What is Legacy System Migration? Business Skills

Sep 21, 2023 JIN

What is Legacy System Migration?

As technology rapidly evolves, businesses grapple with managing legacy systems – obsolete software or technologies that impede growth and efficiency. Despite holding valuable data, these systems often confront integration obstacles.

Legacy migration involves transitioning outdated software to modern technologies, enabling companies to unlock fresh opportunities and maintain competitiveness. Recent research predicts that the data migration market will reach $10.98 billion by 2025, and the cloud migration services market will surge to $515.83 billion by 2027. Speaking of which, migration, including the migration of legacy systems, is a burgeoning sector.

In today’s blog, let’s discuss the advantages of legacy migration and the difficulties you might face while dealing with the situations. We’ll also give away the how-to tips in resolving these challenges.

Why do companies start migrating away from a Legacy System?

Enhanced Performance and Efficiency

Legacy systems were once reliable, but they now struggle to meet the demands of the modern world, especially the customers. Upgrading to more advanced and current software enables companies to harness the latest technologies and trends, ultimately enhancing efficiency, enabling employees to focus on value-added tasks, and increasing productivity.

Cost Reduction

Operating on an outdated system can incur significant costs for businesses. Maintenance and licensing fees and the need for specialized support can strain budgets. Furthermore, legacy systems often rely on obsolete technologies, making them susceptible to costly hardware failures.

Migration to a new system can result in substantial cost savings. Modern systems offer cost-effective options with flexible pricing models, innovative cloud-based solutions, and decreased maintenance requirements. Adopting a modern system also allows companies to utilize more efficient infrastructure, reducing operational expenses over time.

Improved Integration and Scalability

Legacy systems are notorious for limited integration capabilities, hampering connections with other systems or applications. Transitioning to a modern system enables companies to benefit from advanced integration features, facilitating seamless data flow and interoperability across different software and platforms.

Enhanced integration enhances overall efficiency and establishes a foundation for future scalability. By easily integrating new tools and applications, companies can adapt to evolving business needs, expand operations, and support growth without the constraints imposed by legacy software.

Enhanced Security and Compliance

Outdated platforms often lack robust security features to combat modern cyber threats. They also struggle with compliance, making it challenging to meet industry standards and obtain vital certifications. Migrating to new software enhances compliance and improves security measures, including advanced encryption, multi-factor authentication, and proactive monitoring.

Support and Vendor Availability

Over time, vendors may discontinue support or shift focus to newer product lines, leaving companies without assistance. Legacy software, often built with outdated programming languages like Cobol, makes finding skilled professionals to support such systems difficult.

Migrating to a modern system opens doors to a broader pool of vendors and IT professionals well-versed in the required technologies. With current knowledge and skills, these professionals can offer timely assistance and access to updates, patches, and bug fixes essential for smooth software operation.

Phased migration divides the process into stages, gradually moving components to the cloud for controlled, low-disruption transitions with effective risk management.

Popular Legacy System Migration Strategies


The lift-and-shift strategy involves migrating apps or systems from on-premises to the cloud without significant alterations, a rapid and cost-efficient transition by utilizing the existing infrastructure, and minimizing code modifications.

This strategy is perfect for clients seeking a swift migration with minimal app changes. It works well when the current application architecture aligns with the target environment and requires only minor adjustments.


Replatforming entails moving applications or systems to the cloud while making certain modifications for optimal cloud performance. This strategy offers benefits like scalability and enhanced efficiency while preserving the core structure and functionality of the legacy system.

Replatforming is most effective when you wish to embrace modern features and technologies without significant disruptions to the existing codebase. It provides a chance to boost performance and scalability without starting from scratch.


Re-architecture involves completely redesigning and reconstructing applications or systems using modern architectural and design principles. This allows organizations to modernize infrastructure, enhance scalability, and fully capitalize on cloud services.

