(866) 708-2045

Top 5 Lessons for A Successful Application Modernization

Top 5 Application Modernization

Google Cloud commissioned a report entitled "CIO Guide to Application Modernization." According to this report, 74% of IT spending is on maintaining legacy systems instead of creating new ones. When asked about modernization, business leaders responded that legacy systems "continue to be a drag on innovation." During an interaction with McKinsey, the CIO of a Fortune 500 financial services company had identified the top challenges with legacy systems:

  • Complexity
  • Dependencies 
  • Hard Coding
  • Slow Migration Speeds

So, companies in pursuit of growth and innovation need to modernize their legacy applications to:

  • Reduce total cost of ownership of software
  • Accelerate time to market for digital solutions 
  • Empower people to collaborate effectively 
  • Automate repetitive processes, and
  • Connect data at an enterprise level which will lead to better decision-making

Lessons Learned from Successful Application Modernization

The State of IT Modernization Report 2020 states that “businesses need to modernize IT platforms, applications, governance, skills, and processes to achieve desired business outcomes. Two out of three IT decision-makers say IT modernization is essential to business transformation.” Let us now analyze the lessons learned from successful application modernization

Lesson #1: Resilient and Scalable Applications

Legacy applications are tightly coupled with the underlying infrastructure, such as the host  machines, network, and storage. IT infrastructure could become a limiting factor when you scale applications and bring in more users across geographies. Consider the example of a glass manufacturing company which got acquired by a large corporate house. As part of their integration, users from across the globe had to use the common SharePoint system hosted on-premise. Users had to connect through VPN which resulted in latency, since the application was not on the cloud. 

Application Modernization will not just improve performance and allow developers to add more features but will result in better scalability and enhanced security. Companies benefit from the inherent resilience of cloud platforms. 

Also, when you break down monoliths into loosely coupled microservices, you can leverage concurrent development in multiple programming languages, which will solve problems related to the availability of skills within the development teams. 

Lesson #2: Risk Management

Risk Assessment, Treatment, and Management are essential when your company decides to modernize any applications in the portfolio. Here's a list of best practices that can be followed during application modernization to mitigate risks and ensure that users of applications do not experience outages:

  1. Rationalize applications in your portfolio and identify duplicate and redundant apps, workflows, services, and APIs.
  2. Eliminate duplicates and inform users about the changes.
  3. Prioritize applications based on criticality to business operations.
  4. Map each application with the best modernization strategy – rehost, refactor, rearchitect, rebuild or retire.
  5. Migrate, upgrade, or modernize the lowest priority applications first.
  6. Plan for downtime and inform users. Provide alternate and interim solutions to users to ensure business operations are not affected.
  7. Move users from legacy systems to the modern environment in phases. Perform load testing on refactored and rebuilt applications before going live.

Lesson #3: Seamless Integrations

Companies derive the best Return on Investment (RoI) when they modernize and integrate applications. The seamless flow of data between applications provides opportunities for automation and frees the users from performing repetitive tasks such as approvals in multiple systems. Reengineered applications can be integrated with Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Workforce Management, and other SaaS applications that connect operations with customer support, sales, and supply chain management. 

Elior, a leading hospitality chain in North America, had an abundance of older applications, workflows, and processes that were not integrated. Softura designed & architected a common, global self-service application portal and integrated RPA workflows with HR, ERP, Finance, Budgeting & Accounting, IT & Growth Operations.

Lesson #4: User Adoption and Learning Curve

Legacy application users identified complicated User Interface (UI) and lack of training as top reasons for low adoption. Inconsistent UI and complex elements result in a steep learning curve. 

The first step is User Experience (UX) Design when you rebuild an application. Create wireframes and responsive prototypes that users can test before developing the front-end. UX design patterns can be effectively leveraged to simplify the interface and increase user adoption.  

Lesson #5: Automation Through DevOps

Companies prefer Rapid Application Development over the Waterfall Model. New paradigms such as Lean, Kanban, and Agile have become de facto standards. Modern applications based on microservices architecture support incremental and iterative development. Gartner has identified Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) as the number one "most considered and adopted framework for scaling Agile." According to the State of Agile Report 2021, “75% of companies said that accelerated software delivery is their #1 reason for adopting agile.”

In an agile environment, DevOps is a strategy to bring development and IT operations together to ensure you securely release software, services, features, and APIs more frequently and efficiently. IT operations such as release, configuration, and monitoring are automated using DevOps tools. An Agile-DevOps model promotes collaboration and enables organizations to achieve continuous testing, continuous delivery, and integrations. 


A top construction and mining equipment company faced the following challenges with their legacy systems: 

  • Applications developed using dated and obsolete technologies
  • Internal and external apps built using different technology stack
  • Different competencies are required to develop, deploy, maintain, and support
  • Inconsistent user experience coupled with multiple user identities
  • Lack of a centralized app container to navigate between apps

The company overcame these challenges by modernizing its legacy applications which resulted in:

  • Responsive, intuitive, and consistent UI across apps
  • Web app container that integrates apps and portals
  • Incompatible apps replaced with web applications accessible from anywhere
  • Common Admin Interface for App Lifecycle Management

A leading food distribution company, Gordon Food Service, chose to modernize its eCommerce ordering application to provide customers with a better experience. They decided to build the application using Google Kubernetes Engine

"We needed to go faster," says Craig Van Arendonk, Director of IT - Customer and Sales. "The competitive landscape required us to put new features and functionality in front of our customers faster, so we needed to think differently about eCommerce and our digital strategy."

Detroit (Farmington Hills)
Dallas, TX
Chicago, IL
Indianapolis, IN
Pittsburg, PA
Atlanta, GA
Tampa Bay, FL
Toronto, Canada
Tokyo, Japan
Chennai, India
Ahmedabad, India
© 2023 Softura - All Rights Reserved