Application Modernization: IT Infrastructure Investments for the SaaS Era

March 30, 2015

In an IT cost management environment where writing down technical debt is paramount, application modernization is emerging as a successful strategy for extending the life of business applications and rebuilding the IT infrastructure in small batches, over time.

Put simply, application modernization is the redevelopment of an existing software application into a modern architecture so the business can continue to use and get value from the app. The transformation extends the value of existing software applications and data while allowing data reuse and improving user experience.

Why modernize?

Maybe it’s the software that powers your business or another software application that is used widely at the enterprise. It may have been built 10 years ago or three years ago, but it was designed to work with the existing technology available back then. It was designed to power the business and allow efficiency and growth.

Once an app lives within the organization long enough, it becomes critical. But it also hinders efficiency and growth in ways that go undetected—until they become undeniably obvious.

Suddenly, customers complain that the app doesn’t work on a tablet computer or a mobile phone. Or partners are frustrated because the app doesn’t have APIs they can connect to. Employees pester IT with requests to fix application performance because new browsers don’t display the application accurately. Vendors no longer support the technology used to develop the app.

At some point, IT also has problems maintaining the application, after years of maintaining it with a limited budget and unlimited demand for new functionality. Now the company starts accumulating technical debt: complexities and resulting inefficiencies that result from poor software because of budget or time constraints. Additionally, the technology selected to develop the application is no longer supported by the vendor.

The anti-rip-and-replace strategy

At some point, the application code has to be rewritten in a new architecture and language. This is not the same as tearing out software (or hardware) and replacing it with something new. It’s about renovating the IT architecture from the inside out, rewiring the circuitry so that the application works for the modern needs of the organization and its customers.

We think application modernization holds the key to reducing technical debt and building a strong foundation for IT. Do you agree? Drop us a line.

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