Application Modernization Strategy In 8 Steps

Application Modernization

In the current landscape of technology, businesses are continually seeking strategies to keep their systems current and efficient. Among the various approaches, application modernization stands out as a significant game-changer. This process involves updating older software technologies to newer, more efficient ones without disrupting the business operations. But how can one approach this transformation? In this blog, we will walk through an 8-step strategy for successful application modernization, demystifying the process and offering valuable insights to make your update seamless and advantageous. 


Why Modernize Applications? 

Modernizing legacy applications is crucial for several reasons. As technology progresses, older applications can become a hindrance, limiting the agility and efficiency of an organization. These outdated systems may not integrate well with new technologies, resulting in siloed information and reduced operational efficiency.


Furthermore, maintaining old applications can be cost-inefficient as it often requires specialized skills and extended time. In contrast, modern systems are more user-friendly, scalable, and can leverage the benefits of cloud computing. Hence, modernizing legacy applications is a strategic move to remain competitive and ensure business continuity. 


Developing The Application Modernization Strategy 

Crafting a successful application modernization strategy requires meticulous planning and thoughtful consideration of various factors. Let’s explore the key steps involved in developing an effective application modernization strategy. 


1/ Assess Current IT Environment 

The first and crucial step in any successful application modernization strategy is to assess the current IT environment. This step involves taking a comprehensive review of your organization’s existing applications, infrastructure, and underlying technologies. With all this information gathered, you can then identify the technology gaps and shortcomings that need improvement.  


The key objective of assessing the current IT environment is to ensure that you have a clear understanding of your current state, so you can effectively plan and prioritize the next steps in your modernization journey. By doing so, you can better align your IT solutions with your business goals, which allows you to maximize business value while minimizing any potential risks. Assessment can help you identify which applications are still beneficial and have your back, meaning which will need more attention than others. By transforming them, you can save time, money and achieve higher customer satisfaction. 


2/ Identify Business Objectives 

Identifying your organization’s business objectives is another critical step in the application modernization strategy. This involves understanding the goals that your organization aims to achieve and aligning your IT transformation efforts with these objectives. Examples of common business objectives include improving operational efficiency, enhancing customer experience, driving business agility, or promoting innovation, etc. 


3/ Prioritize Applications for Modernization 

The third phase of an effective application modernization strategy involves the selection and prioritization of applications for modernization. It’s not feasible or economical to modernize every existing application, so careful selection is necessary. You should evaluate each application based on factors such as its importance to business operations, the value it delivers to customers, the cost and complexity of its modernization, and the technical debt that it incurs. With this information, you can then rank the applications and decide which ones to modernize first.  


Prioritizing applications for modernization should be a strategic decision that balances business benefits, technical feasibility, and financial considerations. This step can help you focus your efforts on the applications that will provide the most significant impact on your business goals and yield the highest return on investment. By carefully prioritizing applications, you can ensure a smooth modernization process and achieve desired outcomes more efficiently and effectively. 


4/ Choose the Right Modernization Approach 

Choosing the right approach to application modernization is a vital step that requires careful consideration and planning. There are several approaches you can take: 


Rehosting or Lift-and-Shift: This approach involves moving an application from on-premises infrastructure to a cloud-based environment without making any changes to the application’s code. While this can be a quick win in terms of cost reduction, it typically doesn’t fully leverage the benefits of the cloud. 


Replatforming: This involves making a few cloud-specific optimizations to an application to gain some tangible benefit without changing the core architecture of the application. This approach can be a good compromise between cost and benefit. 


Refactoring or rearchitecting: This involves reimagining how the application is architected and developed using cloud-native features. It is typically the most expensive solution, but it can also be the most beneficial from an operational standpoint. 


Repurchasing: This involves moving from a traditional application to a cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) product. This approach is effective when a suitable SaaS product is available that meets the business needs. 


Retire: This involves eliminating the use of the application altogether. Some applications may no longer be needed, and retiring them can save costs.


