When your company is looking at outdated infrastructure and systems, you need to know how much of an overhaul or commitment modernization will take. Your systems should be aligned, reliable and compatible, while cutting down on excess work and overlapping processes that slow you down. In order to get a good idea of what modernization will take for your applications and legacy system, you may want to get an application assessment.
How Do I Know if I Need an Application Assessment?
If your processes and applications are old, then you may be running into issues of maintenance and lost productivity. Old systems sometimes clash with newer systems, being housed both on-site and in the cloud. When you are paying a good portion of your IT budget to maintain your systems and patch issues, it may be time to get an assessment done. Getting an audit of your system will help you determine what the best course of action is. Sometimes it is better to get a complete overhaul, while other companies do better with a part-by-part replacement or shifting the architecture of their system.
You need a modern system to keep up with your competitors, improve productivity for your employees, give your customers a better user experience and keep track of your data. Legacy systems are expensive and it can feel like too much of a cost to replace the entire system. Without an assessment, you don’t know if that is even the best route for your business.
Taking inventory of what you have will help you consider what you are missing and where things could be improved. You may be thinking the old saying, “If it’s not broke, why fix it?” But, waiting until there is a breach or failure could be a costly mistake. Instead, you can take the opportunity now to plan for a long-term strategy that incorporates the things you need along with the things you could use for improvement.
What Does an Application Assessment Look Like?
When you have a company come in to do an application assessment for your modernization strategy, you will allow them to access your applications and look at their readiness. You need applications and tools that work well together and can be accessed from one place. Most of the attention for your assessment will be on the infrastructure in order to see how those systems are operating. This will include both the way those systems are built (architecture) and the way those systems play into your business.
There are various aspects of modernization that could apply to your company needs. While some companies only need re-hosting, others may need re-architecting, re-building or a full re-doing of their system. We can recommend the ideal changes and then point out the necessary ones. While some businesses will want to take advantage of this time to do a complete overhaul and re-establish a better system, other companies will want to make as few repairs as possible.
Assessing Your Business Applications
We are here to help create a roadmap for success as you work to modernize your systems.Not all applications will necessarily require a retirement or replacement. Our team will look at the structure of your system before providing a plan for each application: The Benefits: Every application should be important to the processes in your business. We want to find all applications, systems and tools that can be removed or consolidated. Cutting down on unnecessary applications means fewer apps for you to upkeep and fewer for your employees to switch from.
Risk Factors: Old systems and infrastructure can lead to increased security issues because they are no longer backed by their original creators. Older tools may not have the support to continue on with security patches and debugging. Sometimes, gaps in security are due to apps across various platforms. During an assessment, we need to consider the risk, especially in relation to the value of those systems. We can also find replacement systems that are similar or offer similar abilities.
The Need: We have talked about benefits, but needs are different. Some systems will offer certain tools, reports or capabilities that you really need. You may find that some of your applications don’t offer things you need, and you are looking to change that. We will help you assess needs, like whether you have room to grow comfortably or if your current systems provide agility for shifts in the business plan. We will also be looking at important compliance expectations and current industry demands.
Our recommendations will also include systems or applications that you may not already have. We do not want to increase your system, but we will help you get the best system for your business. While our recommendation sometimes is to start over with a new system, we always offer the options and facts to our clients. At the end of the day, it is your business and we want to help you with the path that you want to take. So, all recommendations are done with the full expectation that you will have a vested interest in the direction taken.
Step 1: Getting an Assessment
When you are ready to get your assessment, we start off with a conversation to dive into your processes. This initial meeting starts the whole relationship and helps us better understand how you operate. We need to know the ins and outs of your processes, so we will want to meet your team of business or IT execs. Understanding your priorities helps us outline important changes or needs in your modernization process.
Your application modernization shouldn’t just be based on industry standards or modern technology trends—it needs to align with your business goals and company priorities.
The meeting will allow us to present our initial assessment and ensure we are on the same page with the direction of the process. It helps us make sure you are committed to the process and you understand what we are going to be assessing.
We will interview a number of stakeholders to get a better understanding of the people actually working these systems. These stakeholders most often include the business owner and top IT directors/managers. This helps us learn about the potential threats, needs, budgets and improvements that could apply to the project.
