What Is A Legacy System?

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What Is A Legacy System?

Legacy Systems refer to obsolete infrastructure, applications, and processes. Software and hardware typically owned, hosted, managed, and supported by the customer are used in legacy systems. Despite the capability of these systems, they can be expensive to keep up, require difficult-to-find IT skills and limit innovation.

What Is Legacy System Modernization?

Legacy System Modernization yields operational efficiencies, addresses technology constraints, and ensures customer satisfaction and ease of adoption.

When an organization finds itself stuck between maintaining expensive, old hardware that can’t communicate with new technologies, and revamping infrastructure to support its business goals, legacy modernization is initiated.

IT leaders and CIOs have to balance various factors to determine when to modernize, how to plan the project to minimize disruptions, and where to modernize.

Like-to-like system parity with operational improvements is the minimum goal of legacy system modernization. In order for performance, agility, and innovation to improve significantly, significant leaps must be made. 

Modernization of Legacy Systems can take many forms. A possible solution is to use migration tools to refactor the code in order to run the same application on a more modern infrastructure without requiring significant changes to the code.

You can avoid code changes altogether with emulators in some cases. Meanwhile, the system is being re-architected, with a cloud-native development tool replacing the legacy system.  

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Benefits Of Legacy System Modernization

It is possible to reduce costs, improve efficiency, enhance security, and increase scalability by modernizing legacy systems. Moreover, the benefits of modernization are as follows:

Benefits Of Legacy System Modernization

Efficient Operation

Investing in modern IT systems improves performance, speed, and customer experience.

Cost Reductions

The decommissioning of monolithic apps, data centers, and physical servers reduces software, hardware, and licensing costs.

Agile IT

Your environment can be tuned faster to react to seasonal fluctuations, data can be leveraged across the organization, processes can be optimized, business conditions can be adjusted, or innovation opportunities can be seized quickly to outperform your competitors.

Legacy System Modernization Approaches

Legacy System Modernization can be divided into seven general approaches, often called “seven Rs,” each with its difficulties and advantages. A cost-effective and nimble option can reduce your organization’s costs and increase flexibility.

Legacy System Modernization Approaches

Here are the Rs of Legacy Modernization:


Dispose of legacy components completely and replace them with new ones. It involves scrapping the existing system and replacing it with a completely new system that takes into account new requirements and changed or optimized business processes. 


Create a cloud-native environment by restructuring and optimizing legacy components. Despite the long and expensive nature of a full rebuild, it delivers the biggest return on investment. These other options are, for most businesses, just stepping stones on the way to the ideal end state.

Full rebuilds, unlike partial rebuilds, fully modernize the legacy system and make it cloud-native.


Make the runtime compatible with modern platforms. An application’s components can be ported to a new runtime platform using a re-platforming approach, which involves minimal code changes.

By adapting the code to the new platform, developers do not have to change the system’s features, functions, or code structure. Many compilers are available for porting applications between platforms. 


No need to recompile or modify code or functionality when implementing legacy components in new environments (physical, virtual, cloud).

The underlying infrastructure of the cloud is better suited to improving the performance and security of legacy system modernization, like ERP or databases. By rehosting instead of re-engineering existing systems, organizations can migrate faster to the cloud. 

Refactor & Re-Architect

Using some code changes in selective tiers requires implementing new technologies and utilizing the cloud or other systems.

It’s more common in hybrid environments, where legacy components can be changed to optimize code. Legacy system modernization often undergoes backend changes without major changes to their frontends or functionality.

Although technology limitations may limit what can be done, this is less disruptive than a complete rewrite.  


You do not need to make any changes or updates to the current environment. Depending on the circumstances, there may not be a compelling case for modernization due to a merger, end-of-life announcement, or other considerations. Long-term sustainability should be guaranteed even if the short-term decision is to retain crucial functions.

There is no long-term strategy for retention, and it is generally viewed as a temporary measure. An organization should be careful about pursuing such an approach in the future. 


Evaluate the workload, usage, and business impact before retiring the system. It may be advisable to retire the application once you have assessed the workload and moved any remaining users to alternate systems already in place.

There may be a need to redesign processes to cover the operational gaps left by the retired system and improve and optimize business processes as a whole.

Also Read: What Is A Security Operations Center (SOC)?

Legacy System Modernization Strategies

An evolutionary or revolutionary approach can be taken to most legacy modernization projects. Here’s how you can align them with your modern needs.

