Overcoming the Challenges of Application Modernization

Overcoming the Challenges of Application Modernization  

Application modernization is a high priority as businesses continue to contend with pandemic-triggered changes to their operational and IT requirements. Driven by the need to support mass numbers of remote and mobile workers, the vast majority of U.S. businesses are working to cloud-enable legacy applications while also integrating new cloud-native apps into their application portfolios.

In a new IDC survey, 86x percent of respondents said their organizations expect to modernize more than half of their applications in 2021. This can involve migrating decades-old apps to the cloud, switching to cloud-native apps or developing new custom apps to enable remote access, optimize resources and accelerate digital transformation.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how ill-prepared many organizations are with responding to and addressing business change,” said IDC Research Director Pete Marston. “Many organizations have begun to realize their legacy applications hold back enterprise abilities to pivot amid changing economic climates, and the future concerns of their businesses are at risk.”

A Complicated Endeavor

The modernization process is fraught with challenges, however. Many businesses experience unexpected costs and performance issues after “lifting and shifting” apps to the cloud without rearchitecting, re-platforming or otherwise modernizing them prior to migration. Very often, issues arise because dependent systems and applications weren’t migrated at the same time. In some cases, legacy apps designed to run on a dedicated server fail when running on a cloud server cluster.

More than three-quarters of organizations say they have started modernization projects but failed to complete them, according to a recent study by the Coleman Parkes business research firm. Most said their failures were due to a lack of adequate planning coupled with a lack of in-house skills.

In truth, app modernization is beyond the scope of what most companies can handle with limited in-house IT staff. It’s a complex process requiring expertise in software design, cloud technologies, data governance, backend web services and more. For example, simply discovering all the apps in use and mapping their dependencies can be an extremely challenging task. Auto-discovery tools help but often produce an incomplete picture of your application portfolio.

The SSD Approach

SSD helps customers address such challenges. We begin with a thorough assessment and inventory of your software portfolio. Then we can evaluate apps based on their overall value, the importance of the business processes they support, maintenance costs and risk of failure.

With this information, we can help you make strategic decisions about which apps can be migrated or modernized and which should be replaced or retired. We can help you evaluate cloud-based Software-as-a-Service solution that may be an effective alternative to aging in-house apps.

If modernization is the best course, our team of development experts can rewrite or replace legacy applications, testing often during the project lifecycle to add new features, change functionality or make fixes. We ensure the revised application addresses both immediate and long-term requirements. Our development team can also build custom new software solutions to address your unique business needs.

Legacy applications may have worked well for years, but they can also impede an organization’s ability to support critical processes and adapt to changing operational conditions. Cloud migration can be a good way to modernize such apps, but that it’s often a tricky process. In some situations, you may be better off starting from scratch with a custom app. SSD has the expertise, toolsets and mature processes necessary to ensure successful modernization efforts.