Modernise legacy apps with Microsoft Power Platform

Whether you purchased an on-premises application years ago or built an application in-house, you will reach a point where the application stops delivering value for your organisation. Should you persevere with these legacy applications and hope for the best? Or do you look at options to update them and improve their performance?

Often, when organisations look to update legacy applications, it proves a costly process. However, Microsoft has a solution to this dilemma. The Power Platform. Here are 6 key challenges for legacy applications and how the Power Platform helps.

Challenge 1 – Access

Access is a challenge when using legacy applications. These applications are almost exclusively on-premises limiting access to inside your organisation. For organisations with employees working from home, this presents a challenge.

Solution 1  – Enabling cloud-based access for an on-premises solution

  • Power Apps and Power BI provide the ability to access your data and processes on any device, anywhere.
  • Using the on-premise gateway, you can connect any legacy application to the Power Platform.
  • Serve system data, update records and see real-time reports.

Challenge 2 – Security

Legacy applications were not built with the same security and data restrictions of modern solutions. Any solution purchased before 2016 would have been before the GDPR. Organisations are responsible for the security, upkeep and storage of data and ensuring this is maintained is a key requirement. An inability to show secure processes could result in significant action from the ICO.

Solution 2 – Managing user access and security

• Identity management is managed through Azure Active Directory, enabling rich policies and multi-factor authentication.
• Admin Center providing full audit logs, usage analytics, data loss prevention, security and data management.
• Centrally manage all your apps, first and third party, deployed across your organisation.

Challenge 3 – Productivity

Legacy applications regularly operate slowly and rarely have process automation or notification processes to help employees save time and be more productive. Productivity is a key success criteria for system implementation and is critical to achieve a return on your investment.

Solution 3 – Driving business value through automation

• Use Power Automate to digitise and automate business processes using a simple visual interface.
• Reduce the need to access older and slow systems using Power Apps and Power BI.
• Automate report generation and refresh datasets automatically with Power BI.

Challenge 4 – Reporting

With legacy systems, the reporting can be poor. Getting regular information out of the system is usually limited to a handful of experienced employees and getting real-time information is out of the question.

Solution 4 – Gain insights from your data regardless of where it lives with Power BI

• Connect to all of your data and get a consolidated view across your business.
• Create ad-hoc analysis, live dashboards and interactive reports on the web and across mobile devices.
• Build smart apps by infusing insights from your data and drive action.

Challenge 5 – Agility

Making changes to a legacy application is a difficult process. Depending on the age or complexity of the solution, finding the required skills to make the changes can be challenging and costly.

Solution – Update your processes and reports in minutes

• Using the visual interface, the Power Platform can be updated to meet business requirements, using the drag and drop interface, allowing non-developers to update these easily.
• The Power Platform is an evergreen cloud-based solution, so is never out of date.
• With no releases to worry about, you can publish changes to the Power Platform as you make them.

Challenge 6 – User experience

With any legacy system, the longer you have the application the less knowledge and experience you have in your organisation. Normally your long-serving employees provide application knowledge and experience but as these employees leave you can be faced with a shortage of the skills needed to use your core business systems. Legacy applications with old user interfaces can lack the intuitive design of modern solutions, paired with advanced search and natural language interfaces.

Solution – A modern toolset for modern employees

• Build simple and easy to use mobile and web applications with an experience designed around your users.
• A rich eco-system or online training and Microsoft training partners to get your team up to speed.
• You can embed AI to help predict field entries, identify items in photographs, predict if something is going to happen or analyse text all with AI Builder.

Download our guide Modernise Legacy Applications with Microsoft Power Platform, to discover how the Power Platform uses an On-Premises Data Gateway to act as a bridge, providing quick and secure data transfer between on-premises data and Power BI, Power Apps and Power Automate.