Legacy System Modernization Strategies

Revolutionary Modernization

The transformation of infrastructure from the ground up is referred to as revolutionary modernization. When a business merges or acquires another, it must adapt quickly to the new company’s infrastructure.

Often, a revolutionary approach is used when legacy system modernization has become more than a burden but a risk.

Often, vendors do not support legacy systems, leaving organizations with security vulnerabilities and compliance gaps. There are risks, disruptions, and higher costs associated with this approach.

Evolutionary Modernization

The Evolutionary Method is usually chosen by risk-averse organizations. A multi-phase, long-term model of evolutionary modernization achieves the same goals as a revolutionary approach.

Evolutionary Modernization involves overhauling one workload at a time, using a workload-by-workload approach. By using a slower method, interruptions are reduced, and costs can be spread over time.

As contract terms expire, these organizations might take this approach to legacy system modernization. Moreover, organizations can also integrate cloud resources with on-premises environments by using hybrid models.

Also Read: What Is Network Functions Virtualization NFV?

Main Challenges Of Legacy Systems Modernization

Modernizing legacy systems can be beneficial, but the process is challenging. However, there are several obstacles CIOs, and IT leaders will have to overcome:

Main Challenges Of Legacy Systems Modernization

Resisting Transformation in Business

Legacy System Modernization extends beyond IT to increase efficiency and transform business processes. However, businesses can better assess and prepare for all of the implications of transformation by focusing on business processes first and technology second.

Hence, a lack of planning can result in an increase in employee turnover and a decrease in productivity by redeveloping processes and retraining workers.

Risk Management

You should thoroughly assess your Legacy System Modernization decision’s financial, security, and operational risks. Hence, it is difficult to reach a consensus among stakeholders in many organizations due to a lack of the right data.

Constrained Data Management

Taking a close look at an organization’s underlying data is extremely important before embarking on a modernization project.

However, to avoid dumping dirty data into a modernized system, data needs to be cleaned up and governance rules updated. Analyze how to use data to support your organization’s goals.

Also Read: What is IT Infrastructure?

How Do You Modernize A Legacy System?

When it comes to Legacy Modernization, starting can seem daunting, which is one reason why many companies put it off for as long as possible. Hence, planning strategically before beginning the legacy system modernization process can make this transition smooth and quick.

How Do You Modernize A Legacy System

However, before updating legacy systems, consider these recommendations:

Objectively Evaluate Existing Systems

Identifying the problems within legacy systems is essential before businesses can properly modernize them.

Continually Improve Modernization

Legacy system modernization is rarely a one-time task. Technology advancements and business trends continually change, requiring businesses to keep up with them. A company needs to view modernization as a business model rather than an event that should be completed once and for all.

A New Release Date Doesn’t Equal New Practices

Software that uses the most advanced processes and uses a modern interface is the most modern IT software. A business should consider software tools and systems in addition to release dates when searching for a new legacy transformation system.

Modernize With the Right Partner

With Infratech, you can implement a strategic legacy modernization approach across a wide range of industries. When working with our team, businesses can ensure their new systems benefit their processes without losing the value of their legacy systems.

A business must work with an experienced IT consultancy firm before embarking on its modernization process.

Also Read: What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

How Do You Manage A Legacy System?

There are multiple options for decommissioning legacy system modernization, depending on how you will use this information in the future.

How Do You Manage A Legacy System - Infratech

Data Conversion

Migration of legacy data may be necessary in some cases. Converting the data simplifies the process. This process is not straightforward due to the complexity and mandates of data privacy and security, as well as its structure.

Data conversion is a specialty niche, especially in the healthcare industry. The process goes far beyond copying and pasting. Developing a file mapping, encrypting the data, and validating it are all important steps in the conversion process.

Data Archiving

Archiving legacy data is a common healthcare practice. It is possible to easily maintain access to patient records, images, and other data elements by utilizing a web-based, secure archiving tool.

Your legacy system modernization can be completely retired with data archiving, saving you time and money. The design of legacy archiving systems varies. When choosing a platform, there are several questions you should ask.

Data Migration

Alternatively, legacy data can be moved to a completely new application. A decision support system or chronic condition management platform may need access to records from your old EHR. The conversion here isn’t a conversion since the system doesn’t work similarly.

