Legacy System Modernization via Cloud Migration: Strategies and Approaches to Modernize an Organization’s IT Infrastructure

Organizations spend a lot of capital developing IT infrastructures that serve as the backbone of their business models.

These organizations want to minimize their investment in IT infrastructure while keeping the system running for as long as possible.

But the rapid advancement of technology often makes these systems obsolete. This means that organizations need to keep their systems continually updated to beat their competition and give the best services to their customers.

Legacy system modernization is a growing field in IT that helps organizations fix outdated systems with the least amount of money and time spent.

For instance, one of the most well-known ways to do legacy systems modernization is cloud migration.

Cloud Migration and Modernization is a rising trend where legacy systems migrate to the cloud computing environment. 


This helps the organizations to reduce costs for legacy system modernization accompanied by other cloud solutions for storage and pay-per-go services providing rapid opportunities for dynamic changes in the organization.


Studies show that IT companies invest 80% of their budget in running legacy systems. This means that companies have an easy way to reduce their spending through legacy systems modernization.


Migration and modernization provide the ability to integrate the application architecture in a single software solution, forming collaborative processes between consumers, partners, and vendors.

Legacy System Modernization

Organizations, both public and private, continue to rely on legacy systems, which are considered to be an important asset to the organization mainly because of the information they carry and thus create high business value.


Legacy modernization is the solution to upgrading legacy systems with business requirements and achieving long-term goals without investing huge capital and the longer time frame needed by the IT organication to re-develop from scratch.


Legacy system modernization enables organizations to develop, ensuring the legacy systems remain relevant in offering the best services.


Legacy systems contain complicated information interactions, organizational culture, and normative settings of services that must be prioritized.


Modernization allows enhancing the legacy systems beyond what they can do, improving the existing capacity while enabling the systems to communicate with the latest technology.

Steps in Cloud Migration and Modernization

Cloud migration modernization is a process involving several steps and activities that are discussed as follows:

Analyze Business Requirements

Before migrating the legacy system to a new cloud, the consumer shall make their requirements clear on why they want to migrate to that specific cloud. Business objectives should be identified so that the cloud migration service will be provided to serve the best interest of customers.

Evaluate Migration Decisions

At this stage, the migration process is defined with justification, goals, scope, and limitations. Cloud Migration and Modernization are usually adopted for cost reduction and to improve the efficiency of the business. You must discuss the requirements of migration and modernization and their impacts on your business before moving forward with the process.

Analyze Legacy System

Analyzing legacy systems is all about developing an understanding of contemporary systems and collecting necessary documentation.

Identification of Components to be Migrated

After the analysis of legacy applications, you now need to identify the components which need to be migrated. These components could include a database, application layers, legacy codes, and algorithms. 


During this stage, consumers usually decide on the services needed to fulfill the identification requirements while taking into consideration the security levels guaranteed in the contract. Offered services should be compared to the candidate cloud service behavior, including inputs, outputs, and performance levels. Usually, three possible situations arise during this process:

  • Requirements are usually not fulfilled.

  • A new interface may be coded for message exchange

  • Results are as expected


Cloud Migration Type

Once the identified components and needed resources are validated, you have to choose the migration type. It is also the client’s job to indicate the type of migration that will fulfill the goals and also analyze the rules for service contracts if all the objectives are satisfactorily met.

Migrate Components

This activity includes steps that start with creating a backup of the current system, along with the existing code and data, as the client could feel the need to undo changes made during the migration.

Link Migration Component

This step consists of software deployment into the cloud computing services and testing the software configuration of provided services. Additionally, new configurations are needed to be linked to the contracted services to the consumer environment. Cloud carriers can participate in these activities so that all migrated components can be transferred to provider systems.

Check and Confirm the Service

Once the process is completed,  it is important to verify and validate the delivery to ensure the correct behavior of the system after migration. Verification tests are done to check the validity of the service provided. This helps to evaluate the quality standards in accordance with the business processes, along with the validation of documentation. 


Additionally, the migration process can be reversed using the backup copy prepared at the start of the process in case the consumer is not satisfied with the standards and results provided.


But you need the right approach to modernize your legacy systems. Without this, your whole business can be at risk. However, you don’t need to worry since Soleqs enables organizations to shift their technological infrastructure with reduced risks, resulting in improved productivity and an enhanced consumer experience.

Our team works with organizations to provide the best services to shift legacy infrastructure to new, modernized systems allowing organizations to spend less time maintaining outdated legacy systems while spending more time on revenue generation and focusing on market competition.

Legacy System Modernization Strategies

The smooth processing of legacy systems depends on the choice of an efficient pattern and strategy for legacy system modernization. A well-chosen strategy is an essential part of legacy application modernization, so let’s move on to the legacy system modernization strategies.

Architecture-Driven Modernization (ADM)

This is a coordinated strategy that is used for understanding the existing codes of legacy systems, including the functionality, components, and requirements. ADM is mostly used for its approach to modernization using analysis and design-based perspectives despite source-to-source migration.

The main use of architecture-driven modernization and migration comes in the form of platforms and language independence and interoperability. ADM enables business processes to become more agile, even with aging software.

SABA Framework

SABA Framework is a high-level digital transformation strategy used in legacy system modernization for the resolution of planning organization and technical issues. SABA’s iterative techniques help users to make informed decisions to choose from different legacy system modernization options. These options could include discarding old software completely or freezing it for later use. It could also include the option of outsourcing. This framework specializes in tackling the issues of the legacy system while also analyzing the future implications and plausible customer experience.


