Tech continues to change, impacting companies in every industry. Digital transformation is the buzzword that tech professionals are focused on right now. Every company wants to be on the top with a modern approach to their tech habits. Old systems are expensive for companies to maintain, both in budget money and time. Application modernization updates those old digital infrastructures to feature important modern features.
As today’s companies grow, they need to have the agility provided by modern technology. Whether it’s getting instant reports or connecting remotely to Line of Business (LOB) systems, demands are anchored in an expectation of staying up-to-date. When businesses fall behind the rapid pace of innovation, they bring an extra burden to the table that partners and stakeholders may not want to deal with.
What is Application Modernization?
Every program and platform your business uses will continue to be replaced with better versions. As things change, the digital infrastructure continues to be condensed into more efficient tools to fit your needs. Application modernization migrates those legacy applications so you can use tools that better meet your company needs.
Some statistics claim maintenance for legacy applications make up 60-80% of the IT budget in the average corporation. Altering old software can be risky and very time-consuming. When your software gets really outdated, it won’t even be compatible with new systems.
The application modernization process will include strategies that look at your:
- System build
According to some sources, a new approach to applications will reduce costs connected to legacy apps and infrastructure by 25-30% (Accenture, Cognizant). Application modernization speeds release cycles by 15% and improves application performance by 80% (Cognizant).
Not only could newer platforms have trouble communicating with older legacy apps, but the ones that were built years or even decades ago may not be optimized to work on tablets or mobile devices.
Application modernization doesn’t always require starting from scratch. In some cases, it is better to start over, but in many situations, the build started with the bones of the original software. Qualified tech professionals can use the underlying structure of the program while modernizing it to meet your business needs. This can include quite a bit of extensive re-coding or making easier, visible changes. Either way, the outdated programming costs a lot of money and slows production.
Should I Modernize My Legacy Systems?
There are a number of reasons you will want to pursue app modernization when it comes to your legacy systems. They are critical in your business operations and keeping them updated will help with productivity, organization and agility.
Selecting Legacy Applications
You need to update the system to contain legacy apps that will process orders, invoice customers, make approvals and more. The system itself has to be condensed to reduce complication that comes from thousands of LOB systems needed for your processes. As those processes have changed and your applications have shifted and may not be well aligned. Some systems may serve the same functions, which would force your employees to jump between those apps to get the work done. Simplifying and condensing those apps will improve productivity by reducing the busywork.
It can be helpful to replace old apps that are no longer supported by developers who know the language or code. With a new app, you can have a fresh start and save quite a bit over time with reduced maintenance.
Updating Old Infrastructure
You have already gotten very accustomed to your current systems, so change could be a challenge. Your employees may already be trained to use the applications and you know how to get the reports you need. Like an old house, you know the benefits and shortcomings of the system you have. Starting over with a new system could be a hassle you aren’t ready to deal with.
Yet, you will find that infrastructure becomes a point of pain when it doesn’t support newer apps. You may notice it is hard to stay organized when some apps are hosted in the cloud and others are on-premise. Your systems will be sluggish when they are scattered and supported by old infrastructure.
Improving Employee Agility
You rely on the ability to move quickly and respond to customer needs. While many businesses expect about a business day for a response, the average customer is now expecting answers within the hour. This is just one example of when you need organization and clarity within your systems. Employees spend more than a fourth of each day (28%) on administrative tasks, like data entry tasks across systems, according to Business Wire. Between your customer’s expectations for speed and your employee’s productivity, improving the efficiency and accuracy of your systems is important for your company.
Freeing Up Budget
According to CIOs surveyed, the IT budget largely goes to maintenance. An average 70-80% of company dollars for IT is allocated to running or maintenance of their current systems. This doesn’t leave a lot of room for innovative systems. As the infrastructure ages, these costs increase and the benefits decrease. With application modernization, those aging infrastructures and outdated applications can be swapped out to stop draining the company resources.
Methods for Legacy Application Modernization
There are different ways to approach your modernization for technology systems. How you choose to approach tech modernization will likely depend on your budget as well as your company systems. The older systems may need to be swapped out more completely, but this may take a slower process if you don’t have the budget to do much at one time.
If you are able to completely transform your systems with updated systems, you can ensure the system is cohesive without overlapping apps. Depending on how much control you have over the process, you may have limited control and end up with a system that isn’t as effective as your old system in some ways. But, when you start over, you could design your system and work from what you currently like or dislike about your old system if you pick the right team to build it.