Consider consulting with a data sharing service provider instead. Integrating new data into this new application should be seamless and compliant, thanks to data sharing. Custom programming may be necessary to ensure accuracy and to amend records accordingly.

If you’re trying to answer big picture questions, legacy data may be of help to you. It doesn’t need to be thrown out or purged; it simply needs to be relocated.

Cleaning Data

Consider the quality of the data before deciding which option is best for you. Data that is dirty will cause problems in new systems. Your data management provider should also be able to perform data cleaning since it can be time-consuming.

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Legacy System Modernization Risks

Performing security and performance audits periodically is important if legacy systems are critical to an organization. It is important to consider a variety of potential risks and issues when maintaining legacy system modernization, despite the numerous reasons to do so.

Legacy System Modernization Risks


Legacy system modernization can become incompatible with new technology or systems, as they use outdated technologies. Due to this, legacy departments may not get all the benefits of new systems.


The vendor may not be able to help you when a problem arises if he doesn’t sell or support the system or software your company is using.

Silos of data

Data is usually isolated from newer systems because legacy systems aren’t built to integrate.

Work Performance

The performance, efficiency, and productivity of legacy systems can decrease over time due to their aging.

Also Read: What Is Digital Transformation?

Why Do Companies Need Legacy System Modernization?

A legacy system modernization may be used for a variety of reasons. 


Over time, maintaining a legacy system can be costly, but upgrading to a new one requires a substantial investment.


Incorporating a new system across an entire organization, or even just a single department, can be challenging. 


It may be challenging to find personnel who have the skills to make the migration because the legacy software was written in an obsolete programming language. The original developers of the system may have left the company, and there may be little documentation available.

Sometimes, defining the scope of requirements for a new system or simply planning the migration of data from a Legacy system modernization can be overwhelming.

Top Trends Of Legacy System Modernization

In order to remain competitive in the field of legacy system modernization, you have to be well aware of trends that are rapidly evolving. Listed below are a few trends that you should keep an eye out for in the near future:

Top Trends Of Legacy System Modernization

The Cloud

It is rare for organizations to move some legacy apps directly into the cloud even as they adopt cloud-first strategies. Containers and micro services provide team members with the ability to replace legacy functionality with modern applications.

Taking a cloud-native approach is no easy task. In a cloud-native migration, complex technology and scarce, expensive skills can be a hindrance.


DevOps includes collaboration across development, quality assurance, operations, security, and those who represent the business to customers.

However, DevOps isn’t limited to custom development. In addition, DevOps facilitates legacy modernization through the collaboration of legacy app maintenance teams.

The organization may be able to make a good decision about whether to rewrite, migrate, leave alone, or modernize without DevOps, involving automation, cross-functional collaboration, and team-based decision-making.

Low-Code Platforms for Enterprises

With these options, it’s clear that modernizing an old monolithic app isn’t a monolithic task in and of itself. The third trend is enterprise low-code platforms, which typically require the creation of new application capabilities.

Because hand-coding replacement functionality is costly, time-consuming, and risky, IT managers have resisted modernization tasks in the past. By using low code, application creation is faster and safer.

Also Read: What Is Cyber Security?

Why Choose Us?

In order for your data to be valuable, it must be high quality, accessible, interoperable, and portable. Your business won’t thrive if it’s siloes. Infratech’s data management experts can help you with legacy data solutions. Our data management capabilities include archiving, conversion, and sharing.


What Is the Importance Of Managing the Legacy System?

By not keeping up with technology, legacy systems can put data at risk of a breach and harm a company’s reputation. A Legacy System Modernization may become vulnerable to security threats at some point when a vendor stops providing updates or support.

What Is An Example Of Legacy Modernization?

Legacy Modernization can be seen in IT transformation. Organizing information technology around extensive organizational goals is what IT transformation is about. A legacy modernization process involves updating and optimizing business systems to improve efficiency.

Why Is Legacy System Important?

Legacy System Modernization is important because they are rarely replaceable, especially when they are fundamental to an organization’s business processes. When you consider the possibility of losing or corrupting key data, changing the status quo may be too risky.


An organization operating in the digital era cannot use legacy systems because they are outdated and have a lot of limitations. It is essential to plan and execute the legacy system modernization diligently.

Modernization can be accomplished in three different ways – by replacing, rebuilding, and upgrading. Any three routes may be appropriate depending on the organization’s resources. It doesn’t matter which route an organization takes to modernize; it always brings countless benefits that can spur growth.

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