Legacy system modernization guide

February 15, 2024
Legacy system modernization guide

For many businesses, legacy system modernization is no longer a buzzword, it is a basic need. To make the transition easier and better deliver critical services, it is necessary to employ a thorough strategy and the right tools.

Legacy systems persist, is it for a reason?

Recent research says that there are still 800 billion lines of COBOL code running in production. Even though many companies realize modern tech potential and the necessity to migrate, the fear of change, the lack of a clear roadmap, and the absence of required technical expertise.

Legacy systems in use: reasons, numbers, outcomes

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When is a legacy system not enough? Here are 4 common pressures that drive businesses backward.

The need for flexibility

As businesses expand into new markets and product lines, they require a flexible and easily extendable platform. The lack of customization capabilities also hampers executing strategic moves.

Increasing maintenance costs

Companies start facing redundant tasks, operational inefficiencies, poor system response times, and escalated risks of human error.

User demand calls for better reliability

Legacy systems struggle to cope with increased data volumes with abundant channels and increased user activity. System shutdowns come as a natural response, leading to reputational damage, operational expenses, and lost customer trust.

Diminishing legacy system expertise

Technical experts dealing with legacy software steadily approach retirement or transfer to newer tech. The lack of adequate documentation is a burden, decreasing the learning curve for those tasked with system maintenance, and leading to operational disruption.

Approaching a decision: maintain or modernize

Start your decision-making process with an assessment. In some scenarios, legacy system maintenance is the only option. The solution often comes with certain risks, such as security issues, limited system interoperability, and operational costs. By running a cost-benefit analysis, you can decide whether maintenance is a winning strategy and then head towards designing a tailored approach.

Legacy System Modernization Guide- Key approaches to legacy system maintenance

But when your critical data is at stake, costs soar, and the business faces operational disruption, modernization is a strategic necessity. Based on your unique case, you may choose various strategies:

  • Replatform
Moving to a modern platform with optimizing the system for a new environment.
  • Refactor
Improving code structure keeping core functionality.
  • Rebuild
Creating an app from scratch, sticking to the original functionality.
  • Rehost
Transferring to another environment as is, without modifying code.
  • Rearchitect
Modifying the architecture for scalability, performance, and reliability.
  • Replace
Migrating to newer software or building a custom solution.
A zoom-in on legacy application modernization: 6 common strategies explained
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Trends in software modernization strategies

Looking out for industry trends and research is essential to know about all the available options.

Cloud-native development

Cloud-based apps boast flexibility and are easy to operate, improve, and deploy. These features are key for continuous system modernization. You may choose from public, private, or hybrid cloud options based on the workload, security requirements, scalability needs, and cost considerations.


You can either employ containerization for maintaining critical legacy functionality or replace the whole system. Container orchestrators, such as Kubernetes and Docker, make apps more scalable, and easier to operate, scale, and deploy.


Composable architectures allow for customizing separate system parts up to business and end-user needs without redesigning the whole system. Rapid market response, development flexibility, efficient data management, and feature reuse capabilities are key advantages.

Embracing a DevOps approach

DevOps is a strategically crucial approach during software modernization. Established DevOps teams prioritize cross-functional collaboration, quick issue resolution, and process automation. The methodology helps eliminate human error, improve system performance, enhance operational efficiency, and reduce costs.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

AI and ML for data caching and high-performance computing are on the rise, recent research says. The technology is capable of processing large amounts of data, predicting customer behavior, optimizing operational tasks, and aiding informed decision-making.

A zoom-in on legacy application modernization for enterprises.
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Towards a sustainable future: modernization benefits

Transformation leads to tangible benefits.

Boost your competitive edge
Upgrade core systems to match today's digital demands for a competitive advantage.
Optimize talent strategy
Attract younger talent by reducing reliance on legacy experts, and optimizing technology resources.
Elevate customer service
Promote customer satisfaction and continuous innovation for lasting business growth.
Reduce risks
Lower operational risks tied to compliance and internal controls, especially during service changes.
Cut costs, streamline operations
Optimize service delivery costs, facilitate operations, and innovate while minimizing technical debt.
Drive business value
Improve processes, deploy new features swiftly, and boost overall performance, growth, and compliance.

The right tools and expertise: the TYMIQ approach

With all the advantages, software modernization approaches may be costly and time-consuming. Let us help you navigate.

We come up with a low-risk modernization strategy as per your current business needs and objectives. Our process breaks down into the following steps:

  1. Infrastructure and tech stack assessment

Evaluating your existing setup thoroughly, prioritizing a backlog of tasks

  1. Documentation review

Improve documentation for smooth knowledge transfer and ease of transition

  1. Assembling a DevOps team

Forming specialized expertise to navigate the modernization journey seamlessly

  1. Strategic planning

Developing a clear plan with milestones, timelines, and resource requirements

  1. Incremental modernization

Adopting a phased approach for improvements with minimal disruption

  1. Security integration

Embedding robust security measures at every stage for data integrity and compliance

  1. Agile practices

Implement an Agile methodology for flexibility, collaboration, and responsiveness

  1. Continuous monitoring

Establishing ongoing monitoring for continuous improvement and adaptability

  1. User training and support

Guiding an in-house team to ensure a smooth transition.

  1.  Performance evaluation

Regularly assessing performance to refine and enhance the modernized systems

  1. Post-implementation support

Addressing issues and ensuring sustained positive impact.

At TYMIQ, we recognize the importance of a well-defined strategy for modernizing your legacy software. Prioritizing your business needs, we offer a cost-effective and value-driven modernization technique of a combination of approaches. Contact us for your tailored modernization plan.

Let’s chart the optimal modernization course

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