Apps are then looked at individually and assessed by their code. Every line of code is read for an analysis of agility, resiliency and how it works with the cloud. A detailed report is created to give you insight into our findings.
Step 2: Setting the Strategy
Once we have a report, we can build a case for potential strategies.
We will have a top recommendation based on the meeting and interviews we did during the assessment. We want to help you get to your goals in the best way possible. The assessment and report by itself isn’t very helpful if it isn’t paired with a great strategy.
The roadmap will include any recommendations we have for updates, retiring applications, adding applications, consolidation and more. This strategy takes into account the goals and risks we discussed with you and your team. We may have recommendations for UX improvement, adding certain content to your site or shifting something to better align with industry compliance standards. We will provide a detailed estimate for the cost and timeline.
Step 3: Completing the Job
It can take a lot to shift over systems and modernize your applications. Our team is dedicated to help you build the system you need. We understand that a modernized system could provide you with:
Reduced Costs: Over time, the cost of the traditional infrastructure adds up and so does maintaining the hardware server. Serverless computing is just one way we may recommend you cut costs in your long-term tech budget.
Improved Agility: You can move faster and problem-solve easier when your applications are cloud-native. You can use the microservices that are cloud-native and easier to manage than massive segments of code. With modern apps like these, you are able to speed up bug fixes and feedback.
Lessened Risk: When applications are newer and more updated, they are less likely to include risky security issues, bugs or potential noncompliance issues.
Room to Grow: You are better able to scale as needed when you aren’t limited to on-premise systems. The right applications will give you room to grow—even if that means moving everything to the cloud.
Completing Your Application Assessment on Your Own
We highly recommend you do an assessment of your applications on your own before you even bring in a company. By looking at your own systems, you will start to see some of the areas where you will want to focus attention on finding better solutions.
Start by examining your current systems: You can take inventory of what you have and consider what can be done away with. The more familiar you are with your processes and needs, the less we will have to dig and guess. We are pretty good at getting to the bottom of things, but it is always a jumpstart to the process when the client has already spent time thinking about this. We will need to know what is actually working and being used—not just what is a good idea.
Consider your team’s needs and tasks: Your preparation will help prepare your team as well. You can get a better idea of what would be helpful to speed the action of your team. Often, it is the people using these applications that will have the best insight into what they can and can’t do well.
Keep looking to improve: This is not a one-time job. Evaluating your company processes and applications is ongoing. Technology is changing fast and the modern tech of today will not be the same tomorrow. You want to stay relevant without changing on a whim and spending excess money.
Create short-term and long-term strategies for your improvements: You need a strategy in place and it has to do with the direction of your company as a whole. What business goals have you established? How does your marketing strategy align with those business goals? Your application modernization strategy should have a similar drive towards those goals.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” -Ben Franklin
See how your assessment lines up with the professionals: When you feel like you have an actionable idea of what you want to do, it will be time to get an official assessment to see what professionals recommend. Feel free to share your concerns and insights to those professionals. They should only suggest you make the changes needed and beneficial to your company.
A good company is not going to nickel-and-dime you for the services and upgrades you don’t need.
Finding the Right Company to Perform Your Modernization Application Assessment
It is important to find a company skilled in making meaning out of lines of code and applications. We can help your business get the right systems in place with our suggestions. We provide:
Clear reports and strategies: You don’t have to wonder about recommendations—we will make our suggestions clear and provide you with the state of your applications.
Documentation of your current system: We will be mapping how your system works and interacts. We will provide you with a clear picture of how things are working together so you know how things will be affected if changes are made.
Clear cut costs and fixed plans: We won’t keep sliding the project costs on you. When we set up our strategy, we offer transparent pricing and project deadlines. We don’t want you to feel unsure about how things could change with a shifting estimate.
No hidden fees or strings: We always look to build solid relationships with our clients, but not at the cost of tricking them. We will be straightforward and make sure you are clear on all costs as we go. There aren’t any sneaky clauses or strings attached to force you to follow our suggestions or even use our company for the implementation phase.
Clarified need and ROI: You are going to need to prove the importance of application modernization to stakeholders and other employees. Our reports will help you show clear justifications for updating the systems.