6.25 min to readApplication Services

Your complete guide to application modernisation

Alejandro Ocampo SabogalApplication Services Service Delivery Lead LATAM

Today’s organisations rely on a complex mix of applications ranging from custom applications to on-premises and software-as-a-service providers. Many also depend on legacy applications to drive their most important business processes, including enterprise resource planning, HR, finance, and sales. As outdated applications fail to keep pace, companies must invest in modernising these applications while managing the complexities of their larger hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

Companies have spent years, or even decades, building their technology systems. Now, organisations need solutions that help increase agility, introduce modern features and capabilities, and align application delivery with the realities of a remote, on-the-go workforce.

Traditional approaches to application management and modernisation have proven ineffective and costly, and make it difficult to stay on the cutting edge. Today’s leading businesses are modernising applications to increase business process efficiency, drive innovation, and bring new products to market faster than ever before. Here’s a closer look at how the right partner can help make your digital transformation a reality.

The basics of application modernisation

According to research from Spiceworks, 64% of organisations report that updating legacy systems is a core IT spend driver. Legacy application modernization is a process where organisations assess their current applications ecosystem, determine performance gaps and improvement opportunities, and then develop strategies for introducing modern features and capabilities.

Different paths exist to application modernisation, helping to introduce the latest functionalities and better align performance, security, resiliency, elasticity, modularity, interoperability challenges and the automation of operational tasks with your needs. Depending on your business goals, and the current state of the application you are modernizing, paths to consider include:

  • Replacing the application with a software-as-a-service solution and ensuring a successful data migration.
  • Taking a “lift and shift” approach and redeploying the application as-is on a cloud host to modernize features and increase overall agility.
  • Re-platform an application with slight coding changes to make it suitable to a cloud PaaS, and with this enabling the ability to thrive in a cloud environment. The re-platform approach (if the application can be re-platformed) is a low hanging fruit because is a short term initiative, a quick win.
  • Re-architecting (or refactoring) applications is a more intensive approach to modernizing, using techniques for decomposing existing legacy applications into microservices (that later can be containerized), gaining mainly business agility, stability, and the possibility of supporting unexpected peaks thanks to cloud services.
  • Rebuilding the application as a cloud-native application to fully leverage cloud capabilities and be able to have an application that responds to the actual and expected business demands. Rebuilding or refactoring is the real goal for our clients, but also involves the greatest level of effort.

An experienced partner can help you assess your goals, budget, and timelines to determine which path is right for a specific application or your overall technology application management strategy.

Why application modernisation is a business imperative

Aging infrastructure hampers your digital transformation. Without the right infrastructure, you’re slowing down your time to market and impeding your ability to deliver agile employee productivity and employee experiences. Staying competitive requires access to agile applications that can make the most of emerging solutions such as automation, cloud re-platforming, and data processing to drive growth. Whether it’s time to update aging systems or making a holistic commitment to ongoing efforts, application modernization is the foundation of a long-term, successful IT strategy.

The benefits of application modernization

Organizations that embrace application modernisation capture significant benefits. By increasing the velocity at which you can provide access to new features and capabilities, you’ll increase staff productivity and offer an improved customer experience. The most important benefits include:

  • Cost savings – Application modernisation reduces expenses by eliminating the need to support custom applications, lowering hardware costs, and capturing the cost-savings benefits of cloud-based and hybrid IT strategies.
  • Introducing machine learning and automation – To help you with automating your operational tasks so you can free-up time to focus on other strategic core tasks.
  • Increase speed and agility – Your organisation’s ability to bring new digital experiences to market quickly is an important competitive advantage. Application modernisation simplifies the process of rolling out new features. Embracing application modernization supports agile technology strategies.
  • Support employee productivity – Whether they’re working remotely or they’re on-the-go, employees need greater flexibility in how and where they access applications, data, and workloads. Application modernisation can help you embrace a digital workspace that can flex, change, and grow with market and company shifts. Empower maximum employee productivity with cloud-based tools and solutions.
  • Improve your customer experience – In a digital-first world, the quality of your customer experience is everything. Delays, missing features, and other technology-related friction can send buyers to the competition. Modern customer-facing applications work seamlessly across devices, integrate in-demand features, and bring your carefully curated brand experience to digital platforms.

Discover the building blocks for modern applications

Application modernisation challenges

During application modernisation, organisations encounter challenges that include complexity and expense. Do you have the experience to conduct a strategic assessment, decouple a legacy application that’s heavily entwined with your other infrastructure, or determine the best path to modernisation? Navigating the process on your own can be challenging. The right partner, however, can help you overcome the challenges that come with modernisation and accelerate your digital transformation. Some of the biggest challenges include:

  • IT skills gap

    Many organisations struggle with an IT skills gap and a lack of availability of skills on the market. From the strategic know-how to navigate the modernization process to the DevOps skills to drive the operationalisation, it can be difficult and expensive to hire and retain the right talent.

  • Acces to tools and technology

    Successful modernisation initiatives, especially those that involve refactoring or rebuilding into a cloud-native state with DevOps microservices approach, requires access to specialised tools and technology.

  • Lack of support

    As applications age, technology partners may stop supporting them. Once application providers abandon an application they’re often unable or unwilling to advise on the modernisation process. These policies can leave your IT team unsupported as they attempt to navigate the process.

How SoftwareOne’s Application Services can support your strategy

While application modernisation is a crucial business priority, it can also be a daunting task. The right partner can help. SoftwareOne brings the industry’s leading talent with combined decades of experience to your application modernization project.

SoftwareOne’s Modern Application Advisory can help you conduct a strategic assessment, define the right application modernization roadmap for your crucial applications, and deliver streamlined execution for migrating applications to the cloud or re-coding legacy solutions.

We understand that technology roadmaps must drive business outcomes, and develops application strategies in the context of your most important objectives. Whether you need tactical support or require a partner to provide more in-depth support for a portfolio assessment and modernisation effort, our tried-and-tested approach helps you get new solutions to market. Working with a partner allows you to shorten time to market, control costs, and leverage industry best practices as you align your application portfolio with your critical business needs.

Final thoughts

Your competitors are already investing in their application modernisation initiatives. Now is the time to invest in bringing your most important applications up to speed, to enable the latest features and enhance agile delivery. But it’s important to remember that you don’t have to navigate application modernisation alone. An experienced partner can help you identify your most important business drivers, develop a customized plan based on your IT landscape, and provide project management, coding, and implementation support throughout the process.


Make your applications future-ready

Assess your application portfolio today and determine the best modernisation path for your priority applications. Contact us to set up an application services consultation today!

Make your applications future-ready

Assess your application portfolio today and determine the best modernisation path for your priority applications. Contact us to set up an application services consultation today!



Alejandro Ocampo Sabogal
Application Services Service Delivery Lead LATAM