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July 3, 2019 4 min read

Legacy Apps: keep, modernise or replace it?


Companies that rely on their core softwares for their main activity, such as banks with their IT solutions used for transactions and cash control – fear the change, as this could directly affect their operation, and believe that the security promoted by new services cannot reach the same level as they currently have. But most of the time, old platforms are difficult to fix in case of bugs and complicated to upgrade and maintain.

Starting digital transformation can be a challenge for many companies that refuse to leave behind systems they have used for years. Unfortunately, many managers believe that the stability and security of these platforms - once the best solutions in IT services - are unique and unbeatable, and they do not realize the benefits that new technologies can bring to their companies.

This problem is common even in computer giants and some very simple software, as is the case of Microsoft, which only left the problematic Internet Explorer in the last update of Windows.

When should modernisation or a complete rework of the legacy app be considered?


  • The speed and performance do not meet the competitive needs of your organisation anymore

No matter how young your software is, if it runs on outdated technologies, it probably needs to be completely reworked. A great example is Adobe Flash, which was a very popular web development tool. However, most browsers have already disabled Flash support or plan to do so soon. Likewise, Microsoft Silverlight is considered a technology that is dying as the company has given up Silverlight support for the new Edge browser.

  • Operation costs are high, support and maintenance are even higher

On average, organisations spend from 60% to 85% of their IT budgets keeping complicated legacy applications that do not follow the growth of the organisation. Legacy system aspects such as excessive hardware, staff training, inefficiency or disruptions make the operating costs of these systems very high. In addition to those, there are many hidden costs to the organisation, this includes employee satisfaction, brand image, and customer loyalty. It is known that over 90% of consumers prefer to switch supplier than working with a company that uses outdated technology.

  • Lack of flexibility and business growth

When organisations find themselves stuck to their legacy systems and old tools, they are taking the risk of having its competitors already integrate these new tools and resources, taking competitive advantage on these new technologies. An updated technology can enhance your customers’ experience and satisfaction: 62% of consumers say they are likely to become a repeat customer of a business that uses modern technology.

 Application modernisation is an important part of the digital transformation initiative. Therefore, it requires a solid implementation strategy, complete planning, and a reliable technology partner. After all, only then will you be able to mitigate related risks and make the most of this journey.

If your organisation operates on the basis of third-party software, whether you like it or not, it depends on this provider for updates and maintenance. The risk is, when the vendor terminates support for the product your company is using, your business processes must be transferred to another system. After all, by choosing to continue with the old solution that is no longer supported by the provider, the application will not receive further updates or help to fix problems.

How we can help

If you are experiencing a similar challenge with your core systems, Optimation can help you with our broad spectrum of solutions. In addition to our expert people here in New Zealand, through our unique strategic partnerships with global providers, we can offer customers offshoring options that provide unbeatable scale and value, fronted by Optimation for local accountability and governance.

- Redevelopment
- Digital wrappers
- Cloud migration

We can work with you to migrate existing applications or business functionality into the cloud, or to incorporate cloud services into a redevelopment or replatforming strategy.

  • Replatform

We can assist with strategies to keep what you have but move it onto a modern, more easily maintained platform.

  • Maintain, enhance and extend

Our Application Support team can take on the burden of on-going maintenance, upgrades and enhancements to existing systems, freeing your people to focus their energies on innovation and new opportunities.

Here’s proof our approach works

Tower Insurance

Our experience is proven by this Tower Insurance case-study, when they faced exactly this challenge.


Dept Corrections We have proven this approach at the Department of Corrections by delivering one of the biggest (and successful!) Microsoft bespoke application modernisations in New Zealand.


Digital transformation can be a challenge for many companies with legacy systems. If you are experiencing challenges and want to modernise your systems, read more about how our low code development platform can help your business grow and become more efficient.



For help modernising and bringing value to your core platform, get in touch here.