Re-architecture is ideal for organizations aiming to modernize their legacy systems, improve scalability, and maximize cloud benefits. It’s especially beneficial when the current architecture is outdated, lacks scalability, or hampers the adoption of cloud-native technologies and services.

Phased Migration

Phased migration divides the process into distinct stages, gradually moving components or modules to the cloud. This approach offers control, minimizes disruptions, and effectively manages risks.

Phased migration works best for organizations seeking a controlled, systematic approach. It’s useful for scenarios with complex dependencies, potential risks, or the need to ensure uninterrupted operations.

Big Bang

The big bang strategy involves moving the entire application or system to a new environment simultaneously.

The big bang strategy suits organizations with smaller, less intricate systems. It works well when there are no critical dependencies or interconnections and a swift transition is required.


Parallel migration runs both the legacy and new systems simultaneously. This approach involves duplication for testing and comparison. It reduces risks by allowing gradual user transition, ensuring continuity and minimal disruptions.

Parallel migration is ideal for low-risk migrations. Testing the new system before full adoption ensures a smooth transition with minimal disruptions to business operations and user experience.

Hybrid Migration

Hybrid migration blends legacy and new systems, facilitating a gradual transition. It integrates new functionalities while maintaining compatibility with the legacy environment, minimizing risks associated with a complete overhaul.

Hybrid migration suits organizations seeking a balanced approach. It allows leveraging existing investments while introducing new features gradually, ensuring a seamless transition while optimizing resources.

Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)

SOA migration shifts from a monolithic architecture to a service-oriented one. It modularizes the system into independent services, promoting integration, modularity, and flexibility and enabling scalability across applications and platforms.

SOA strategy suits companies aiming for scalable, interoperable systems. It’s ideal for complex environments where multiple apps need to share services.

Companies consider migrating from legacy systems to overcome compatibility issues, improve efficiency, enhance security, and stay competitive in the modern technological landscape.

The 7 Challenges in Migrating Legacy Systems

Data Complexity and Integrity

Legacy systems often present intricate data structures and inconsistent quality, posing challenges in maintaining data integrity during migration. The sheer volume of data and lack of standardization create significant obstacles to accurate data transfer.

Compatibility and Integration

Modern technologies can clash with legacy systems, requiring seamless integration with other applications. The absence of standardized protocols and interfaces further complicates the integration process.

Knowledge Gaps and Expertise

Outdated technologies in legacy systems demand specialized skills for efficient migration and maintenance. The scarcity of expertise in such areas can lead to delays and errors in the migration process.

Cost and Resource Allocation

Migration efforts demand substantial financial and human resources. Poor resource planning and unforeseen costs may result in budget overruns and project delays.

Disruption of Business Operations

Migrating legacy systems can disrupt daily business operations, leading to downtimes and productivity losses. The absence of critical systems can impact customer service and revenue generation.

Testing and Compliance

Thorough testing is vital for validating the new system’s functionality, performance, integration, and compliance. Inadequate testing can result in operational problems and non-compliance with industry regulations.

Change Management and User Adoption

Transitioning from legacy systems necessitates change for users, potentially causing adoption difficulties. Successful utilization of the migrated system hinges on effective change management strategies.

Hand over Your Legacy System Migration to SHIFT ASIA

Embarking on the journey to modernize your legacy systems can be daunting, but SHIFT ASIA is here to guide you every step of the way. Our seasoned software experts excel in addressing the intricate challenges of outdated systems.

We begin by conducting meticulous data assessments, establishing seamless data migration while preserving integrity. Compatibility and integration concerns do not match our comprehensive planning and integration strategies. Our middleware technologies facilitate smooth communication between your legacy and new systems.

We bridge knowledge gaps through hands-on training, empowering your team to navigate the migration process confidently. Don’t ever let legacy systems hold you back. With SHIFT ASIA, you can transition to modern technologies hassle-free, unlocking new levels of efficiency and innovation in your desired timeline. Keep in touch with our support team to plan out your own legacy migration journey today. We’re always here to help!


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