When Planning an Application Modernization, Ask These Questions
Part 3 of a 6 Part Series
When you start thinking about modernizing your legacy applications, the first step you should take is assessing what the true situation is with each of them. Undoubtedly, as your organization has evolved, so have your applications. You’ll likely find that you have some applications that have proven themselves to be very valuable and others that are basically worthless for one reason or another. When planning an application modernization, you want to maximize your technology investment. This is the time to further invest in those that deliver real business value, minimize the impact of those that are worthless, and balance your overall business risk across your application portfolio. This all needs to be done while maintaining your day-to-day operations. It starts by asking three critical questions:
- How do you integrate existing applications with your newer applications?
- How do you continue getting value from the existing applications in your portfolio?
- How do you balance investing in modern technologies while maximizing your existing application portfolio investment?
There are a number of options for evolving your application portfolio ranging from leaving applications “as is,” integrating them, migrating individual applications to a new technology, or eliminating individual applications. Selecting the best option for each application and your overall portfolio isn’t easy, and there are six factors that you should consider before deciding on the best plan of action for your organization.
- How much business value is currently provided by the legacy application?
- How much are the current operating costs for the application (infrastructure, license fees, etc.)?
- Does the application meet your current scalability and performance requirements?
- Do you have skilled resources on staff to maintain the application? In 2 years? In 5 years? In 10 years?
- Can the application be modified quickly to meet your changing business needs?
- How will the application be impacted by business and technology trends that will affect your IT organization in the next five years? Beyond that?
When your organization is planning an investment in application modernization and your application portfolio is complex, it’s essential to look at the portfolio as a whole, in addition to assessing applications individually to determine the most beneficial roadmap, and create your plan of action.
Options for each application include:
- Do nothing – business as usual
- Outsource systems and processes
- Migrate some or all of the technology
- Modernize to Cloud services
- Front ending (You simply create a new frontend to freshen up the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). This option can also be used to create mobile app user interfaces. The underlying application itself remains the same.)
- Create an application mashup (Develop new systems with enhanced functionality by using pieces from existing internal and external systems; the underlying applications remain unchanged.)
- Full application rewrite
- Decommission the application
It’s important to keep in mind that the best roadmap for your specific situation may be very different than the solution that works best for another organization. No two organizations have identical technology and application portfolios, so you need to take into consideration your financial and time constraints, the target state, and the human and technical resources available to you for support after your application modernization project has been completed.
Take the Steps for Success
Ready to start on the path to modernizing your software with a practical approach? Using an Agile modernization approach with proper planning and the right people on your team will put you on the path to success. The development team at QAT Global is experienced in modernizing legacy applications and working with clients who have complex environments. Put your next modernization project on the path to success, start the conversation with our development team today.
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