A legacy system is any outdated software or hardware that it’s still in use. Although the term may imply it, a legacy system isn’t necessarily an aged technology. It can be a system that lacks vendor support or doesn't meet an organization's evolving requirements. In this blog post, we’ll cover four examples of legacy systems that companies often struggle to modernize.


Why Do Companies Still Rely On Legacy Systems?

Most organizations keep their legacy systems because of at least one of the following reasons:

  • High migration costs: the IT system is running aging or end-of-life technology that may lack current documentation, making migration complex and, usually, expensive.
  • Skills gap: the technology is supported by “mature” developers with hard-to-find skills, or, in case of migration to another technology, organizations lack enough manpower to focus on the migration while keeping the business running as usual.
  • Fear: legacy systems are often a mission-critical technology, and the organization is afraid of the impact changing it or replacing it can have on the business.

In a recent blog post, we looked at the three ways companies can modernize legacy applications by extending, refactoring, or rebuilding using a low-code application development platform. Now, let’s take a look at four specific and common legacy systems and explore how businesses have used low-code development to successfully modernize those systems.

4 Common Legacy Systems

1. SAP

Organizations running SAP know that the customizations they’ve made to the core applications to meet the unique needs of the business can deliver value. However, the customizations can be expensive to build, and they often make it harder to upgrade and migrate to future versions of SAP.

By extending your legacy SAP applications with a low-code application development platform, you can unlock new value with web and mobile front-ends without requiring scarce and costly SAP-specific  development resources.

Others take a different approach.

For some organizations, their legacy SAP systems aren’t just missing a few features or capabilities. They’re effectively hampering the innovation necessary to achieve or maintain competitive advantage.

A low-code application development platform can support cloud-based innovation that exists alongside the legacy systems of record, sharing data while providing new capabilities. Companies can modernize their systems at their own pace, and as each new component comes online, they can decommission the legacy applications until the transformation is complete.

2. .Net and Oracle

Initially, homegrown core enterprise systems built in-house with technologies like .Net and Oracle have an advantage over COTS solutions by providing exactly the features the organization needs. But quickly, these systems run into similar issues as commercial systems: adding new features and capabilities to the core system is painfully slow and cumbersome.

3. Lotus Notes and HCL Domino

There are times when progress leaves once-dominant technologies in the dust. Businesses that still rely on these aging apps to power critical internal workflows often feel like they’re stuck in the past using an outdated platform that is disconnected from the modern, cloud-based ecosystem. Lotus Notes is built on a 30-year-old+ architecture with a proprietary development framework, database, programming model, scripting language, and deployment methodology. While it was a powerful solution at the time, it lacks the security, flexibility, and agility that are now table stakes in modern applications.

Organizations are better off replacing their Lotus Notes applications by re-envisioning the capabilities using a visual, model-driven, and AI-based development environment. Best-in-class low code development platforms let organizations create sophisticated and secure offline experiences that support everything from simple data caching to complex offline data access and synchronization.

4. SharePoint

Like Lotus Notes, the legacy on-premises version of Microsoft SharePoint was once an innovative collaboration tool that is, by today’s standards, costly and complex to customize, difficult to scale, and lacks critical reporting and governance capabilities. Using a low code development platform, organizations can migrate from aging SharePoint applications and re-envision internal and external portal applications as optimized web and mobile apps.

Low-Code for the Win

Many organizations depend on legacy systems to support their core business processes. Low-code development offers an opportunity to bring them up to date quickly, without the risk and cost of traditional development.

With OutSystems, your IT team can quickly build intuitive apps on top of your legacy applications and make them available where employees need them most. With AI-powered visual development, out-of-the-box integrations, and world-class UI patterns and visual components, OutSystems empowers IT to easily extend, refactor, and rebuild existing systems for the future.

To learn more about how organizations around the world have easily and quickly modernized their legacy systems with OutSystems, download our new ebook, An IT Leader's Guide to Application Modernization.