How to Mitigate Rising Processing Power Demands with Legacy System Modernization

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In 2022, data centers consumed about 1.3% of global energy demand. Although CPU performance is improving slower than before, energy consumption is increasing. In an age of energy-hungry technology and red-hot chips, is it possible to make strides to reduce data centers’ needs while not stunting growth? Check out the article to see what legacy modernization is and how it can support you in the prudent and less costly digital transformation of your IT infrastructure.


In the past, old system optimization was not desirable if the existing code performed its functions. Today, low-performance codes full of unnecessary elements go under the magnifying glass of specialists. Artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions are computationally intensive, requiring space in the existing infrastructure.

New technology solutions require hardware upgrades involving the revision of outdated and legacy software. Not all elements can be moved in a lift-and-shift approach without any changes to the code structure so that modernization will occur along with a hardware change or cloud migration. Less energy-intensive code is also desirable in terms of environmental impact. Currently, the ICT industry emits more greenhouse gases than the aviation industry, so IT companies should work to reduce them significantly. In the following paragraphs, we will explore strategies for software modernization and lean coding to enhance software performance and efficiency.

The Challenge of Legacy Code

What is legacy code? It is software that has been maintained for many years and never reviewed for performance. Successive programmers haven’t touched core functions, only adding side elements that could make it a spaghetti code. As long as the legacy code does its job, re-writing it from scratch is not considered.

A legacy app causes numerous maintenance problems because it has probably been poorly documented, and its creators are no longer working on it. More changes have increased the required computing power and energy consumption for code execution, and it is almost impossible to scale an outdated solution easily.

Among IT decision-makers interviewed by Rackspace, the average number of legacy systems or applications actively used in companies is 22. Maintaining such solutions consumes almost 1/3 of the company’s budget. Some of the most popular legacy systems are Windows CE, Windows 7, or the more than two-decade-old chips from IBM that run the Orion computer.

Principles of Code Modernization

90% of respondents say that legacy application modernization is not necessary. However, the truth is quite different. Upgrading legacy code is crucial due to cost, efficiency, and integration with modern solutions such as AI. What upgrade strategy can you adopt to eliminate the challenges stopping your company’s growth? Read more about it below.

Examples of Modernization Approaches

Suppose you want to undergo a transformation that will realistically reduce the energy consumption of legacy software components. In that case, you can choose from several more or less labor-intensive and time-consuming approaches. These include:

  • Refactoring – modifying a chaotically written project by moving, reshaping, or removing elements without affecting the software’s functioning.
  • Replatforming – code modernization to efficiently move it to a new environment, such as the cloud.
  • Re-architecting – a comprehensive solution that involves improving software scalability, reliability, and security to suit cloud solutions perfectly.

In most cases, your legacy code will probably require only minor refactoring or replatforming (according to Microsoft, about half of existing workloads are migrated). However, in individual cases, re-architecting will be needed to bring your solutions in line with the cloud and cutting-edge technologies.

How to Mitigate Rising Processing Power Demands with Legacy System Modernization

Lean Coding Techniques

Lean coding is a legacy modernization approach that involves spotting waste in both existing code and planned functionalities. Lean coding involves carefully reviewing all lines of code and considering whether all its elements are necessary.

Code Simplification

How to simplify the code? Particularly by maintaining clarity. Software development should be based on fundamental principles, such as using understandable variable names, making comments, avoiding duplicates, and using functions. It will ensure that other programmers who come across the code in the future will lose less time understanding how it works.

Removing Unused or Redundant Code

Is a function that is executed only once necessary in the code? And is the test line required to be a permanent part of the program? Capturing things like code written just in case or functions not used for most of the program’s runtime reduces the computing power needed for software execution.

Optimizing Algorithms for Better Performance

Some algorithms differ in processing time by up to several times. Therefore, it is vital to modernize existing algorithms and replace the solutions used with ones that consume fewer resources. Minor changes or a faster algorithm in the core system can speed up the execution of operations and reduce the amount of energy simultaneously.

Implementing Changes in Legacy Systems

Today is the best time to modernize legacy systems and bolster tomorrow’s business operations. How do you change outdated systems to achieve better performance and increased security? Check out some vital tips that will help you tailor your solutions to the cloud.

Retire Unused Workloads

Say goodbye to solutions no longer used in your organization. Find those that require too much cost and time to operate properly and abandon them. Reducing workloads will allow you to focus on innovative solutions that meet your business needs.

Replace Your Apps With Modern Solutions

Reject sentiments and verify what software consumes too much energy and cost compared to analogous solutions available on the market. At this point, you will find much more efficient LOB apps, CRM software, or DevOps tools that you can customize so you won’t notice the differences between previous and new systems.

Rebuild Essential Software

As we mentioned a few paragraphs above, in individual cases, rearchitecting the existing essential software will be necessary to use cloud computing without problems. A modernization process that includes rebuilding improves scalability, reliability, and software security and helps integrate legacy systems and applications with AI-based functionalities.

Replatform Existing Workloads

As much as 50% of existing legacy systems can be rehosted to different environments with no changes or slightly modified to perform successful cloud adoption. You can start moving software infrastructure with simple web apps and advanced portals and end up with workloads that require technical and legal customization.

Additional Benefits: Reduced Emissions

The ICT sector is projected to be responsible for as much as 14% of total greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. This is due to increasingly energy-intensive technologies, such as training machine learning algorithms. Using the cloud and solutions like containerization, serverless applications, or managed services brings tangible financial benefits (on average, 28% increased revenue after the introduction of containerization). It reduces the negative impact of IT software systems on the environment.

Faster operation of legacy technologies and lower use costs also improve user satisfaction. Using up-to-date solutions makes integrating them with modern standards easier, giving hope of keeping them in use for many more years without going through another modernization journey.


As we’ve shown above, legacy software modernization has a myriad of benefits, from financial gains to increased customer and user confidence. Modernizing legacy code is a proactive step towards embracing the revolution caused by artificial intelligence, ensuring that we are well-equipped to be a part of it.

If you want to remove obstacles that slow down your company’s business processes, contact Scalo specialists experienced in software modernization and cloud migration. We’ll review the number of legacy applications you’re running on and plan a clear path to getting rid of them so you see significant benefits for your business and relief for the environment. Make a quick call and modernize your legacy infrastructure with Scalo!

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