Many entrepreneurs and product owners become obsessed with modernizing their legacy applications.
Our team has done rewriting and refactoring projects for our clients, and we know how difficult and expensive technology migration is. We also know how switching to the right tech stack may skyrocket the growth of an app.
The key is to rewrite the legacy app when it's necessary (the old tech is truly obsolete) and beneficial (the new tech will bring some tangible return on the investment in the long run).
Suppose that you are developing a digital product that's built using an outdated technology.
Everywhere around you see these new smart solutions that work so fast and scale up effortlessly, while supporting your application is getting more and more difficult with no updates and a frustrated dev team who have to work with ancient tools.
At the same time, changing it is not easy — especially when you already have a product with real users and paying customers.
You need to plan the transition carefully. Sometimes it's better to let it be. Sometimes changing your stack can skyrocket your growth. However, to make the right choice, you need the advice of an experienced team who has seen it all.
When is it worth rewriting your app to a new technology? Let's start with a handy legacy modernization checklist prepared by our team.
Only if the answer to any of these is "yes," you should consider migrating to a new tech stack, but it still does not mean you should rewrite the code. It's just the beginning of the decision-making process you should go through very carefully. It's also best to get an experienced tech partner involved in consulting.
There are many reasons for changing your tech stack. Here's the list of the most popular.
You should go for a full technology stack transformation only when you know for sure that it's necessary. Here's the decision-making framework we use with our clients.
From the outside, it may look easy. You need to copy every functionality and every view and replace the old engine with a new one - written with a language and framework that's much handier.
You need to know that fitting the codebase to the output obtained in a different technology is often much more complicated than creating a new product from scratch.
Your dev team will have to write a new codebase and then adjust it to your infrastructure. Here just a few examples of the challenges you will face when running a code rewrite project.
Moving to a new tech stack is expensive. You need to realize this.
The only reason to do it is to move to a more modern programming language and framework that is trending. This means that talent is available, but it's not cheap.
Rewriting can be done in many different ways, and there is a lot of room for optimization, but it will be expensive. There's no other way.
You should treat the migration to a new tech stack as a long term investment.
You need to see more than one business objective that will with high probability be realized thanks to the latest solutions you and your team are going to implement.
It's not only about writing a new codebase, but also launching your app once again, only this time your user base will be using it and judging the new solution very harshly.
This is why modernizing a legacy app needs perfect planning - the time and budget estimations are extremely difficult.
If you are considering a codebase rewrite project, please run through the questionnaire above once again. If the answer is "yes", please contact us and let our team help you with this difficult project.