The demand for application development is expected to be intense for large enterprises. But, a key area that has got companies focused for the coming years is application modernization. TechTarget defines application modernization as “the refactoring, re-purposing or consolidation of legacy software programming to align it more closely with current business needs.”
Modernization is becoming increasingly important owing to the need for businesses to simplify complex app development infrastructure to accommodate their marketing and business requirements. According to IT analyst firm Gartner, the enterprise application software market is expected to hit $200 billion by 2019.
“The majority of spending is going towards modernizing, functionally expanding, or substituting long-standing business and office applications with cloud-based Software-as-a-Service,” highlighted Gartner research director, Bianca Granetto.”Projects have been approved and budgeted for, often over a multiyear period, meaning the pace of spending and adoption isn’t subject to any impending urgency.”
App modernization, therefore, is set to become a highly crucial component of capital spending for large enterprises due to its importance and its benefits. Many businesses are already migrating their applications to the cloud to take advantage of numerous business advantages. In this blog post, we are going to look at some of the ways through which enterprises can effectively achieve their app modernization initiatives.
Importance of App modernization
Before exploring the keys to app modernization, it is essential to understand why app modernization is importance in the first place. The paradigm owes its significance to the complexities associated with hardwired enterprise legacy applications whose application codes are written in the COBOL programming language. This limits enterprise flexibility and agility and ease of use that directly impacts their business efficiency.
Businesses that can successfully modernize their apps receive multiple benefits which include:
Modernized apps allow businesses to increase their cost efficiencies as a result of lower maintenance, hardware, and software expenses. In addition to this, costs are also reduced in terms of licensing.
Apps that are redesigned to suit business needs have the advantage of enabling greater business agility. This translated in the business being able to respond to changing customer requests and needs in a much more efficient manner, resulting in a higher competitive edge over rivals.
Legacy app structure face the problem of working in isolation, which means integration into specific business IT systems is more difficult to achieve and manage. Through modernizing the applications, the organization can configure and simplify its business processes much more effectively.
How can companies modernize their enterprise apps?
The aforementioned business advantages allow tremendous opportunities for organizations to tap into. But, how exactly do enterprises manage these initiatives without risking failure? Here are 5 keys to achieve this.
1. Evaluate your app modernization systems
It is essential that organizations prior to setting out on any app modernization initiative take out the time and critically analyze the legacy system they want to refactor. Since the app needs to be repurposed into highly robust SaaS applications, businesses need to thoroughly analyze their operating systems and network servers to ensure they are capable of managing SaaS applications. If the enterprise wants to take advantage of the mobile platform, due to the implementation of BYOD policies, it must also evaluate the capabilities of its mobile devices.
2. Perform a risk analysis of your legacy data
In addition to assessing operating systems and servers, organizations should also factor in the risk of their proposed legacy data migration initiative to determine the contingency measures that must be prepared for in advance. For instance, if the legacy data is highly critical for the running of business operations, a lack of availability due to an unforeseen event could be extremely disastrous for the organization, resulting in a damaged reputation and loss of sales revenue. Data backup and disaster recovery solutions should be considered.
Therefore, enterprises should assign a rating or rank of high, moderate, or low in terms of its importance. If there is no perceived threat due the unavailability of the app, the enterprise can deem it noncritical.
3. Consider your business requirements
The main objective of modernizing your apps is to align app functions with that of your corporate strategy and business workflows. Therefore, it is crucial that you first take your business requirements into account. Identify your challenges, in addition to your process and operational requirements, and consider what intended positive outcomes you want to achieve from the app modernization initiative.
More importantly, ensure that all of your personnel are onboard with the initiative and that they are kept informed of the ways in which their work methods may change and that their commitment to embracing the new project is in check.
4. Detect app flaws early on in the project
Once you begin to develop and check your modernized apps, it is critical that you identify its flaws and defects as quickly as possible. Make sure to numerous testing approaches and system-wide checks to get a thorough analysis of the application’s performance and its impact on business processes and workflows. If you identify problems in your application early on in the process, the less costs you will have to incur in fixing and maintenance.
Be sure to factor all elements of quality during your system checks to ensure you have a comprehensive assessment.
5. Establish an IT governance mechanism
After detecting any flaws that your application may have, you need to establish a proper IT governance system. The IT governance mechanism will enable you to emphasize core IT and business activities while keeping up-to-date with the status of the project and application.
More importantly, data management and enterprise content systems should also be implemented to ensure that alignment and app growth goals are fulfilled over the long-term.