7 Signs You Need to Modernise Your App

For organisations to keep up with competition and ensure they remain efficient, they need to continuously evolve and adapt. This includes changing internal processes and also tailoring their offering to meet market demands. To achieve this, businesses need to constantly update their software and technology. Part of this process is considering whether to modernise old applications. 

It can be a challenge to justify the investment of modernisation. Organisations need to ensure that they will be able to derive new business value from their old apps. However, the chances are that old applications are costing businesses in many ways. Here are seven signs that suggest it’s time to modernise your app:

1. Your Maintenance Costs Are Too High

With time, applications and systems can become more and more challenging to maintain. Every time you need to add some type of customisation, it adds another level of complexity to the system. As time passes, the volume of changes makes maintenance increasingly complicated. Simple updates can turn into extremely time-consuming and costly tasks. 

Also, on top of the cost of maintenance, is its complexity. A legacy system that has been customised is prone to breaking in one area when a change is made elsewhere. On top of this, in time, there will no doubt be problems that can’t be solved. Legacy applications don’t have easy-to-find online solutions to problems. Troubleshooting can be tough, if not impossible. If you’re starting to find maintenance both expensive and time-consuming, it’s probably time to modernise before it gets worse. 

2. You Can’t Meet Business Challenges 

The way we work has changed immeasurably. The arrival of mobile and the cloud have created new workflows and processes. We are no longer tied to our desks in central offices, working nine to five. As such, our applications have evolved to facilitate our new ways of working. We expect to be able to use our mobile phones or any device, to work from anywhere at any time and to have constant access to company data. 

If your application doesn’t fit around your new business workflows, or user behaviour has made your application unsuitable, then you should consider modernising your app. 

3. You’re Missing Out on Opportunities

There may be many features that your business would benefit from that your legacy software doesn’t support. This could be enabling mobile data access to your workforce, providing better reporting to your executives or automating manual processes. All of these features, if lacking, result in missed opportunities for your business. You are restricting productivity and hindering innovation as well as the ability to quickly respond to opportunities as they arise. 

If you can think of any business opportunities that are being hindered by your legacy system, then it’s time to consider what they are worth to your business. Chances are the cost of modernisation will be far less than the business value of the missed opportunities. 

4. Your Application Doesn’t Integrate with Modern Systems

Modern applications are created with integration in mind, easily letting your systems work together, share data and facilitate better workflows. With legacy applications, it’s often nowhere near as simple. Even the most simple of integrations can require custom coding and some aren’t even possible at all. 

If you need to implement custom integration to make your application work with other software, the chances are you are spending a lot of money before reaping any reward. If you can see the business value in your application integrating with your other systems, modernising your application will make a considerable difference. 

5. Your Application Lacks Flexibility and Scalability

Businesses need to be able to adapt quickly to keep up with customer demands. If your application doesn’t enable you to do this, then it will have an impact on business growth. Modern applications, which operate in cloud-based systems, can be accessed and maintained from anywhere, have features that can be shared with external suppliers devices and systems, and offer immediate data delivery to end-user applications.

Legacy platforms were built to solve big business problems. If your application includes a considerable amount of custom code that isn’t relevant to your business, then chances are it’s slowing you down. Modernising your application will enable you to scale the solution and become more flexible. 

6. Your Application is Too Slow

Legacy systems can be incredibly slow to deliver what is needed and often aren’t able to provide business users with the data they require. On top of this, they also follow rigid change procedures, which slows down digital enablement. 

Your organisation’s ability to adapt and quickly deliver business solutions is paramount to its ability to compete. Modern systems enable far more agility. If delivering any new feature to your business is a time-consuming process then you need to consider how you could provide faster solutions. By modernising your application, you might be able to be more competitive and, in turn, to sell more products and services. 

7. The Vendor No Longer Supports Your Application

The older your legacy system becomes, the more chance there is that the vendor will stop supporting it. When this happens, you can really become unstuck, especially if your application is business-critical. The result is that you’ll need to find a third-party company that can offer you the support you need, and this will come with a significant fee. The problem at this point is that you have little option but to cough up. You have to pay more for the rare talent that is available to help you support your system.

If your application is no longer supported, you are going to have to pay substantial amounts to fix any problems or action any upgrades or changes you require. By modernising your application, you can ensure that you will have the support that you need to maintain your application into the future. 

If you’re facing one or more of these problems with your application, it is time to start thinking about modernisation. Even if you haven’t yet experienced any of these problems and it seems that your legacy app works perfectly, it is worth considering how future-proof it is. After all, the sooner you modernise your apps, the sooner you can realise the benefits.  

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About the author

Michael Ridland is the Co-CEO and Founder of Xam Consulting.

Design-led problem solving delivering digital solutions.

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