Writen by Gediel Luchetta,

4 minutes of reading

How to increase the chances of successfully modernizing your legacy system

Learn about two key approaches that increase the likelihood of success in application modernization initiatives.


If your company is losing market share or not growing as planned due to factors such as slow pace of innovation or high operating costs, considering an investment to modernize your legal system is something that requires attention. In this article, I have listed 4 reasons to invest in this type of project.  As mentioned above, modernizing a core system is often a long and costly journey. However, there are two important approaches that increase the likelihood of success in this area. Find out more about each of them below.


1. Identify what the main pain is and start with it

Before starting, make a correct diagnosis of the current scenario, determining where the biggest offenders for business results are and apply the initial attack strategy – i.e., how to get results quickly and with the lowest investment. For example, if the biggest problem for the current business is the slowdown in growth or the evasion of customers due to a limitation in the product’s interface, modernization can start by separating the frontend and backend layers and, with that, apply new technologies to unlock new interfaces for other devices, while the backend remains the same.

Another possibility is when the main issue is the high cost of your own data center’s infrastructure and maintenance. One action could be migrating (lift and shift) to the cloud or the replacement of proprietary RDBMS — with high licensing costs — for an open-source database solution.

It is important to point out that we’re talking about phasing and an early attack strategy that should solve one of the pains. Solving all the pain points will take a complete modernization, rewriting the software with the end customer at the center and using the best practices of software architecture, infrastructure, technology stack, software engineering best practices and DevSecOps.


2. Take advantage of the modernization initiative to create a truly “customer-centric” product

Use a “customer-centric” approach and make a discovery to determine which features really generate value for your end customer. A very common mistake of teams involved in modernization initiatives is to assume that all the functionalities present in the current software need to be modernized and maintained in the new solution. This premise also generates a false sense that the barriers to entry for competitors are higher than they really are.

As an exercise, let us imagine a legacy system module that has, hypothetically, 20 functionalities. In the modernization project, should we consider migrating them all? Do end users really need and use your product because of all these features? In practice, we see many startups emerging and gaining market share with a modern, lean, and easy-to-use digital product, with only two or three of these features

In summary, a discovery process with the end customer at the center, understanding what really generates value, can determine a great simplification and optimization of the modernization journey, or bring opportunities for growth with innovations in new functionalities that were not present in the product nor in the legacy system roadmap.


Read too: The modernization of Unicred’s banking core ensured availability for its members and capacity for innovation


The decision for a modernization project is multifactorial. The gains from this investment include greater agility to innovate, reduced time-to-market for new functions and features, reduced operating costs, in addition to expanding the ability to trace faults, ensuring greater assertiveness and speed in solving problems.

Using an up-to-date code language with an excellent reputation also brings long-term product security, as skilled labor is widely available.

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