Application Modernization 101: Everything You Need to Know


Chinmay Kulkarni

Most companies believe that application modernization is only for companies with ageing legacy systems. Limiting modernization to legacy apps, on the other hand, is a myth that must be debunked.

Application modernization cannot be limited to legacy programmes or out-of-date software on the approach of expiration. Even a recently developed enterprise application might be visualized via a more modern and futuristic perspective. It's no surprise that even freshly introduced corporate systems aim for digital transformation by maturing into next-generation applications or upgrading customer/business-centric applications/processes to AI/VR.

What is Application Modernization?

The process of repurposing, restructuring, or consolidating existing business applications to better match them with current business demands and market competition is called application modernization. Legacy software can be modernized by migrating to a new, more sophisticated platform, improving its application architecture, updating its technology stack, or simply adding innovative functionality to edge technologies.

Application Modernization: Overview

For the past five years, digital transformation has been a buzzword. However, since most businesses realized the significance of being digitally present to cater to the needs of digitally cognizant clients during physical distancing, the epidemic increased its use. Microsoft's announcement that it could "see two years' worth of digital change in two months" pushed businesses even closer to this goal.

However, for enterprises pursuing digital transformation, the monolithic architecture on which traditional programs ran constituted a significant hurdle. Despite flourishing commercial applications in Low-Code/No-Code settings, these apps relied heavily on fading technologies.

Even while newer applications used microservices and APIs to interface with other apps, legacy apps still required complete development teams for even the most basic third-party integration. It's no surprise that businesses need an overhaul. This is precisely what application modernization provided.

Benefits of Application Modernization

Application modernization provided state-of-the-art techniques and technologies to an organization's outdated systems. System participants might be able to enjoy greater experiences and functionality if their systems and processes are fully utilized.

Without application, digital transformation is meaningless. Modernization is like attempting to relocate to a new country while avoiding the need to travel. To effectively transition your firm into the digital landscape, you must upgrade your systems, processes, and products.

There are a variety of reasons why you would want to modernize your application. We've included a few of them below.

1. Enhanced Security

Data supplied into systems that are running on outdated technology or dying platforms can constitute a security concern. In older platforms, security fixes become more vulnerable. Application modernization addresses this difficulty and improves security by upgrading to the latest platforms or technology versions.

2. Cloud Scalability

Application modernization usually entails migrating systems to the cloud. While physical servers limit the application's ability to scale, deploying the application architecture in the cloud allows for more scalability and security.

3. Improved Functionality

Adding novel capabilities and features to legacy systems is another reason why most businesses are moving toward application modernization. They don't have to spend money on third-party integrations every time they want to add new features. You can incorporate that well with a contemporary application.

4. Increased Automation Potential

Lockdowns induced by the pandemic in the past have led to increased automation among many firms. Businesses with a modernized application have a better chance of automating apps that have already been deployed to the cloud.

5. Prevent Being Outdated & Out-competed

Many businesses fail because they provide their users and clients with outdated technology. This could result in the company being out-competed. A redesigned programme keeps you up to date and offers innovative functionality.

6. Reduced reliance on manual labour

Application modernization refers to systems that are designed to automate the majority of tasks and eliminate redundancy or repetition. This reduces the workforce's reliance on them. And allows them to be more productive at work.

Why Should You Employ Application Modernization?

You will need software modernization in the future, whether your business is constantly growing or stationary.

If any of the following characteristics apply to you, it's time to consider app modernization.

1. Saving money on maintenance and operations.

Maintenance costs are more significant for legacy products due to the hardware/infrastructure. They run on and the need for better architecture, reusability, and technical debt.

You can enhance efficiencies and lower operational and maintenance costs by implementing application modernization using the latest tools and technology. When it comes to rebuilding a system, many people choose to outsource their entire enterprise application development to an outsourcing provider. This aids in further lowering development expenses.

2.  Easier Integrations

Most of your historical products aren't designed to work with modern integrations. APIs that are web-enabled allow your product to smoothly interface with other software service providers. Most legacy products don't have this API, which makes the company less appealing to potential consumers.

Replatforming your old products and leveraging the open ecosystem can help you find new channel partners, accelerate installations, and lower the cost of your products for your consumers.

