Legacy Apps Vs Modern Apps: What is best for your institute?

Academia ERP / SIS
6 min readNov 2, 2022


Image Credit: Netwoven

Web and mobile applications have become an important part of our lives. We crave high-end digital experiences even for the tiniest things. This puts immense pressure on education organizations to rapidly adapt to emerging technologies and transit to modern software solutions to meet the needs of students, educators, and staff.

In our profound experience with education institutions, we have experienced slight reluctance of the education authorities towards transition. On a serious note, the education industry must take this need of the hour more seriously — prioritizing advanced solutions over dead-set traditional processes.

Many organizations are still operating on legacy systems which are not at all efficient in the current market climate. At present, education institutes need solutions that are fast adapting to the changing needs of the educational organization, and it is a well-established fact that it is not a strong suit of legacy software.

Legacy software is solutions that were built using old development methodologies and use a redundant architecture. They are not flexible and responsive to modern needs and miserably fail the institutes. During Covid-19, we have seen many instances to prove it.

Furthermore, legacy systems require high maintenance costs and are not even compatible to be integrated into the cloud infrastructure which is one of the most common modern technologies. Also, as the world is moving towards advanced technologies, vendors and developer support for legacy software are difficult to find.

Education institutes must perform the shift from legacy systems to modern systems which provide them a sharper competitive edge and are more compliant with contemporary challenges and needs. They must aim at removing the bottlenecks found in the system that are stopping the institutes to go a step ahead and provide a superior experience to their students, faculty, and staff.

Most of all the process has to be fast-paced. It is necessary that education authorities around the world understand the impending needs of their educational organizations. It is necessary to scrutinize the legacy system they are using with utmost brutality because their chances of surviving the current education environment depend on it. It is crucial that the software adapts and adapts fast to the modern needs of the institutes.

To start with, the monolithic architectural model, the use of obsolete development methodologies, average code quality, problems found in the integration process when implementing 3rd party tools and so many others are not acceptable in the current times.

Going ahead, it is also very challenging to scale legacy systems. In fact, disadvantages such as monolithic architecture alone can take down the efficiency and effectiveness of a solution to several notches. If one part of an application fails it means the entire application goes down and troubleshooting a legacy system isn’t easy either. A developer has to debug an entire application which results in higher downtime.

Modern applications on the other hand are built to provide agility. They are quality-centric and aim to bring flexibility to operations. They are built on using agile development methodologies and DevOps practices. The modular architecture gives a faster work experience. Some solutions have serverless operational models as well. The apps are highly scalable, meaning an institute can customize the modern system and make improvements to it to meet its growing needs. Furthermore, portability, compatibility, and resilience are some qualities of modern systems that give them a big advantage over legacy systems.

Not only should an education system go for a modern system for higher efficiency, but imagine the degree of innovation they can put in to build people-centric solutions for all the stakeholders. Furthermore, the total cost of ownership is much less than that is there in the legacy system.

There are no bars in terms of how many users can be using the system at once. Modern applications and software come with abilities to handle millions of users, using the app over multiple platforms at once. This quality of modern applications stays unaffected in both on-premise and on-cloud environments.

Not only do the modern applications exhibit structural superiority but functionally they are more stable. The applications automate most of the operations, thus reducing the workload of the people in the system. This saves time and increases productivity by several folds and it surely is something worth investing in.

Talking of infrastructure, legacy applications are built for on-premise installation and deployment. They are typically OS-dependent, whereas the world is preparing to become boundless. Legacy systems thus lose the war of infrastructure as well where they need a specific environment to function. This includes server and network hardware, database, storage resources, etc.

Although education institutes may ignore the dependencies of a legacy system over the operating system, hardware, storage, and support services — they cannot stay blind to the migratory barriers it brings along. Legacy applications are not easy to migrate or scale to the new infrastructure. Also, as the underlying infrastructure of the legacy application becomes old it becomes harder to maintain and increases the maintenance cost.

Modern applications on the other hand are built on the cloud-native architecture and allow developers to reduce their dependency on the hardware. Also, the vendor provides managed services like computation, memory management, data storage, security, and others.

Furthermore, cloud solutions allow faster development of applications as the app resources are spread across different environments and people can use agile development methodology to speed up the development work. Also, Resources can be housed in public clouds such as Amazon or Google, however, there are also private on-premise solutions available that provide more security. Hybrid cloud architecture allows you to enjoy on-premise and on-cloud services both. Depending on your preference you can go with any of the solutions.

One of the benefits of going with a cloud environment is that developers can push the code to production faster. With serverless cloud architecture, you can enjoy more efficiency as developers get to respond to the demands faster and can scale up or down according to their needs.

Another disadvantage of legacy systems is usually the applications are single-tier software applications where the app codebase and services are not built into a single deployment package. This brings huge dependency between the services and hence the task of scaling the application becomes next to impossible. Also, upgrading the app means a large codebase, which escalates the problem.

In the current times, you need apps that provide a clear distinction between elements, so that whenever a new version of the application is rolled out it does not start updating the application as a whole, rather just focuses on a particular element of the application. This also helps when there is a bug in one element of the application. The separation of elements helps in ensuring that the entire functionality of the application is not affected.

Modern systems have loosely coupled service-based architecture. This ensures easy communication between the elements through APIs. They are built with modular independent components called microservices and break up the application into smaller services. This ensures the codebase of the app is not too heavy and each service can be frequently and independently updated.

Automation becoming the need of the time, is a very crucial thing to consider when choosing between legacy applications and modern applications. If you go with a legacy application the IT teams would be drowning in the manual processes, which include manual provisions, management, maintenance of the servers, networks, and storage configuration.

Manual processes can slow down your operations as it is a time-taking process to diagnose the issue. They may also fail to implement the corrective measures causing further delays and complicating the situation. To avoid this, modern applications have automated release pipelines that speed up software releases. And there are various tools available today which can automate various processes in the development lifecycle and ensure near-zero errors and automatic resolution to issues found in the application.

In conclusion, we can say, using legacy applications in the current market is only going to put you at a disadvantage. Although, modern applications may sound costly at first, imagine the cost that you are going to save on management and maintenance.

Modern applications are speedy and flexible. Plus, you can scale the applications easily to meet your growing needs. Legacy applications are often seen to be losing the battle as they are not flexible enough. You need innovative solutions that can ensure the seamless working of various operations. Simply put, if you are thinking of digital transformation of your educational institution, think of a modern ERP / modern Student Information System.



Academia ERP / SIS

Academia ERP/ SIS is a comprehensive suite that streamlines the complete student life cycle from Enquiry to Graduation as well as administrative processes.