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From Legacy to Leading Edge


Modernising Applications for Tomorrow

The Change Agent

Legacy applications pose challenges in terms of agility, security and efficiency. Application modernisation is crucial to adapt and optimise them to meet evolving business needs.

From Rusty Relics to Digital Dynasties

In today’s dynamic business landscape, where innovation is the currency of success, organisations have a pivotal decision: Embrace application modernisation or risk falling behind in the relentless race for market dominance. Legacy applications are pervasive in today’s IT environments, posing challenges in terms of agility, security and efficiency. It’s crucial to adapt and optimise legacy programmes and applications to meet the evolving needs of businesses and users. This is where application modernisation comes in.

92% of enterprises say they are actively working on at least one app modernisation project.1

What is application modernisation? Also known as legacy modernisation, application modernisation involves updating and enhancing existing software to leverage new technologies, improve performance and address current business requirements. Outdated technology stacks, limited scalability and maintenance challenges characterise legacy programmes and applications. Embracing application modernisation isn’t merely a matter of staying afloat—it’s essential to accelerate and strategically navigate the relentless tides of innovation to remain competitive.

Companies that have undertaken comprehensive legacy application modernisation efforts have reported a significant uptick in agility and scalability, enabling them to swiftly respond to changing market dynamics and customer demands. According to recent surveys, organisations that modernise their applications experience a 30% increase in agility, allowing them to pivot strategies and adapt to emerging trends with unprecedented speed.

How could this show up for businesses today? Sometimes information is deliberately hidden within an organisation for security reasons, but more often, the organisation is too big, and their outdated systems create gaps in knowledge. For example, the vice president of the wealth management division of a large national bank doesn’t have visibility into transactions in the credit card division. Why is that a problem? A customer who spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on a credit card might be a good prospect for an investment account with the bank. The opportunity, however, to cross-sell products or services to the same customer is missed because of inflexible legacy systems.

Gradient city

Organisations that modernise their applications experience a 30% increase in agility.2

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Our Perspective

TEKsystems shares their perspectives on modernised applications and how they enable greater agility and innovation, allowing organisations to seize new opportunities and adapt quickly to market changes.

How Application Modernisation Breeds Innovation

Enterprises remain hyper-focused on improving business agility so they can adapt to the changing needs and high expectations of customers, who demand seamless experiences across the products and services they consume. Many organisations, however, still rely on systems that are based on legacy technology and platforms that are difficult to maintain, incur high licensing costs and lack the flexibility to adapt to changing customer needs.

The lack of flexibility creates friction during the buying process, resulting in lost customers. Legacy system modernisation enables organisations to build modern systems that are more flexible, modular, easier to maintain and cost-effective. Modernising applications enhances business agility, enabling faster adaptation to evolving customer demands and the delivery of superior customer experiences while efficiently scaling products and services. Organisations gain a competitive advantage by differentiating themselves with innovative solutions using modern application architecture.

Modernised applications scale seamlessly to accommodate growing workloads and user bases. By leveraging cloud-based resources, containerisation and microservices architecture, organisations can dynamically allocate resources as needed to handle spikes in demand without incurring downtime or performance degradation. Scalability ensures that applications can grow with the business and adapt to changing requirements over time.

"Think of application modernisation as giving your software a 21st-century makeover—functionality meets finesse."

Shashank Ambrish, Director of Business Operations, TEKsystems India

Improved Security Through Application Modernisation

Legacy applications can be vulnerable to security threats due to outdated code, lack of security features and susceptibility to known vulnerabilities. Legacy modernisation includes implementing robust security measures such as encryption, authentication, access controls, and regular security patches and updates. Modernised applications can decrease threats, like cyberattacks, data breaches and other security risks, thereby protecting sensitive information and safeguarding the organisation’s reputation.

What’s a barrier organisations must avoid? Being too narrow in their approach to their enterprise application modernisation initiative. They may think of application modernisation as a simple task where they need to rewrite or refactor this app.

But that application might interact with 10 different business processes, some of which might involve other leaders of the C-suite. The need for cross-collaboration and cross-functional alignment of application modernisation can often be neglected, when in reality, application modernisation is part of the broader digital business transformation journey.

