Application Modernization

Would you just tear down your home and build a new one at the first sign it does not fit to you needs? Most certainly not. After careful assessment you would most probably renovate and happily use it for a few decades more.

Application modernization,or legacy modernization, is the core service we provide by upgrading your older software for newer computing approaches. By significantly improving scalability, performance or usability of your already successful product, you can extend its lifespan while also taking advantage of technical innovations.

When to modernize your application?

There is no silver bullet method for legacy modernization. The best approach obviously depends on the problem that need to be solved. But before solving it, the problem must be clearly identified. Gartner defines six main drives for evaluating application modernization.

The six drivers for application modernization: business fit, business value, agility, cost, complexity and risk.

The first three of these drivers code from business perspective: business fit, business value and agility – meaning that if the legacy application is not meeting the new requirements imposed by the business, it needs to be modernized to fit properly and should be upgraded to provide greater business value. Applications that lack the agility to keep pace with the demands of the business may be a cost or risk liability.

The three other drivers come from the IT perspective, and involve cost, complexity and risk. If the total cost of ownership is too high, the technology too complex, or security, compliance, support or scalability are being compromised, it’s time to modernize.

The best candidates for success through modernization are the applications that can answer to multiple drivers from both business and technical perspective.

Modernization approach

Once the problem is identifies, we look at modernization options. We strongly believe the there is no one-strategy-fits-all kind of approach and the best approach for your application highly depends on the drivers we together with you identified for your application’s modernization.


By encapsulating application’s data and functionality and making them available as services via APIs, we actually leverage and extend your application’s features.


Without modifying application’s code, features or functions, we redeploy the entire application or just certain components to other infrastructure – may it be physical, virtual or cloud.


By making minimal change to the code but not to the code structure, features or functions, we migrate your application to a new runtime platform.


By keeping it’s external behaviour, we restructure and optimize the existing code of your application to remove technical debt and improve nonfunctional attributes.


When needed we alter the code structure to shift your application to new architecture for new and better capabilities.


We redesign or rewrite application components from scratch while preserving its scope and specifications.


We eliminate application component altogether and replace it considering new requirements at the same time.

Usually, the easier the implementation, the the less risk and impact it has on the system and business processes. On the other hand, the more complex the change, the more risk and impact it will have.

Our unique approach

Our approach with application modernization is to deliver in iterative and measurable phases, to maximize the opportunity while minimizing the costs and the risks. After an initial assessment we prepare a detailed modernization plan with intermediary phases through which the application is transitioning from it’s initial state to it’s modernized state.

With our approach there are several side gains for you modernized application, driven by our practice.

Improved test coverage

To confidently implement the modernization, we need to lay out our safety nets: automated tests. Depending on your application’s code coverage we need to add a certain amount of tests to ensure we preserve your application’s functions. While these test are crucial for a successful modernization, they will keep your confidence in the quality of your application with each release.

CI/CD pipeline

We strongly consider using deployment automation is a must for every modern(ized) application. The cost of setting up and maintaining a deployment pipeline is in most cases much lower that the cost of manual deployment and the risks attached to manual deployment. Therefore, we will create – or improve, if you already have one – a deployment pipeline to support our modernization implementation efforts.


We believe our modernization efforts should be measurable and visible in the general behaviour of your application. Therefore, to make sure we solve the actual problem without causing more, we often need to set up monitoring and observability for your application. This will be an extremely valuable asset of your application to understand how it behaves especially when scalability or performance are the initial drivers for modernization.

Improved documentation

One common issue with legacy applications is the lack of documentation and general knowledge on what they do and especially how they do it. To improve your application we must first understand how it works. To gather this knowledge we have several sources: workshops and discussion with your staff, documentation you have available and last but not least – the source code. Whenever needed, we dive deep into your application’s code to make sure we preserve all the critical features your application’s user love so much. We bundle all this precious knowledge in easy to follow documentation that we hand over to you.

Similarly to our house restoration analogy in the beginning of this article, your application is still usable between the initial state and it’s ‘renovated’ state. With every phase in the modernization, it gets new capabilities you already can see or feel.

Need help? We are here to discuss any challenges!