Enterprise app modernization
Home > Blog > Enterprise Application Modernization: Ultimate Guide

Enterprise Application Modernization: Ultimate Guide

06 Apr 2023

As technology rapidly evolves, organizations must adapt to stay competitive in today’s business landscape. Enterprise application modernization has become a critical strategy for businesses looking to transform their legacy systems and processes into agile, scalable, and efficient solutions. A well-crafted enterprise application modernization strategy is the key to exploring new opportunities, enhancing operational efficiencies, and driving innovation to achieve sustainable growth in the digital age. At the same time, strategy and process could differ according to your unique business model, needs, and expectations. Yet it is crucial to have a basic understanding of modernizing enterprise applications. Whether you’re a small startup or a large enterprise, understanding the importance of upgrading your applications is essential for future success.

In this article, we will explore the fundamental concepts and benefits of enterprise application modernization and discuss critical considerations & best practices for developing a successful modernization strategy.

Table of Contents:

What is Enterprise Application Modernization?

Enterprise application modernization is the process of updating your existing legacy application’s platform infrastructure, architecture, framework, language, and/or features to meet your current business needs. This process involves migrating applications and data to new platforms, modernizing the application architecture, improving the user experience, and integrating the application with other systems and technologies. It can also involve replacing legacy systems with new off-the-shelf software or new custom applications. It doesn’t replace or discontinue your entire system. Instead, it utilizes the latest technologies to increase the existing system/platforms’ life span. While it could be time-consuming, complex, and expensive, modernizing legacy systems is worth the investment.

The application modernization process usually involves the discovery, design, and implementation phases. However, moving to the cloud is more complex and goes beyond the simple upgradation of apps. It includes modernizing the tech stack to make your applications more scalable and flexible.

The main goals of enterprise application modernization are to improve the application’s functionality, reduce maintenance costs, increase scalability, enhance security, and streamline business processes. By modernizing legacy applications, organizations can increase their competitiveness, improve operational efficiency, and better meet the needs of their customers.

Did you know?

Forbes suggests;

  • Cloud migration is also driving software modernization projects. And Gartner predicts that cloud spending could surpass traditional IT spending by 2025, where more than half (51%) of IT spending is in the cloud as compared to 41% in 2022.

Venture Beat suggests,

  • 88% of technology assets are legacy systems, and half are business-critical. An additional concern is that many organizations lack the skills to adapt to the requirements of the digital era.

Wakefield Research suggests,

  • 92% of enterprises are working on or planning an app modernization project, even though most admit an earlier failure.

Enterprise Application Modernization Benefits

Enterprise Application modernization benefits

Modernizing your legacy systems can provide many benefits, like transforming them into scalable and secure systems. Application modernization is seen as a crucial strategy to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of businesses. Here are some reasons for adopting enterprise app modernization to stay ahead of the competition:

  • Improved Agility: Legacy systems can be inflexible in adapting to new business needs. They can be slow at responding to changing market conditions. Modernizing applications helps overcome technical debt and develop new features quickly.
  • Better Customer Experiences: Modernized apps help you provide faster, personalized services to your customers due to improved response times and resilience. For instance, they allow your customers access to information and support through multiple channels like mobile devices, social media, chatbots, etc.
  • Cost Reduction: You optimize resource utilization using the latest technologies to modernize legacy systems. You reduce support costs as it is easier and cheaper to maintain them.
  • Improved Efficiency and Productivity: Modernized applications help streamline business processes making them more efficient and increasing productivity. Utilizing cloud services, automation, or Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps reduce manual tasks and optimize workflows.
  • Improved Security and Compliance: Outdated technology could pose security risks in legacy systems. Modernizing apps helps implement the latest security protocols and compliance standards.

Factors Determining if Enterprise Application Needs Modernization

Enterprise applications are software solutions that businesses use to streamline their operations, manage workflows, and facilitate communication between departments. As technology evolves, companies may find their current enterprise applications no longer meet their needs. Here are some factors that can determine if an enterprise application needs modernization:

  • Age: The age of the application can be a factor in determining if modernization is needed. Applications over a decade old may be built on outdated technology and may lack the flexibility and scalability that modern businesses require.
  • Compatibility: Enterprise applications may not be compatible with newer hardware and operating systems. If an application cannot run on the latest technology, it may need to be modernized.
  • User Experience: A poor user experience can impact productivity and hinder user adoption. If employees struggle to use an application or if it is not intuitive, it may be time to modernize the user interface.
  • Security: Security threats constantly evolve, and older applications may not have the necessary security features to protect against modern threats. Modernizing an application can help ensure it is secure and meets industry standards.
  • Integration: As businesses adopt new technologies and systems, integrating existing applications becomes increasingly important. Older applications may not have the necessary integration capabilities, making it difficult to share data between systems.
  • Scalability: As businesses grow, the demand for their systems increases. Older applications may not be able to scale to meet the needs of a growing organization. Modernizing an application can ensure that it can handle the increased demand.
  • Maintenance: Older applications may be challenging to maintain and require significant resources. Modernizing an application can reduce maintenance and make it easier to manage.