Organisations must take a holistic approach and assess their level of readiness for transformation before embarking on their application modernisation journey. Consider several challenges spanning across people, processes and technology when approaching modernisation:


  • Resistant to change: An application development team that’s using a specific development methodology over several years is often resistant to change that needs upskilling, changes in ways of working, and usage of new development practices and patterns.
  • Skills gap: Organisations often lack the expertise in the modern development frameworks and cloud technologies required to successfully execute modernisation efforts.


  • Legacy integration: Integrating legacy systems with modern applications can be complex and time-consuming, requiring careful planning and execution to ensure seamless interoperability.
  • DevSecOps adoption: Integrating DevSecOps practices to simplify development, testing and deployment procedures could cause delays for organisations with low levels of DevSecOps maturity.
  • Governance and compliance: Adhering to compliance and governance frameworks will introduce delays in adoption of modern application architecture.


  • Complexity of existing systems: Decoupling tight integration across legacy components and processes while maintaining feature requirements requires significant time and resources.
  • Data migration and integration: Migrating data for applications that are based on monolithic architecture and integrations among other systems requires careful evaluation of dependencies, compatibility and configuration. The complexity results in additional time spent before data migration can be executed for modern decoupled systems.
  • Documentation: Applications built over a long period often result in inconsistent documentation, which makes it difficult to understand the inner workings of the application, inhibiting the ability to plan modernisation effectively.

Measuring Success in Application Modernisation

A key step for a successful legacy modernisation initiative: Determine and specify the business objectives that can be assessed and tracked. For instance is how well delivery agility is improved by faster time-to-market of products and services. For each business objective, organisations should:

  • Establish and define the metrics that need to be collected.
  • Baseline the current state value of those metrics.
  • Estimate the potential value of those metrics post-transformation.

By establishing a practice of continuous tracking of these metrics across the application modernisation effort, the organisation can measure the improvements achieved.

Building Tomorrow

While the initial investment in application modernisation may seem significant, the long-term cost savings can be substantial. Modernised applications require fewer resources to operate and maintain, resulting in lower operational costs over time. By eliminating legacy dependencies, reducing downtime and improving system efficiency, organisations can realise significant cost savings in areas such as infrastructure, support and maintenance.

Overall, the benefits of enterprise application modernisation extend beyond technical improvements to include tangible business outcomes such as increased agility, innovation and competitiveness in the marketplace. By embracing legacy modernisation efforts, organisations can future-proof their applications, enhance their capabilities and achieve sustainable growth in the digital age.

"Modernising your applications isn't just an upgrade—it's a strategic shift to stay competitive in a digital world."

Shashank Ambrish, Director of Business Operations TEKsystems India

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TEKsystems' Tips: Best Practices for Application Modernisation

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Assessment and prioritisation: Start by assessing your existing application portfolio to identify legacy systems that require modernisation. Prioritise applications based on factors such as business impact, technical debt and alignment with strategic objectives.

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Cost-benefit analysis: Conduct a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis to understand the potential ROI for each modernisation initiative. Consider factors such as anticipated improvements in efficiency, productivity, customer satisfaction, and revenue generation.

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Selection of the right modernisation approach: Choose the most suitable modernisation approach based on your specific requirements and constraints. This could involve refactoring legacy code, rearchitecting applications using microservices or containers, or migrating to cloud-based platforms.

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Streamlined development and deployment: Implement agile methodologies and DevOps practices to streamline the development and deployment processes. This allows for faster iteration cycles, reduced time to market, and greater flexibility in responding to changing requirements.

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Focus on scalability and flexibility: Modernise applications with scalability and flexibility in mind to accommodate future growth and evolving business needs. Utilise cloud-native architectures and technologies that enable elasticity and seamless integration with other systems.

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Enhanced user experience: Prioritise improvements to the user experience as part of the modernisation process. Modernised applications should be intuitive, responsive, and user-friendly, leading to increased user adoption and satisfaction.

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Security and compliance: Incorporate robust security measures into modernised applications to protect against cyber threats and ensure compliance with industry regulations. Invest in security testing, encryption, access controls, and regular vulnerability assessments.




  1. Survey: 92% of Enterprises Working on, Planning App Modernisation, Integration Developer News
  2. Application Modernisation Makes a Dent in the Technology Universe, IDG

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