Probably the biggest difficulty here is that you may have to pay to support the old system while paying to prepare the new one. It can be a risky, but rewarding process if you are hoping to redefine your business with better systems.
If you need a system overhaul but can’t handle really replacing everything at one time, you can go section by section. Replacing out apps and processes instead of the entire system will mean less downtime or crossover time, but you will have to work with the remaining old system technology as you go. Over the period of a given time, you will rebuild the whole system. However, this will take a lot longer and cost more in the end than a complete overhaul at one time.
You can run into snags if one of your new applications doesn’t want to play nice with an old one that isn’t ready to be switched out yet. You will also be paying for maintenance while you pay for large application swaps, so this can still be a money issue for your budget (though not as intensive as a complete overhaul).
It’s possible to keep your applications while changing out your mainframe code to something newer. This lets you swap out a significant part of your outdated system without changing the applications you already know. You can rebuild part of the front end that allows you to do more with your legacy system while shifting from one older mainframe to a much newer and more convenient server.
There are many times when consolidation is an ideal choice, reducing the systems that cover duplicate tasks or are too big for your needs. In situations like a merger or acquisition, you may need to consolidate the systems of two businesses into one. There are also times when your system is simply too bug and clunky for your company size.
When you consolidate, you can shift to a smaller system with more agility. You want to reduce your systems and data centers so you don’t have to maintain unnecessary parts of a large system. While this can help you improve productivity and increased workloads, it doesn’t give you a lot of flexibility for a major change during the consolidation.
Small changes can make your apps workable again. For the handful of apps that are truly becoming irrelevant or outdated without support, you can switch over to new apps. If your goal is simply to update your system without changing it whenever possible, then you may have a clunky and older system. But, sometimes a business has a legacy system that it just isn’t ready to part with. If you are familiar with your system, you may feel like letting it go completely would be an expensive pain.
When it comes to focusing largely on system fixes and only replacing an app or two, you will still have an outdated system at the end. The infrastructure and core system will stay the same throughout the micro part replacement. The short-term vision of this route must be paired with a long-term vision or you will soon be faced with a system too outdated to be fixed.
How Will Application Modernization Help You?
At this point, you might wonder how the application modernization process is really going to help your business. It may sound like a long and taxing road. Why do enterprise companies need to update their systems and modernize their applications?
Cost Cutting: The upfront cost may be higher when you replace the system, but you will cut out a lot of maintenance from here out. Costly app expenses can be scaled to fit your company needs and condense the systems you set in place. This includes the costs you save when your large mainframe shifts to a server system and needs far less overhead.
Improved Productivity: Old systems are often clunky and cause unnecessary work. You will have fewer system failures, less overlapping applications, and better organization if you upgrade your legacy system. You can incorporate new features to help your employees store and pull data for reports. Modern applications are going to work better together and the new interface will make it easier for employees to get those tasks done.
Better Customer Experience: You know how important it is for your customers to get help quickly and use your systems easily. A better system will make it easier for them to navigate any parts that may apply to them. It makes your business more agile overall so you don’t have to respond sluggishly to your customers.
Meeting Compliance: There are many reasons why improved systems can help you meet compliance. New systems will be better equipped to handle the expectations for meeting compliance. From training requirements to security concerns, your equipment can better protect you from the fines or lawsuits that come with compliance issues.
Beating the Competition: When it comes to agility and customer delight, you are more likely to succeed with updated systems. In a competitive world, your agility is important and your productivity can make or break your business. Your IT systems have to be prepared to take care of your rapidly growing business in order to meet demand and stay ahead of the competition.
Faster Speed to Market: On average, companies are able to develop and launch their new products faster when they have an updated system. Changing your system with application modernization will help you be first to market and get better deals for your products.
Choosing the Right Application Modernization
If you need help with your systems, we are the right company for you. We put a major focus on creating the tailored fit you need in your legacy systems. Your platform needs to include speed, innovation and value delivery without giving up cost efficiency. It takes a lot of experience and skill to get the shift right for you and your customers.
- Flexibility as you grow and change functions
- Low cost as you move forward with newer systems
- Growing your business by providing more important products faster
- Stabilized investment outcome over the long term as costs stay low