Integrating Legacy Systems with Modern Software Veroke March 25, 2024

Integrating Legacy Systems with Modern Software

Cloud computing, automation, big data analytics, and ML models have become indispensable tools for day-to-day operations. However, these modern technologies may not be accessible if your infrastructure is based on legacy infrastructure. While modern applications may adorn your toolkit, their full potential remains untapped if they’re siloed off from your core systems. The question then arises: Is there a way to bridge this gap? The answer lies in legacy system integration with modern software.

Join us as we explore the advantages, potential challenges, and top strategies of integrating legacy systems with modern software, paving the way for enhanced efficiency and innovation in the digital era.


Understanding Legacy System Integration

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of legacy system integration. It’s important to understand what exactly a legacy system is.

Well, legacy system refers to longstanding software or technology infrastructure within an organization, often remaining unchanged for a considerable duration. These systems typically lack modern, web-based user interface capabilities and advanced integration technologies.

They are commonly hosted on-premises and encompass various forms, including databases, ERP systems, CRM applications, and HCM systems. Utilized across diverse industries such as finance, retail, government, and manufacturing, legacy systems can exhibit significant disparities in their technical capabilities, with some offering APIs for connectivity while others remain isolated.

Now, onto the crux: legacy system integration. This process bridges the gap between legacy software and contemporary applications. When executed effectively, legacy system integration fosters seamless collaboration between old and new systems, yielding substantial benefits for businesses.

Advantages of Legacy System Integration

Let’s go over the key benefits of legacy system integration:


1. Enhanced User Experience:

Integrating legacy systems with modern technologies, such as linking an outdated inventory system with BigCommerce, significantly enhances user experiences. This connection provides customers with real-time and accurate product information, prices, and more, resulting in smoother online shopping experiences, reduced errors, and increased customer satisfaction. Consequently, businesses maintain their competitiveness by meeting modern expectations while leveraging their trusted legacy systems.

2. Access to New Technologies and Functionalities:

Integration serves as an effective means to enhance legacy systems with new features and modern technologies, all without the need to start from scratch.

3. Improved Decision-Making:

By integrating legacy systems with modern solutions, organizations unlock invaluable data collected over decades. This data allows them to identify patterns and glean insights to enhance strategic decision-making. For example, historical CRM data can be analyzed to identify more efficient methods for attracting and retaining customers.

4. Reduction in Manual Work:

The repetitive task of re-entering the same data hampers productivity and increases the risk of human error. Synchronizing critical systems eliminates this redundancy, allowing data to be entered once for faster and more accurate operations.

5. Minimization of Learning Curve for Employees:

Legacy systems often present usability challenges compared to modern counterparts, posing difficulties for new employees. Integration reduces reliance on these less intuitive solutions, thus decreasing the learning curve for newcomers and facilitating smoother onboarding processes. Unlike replacing a legacy system with entirely new software, which requires extensive staff training, integrating legacy systems with modern applications typically involves bridging familiar tools. This familiarity eases the transition for existing staff members while ensuring operational continuity.

When Legacy System Integration is Relevant?

According to a Deloitte study conducted in 2022, which identified collecting and protecting ever-growing volumes of data (45%), rising cost and complexity of data privacy (18%), and shifting regulations (32%) as primary barriers to data management goals. This is where integrating legacy software systems emerges as a potential solution.

We recommend considering integration in these scenarios, when:

  • Your system manages large volumes of data and requires robust security measures and protocols to ensure its protection during data sharing and system interactions.
  • Your system functions seamlessly or holds significant amounts of valuable data, necessitating data sharing with other systems to comply with industry standards and regulations.
  • Your system operates smoothly or contains valuable data but lacks an intuitive interface, hindering user experience.
  • Your system operates seamlessly or contains valuable data, but you seek to enhance its capabilities with additional features.
  • Your system possesses unique functions critical to business continuity, still offering value and effectively fulfilling its designated tasks.
  • Your system stores substantial volumes of crucial legacy data, and migrating it would incur significant costs, making integration with a newer system a more feasible option to unlock the data’s full potential.
Potential Challenges of Legacy System Integration?

On the surface, integrating legacy software with modern IT infrastructure may seem straightforward, especially when compared to the alternatives of software reengineering or building from scratch.

However, the integration of legacy systems presents significant hurdles, including:

1. Resistance to Change

Despite the complexity of legacy systems, employees may resist introducing new elements into their established workflows. Communicating the importance of integration and minimizing the learning curve becomes imperative.

2. Data Quality Issues

Legacy data often deviates significantly from modern standards in format and structure. Cleaning up and modernizing the data is a prerequisite for successful integration.

3. Security Concerns

Legacy applications are vulnerable to cyber threats, with healthcare providers, for instance, experiencing a surge in data breach costs. Integration exacerbates these risks, necessitating robust strategies for data protection.

4. Documentation Issues

Legacy applications frequently lack adequate documentation, complicating the integration process, especially when key programmers have retired or left the organization.

