Guide Reengineering Software: How to Reuse Programming to Build New, State-of-the-Art Software

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This leaves your competitors more openings to outperform you and take over your market share. Currently, mobile banking solutions are at the epicenter of customer experience resulting in higher revenue for banks. In this case, the cost of a missed opportunity equals the revenue your competitor will get from newly acquired customers.

Software Evolution and Maintenance - Software Evolution and Maintenance - Wiley Online Library

Source: Deloitte. Such overhead is another significant element that adds to the cost of missed opportunity. While mobile banking providers save more on efficient and low-cost ways to process transactions, you might still be using outdated POS terminals and manual assistance to do the same job. Talking about business opportunities, timing proves to be crucial. How fast can you respond to the market challenges? Will it take weeks to adopt new technologies and solutions? Or rather several months? The truth is, in most cases, businesses bound to legacy systems lack organizational agility to adapt to the upcoming challenges.

Meanwhile, IT modernization is grounded on agile methodologies which can speed up the provision of IT services by 30 to 50 percent. Although moving from cumbersome legacy IT to agile and digitally enabled IT can be complex and challenging, it is necessary to meet modern IT demands. Partially due to their inability to be updated and modified, legacy systems can hold back innovation, resulting in significant losses.

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Moreover, outdated software is less efficient, which has a negative impact on the employee productivity. Machine-reengineering, the business processes automation with the help of machine learning , is a great example of how innovation can optimize business performance. At the same time, some saw a tenfold improvement in workforce effectiveness or value creation. For example, the resource lists a number of successful cases of processes reengineering.

Namely, a financial services provider implemented a biometrics solution based on voice recognition.

Legacy System Modernization: How to Transform the Enterprise for Digital Future

This resulted in 50 percent more efficient call routing, the improvement achieved largely due to the use of advanced technology. Despite the problems and risks related to the outdated software, a majority of the companies are still lacking legacy-modernization initiatives. Most of them would only consider reengineering the current solution in case of an emergency, such as a complete system outage. To bridge the gap between the current offerings and customer expectations, companies need to rethink their business models, making them digital-ready.

Yet, the legacy software is only one aspect of the problem. Sometimes, a far bigger issue is the mindset that comes with it. That is why proving a business case for software modernization is the first challenge to be faced by the initiating party. So, why modernize legacy systems?

2. The hidden costs of legacy software

The following benefits prove that legacy-system modernization is a vital part of the overall business digitization. Two major arguments are typically used when talking about a software modernization initiative. Those are the time and cost involved. Indeed, a solution that took a team of developers years to implement cannot be re-created in a week, even if you hire twice as many developers to handle the task. Thus, in some cases software reengineering cost might exceed the initial investments.

Besides the challenges, there are multiple risks to avoid. Some of them have been described by a group of Carnegie Mellon University researchers back in Therefore, successful software reengineering requires a solid modernization strategy and great attention to detail. In this regard, we can share some of the best practices and approaches we have developed at AltexSoft. There are more aspects to assess when identifying the legacy. That is why you need to assess all systems in place to uncover the current and potential issues it can bring up in the near future.

The assessment should be systematic and detailed: Study all aspects of your technology, from code and architecture to visual look and feel, taking into account your future business plans for product growth. Select the modernization approach that would be the fastest to deliver value. Based on the assessment conducted at the first phase, choose the modernization approach that best fits your needs and will help you deliver results fast.

Aside from the modernization approaches, consider existing products you can use instead. There is no need to reinvent the wheel if there is an SaaS solution available at a fraction of cost.

How Software is Made

Yet, if your system solves rather specific tasks or you want to be able to build more features on top of it, custom product development services might be right for you. In this case, adopting agile software development practices can help you speed up the process and deliver value fast. Legacy systems often fail to perform as needed due to their overly complex structure.

When modernizing your system, less is more in terms of both architecture and functionality.


Start by implementing only the most important features. Consider a microservices architecture approach to make your product scalable. Additionally, make sure the newly released application will work well with the rest of the tools used in your business by default. If you plan to change any of the tools soon, consider several possible options and keep their requirements in mind when building your application. Choose the technology stack to deliver optimal performance and user experience.

When reengineering your system, make sure you use a solid and future-ready technology stack. The choice of technologies should completely depend on the product specifics. Consult with your internal IT staff or address a professional tech consultancy. The right tech stack contributes to building a performant, reliable and efficient product. Adopt a solid quality assurance and testing process to deliver the best results.

To avoid the same mistakes that made you reengineer your current solution, introduce or adopt best practices used by other companies a set of coding standards and internal processes. Orderly documented and clean code make your software easy to understand, extend and maintain in the future. Even if you have a brand-new system running like a clockwork, you will still need your legacy software, just in case. Document and archive your solutions so you can easily access and refer to them when needed. Therefore, you need to support your legacy system for some time and plan for retiring your legacy system only when your new product is up and running.

Working with the old systems for years, your employees might need some time and guidance to master the new software. So be ready to invest in staff training for better performance and efficiency.


Additionally, plan for regular system updates. If you fail to keep your product up to date, you will soon face another modernization challenge. Often dealing with legacy systems, we at AltexSoft have developed our own approach to choosing an appropriate way to modernize business-critical software.

Namely, we take several steps first to assess the existing solution. The first step in our plan is to identify and analyze the technology stack of the existing product. Thus, we know if the programming language or frameworks used are still relevant and supported by the vendors. If the product relies completely on outdated technologies, the chances are we would need to completely rewrite it in the process of modernization.

Refine your editions:

In case the tech stack or some parts of it is still relevant, it is necessary to conduct an architecture audit. This will help you define the system elements which are functioning well and focus on the ones that need modernization. Legacy software usually has an excessive codebase, requiring regular reviews and refactoring. The same principle applies to the UI and UX design. Performance testing aims at uncovering further potential issues with the legacy systems. Poor performance or major flaws can serve as a reason for a complete system reengineering as well as selective improvements.

While considering the current business needs and requirements articulated by the client, we also focus on opportunities for the future growth. Thus, we help you make an informed decision by providing a well-grounded and unbiased opinion on the software modernization options. A well-chosen strategy is an efficient pattern for managing legacy system modernization process. Here are the most popular legacy modernization strategies to consider while planning your technology transformation. Architecture-Driven Modernization ADM is a coordinated strategy of understanding and advancing existing software assets like its functionality, components, or requirements. The main advantage of ADM is that it approaches modernization from an analysis- and design-based perspective, rather than source-to-source migrations. The main use of architecture-driven modernization comes in the forms of platform and language independency and interoperability.

ADM will enable projects with aging software to become more agile. SABA is a high-level framework for planning organizational and technical issues during legacy system evolution and migration. The framework tackles various legacy system problems while also providing a means to analyze the future implications of software choices. Reverse Engineering Model is a strategy where the legacy applications are gradually migrated to the new environment, but legacy data migration is the last phase of the migration process. To access legacy data, the applications in the new environment use a Reverse Gateway.