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Recommended steps in the application modernization journey?


Application modernization is any type of transformation of an old application to use for new purposes. In most cases, this is done by adding additional functionalities and improving the user experience. A lot of companies struggle with the process and find themselves with a half-finished application, trying to figure out why they aren't moving faster with their modernization projects. 

Modernizing your legacy applications to the cloud is a critical step in the journey towards modernizing your business. It can be challenging, but it is possible and achievable with some careful planning and implementation. Your company does not need to go through this process immediately and can address the situation in a timeline that works for you. If desired, you do not have to overhaul the entire application all at once, but can build it up over time. Most importantly, establish a plan that takes into account all facets of your business and makes decisions on what you want your end goal to look like before starting the project. You might even find things throughout the process that add features you did not anticipate. This article will guide you through each step required during your journey towards a successful application modernization.

Here are our top tips for navigating this process successfully:


Understand business goals and priorities

Before you embark on a modernization project, it's important to understand your company’s goals and priorities. You should define the business needs (what do you need from an application), requirements (how does this application need to function), outcomes (what will happen once this new application is up and running), and value proposition for customers/users of your software product(s) or service(s).

Once you have defined these terms, it’s time to think about ROI – Return on Investment (ROI). It may seem like an abstract concept at first but when looking at how much money can be saved by implementing certain changes within an organization or department then it becomes clear why investing in modernizing applications could pay off big time!

Identify legacy application landscape

The first step in the application modernization transformation journey is to understand your legacy application landscape. This involves understanding the applications and their dependencies, as well as the people who own them. It’s important to identify who these individuals are and what their priorities for updating or replacing older systems are. You should also consider how they view their roles within your organization; if there are multiple levels of ownership (e.g., business owners vs IT), then this will influence which applications you prioritize first when developing a new approach to modernization efforts.

Once you have identified all of these important factors, it’s time to start mapping out an ideal path forward that meets everyone’s needs while ensuring that your organization continues running smoothly without interruption during any phase(s) of the transition period(s).


Cloud-enable legacy systems

Cloud-enable is the process of transforming a legacy system into one that can be managed by a cloud service provider. It involves:

  • Managing the transition of your applications and data to the cloud.

  • Migrating all your business logic from one platform to another, so that you can scale up or down as needed.

This step is important because it allows you to focus on other more important aspects of modernization like application performance management (APM) and DevOps practices for them to succeed!


Modernize legacy applications to accelerate their journey to the cloud

This can be done in the following ways:

  • Re-architecture the application.

  • Retrofit the application to the cloud.

  • Modernize the application to the cloud.

  • Build a new application on top of your existing infrastructure (you can use this as an opportunity to modernize your entire IT environment).

  • Use a hybrid cloud model where you have data and compute in separate locations, while keeping critical business services in one location on-premises or within private data centers owned by your organization's IT department (or both).


Innovate and optimize the applications to achieve business outcomes

Innovation is the process of creating new ideas, products, or services that are better than existing alternatives. Innovation can be driven by new technologies and processes, but it can also be achieved when we challenge ourselves and our assumptions about how things should work.

Optimization refers to the use of efficient methods to improve performance in an organization or system so that it meets its goals while keeping costs down. Optimization is particularly important when there are constraints on time or money because innovation may require longer time frames than traditional approaches; however, these constraints often create opportunities for optimization!

Application modernization is critical for staying competitive and delivering value to the end users. It is also an important part of digital transformation, cloud migration, and other initiatives that help organizations stay ahead of their competition.



In conclusion, application modernization is a critical step toward optimizing business outcomes. It enables you to deliver value to your customers in an increasingly competitive market. We have seen that it’s not just about replacing old applications with new ones but also modernizing them so that they can become more agile and responsive. 

There are many considerations to weigh when deciding whether to build a new application or modernize an existing one. During the modernization process, it is also important to consider lessons learned from past modernization efforts. When planning this initiative, organizations should work with the individuals who will be impacted by the decision to engage both their direct and implied stakeholders. Plans should be documented and communicated in an actionable manner. Adopting a set of recommended steps in the transformation journey will enable organizations to successfully modernize applications.

So where does this leave organizations facing the modernization dilemma? In this article, we have attempted to outline some key questions and decisions that are fundamental to any journey through the modernization process. Decisions regarding types of applications, an organizational sponsorship model, and prioritization of modernization efforts will all help guide the transformation initiative moving forward.

We, in the big picture of the modernization process, should use automation and collaboration tools to be more productive and minimize errors that are caused by manual processing. We need to identify the areas that we can easily change and replace them with automated solutions. We also need to think about how to improve collaboration within the organization and how we can enable people to collaborate with different departments or external partners.

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