By considering these factors, businesses can determine if modernizing an application will provide a positive return on investment and help them achieve their goals.

You could also look at multiple metrics to analyze your situation and decide if your enterprise application needs modernization. They include:

  • Track app performance, like uptime percentage, the time between failure and recovery, etc.
  • Measure maintainability, like percentage of code, complexity level, TCO, risk, etc.
  • Business drivers like business fit, business value, agility

Key Technologies for Enterprise Application Modernization

Enterprise app modernization is an ongoing process that utilizes the latest technologies. The key technologies used include:

  • Cloud Services: It is a critical technology for modernizing enterprise applications. Moving from on-premises to the cloud or across cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides higher scalability, flexibility, security, and cost efficiency to your applications and systems. With the cloud, companies reduce the need for on-premises infrastructure and allow them greater agility.
  • Containerization: Allows developers to package an application and its dependencies into a container, making it easy to move and deploy across different environments. It makes application deployment faster, more reliable, and more efficient. Docker and Kubernetes have become an essential part of the enterprise app modernization They allow apps to run consistently on different environments while providing higher portability and flexibility.
  • Microservices: The microservices architecture is faster to deploy as it breaks down large applications into smaller, modular components. It facilitates easy modernization and updating of applications. Also, it accelerates the time to market and improves scalability, security, agility, and resilience.
  • Artificial Intelligence: The use of AI-based technologies like Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning is increasing in the app modernization strategy to automate manual tasks, enhance user experience, improve decision-making, and more.
  • Low-Code/No-Code Development: Low-code and No-code platforms facilitate faster development with less code. It is a highly cost-effective way of legacy application modernization, which is adding to its popularity. It allows for rapid development and deployment of applications, which can help organizations stay agile and competitive.
  • DevOps: DevOps practices enable faster testing, deployment, and feedback by streamlining the application modernization process. They combine IT operations and software development to increase the speed and improve the quality of software deliveries. DevOps is critical for modernizing enterprise applications and enabling organizations to deliver new features and functionality faster.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): IoT technologies modernize enterprise applications by providing real-time data from connected devices. This data can improve decision-making, automate routine tasks, and improve the customer experience.

Ready to Modernize Your Enterprise Applications?

We can help you achieve your goals to embrace the future of enterprise application development.

7-Step Enterprise Application Modernization Strategy

steps enterprise application modernization strategy

It is imperative to have a clear strategy before starting the enterprise application modernization process. We have compiled 7 steps for application modernization that include:

1. Legacy Application Assessment: Systematically assess and analyze the current state of your legacy application in detail to identify the current and potential issues. Inspect every aspect of the system, including the technologies used, the code quality and languages utilized, the architecture, UI/UX (User Interface/User Experience), i.e., the look, feel, and usability of the system, integration capabilities with latest technologies, and the ability to meet business growth plans.

2. Set Business Objectives: Define feasible and measurable business objectives you want to achieve with this application modernization strategy. It will help you determine the project scope, prioritize focus areas, and measure effort success.

3. Identify The Modernization Approach: Finalize the best approach for your enterprise app modernization If migrating to the Cloud, the approaches could be re-architecting, re-platforming, refactoring, or replacing your application with a new one. Please read our blog on the 6 R’s of Cloud Migration Strategy for more information.

4. Develop A Modernization Roadmap: Create a detailed application modernization roadmap, including deliverables, timelines, milestones, etc. It should include a development, testing, deployment, training, and support plan.

5. Select The Tech Stack: Based on your current and future needs, choose the technology stack offering easy updating, scaling, and integration facilities. If you decide to move to the cloud, choose the right cloud services provider and platform to meet your budget, timeline, performance, and security needs

6. Implement The Modernization Plan: Stick to plan and ensure the modernized application or system meets the performance and security requirements. It should be reliable, scalable, flexible, resilient, and easy to maintain.

7. Train And Support End-Users: Provide required training to the employees (end-users) of the modernized application so that they leverage its benefits for higher productivity and efficiency. Extend support to ensure that the deployed applications run smoothly.

Enterprise Application Modernization Best Practices

Listed below are best practices that can help you successfully modernize your legacy application, enhance its functionality, and meet the evolving needs of your business.

