If it ain’t broke, don't fix it. These are words of wisdom, as needlessly tinkering with a functional product or process may cause more harm than good. That said, complacency isn’t the right option in business, either. Generating and implementing new ideas and operational strategies is an essential aspect of running a successful company.
An IBM report revealed that strategic application modernization drives digital transformation with enormous potential benefits, such as:
• 74% lower costs on hardware, software, and staff • 30–50% lower application maintenance and running cost • 15–35% savings on infrastructure year-over-year • 14% boost in annual revenue • 10% improvement in application operational efficiency
Modernizing an application doesn't necessarily require completely rebuilding it from the ground up. Rather, it involves preserving and optimizing the value of an existing system.
How Application Modernization Drives Business Innovation
Specifically, application modernization allows an organization to realize the advantages of newer software platforms, architectures, and frameworks while also increasing the application's usefulness through enhancement with advancing technology, such as AI, automation, and machine learning. It also provides an invaluable opportunity to evaluate an app, its value to the business, and how it could serve you better.
An effective application modernization strategy will naturally take advantage of the latest and greatest emerging technologies. AI platforms like ChatGPT are all the rage, and for good reason: They provide efficient and innovative solutions to a host of taxing business challenges. For example, it’s not easy for a call center to provide adequate customer service during peak hours, but AI-powered applications enable organizations to handle numerous customer requests simultaneously.
One of the keys to a successful application modernization strategy is recognizing when to apply new technologies and when to stand pat. It's important to evaluate the new technology’s scalability. Cloud computing solutions aren’t tied to specific locations, for example, so they simplify processes that are costly and time-consuming, like purchasing and manually installing hardware in multiple workplaces.
But there’s more to modernizing applications than merely upgrading the underlying technology. Ideally, an application modernization roadmap includes a shift toward more creative problem-solving strategies and innovative thinking, as well as creating/maintaining a workplace culture that values agile and scalable operations.
Creating an Application Modernization Roadmap
Modernizing legacy applications can be challenging but is achievable with careful planning and execution. Here are some of the most important things to remember when developing an application modernization roadmap:
1. Have a plan. Technology is a means of investment, so an organization must ensure that those investments align with long-term business goals. Sometimes businesses make the mistake of adopting certain methods or tech solutions merely because it’s what their competitors are doing, and while no one wants to finish last, racing to nowhere isn't much of an improvement. Instead, establish a cohesive product strategy where modernizing applications pushes the business further along the path toward a specific endpoint.
2. Identify what your applications bring to the table. One of the first steps in an application modernization roadmap is to evaluate your legacy application landscape. This includes understanding the applications and their dependencies. Review the existing applications’ architecture, code, and UX and ensure essential functions are preserved in the new versions of the applications so that you don’t inadvertently discard valuable features.
3. Identify what can be improved. Ultimately, the purpose of application modernization is to make it easier for team members to do their jobs. Change shouldn’t be conducted merely for the sake of change. Instead, company leaders should zero in on possible upgrades to applications that will lead to greater security, improved analytics, a better user experience, and any other benefits specific to their organization.
Accelerating Your Digital Transformation
Application modernization roadmaps provide all company stakeholders with a clear vision of the goals, costs, and timeline for the project. Once carried out, application modernization strategies help reduce costs, improve efficiency, and maximize the value of existing technology.
Teamwork and clear communication are critical to the success of any business project. Application modernization roadmaps ensure that staff members have a clear picture of the modernization project’s objectives and their personal roles in achieving those objectives. Comprehensive roadmaps also identify and score requirements, calculate potential ROI, assess risk, pinpoint gaps, and analyze how enterprise target architecture can be employed.
Modernizing applications is now a standard step for businesses across the globe looking to accelerate their digital transformation. If you’re looking for a partner to help you achieve your application modernization strategy, we’re here to help. CTG has assisted more than 200 clients with our unmatched digital transformation solutions. Across every major industry, businesses count on us to help them successfully update their technology infrastructure with the latest digital solutions.
If you’re ready to modernize your business applications and accelerate your digital transformation, contact CTG today.
Director, Application and Information Solutions and Testing, North America
Rick has executive responsibility for the ongoing development of CTG’s AIS and Testing offerings and teams to deliver innovative, global services that help clients strategically address their business challenges. Rick is an accomplished IT leader and TOGAF Certified Enterprise Architect with 30+ years of IT experience, specializing in enterprise digital transformation strategy and execution, platform/solution architecture, information management, app development, quality assurance, and data/systems integration.