I really dislike the term “legacy apps,” especially when it is used by vendors. It feels like they are calling my baby (i.e. my app) with a bad name. I love the quote by Martin Fowler, “All we are doing is writing tomorrow’s legacy software today.” I am certainly not advocating to stick to your old applications forever. All applications and systems have a life-cycle that goes from build to retire. Somewhere in between lies the stage of renewing the capabilities of the system, often named as modernization, enhancement, or rehab. This is the most important phase from the perspective of extending the life of the application and enhancing the long term value harvested from it.
In IT, each generational transition has called for modernizing and redesigning applications, business processes and IT infrastructure to exploit new technologies’ capabilities and efficiencies. App modernization isn’t carried out as a fashion statement or status symbol but for hard business reasons. Regardless of the era, the benefits of a periodic app overhaul include better performance, more features, greater usability, and higher reliability.
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