  • Adopt A Microservices Approach: The microservices-based environment treats each process as a separate service. So, it is easier to update, scale, or change the process as it has its own logic and database. This makes your applications more agile and scalable.
  • Use Modern Development Methodologies: Traditional software development methodologies may not be suitable for modernizing legacy applications. Agile and DevOps methodologies are popular approaches that allow for continuous development, testing, and deployment, which can help speed up the modernization process.
  • Provide Complete Stack Visibility: You need full stack visibility to monitor overall performance. Your modernized apps communicate with the legacy system, and you need a complete picture from the end user’s perspective. It helps you identify potential problems.
  • Leverage Cloud Services: Moving entirely to the cloud is not always wise. It would help to utilize the cloud to meet your business needs strategically. Discover the amount of data and workflows you need to migrate to the cloud and how your on-premise and cloud apps will communicate. Will this meet my requirements, or should I look at other alternatives?
  • Track Performance Metrics: Have metrics created in advance to track your modernized apps’ performance. Monitor the code quality and the entire infrastructure from the cloud to databases to networks. It helps you spot areas that need improvement by identifying problems early.
  • Eliminate User Concerns: As users are accustomed to working with legacy systems, any change forces them to leave their comfort zone. It is natural for them to feel dislike or raise objections. So, it is necessary to overcome user concerns and resentments with modernized applications as quickly as possible in the most appropriate manner. It helps to communicate the need for modernization before starting the process and its benefits for users. Also, train them to utilize the modernized apps better for improved outcomes.
  • Train Employees: Modernizing a legacy application often involves learning new technologies and methodologies. It’s essential to provide adequate training to employees to ensure that they can effectively use the new system.
  • Embed Security At Every Stage: When modernizing legacy applications, addressing security challenges should be one of the top focus areas. The modernization process should embed security at each stage by utilizing appropriate tools. Identifying security challenges in legacy systems early and fixing them is the key to safeguarding your business. Utilize strong access controls and data encryption for robust security of your applications.

Why Partner with Rishabh for Enterprise Application Modernization?

Enterprise app modernization is a complex process and requires skills and experience for success. As an experienced software development company, we offer legacy application modernization services to enable businesses to upgrade & migrate their legacy software applications with minimal disruption to data & business processes.

Our modernization specialists serve enterprises across industries. They utilize the latest technologies to support you with application reengineering, API integration, cloud enablement & UI/UX modernization. We help you throughout the legacy app modernization cycle, from conducting a feasibility study and developing an optimal application modernization plan to implementation.

Success Stories:

Case Study 1: Modernizing Legacy Administration Management Solution

Administration management solution manage appointments dashboard

A healthcare solution provider wanted application modernization services to improve its legacy administration management application’s performance, reliability, and scalability with new features & enhancements. Due to complex workflow and code maintainability, their legacy application struggled to manage appointments, scheduling, invoicing, and report generation for varied medical services.

Our team re-engineered the legacy application using agile and waterfall methodology and developed a one-of-its-kind software to provide multiple integrations of home health care into a single solution. The modernized solution streamlines the pre-employment & annual medical assessment process, enables smooth appointment scheduling for clients, and improves transparency between the service provider and the end customer.

Key takeaways;

  • 30% boost in application performance
  • 10x surge in assessments performed across healthcare locations
  • 145% increase in total revenue

Read more about how our modernizing legacy administration management solution helped the US-based healthcare provider increase revenues.

Case Study 2: Production Planning & Reporting Software Modernization

Production planning & reporting software

A Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container (FIBC) manufacturer utilized a legacy MS Excel-based reporting system. It couldn’t provide the required insights for production planning, leading to increased costs. They wanted a unified solution to monitor machinery, human resources, stocks, and orders effectively.

We helped the manufacturing company revamp the Production Planning and Reporting Software to enable tracking & management of daily production processes, production estimation planning, and streamlining related processes. The modernization initiative was divided into various phases –upgrade & integration for accurate tracking & measurement to improve the application’s interface.

Key takeaways;

  • 50% reduction in production cost
  • 100% data accuracy with automated data collection
  • 30% increase in inventory management efficiency

Read more about how our created Production Planning & Reporting Software Modernization solution helped unify & effectively monitor machinery, human resources, stocks, and orders.

Concluding Thoughts

Modernizing your legacy applications can accelerate your business growth and help create a competitive edge. Application modernization is updating and optimizing legacy applications to improve their functionality, performance, and alignment with modern business requirements. This blog explores why application modernization is necessary, strategy & best practices to modernize their applications. You can use the factors to determine if your apps need modernization. Also, follow the process and best practices for enterprise application modernization. Ultimately, the blog aims to help organizations understand the importance of application modernization and how to approach it strategically to achieve maximum benefits.

Need Help With App Modernization?

Our highly skilled and experienced team will personalize a solution that helps to meet your business goals.