3. Utilizing Cloud

It's not only about the software when it comes to enterprise application modernization; it's also about the hardware. This is especially true if your customers are sick of maintaining legacy hardware and are eager to migrate to the cloud, even if your business app isn't!

Having said that, shifting to the cloud isn't a straightforward 'lift and shift' procedure. A multi-layered architecture must be adapted to fully utilize cloud services, such as scalability, low-cost storage alternatives, and elastic infrastructure.

Now that you've decided it's time to modernize your applications, you should know some fallacies surrounding this process that deter many business owners from taking the next step.

Myths About Application Modernization

Several cloud and mobile technologies are rapidly altering the technological environment today. As a result, maintaining the most recent and up-to-date programs is becoming increasingly difficult for IT leaders and developers.

IT firms are stymied by fears and beliefs that prevent them from modernizing their corporate applications. We're going to bust a few of them right now:

1. Modernization is Similar to Refreshing UI

A typical modernization method is to give legacy apps a UI makeover that allows them to be accessed via the web or mobile devices.

However, upgrading the user interface may be the initial step toward programme modernization, but it is not sufficient. To accomplish meaningful modernization, the legacy application focuses on the app's deeper tech layer.

2. No Complaints Mean My Customers are Happy

Your legacy apps may be sufficient to meet your customers' existing business demands. However, in a rapidly changing technological environment, these tools will not be able to meet future business needs. Even if your consumers appear to be pleased, it will not be long before they begin to complain.

3. Modernization is Very Costly

To ensure that procedures remain financially and strategically sustainable, IT leaders should take the time to define proactively the key priorities for software application modernization.

To stay competitive, businesses cannot afford to allow their applications to stagnate in today's fast-changing digital landscape. Especially when over 90% of customers would instead do business with a company that uses the latest technology than with one that does not.

Modernize Your Legacy Apps in a Variety of Ways

When it comes to legacy application modernization, there are several stages to take. Identifying modernization prospects begins with understanding and analyzing the existing system, its technology stack, dependencies, and so on. The process of modernizing a legacy application, from planning to implementation, involves multiple steps, which we'll go over below.

1. Proper Assessment

Begin by learning about the current application technology stack and analyzing the current state architecture.

This is a crucial evaluation since you must detect and comprehend dependencies (data, interfaces), complexity, and unused or missing code.

Also, strive to comprehend your operations' and infrastructure's security and performance requirements. This is where you'll examine the impact on end-users so that any risks related to modernization may be minimized.

2. Adequate Planning

After that, create a modernization roadmap that includes budgets, technological approaches, risk mitigation, governance, integration needs, testing strategy, and security.

This will be a detailed roadmap from which you will get a lot of information, including the project plan, costing specifics, and staffing requirements.

3. Implementation

Design, create, test, and deploy are all critical aspects of your implementation. For the best results, you'll need an agile framework, and you'll want to start implementing DevOps best practices.

Take data migration seriously, and make sure that your existing data is altered and cleansed during the process, besides creating new structures.

4. Going Live

Going Live is by far the most exciting aspect of the journey. And it is a critical milestone in your process, regardless of the approach you take.

Ensure that process-related communication isn't limited to a small group of people within the company. It reaches out to the entire network of people who use the system. Remember that the ultimate test of your application modernization's success is end-user approval.

5. Proper Maintenance

After completing the most recent phase of modernization, you are now operational. It is also apparent that the new app needs to be maintained.

Is there a skill set you need, and how long will you need assistance after going live?

Obtaining answers to these inquiries is the first step in beginning the maintenance process.

Knowledge transmission to the maintenance team should be a continuous process, and all post-modernization processes should be documented.

Finally, remember to decommission legacy systems to save money because you'll be removing obsolete apps and infrastructure entirely.

Final Thoughts

Faster response to opportunities and problems, exceptional customer experience, and streamlined procedures are necessary prerequisites for a firm to run successfully in today's competitive and changing business world.

Legacy products and procedures are generally inefficient, expensive, and unable to meet modern company KPIs. On the other hand, application modernization takes advantage of the capabilities of new IT architectures to make legacy applications more relevant and current and improve agility, efficiency, and customer experience.

The best aspect of modernization is that it eliminates the need for developers to reinvent the wheel. Instead, you'll be ready to go with just a few simple tweaks and trim costs.


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