Each of these approaches has its own pros and cons, and the choice depends on your specific business needs, constraints, and strategic goals. It’s crucial to thoroughly evaluate your options and choose the approach that best aligns with your business objectives and modernization goals. 


5/ Develop a Detailed Migration Plan/Roadmap 

Upon choosing the right modernization approach, the next step is to develop a detailed migration plan. This plan should outline the specific steps involved in the modernization process, including the migration of data, testing of applications, and training of staff.  


The migration plan should clearly define the sequence of activities to avoid any disruptions to business operations. This includes timelines for each step, allocation of resources, defining roles and responsibilities, risk management strategies, and a contingency plan to address potential challenges.  


It is also essential to consider the impact of the modernization on your users. The plan should include a strategy for managing change and ensuring that users are adequately trained and supported throughout the transition.  


Finally, the migration plan should also outline how you will measure the success of your modernization efforts. This involves setting clear, measurable objectives that align with your business goals and identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) to track your progress.  


In summary, a detailed migration plan is a roadmap that guides your modernization journey, ensuring that all aspects of the process are meticulously planned and executed to achieve the desired business outcomes. 


6/ Execute the Migration 

Executing the migration is the action phase of your application modernization strategy. During this step, your modernization plan becomes a reality, as you begin the process of transforming your applications and potentially your entire IT infrastructure. This can be a complex task, involving substantial technical work and coordination among various teams. It’s crucial to adhere closely to your migration plan to ensure a smooth transition, minimize downtime, and mitigate risks. Remember, effective communication is key during this phase, as stakeholders should be kept informed about progress and any potential issues that arise. 


7/ Test and Validate the Modernized Applications 

Testing and validating your modernized applications is a pivotal stage to ensure they function as expected and deliver the desired business value. Here’s how you can go about this: 


Functional Testing: This involves testing the individual parts of your application to ensure they perform as intended. This should be carried out both at the unit level, where individual components of the application are tested, and at the system level, where the application as a whole is tested. 


Integration Testing: After functional testing, integration testing should be performed to ascertain that the different components of your application work seamlessly together. It checks the data communication among these modules and detects problems pertaining to the data format, loss of data, or any suboptimal running of the software. 


Performance Testing: This tests how your application performs under different loads and volumes. Performance testing can help you identify bottlenecks and ensure that your application can handle real-world use. 


Security Testing: Modernized applications, especially those that are cloud-based, must be rigorously tested for security vulnerabilities. This includes testing for potential exploits and ensuring that data remains secure during transmission and storage. 


User Acceptance Testing (UAT): This is the final phase of testing, where actual software users test the software to make sure it can handle required tasks in real-world scenarios, according to specifications. 


It’s important to remember that testing is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. As you continue to update and improve your applications, make sure to continually test and validate them to ensure consistency and reliability. 


8/ Rollout and Monitor the Modernized Applications 

Once you have tested and validated your modernized applications, it’s time to rollout the changes across your organization. This process should be done incrementally, to minimize any potential disruption to your operations. It is also crucial to have a feedback mechanism in place to address any issues or concerns that may arise during this phase. Following the rollout, continuous monitoring of the application performance is critical to ensure the modernized systems are meeting your business objectives, and any potential issues are identified and rectified promptly. Remember, application modernization is an ongoing process that doesn’t end once the applications are deployed; instead, it requires continuous monitoring, testing, and improvements. 


Eastgate Software’s Experience In Application Modernization 

At Eastgate Software, we possess extensive experience in the domain of application modernization, having assisted numerous organizations from diverse sectors in effectively revamping their legacy systems. Our seasoned team of professionals is adept at identifying and implementing the most suitable modernization strategy, tailored to the unique requirements and goals of each business. We not only focus on enhancing functionality and performance but also ensure the modernized systems are secure, user-friendly, and capable of meeting future business needs. 


If you’re looking for a reliable partner to assist you in modernizing your applications, contact us today for a free consultation. Our team of professionals will be happy to discuss the best approach and create a plan to help you achieve your objectives. 

Have a question? Contact us!