, and mobile technologies continue to shape the tech landscape, it’s increasingly challenging for developers and IT leaders to maintain up-to-date applications in the face of nonstop innovation. It’s no wonder that many industry professionals are concerned about their ability to effectively and affordably complete an application modernization project, citing obstacles such as a lack of funding, skill, or experience to pull the process off.
However, many of these fears are commonly believed myths that can be overcome with the right approach and a strategic use of third-party resources. In this day and age, tackling legacy application modernization does not have to be costly, complex, or disruptive.
Revamping an application’s UI is simply not enough to cross modernization off an enterprise’s to-do list. When it comes to anything but the most basic legacy applications, a fresh look is just a starting point. Most enterprise applications are extensive and have complex workflows, meaning that a UI facelift will not necessarily improve the end-user’s experience or address a company’s larger business goals. Projects must target the deeper tech layer of an application in order to result in meaningful modernization.
Minimally invasive modernization projects are within reach with the availability of new technologies and Rapid Application Development platforms. For example, wrapping is a process in which developers can apply a layer of API to a legacy system in order to refresh an application’s capabilities without touching the original architecture. Developers can also connect an API directly to the back-end of a legacy application, individually wrapping each system and eliminating the need to integrate local service data. Not all modernization scenarios require a painful platform switch – instead, APIs can be used to integrate new, fresh functionalities into the existing legacy system.
In-depth technical knowledge is not a prerequisite for application modernization – there are many low-code platforms and services that offer templates, widgets, and other “drag and drop” features that can streamline IT teams’ time and resources. In addition to giving developers the tools to quickly and intuitively build and deploy new functionalities, Rapid Application Development platforms simplify the modernization process through automation. Features like automatic data integration, security checks, and cross-platform support can reduce the time developers must spend fixing basic, error-prone, and technical aspects of a project, freeing up their resources to focus on bigger picture business and functionality goals.
Taking the time to identify the top priorities for a modernization project in advance can keep processes affordable and financially strategic. IT leaders must closely examine their own business objectives as well as their existing application architecture in order to choose a focused path toward modernization that will be impactful, yet versatile enough to be a future-proof investment. For example, many enterprises may find integrating open source software during a modernization project to be a productive investment that pays off in terms of cost efficiency and the long-term flexibility of avoiding vendor lock-in when future updates need to be made.
Moreover, in today’s ever-changing digital environment, enterprises cannot afford to let their applications stagnate – especially considering the fact that 90 percent of consumers would consider taking their business elsewhere rather than work with a company that uses outdated technology. Understanding the common myths surrounding modernization projects will help developers and IT leaders shake off their concerns and identify the resources they need to update legacy applications while balancing risk, cost, flexibility, and speed.
Originally published by Vijay Pullur, CEO WaveMaker, in App Developer Magazine