mrc's Cup of Joe Blog

Join us in exploring the world of modern development, evolving technologies, and the art of future-proof software

Application modernization comparison chart

EducationHere’s a million dollar question: What’s the best application modernization method for your company?

Here’s the answer: It depends.

If your company needs to modernize existing legacy applications, choosing the best method varies largely on your needs, goals, and resources. You’ll need to answer a few questions before you begin, such as:

  • Why are you modernizing in the first place?
  • What’s your budget?
  • When do you need the job completed?
  • What do you hope to accomplish?

If you need help choosing the best modernization solution for your company, here are a couple of things that could help: First, here’s a free whitepaper entitled “Crash course in modernization,” that takes an in-depth look at the modernization basics. We’ve also created a handy little comparison chart, which compares 5 different modernization methods.

Rip and
Buy new
and migrate
Extend and
What is it? Scrapes data from legacy apps and displays it in a graphical format Convert legacy code into modern code Throw out old apps and build new apps from the ground up Purchase pre-built applications and migrate existing data Gradually surround legacy applications with modern applications
Does it replace legacy code? No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Does it replace legacy architecture? No No Yes Yes Yes
Speed Fast Fast Very Slow Slow Variable (Moves at your own pace)
Cost Cheap Cheap Expensive Very Expensive Moderate
Risk Low Low High Moderate Low
Ongoing maintenance Difficult Difficult Easy Easy Easy
Business Disruption Low Low High High Low
Advantages Fast and Cheap Fast and Cheap Produces modern apps that are built for your business Gives you completely modern apps faster than the “rip-and-replace” method Lets you modernize at your own pace, and re-use existing code as needed.
  • Not actually modernization
  • Limited capabilities
  • Difficult maintenance
  • Doesn’t replace legacy architecture
  • Limited capabilities
  • Difficult maintenance
  • High-risk
  • Time consuming
  • High cost
  • Requires a lot of customization
  • Time consuming
Ideal for… Companies that need to appear modern, without actually modernizing Companies that want to turn old code into new code without actually modernizing Companies with a large developer staff who need a completely custom solution Companies who need modern applications but lack the time for the “rip-and-replace” method Companies on a budget who want a custom modernization solution at a prioritized pace with minimal disruption
Long-term modernization solution? No No Yes Yes Yes

Of course, if you have any questions about modernization, feel free to let us know. We’ve helped countless companies modernize their legacy apps over the last 30 years, and would be more than happy to help you. If you need help, just fill out this short form and let us know what you have on your plate.