The continuous digital revolution calls upon enterprises to abandon the crumbling, almost ready-to-expire legacy systems and replace them with more agile modular applications and database management systems.

New-world programming is an enterprise norm today that delivers cost-efficiency and faster time-to-value. Modern-day applications provide better support for multi-device compatibility, resource reusability, cross-platform functionality, and seamless integration with other business systems.

Leveraging emerging technologies for improved quality, responsiveness, and productivity help outperform the competition in an always-connected digital economy.

Every organization has legacy applications that are mission-critical but need a significant makeover. However, the need to keep up with changing compatibility, higher availability, better compliance, and performance market demands has made these applications expensive and ineffective.

Legacy applications are less scalable, tightly coupled, and less adaptable compared to modern-day apps. This limits the cloud’s solutions, where almost every other modern-day app runs with advanced IT capabilities.

Here are some compelling reasons to consider modernizing your apps.

  • Evolving market expectations and trends demand more responsive enterprise applications.
  • Changing business dynamics and business policies rely more on cloud implementations.
  • More agility and faster release for specific functionalities and modifying the business process/product/rule irrespective of the development cycle.
  • Reduce Total Costs of Ownership and maintenance.
  • To meet executive demand for significant insights and operational visibility through analytics that aid data-driven decision-making.
  • Businesses need to continuously deliver the best customer experience at all touchpoints with quick and error-free app services or improvisations.
  • To support business growth with scalable solutions that leverage automation.
  • To sustain competition through innovative and differentiated app functionalities.

Many companies have had critical failures with their app modernization efforts since it usually impacts their current operations and the overall underlying system.

Radiant Digital helps you meet business objectives and justify investments with app modernization strategy and support.

We focus on reducing technical complexities, improving resilience, fault tolerance, and replacing obsolete, end-of-life software components with newer technology and a unique approach, including the following steps.

This blog will give you better visibility on why app modernization is so essential to your technology-driven initiatives.

What is App Modernization?

Application modernization is the process of changing, refactoring, remodeling, or modularizing the existing legacy applications to improve their internal architecture, capabilities, design and functional features, technology stack, or code quality.

It involves reviewing the end-to-end current system state using either the top-down or bottom-up approach. It requires a dedicated team of resources, reverse engineer through the business processes, understand and document every integration, system performance bottlenecks, what and why it was developed the way it is today.  The reverse engineering process helps to define and shape the architecture and direction for App modernization.

It is the transition of existing enterprise applications to new approaches like cloud computing, Microservices, and Containerization to achieve the following:

  • Speed-to-market
  • Rapid Innovation
  • Flexibility
  • Cost-savings

This is done by improving the velocity of new features delivery, exposing the functionality of the existing applications consumed via API by other services, and migrating applications from on-premises to the cloud for optimized performance and better IT strategy.

The Results of App Modernization

What does App Modernization include?

  • Cloud-native development.
  • Migrate legacy core business apps.
  • Replace with software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications.
  • DevOps – CI/CD automation.
  • Application integration.
  • Re-platforming and infrastructure transformation.
  • Microservices-based Applications
  • Serverless Architecture

Types of Enterprise Apps that can be modernized

Key Drivers of App Modernization

While there are many reasons why legacy enterprise applications need a digital makeover, here are some of the most significant ones.

Changing Business Dynamics

There is an increased need to accelerate digital transformation to deliver new capabilities quickly and cost-efficiently.  Instead of adopting new technologies and business models, if you are stuck with your old software, you are letting new growth opportunities go unnoticed. The first step for businesses that look for innovation is application and process modernization.

Hidden costs of Legacy Applications

Any feature or functionality that is obsolete is an unyielding investment. Operational and maintenance costs represent just the tip of the iceberg. The following hidden fees form the sources of legacy software expenditure.

Refactoring your existing legacy applications provides access to greater functionality at minimal costs that arise due to investments in third-party applications.

Outdated Security 

Security provides IT resilience (e.g., backup, disaster recovery, high availability, and continuity planning) to protect data and ensure continued business operations in the event of a disruption. According to the HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey, almost 70% of businesses today are still exploiting some legacy apps. Legacy applications are usually less resistant to cyberattacks, harmful programs, and malware because cyber attackers get familiar with the code and its vulnerabilities.