Reverse Engineering Model

Reverse Engineering is a legacy system modernization strategy that allows the legacy applications to gradually migrate to the new environment instead of rapid migration, allowing the system to adapt to the environment and decreasing migration issues. This strategy is mainly time-consuming and is used when the migration is not affecting the business processes of daily routine. 


Legacy data is migrated in the last step of the migration phase when using the Reverse Engineering model, and a reverse gateway is used to access the legacy data. It is also costly as compared to other strategies; however, the risk factor is decreased nearly to zero.


Visaggio’s Value-based Decision Model (VDM)

VDM selects the most suitable software for the migration and modernization process. The selection process is based on technical and economic metrics and is mainly used when the economic returns of digital transformation or the quality are lower than expected. VDM helps to decide on a better way to invigorate the system and save the capital invested in the transformation.  


DevOps Contribution

DevOps Contribution is a strategy used to speed up the migration and modernization process by swiftly deploying new software with a low degree of bugs or errors. Though swift, this strategy still complies with the target operational application architecture.


The Renaissance Model

This is a legacy system modernization strategy that is divided into two phases. The first phase comprises building a strong basis for the system evolution with the help of re-engineering. The second system includes the application of continuous improvement for the remainder of the system’s life. This strategy is a long-term investment that ensures that legacy systems shall not need another modernization in their entire life span, as they will be changed iteratively.


Warrants, Maintenance, Upgrade (WMU)

WMU is a user experience-based method that chooses maintenance strategies based on customer satisfaction. Many factors, such as customer satisfaction index, implementation quality, market volatility, customer expectations, etc., are used to develop the customer-centric strategy.

Soleqs uses the best legacy system modernization strategies for its consumers appropriate to the consumer needs. We don’t believe in one solution fit for all approaches as we design a separate strategy for individualized customers.

We keep in view the availability and budget of the clients so that with reduced risks, consumers can modernize their systems.

Soleqs provides consumers with enhanced operational agility, helping organizations to adopt new technologies and drive innovations.

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Legacy System Modernization Approaches

Legacy system migration and modernization can be carried out at the functional, data, and interface levels.


User Interface Modernization

Legacy System Modernization through User Interface improves usability and is greatly appreciated by the final users. Screen Scraping is a commonly used technique for User Interface Modernization. This is done by wrapping old, text-based interfaces with a new graphical interface. This technique can be easily extended, allowing the number of legacy systems to be wrapped by the new UI wrap. The new UI wrap could be a Graphical User Interface (GUI) or even a hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Specialized tools are used to communicate from  the new graphical interface with the old one. Screen scraping is used where the principal objective is to remove usability. It also helps in generating application program interfaces (APIs) from legacy applications.


Data Modernization

Data Modernization is performed through data wrapping, which allows legacy systems to use interfaces or protocols different from the ones originally used to design the data. Data wrapping is used for better connectivity and acceptability of modern infrastructure into legacy application architecture. Database Gateway, XML Integration, and Database Replication are the main techniques used in Data Modernization.


Functional (Logical) Modernization

Functional (logical) Modernization is one of the legacy data modernization approaches that encapsulate legacy applications as well as business logic embedded in legacy code.

  1. Object-Oriented Wrapping: This technique is used for complex software systems successfully. It could be designed and implemented in many ways that closely resemble the business processes, along with the use of abstraction, encapsulation, inheritance, and other object-oriented techniques.  

  2. Component Wrapping: This technique of functional modernization is similar to Object-Oriented wrapping. However, it enables the component framework to provide the component with quality services. This is the newest and probably the least known approach that enables organizations to completely replace the legacy system over time.


Soleqs advances the legacy applications with enhanced GUI and updated systems that ensure 100% retention of the data along with full functionality of the system.


Our team understands the value of legacy data and therefore uses approaches that ensure 100% retention of the data with reduced security risks along with enhanced performance and minimized cost.


State and Local IT Modernization and Cybersecurity Act

The use of the legacy system in the public sector is becoming a huge challenge, as these systems are unable to take the load of work and provide services to the citizens. The digitalization efforts of the government are also hampered due to legacy systems.


On June 21, 2022, President Biden passed the State and Local IT Modernization and Cybersecurity Act to prevent public systems from cyber-attacks and also fund the modernization of legacy systems in the public sector.


This law will also bridge the information gap between state and local governments, allowing them to share information and applications to better facilitate the needs of their citizens.


The public sector agencies that are still relying on the legacy application for their daily routine operation need to think about the capabilities and modernization of their systems.


This initiative of the US government means that other governments should also take legacy system modernization seriously to deliver the best infrastructures to their people.


This is where Soleqs comes in to help public sectors at the state and local level, assisting them in modernizing through their preferred modernization strategy and modernization approach.


Soleqs is launching an initiative to help public sectors modernize and digitize so that public legacy systems fulfill the aspiration of citizens and governments.


In 2019, around 80% of the government’s IT budget was spent on the modernization of legacy systems, along with taking necessary actions against cyber-attacks.


Now the government is taking the initiative to a larger scale, where Soleqs could play its part and provide these services at a much more affordable cost.


Moreover, Soleqs understand that public systems carry an enormous amount of private data, such as personal information of citizens and priceless historical records.


That is why our professional team ensures that this data is kept safe, reducing risks to cyber security while modernizing the system to comply with the standards of emerging technological infrastructures.

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John mambo

John mambo

A leader, with over 15 years of proven record of delivering well architecture software solution with an emphasis in secure and clean code. Embracing and executing agile transformation of large complex functions by continued innovative work in modern DevOps, infrastructure is code (IaC), Cloud migration, Data modeling and AI/ML analytics

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