May 22, 2023
9 min read

Enhancing Legacy Systems: The Role of Automation and Power Apps in Modernization

Many organizations rely on legacy systems as the backbone of their operations. Although these systems are outdated and, in some instances, no longer supported by the original vendor or software developer, they continue to play a critical role in the overall functioning of the enterprise. With legacy platforms becoming increasingly challenging to manage, many businesses are turning towards modernization as a viable investment for their systems.

Legacy modernization leads to strengthened enterprise capabilities, enabling companies to adopt agile methodologies, improve omnichannel capabilities, implement security features, and enhance personalization.

However, some companies remain hesitant to innovate due to concerns related to new technologies and cybersecurity. Traditional companies often prefer sticking to the familiar ways due to the uncertainty surrounding new technologies, which can be intimidating.

Despite the availability of newer technologies, even established industries like manufacturing and retail still rely on old systems and outdated applications due to a sense of familiarity and comfort.

Nevertheless, maintaining and utilizing these systems can be incredibly expensive, with organizations spending a significant portion of their budget (58%) on IT maintenance alone.

This insight highlights the pressing need for businesses to modernize their legacy systems. In addition to the high costs, outdated systems also pose significant security risks and lack future-proofing capabilities.

What is a Legacy System? 

A legacy system is a software application that has been around for a while. It's often the result of years of development, and it may have been created using programming languages or technologies that are no longer in use today.

It can be any kind of software, but it typically refers to applications that were built before modern standards were established.

One of its singularities is that these systems often lack the flexibility and scalability needed in today's businesses, which means they're becoming less effective and efficient at supporting the evolving needs and habits of teams.

Although it may seem like running legacy systems is not a significant concern, these systems can present a unique set of challenges and potential issues that organizations cannot afford to overlook.

Some of the problems associated with legacy systems include:

  • Inefficiency
  • Instability
  • High maintenance costs
  • Security risks
  • Inability to generate intuitive reports
  • Incompatibility with new technologies
  • Limited flexibility to adapt to changing business practices
  • Creating a single point of failure due to a lack of widespread knowledge of their usage

The challenges of modernizing legacy systems 

There are some challenges associated with modernizing legacy systems, but these two are the most important:


It can be expensive to update and maintain legacy applications, especially if they're running on outdated technology. When planning to modernize your existing systems or platforms, you need to consider that you may also need to hire new staff or outsource maintenance work to keep up with the pace of change in the industry.


The more complex your application is, the harder it will be for you to keep up with changes in technology and business requirements over time. This could result in increased costs due to bugs and errors that arise from using outdated code bases (or no code base at all).

Benefits of Modernizing Legacy Systems with Microsoft Power Apps 

Legacy modernization is a crucial step for businesses that want to keep pace with the ever-changing technological landscape. The process involves upgrading outdated technology systems to more modern and efficient ones. One of the most popular ways to modernize legacy systems is using low-code or no-code platforms such as Microsoft's Power Apps. By leveraging Power Apps, businesses can create custom applications that can replace outdated systems, automate manual processes, and streamline workflows. This not only enhances overall business productivity but also provides a more efficient and cost-effective solution for businesses looking to modernize their legacy systems. 

Modernizing with Microsoft's Power Apps provides several benefits, including:

 Streamlined development: Power Apps allows users to build custom apps quickly and easily, which can streamline the development process.

  • Fuss-free app creation process: Power Apps provides a low-code or no-code environment, which means users can create apps without extensive coding knowledge.
  • Extensive integrative capabilities: Power Apps can integrate with other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Teams, Power BI, and SharePoint, to provide a comprehensive solution for users.
  • Improves cost efficiency: Power Apps can help businesses save costs by reducing the need for expensive development teams.
  • Upgrades security: Power Apps has built-in security features that ensure data is protected.
  • Enhances business speed and performance: Power Apps can help businesses automate manual processes and streamline workflows, which can improve overall business speed and performance.
  • Boosts mobility and accessibility: Power Apps can be used across devices, making it easy for users to access apps from anywhere.
  • Elevates overall business productivity: Power Apps can help businesses create custom apps tailored to their specific needs, leading to increased productivity and better business outcomes.

Enhancing Legacy Systems through Automation 

Automation plays a crucial role in the modernization of legacy systems by streamlining processes, reducing errors, and improving the overall customer experience. It enables businesses to achieve higher efficiency levels by enhancing employee productivity. However, to fully realize these benefits, it is essential to establish a well-defined plan before initiating any automation efforts. This involves carefully assessing the technological requirements that align with the company's needs and evaluating the upfront costs and long-term investments associated with implementation.

Evaluating the Success of Legacy Systems Modernization 

Measuring the success of modernizing legacy systems can be challenging. To gauge the impact on customer satisfaction and operational efficiency, it is necessary to compare data from before and after the modernization project. This analysis provides insights into the progress achieved over time. In cases where the primary goals involve cost reduction or revenue growth, measuring the outcomes becomes even more complex, as these benefits are often long-term and may not have an immediate correlation. In such instances, it can be helpful to establish specific milestones that indicate improvements in these areas, such as the release of new features.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls during Legacy Systems Modernization

To ensure a successful modernization project, it is crucial to steer clear of common pitfalls. Here are some key considerations:

  • Setting clear goals: Defining the objectives and their significance is vital for the entire project. It enables team members and stakeholders at all levels to understand what constitutes success.
  • Involving stakeholders throughout the process: Engaging stakeholders, including users, managers, executives, developers, and testers, is essential for decision-making. Their insights and involvement throughout the modernization process can help shape decisions related to scope, budgeting, and timelines, ensuring alignment with their workflows.
  • Thorough testing before deployment: Comprehensive testing, including user acceptance testing (UAT), should be conducted in parallel with development, rather than after deployment. This approach helps identify and address issues early on, reducing potential risks.
  • Considering user experience: It is crucial to consider how users will interact with new and existing features. Ensuring that the system is user-friendly, even for non-technical individuals, enhances adoption and minimizes potential complications.

By following these guidelines, businesses can effectively leverage automation to modernize legacy systems, leading to improved processes, enhanced customer experiences, and increased operational efficiency.

Benefits of working with Definity First: A certified Microsoft Partner

Partnering with Definity First for Power Apps modernization can provide businesses with several benefits, including:

  • Saving time and money: An experienced partner can help businesses save time and money by streamlining the development process. With a team of experienced professionals, it is possible to create custom applications tailored to a business's specific needs, reducing the need for costly development resources.
  • Access to the latest technology: Businesses can be sure they have access to the newest technology for their Power Apps