5. Lack of Expertise

Integrating legacy systems requires expertise in obsolete technologies, which may be scarce. For instance, finding COBOL experts, a common legacy coding language, is challenging due to its diminishing presence in educational curricula.

These are the factors that can severely hinder the integration of legacy software with newer technologies. Nonetheless, this doesn’t signify that this is not possible.

Because the integration services market is burgeoning, with anticipated growth from $483.0 billion in 2023 to $665.6 billion by 2028, signifying opportunities for overcoming integration obstacles and modernizing legacy systems.

Strategies to Integrate Legacy Systems with Modern Software

In order to help you sort through your options, we’ve selected some of the most popular legacy system integration methods.

1. Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS)

iPaaS offers a suite of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions tailored to connect applications with varying integration capabilities. Equipped with pre-configured adaptors, connectors, and APIs, iPaaS simplifies the building and management of integrations across diverse platforms.

The global iPaaS market has experienced significant growth, surpassing $6.68 billion in 2022 and projected to reach $61.67 billion by 2030, boasting an impressive 32.47% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR). This growth is fueled by a focus on organizational performance and widespread cloud adoption, with API management emerging as a leading segment.

The appeal of iPaaS lies in its numerous advantages for legacy systems integration. Firstly, iPaaS enables rapid implementation of integrations within hours, often requiring minimal coding effort. Additionally, outsourcing vendors typically assume responsibility for maintenance, alleviating the burden on internal resources. iPaaS solutions are also compatible with legacy programming languages and data formats such as X12, EDIFACT, or COBOL, seamlessly transforming them into modern-compatible formats.

Moreover, iPaaS solutions come equipped with built-in compliance features, addressing various standards such as GDPR, HIPAA, and SO2. Furthermore, iPaaS facilitates the integration of applications both on-cloud and on-premises, with top-tier solutions offering seamless connectivity between cloud and on-premises systems.

Despite its advantages, iPaaS may need to be improved in providing required connectors or compatibility issues with legacy system formats. In such cases, manual coding may be required as an alternative approach to ensure successful integration. However, iPaaS remains a favored and effective solution for organizations seeking to integrate legacy systems with modern software in an efficient and streamlined manner.

2. Application Programming Interface (API)

An application programming interface (API) acts as a set of guidelines dictating how an application should function to access data or features of another application, making it the primary method for connecting various technologies. In 2022, 62.6% of developers increased their reliance on APIs compared to 2021, with 69.2% expecting further dependence in 2023. Internal APIs continue to dominate, surpassing partner and third-party APIs.

The operation of APIs is straightforward. For instance, a hotel app (App A) seeking weather information to adjust room prices communicates with a weather app (App B) via its API, enabling the exchange of necessary data. Similarly, if App A requires analytics from another app (App C) to determine optimal room rates, it interacts with App C’s API.

APIs facilitate efficient communication between applications, sharing only essential data. They offer a wider range of advantages as APIs enable seamless integration of hundreds of applications into a single system, often the only viable option in certain regulatory environments, such as banking.

Not just that, APIs seamlessly integrate with cloud and microservice architectures, offering flexibility and scalability for both internal and third-party applications. Also, APIs are reusable, accelerating app development cycles and ensuring consistency and reliability across multiple applications. Exposing APIs to third-party customers allows organizations to monetize data or functionalities, implement tiered pricing models, and foster innovation within ecosystems.

In the end, APIs leverage API gateway functionalities to monitor performance, provide analytics, and ensure security measures like authentication.

However, transitioning legacy applications to API-friendly systems can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, requiring significant investment and expertise. Yet, the benefits of APIs justify the effort, offering enhanced functionality and integration capabilities.

3. Point-to-Point (P2P) Integration

Point-to-Point (P2P) integration is a straightforward method of connecting two applications using custom code. While it may initially seem like a logical approach to integrating legacy systems with modern counterparts, its efficacy depends on specific scenarios:

Limited Expertise and Single Integration. P2P integration becomes viable when your team lacks expertise in other integration methods and when you’re dealing with a single integration task.

Basic Action Requirement. P2P integration is suitable for executing basic actions, such as updating customer information in your CRM whenever corresponding changes occur in your ERP system.

Home-Grown Systems and On-Premises Operation. P2P integration is most beneficial when integrating two internally developed systems that operate on-premises, rather than incorporating third-party applications.

However, modern businesses often rely on numerous third-party applications, constantly evolving to maintain operational efficiency. This dynamic environment necessitates building and maintaining multiple integrations, each requiring modifications whenever an integrated application undergoes updates while aligning with your legacy system.


In a nutshell, legacy system integration remains a necessity for breathing new life into outdated technology. When modernization or replacement isn’t feasible, integrating legacy systems with modern software is the only viable option.

Looking ahead, embracing trends such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), AI, ML, cloud integration, microservices architecture, and DevOps practices is crucial. Continuous modernization efforts, prioritizing security and compliance, are essential for successful integration strategies. With the right approach, navigating the complexities of legacy system integration becomes achievable.

Need more information? Contact Veroke for personalized integration solutions tailored to your needs. Let’s upgrade your legacy systems together!

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