The modern customer is intelligent, demanding, and quick to make a decision. They seek a high-quality experience when they use products and services. Companies invest more in the digital experience than they used to. High digital experience paired with rapid delivery of products and services is crucial to a business’s future and success. It cannot be achieved in a landscape of outdated legacy applications. A company cannot deliver novelty and experience with old methodologies and architecture.
Legacy applications usually have outdated and old architecture. Because of that, they are rigid and not agile enough to adapt to modern digital needs. Moreover, they cannot integrate with modern applications such as the cloud. Ultimately, they are a major cause of bottlenecks and issues in a company that prevents innovation and faster release of new products and services. To stay competitive and at par with modern digital trends, businesses are moving toward modernization. Before looking at the critical differences between legacy and modern apps, let’s define each for our understanding.
In computing terminology, legacy or legacy system refers to an old, outdated, and non-agile framework or technology. It could be an app, or a computer system developed long ago using old technology principles and persists.
Modern applications follow agile development methodologies and technology. They have modernized developer support, followed by DevOps practices, modular framework, and serverless operational models. Legacy systems lack agility, flexibility, resilience, adaptability, scalability, and portability. Legacy Modernization allows them to innovate faster, deliver quicker, and cost less.
1. Development Life Cycle
Legacy systems: since these apps use traditional development methodologies, they have a longer development life cycle. They also take longer to update. Any new features and upgrades will likely take months and years to perfect.
Modern systems: modernized apps use agile development practices along with DevOps and CI/CD processes, making development cycles shorter and continuous. Additionally, they upgrade quickly as the new update or feature arrives.
2. Infrastructural Development
Legacy systems follow server-centric infrastructural design and development, particularly on-premises deployment and development. Most of these apps are OS-dependent and can only run on a specific platform or environment that requires a server, network hardware, database, and storage facilities.
Modern apps: are designed for cloud platforms. Thus, they are more flexible, agile, and scalable in infrastructural development. The cloud-native infrastructure allows developers to create independent apps with the help of managed services such as computing, memory, and storage. These apps use STaaS (storage as a service), CaaS (containers as a service), and FaaS (function as a service), which makes these apps more resilient and scalable.
3. Architectural Type
Legacy applications: these generally are one-tier software apps where the app’s programming or codebase is designed as a single deployment package. As a result, the tight coupling will cause dependencies in services. Therefore, the legacy systems are non-scalable and hard to update with the growing and expanding codebase.
Modern apps: are not tightly integrated like legacy systems. These are, in fact, leniently-tied, service-based frameworks that collaborate with the help of APIs. They use microservices or modular independent components in their development which are tough to break into smaller segments or services. These services are designed independently, making the upgradation updating more frequent, easier, and independent.
4. Automated Processes
Legacy apps: these do not have automated processes, and IT teams do the manual provisioning, management, server maintenance, and network or storage configurations. It is obvious that manual working slows the system down, and humans are slower to diagnose a process bottleneck or computer issues. Manual working slows down the traditional release pipelines. With every manual step, the probability of error and delays increases.
Modern applications: have automated release pipelines that speed up the process and software release. Automation encourages operational efficiency and reduces human error by automatically detecting and resolving any technical or application issue.
5. Cost of Maintenance
Legacy: because of their outdated and traditional infrastructure, they are complex and expensive to maintain. They use technologies such as PowerBuilder and COBOL, which are rare to find these days in an era of modern and automated applications. So. the cost significantly goes up.
Modern apps: They can save as much as 30% from the operational budget because they are built on modern and automated designs which do not require heavy investments.