Modernized applications in the cloud provide ubiquitous access to top-of-the-line safety features and quick updates. They collectively secure the environment from external threats and accidental data exposure.

Change Management Hindrances

Legacy systems have large codebases with complex functionalities. Their monolithic nature makes changing or replacing one system module difficult. A small update might create a wave of system conflicts.

Thus, any legacy system changes require time and effort associated with high expenses. Additionally, legacy systems need vast amounts of documentation.

Modernizing legacy apps helps automate change implementation in an agile environment with lesser errors. This reduces time, effort, and cost.

Need for Better Operational Efficiency and Standardization

Using legacy apps in a diverse environment requires standardization to ensure seamless performance. Agile methodologies in app modernization can speed up the provision of IT services by at least 30%. Thus, initiating modernization focusing on continuous delivery helps integrate product development with IT operations with DevOps. App modernization promotes automation and operational transformation to improve team efficiency.

Integration Challenges

Legacy software platforms are seemingly challenging to integrate with third-party APIs to access a few capabilities like user authentication, data sharing, and transactions. A significant amount of custom coding is required for connecting legacy software to a third-party tool or service.

There is also the risk that the final integration won’t work as intended. App modernization makes apps integration-ready by default.

Infrastructure Issues

Legacy systems need a specific technical environment, including hardware, which is more difficult and expensive to maintain. They are usually built to-be-deployed and function optimally over on-premise infrastructure.

This keeps the infrastructure maintenance spending high and lowers performance. Legacy data is scattered across several databases and storage resources. Gathering and systematizing legacy data is thus necessary for space optimization.

Benefits of App Modernization

The following benefits prove that legacy-system modernization is vital to overall business digitization.

App Modernization Market Trends

The growing need for business agility, faster time-to-market, leveraging big data technologies in the connected era, and cloud computing is the significant component of many businesses’ application modernization strategies today. This is driving great opportunities in the services market.

The App Modernization Services in high demand include:

• Application portfolio assessment

• Application re-platforming

• Cloud application migration

• Post-modernization services

• Application integration

• User Interface (UI) modernization

According to Forrester, companies seek “innovative development services for enterprise apps, which will drive adoption (and spending) as companies start tearing apart core business apps and modernize them with innovative analytics, machine learning, IoT, messaging, and database services created in the cloud.”

Application Modernization Approaches and Techniques

Legacy modernization approaches have specific techniques applied to upgrade obsolete applications.

  1. Modernization techniques impact different aspects of your legacy system. Encapsulation, Re-hosting, and Re-platforming affect the technology platform.
  2. Refactoring and Re-architecting are used to solve problems in the technology and architecture domains.
  3. Rebuilding and replacing help in changing and adding functions and features to existing apps.

Challenges in Adopting Application Modernization

The top challenges of performing app modernization include:

  1. Teams may be unwilling to adjust to operational changes. Motivation, training, and coaching would entail additional risks and costs.
  1. Simultaneous app modernization for multiple legacy systems may need high efforts and a larger time window for each system.
  1. Initially tailored for the specific platform functionalities, legacy code can lead to irrelevant and erroneous code that needs replacement. It is essential to ensure that while migrating, the underlying software will comply with the new data interchange rules and client applications and support resources requirements.
  1. Since the system is outdated, it leaves businesses with the absence of information or the required skills for data migration.
  1. Hosting apps in the cloud while retaining some apps on-premise may lead to inefficiencies and operational silos.
  1. During the modernization process, sometimes, the entire business process may come to a standstill.

As an innovation-led enterprise, Radiant Digital has helped many customers in their digital transformation journey with our App Modernization Services to address the challenges mentioned above.

Here are some of the common mistakes we’ve helped enterprises avoid in their App Modernization journey.

Our Key Focus Areas during the Preliminary Analysis of Modernization

Radiant’s 7 Measures of App Modernization Success

Enterprise App Modernization Journey with Radiant

Wrapping Up

According to IDC, “More than half the global economy turns digital by 2023 requiring new species of an enterprise to compete and thrive.”

To meet the new digital economy’s demands, organizations have to give up on outdated software and modernize their core technologies. Enterprises will see real transformation only when they embrace modernization as a one-time project and a continuous cycle.

Connect with us today to experience the rewards of App Modernization.