With lockdown easing, our attention turns to how we\u2019ll stay safe while kickstarting the economy. No one really knows what the future will bring.\nLikewise, for IT departments up and down the country, fundamental questions are being asked. First among them: what are you going to do with your under-performing legacy apps?\nAs Microsoft\u2019s Satya Nadella pointed out earlier this year, we\u2019ve seen two years of digital transformation compressed into just a few months. Organisations have scrambled to adapt to employees working from home. Business apps have been pushed to the limits and sometimes to breaking point, exposing the frailties of older business apps.\nSo what do you do next? \nDo you stick with your older apps? Even if they\u2019re not unfit for purpose, they\u2019re probably looking a little flabby around the edges.\nThese totemic, untouchable apps have become part of your digital furniture. They aren\u2019t loved or even liked \u2013 they\u2019re simply tolerated. And it\u2019s not as simple as just ripping and replacing; you can\u2019t just change them in the blink of an eye.\nYou have three options for your legacy apps:\n\nLive with the status quo (and all the limitations and problems)\nGive up on them and start over\nUplift them using a strategic modernisation approach\n\nFor many organisations, the third option is the most achievable and practical. There are well-established ways to keep legacy systems in place while newer, more scalable systems are gradually brought into replace them or coexist alongside them.\nWith expert help, you can build strategic functionality based on newer languages and contemporary principles, augmenting the legacy system or helping with a phased sunsetting. All while taking the pressure off you and your team.\nIt\u2019s like building a new house while still keeping the old house standing and in a habitable condition. A terrible way to manage a construction site, but a great way to handle a complex application migration.\nChange comes fastBut why do this now? Because change doesn\u2019t stop. COVID-19 isn\u2019t going to be the last dramatic event to impact your organisation. There\u2019s plenty more uncertainty still to come. Even in the short-term, the aftershocks of COVID-19 mean that we simply don\u2019t know what customer interactions will look like 6-12 months from now.\nTake retail as an example. The boss of M&S, Steve Rowe, says customers "may never shop the same way again\u201d and that \u201cwhilst some customer habits will return to normal, others have changed forever.\u201d\nLikewise, Jes Staley, CEO of Barclays, has similar predictions about office space. "There will be a long-term adjustment to our location strategy. The notion of putting 7,000 people in the building may be a thing of the past."\nNow is the time to get ahead of the curve and take action.\nLeading by example \nIf you\u2019re going to renew or reinforce your legacy apps, it helps to have some industry examples.\n\nCentrica Trading, the wholesale trading arm of the energy giant, became one of the first energy trading companies in Europe to move its data centre applications to the cloud. Avanade\u2019s DevOps-first approach helped Centrica go from design to completion in less than 18 months. Centrica\u2019s estate spans hundreds of applications hosted on thousands of virtual machines, yet it was delivered with zero downtime. This journey to the cloud has delivered a 70% reduction in operating costs and a reduced cost per trade.\n\n\nSimilarly, a Swedish retailer worked with Avanade to deliver a new loyalty scheme, using point-to-point integrations migrated a new API platform. It\u2019s all hosted on Microsoft Azure PaaS, so its reliable, fast and secure.\n\n\nIn the education sector, a UK examining body needed a more consistent marking process \u2013 and that meant swapping out its existing marking platform with a new system, fit for the future. Avanade stepped in, creating a scalable software platform in a short timeframe.\n\nThe first step to rethinking your appsAvanade helps you Rethink your applications. We help firms harness the business value inherent in legacy systems while making them more adaptable, scalable, and ready for whatever the next 'New Normal' might be. Avanade\u2019s methodology is fast and iterative, using our Respond, Reset and Renew framework to help you hit the ground running.\nAre your competitors holding out to see what happens next? No. They\u2019re getting their systems ready for whatever the future throws at them. They\u2019re adapting to change, and right now, change is the only thing that\u2019s certain.\nWhere to go next?\nRead the\u00a0CIO\u2019s Guide to Cloud Native Applications\u00a0to find out how your applications and infrastructure can be rebuilt and enhanced.