The Challenges of Application Modernization


Application modernization is complex. There are multiple ways to consider as part of the solution design approach and each pattern has its own pros and cons.

In today’s ever-changing business landscape, organizations must prioritize the modernization of their applications to stay competitive and meet the needs of their customers.

Cloud-native applications, whether on-premises or off-site, are the foundation for increased productivity, improved financial control, and the scalability and agility that empowers rapid responses to changing market demand.

Well-planned application migrations are critical to achieving business agility, cost-efficiency, resilience, security, and velocity. However, despite the numerous benefits of modernization, applications are sometimes treated as an afterthought as technology teams focus solely on cloud selection and management.

This approach can be detrimental to a company’s success in the long term, as it ignores the potential improvements that can be made through modernization.

When embarking on an application modernization plan, it is important to take the time to assess your business-critical apps to determine if they need to be migrated, refactored, or re-platformed. This assessment will provide valuable insights into which approach will yield the most significant benefits for your organization.

Another important step in modernization is taking the opportunity to review and build cloud-native applications with new capabilities to increase revenue and productivity. By building cloud-native applications, companies can achieve greater flexibility, scalability, and agility, while also ensuring that they are future-proofed for new technologies.

Automation is another critical component of modernization. By replacing manual processes with automation, companies can amplify team productivity, reduce risk, and enable their workforce to focus on higher-value tasks. This not only improves efficiency but also frees up time for innovation and growth.

Finally, unlocking insights is critical to developing a culture of data-driven decision-making. By gathering data from various sources and analyzing it, companies can gain valuable insights into their business operations, enabling them to make informed decisions.

It is essential to note that simply lifting and shifting existing applications to a cloud platform often costs companies more than the benefits of making them cloud-native. Modernizing applications also pays down long-standing technical debt, which CIOs estimate amounts to between 20% and 40% of their technology estates. This frees up your team to spend time innovating and less time working around brittle systems.

Application Modernization Plan SUMMARY

  1. Assess business-critical apps to determine if they need to be just migrated, refactored or re-platformed.
  2. Take the opportunity to review and add new capabilities to increase revenue and productivity.
  3. Replace manual processes with automation to amplify team productivity and reduce risk.
Lift & shiftAttempting to rehost the legacy application on to the new cloud based infrastructure.The benefits are limited as code is not modified, but it’s a good starting point to migrate to cloud infrastructure. The original challenges will remain however there will be some benefits from a cloud infrastructure of portability and scalability. There are also no guarantees that the legacy application will behave as expected in the new setup.
RefactoringAttempting to rewrite or restructure the application codebase to benefit from cloud based features.A complex and potentially expensive approach but it’s the right approach depending on the application so it can benefit from migrating from a monolith to a microservices architecture and this benefiting from cloud features such as containerization and orchestration.
Re-platformingA compromise approach where software development is kept to a minimum to allow the application to work on a cloud infra.It might be a necessary step if Lift & Shift fails. The purists may not appreciate this approach as it can be considered as a non-ideal compromise and may be fraught with support issues. It might make sense if the legacy application is going to be retired in the short/medium term.

Our application services experts provide a custom roadmap for re-architecting and modernizing applications. We offer market-leading discovery and assessment tools, specialized skills and global reach.

We have strong relationships with Microsoft, Amazon, and Google to deliver success at every step in customers’ cloud journey. Modernization is a journey, and we are here to help you every step of the way.  Get in touch with us to discuss your exciting application modernization initiative.

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