Grasp the application modernization momentum while you can

27 April 2021

Application modernization

Various studies show a growing need for cloud migrations and modernizing legacy applications. This demand is being fueled by new technologies and by the wake-up call brought about by the Covid crisis (on many levels). Modernizing and digitizing are necessary to survive. Do you already have a clear strategy in mind for this? In the next few weeks, we will be publishing a blog series dedicated to application management and modernization. First and foremost, we will dive into some market figures to understand the growing need to modernize applications.

The times are right for application modernization

According to Gartner, one of the top strategic technology trends for 2021 is hyperautomation. This vision says that everything that can be automated in an organization must be automated. Many organizations still have a number of legacy business processes that are not streamlined, making large and costly problems inevitable. They are working with a patchwork of technologies that fall short when they need to work together or when functionalities need to be added from a business perspective. Legacy applications can be a bottleneck to achieving hyperautomation. But even if you’re not aiming for that optimal level, they’re holding you back in this digital world. Organizations that fail to focus on efficiency, effectiveness and business agility will lag behind.

Modernization of applications is a way to deal with these legacy applications and processes. The outlook for application modernization is also good. Recent technologies such as cloud, big data, IoT, etc. have made it much easier to access data from legacy applications, for example. The coronavirus crisis is also making its mark here. More than ever, it is clear that an organized, innovative, efficient and quick approach to business operations is essential to survive in a world where normal circumstances no longer exist.

These triggers are driving visible growth of the application modernization services market. Small to large companies are forecasting growth of up to 17% in the coming years, in virtually every sector. The need for modernization is everywhere.


The pitfalls

There is still a huge gap between feeling the need and taking action. People typically expect high costs and a lot of complexity. A big bang that shakes the foundations of the organization is often not necessary. Instead of suddenly rewriting entire applications, you can work in stages. Convincing corporate stakeholders of the technical benefits of modernization is often a challenge. By providing them with new functionalities, modernization of the underlying systems can be done in parallel and step by step.

Another pitfall we frequently see is a lack of suitable in-house expertise. There is insufficient knowledge of modern technologies (available on the market), no idea of how to draw up a roadmap for strategic modernization, or people are simply too busy trying to keep things going. In addition to today’s operations, it is important to pay attention to innovation for tomorrow. If you can achieve a Positive Digital Flow, you no longer have to choose between 'operational IT' and 'strategic IT', between 'keep it running' and 'innovate'.

The benefits

Application modernization can reduce business complexity, cut maintenance time and costs, increase efficiency, improve compliance, and optimize the total cost of ownership (TCO). The concrete effect will depend on the specific case. There's no need to aim for big results. An efficiency gain of 1% can easily generate hundreds of thousands of euros. An example is optimizing an application that shuts down a production environment for maintenance. Every second gained yields something.

Modernization also eliminates technical debt, because IT infrastructure and development artifacts (usually coding) created as a short-term solution to a business problem are replaced by a better overall solution. You can read more about how this works in our next blog post.

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