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How to maximize your return on investments with application modernization?

To comply with modern business requirements, your IT environment should meet certain standards about agility, flexibility and security. However, meeting those standards can be quite challenging when budgets are cut, and people are scarce. In the meantime, moving to the cloud almost became obligatory. With our application modernization assessment, we help you implement solutions that make a lasting impact. You can take advantage of all cloud related benefits and don’t need to throw away your past investments.

Still fit for purpose

In adapting an application modernization strategy, it should be key to determine where your organization’s biggest IT challenges are situated. In most cases, IT tries to meet business demands on a budget that is not adequate. Innovation is crucial, but so are your legacy applications. Most of them don’t require high modernization budgets to keep them still fit for purpose. So simply throwing them out would be a huge waste of time and money.

Although it is important to step away from applications that are monolithic – running on physical servers and using waterfall style development – rewriting all your code is an option not to be taken lightly. You need to make efficiency and cost considerations. By rewriting, the costs and time commitment required is notoriously likely to be underestimated. Rewriting may seem like a good idea at first because customers are demanding more than your legacy system can provide. In its current format however, the only potential justification for rewriting is if the costs of maintaining the application have become greater than the costs of rewriting the application. Luckily, there are many more possibilities for application modernization than starting from scratch.

Determine the right modernization approach

Devoteam’s approach is a combination of Gartner’s and our very own expertise and best practices.

The first step is an application portfolio assessment based on the six main drivers for modernization. From the business side we check if the application is still fit for purpose. Does it still add value? Can it quickly be adapted to new market demands? So more specific, what is the software agility or how easy is it to modernize the application. When applications are not on par with the demands of the digital business, they end up as a liability. Next to the technology side, we assess on application costs, complexity and potential risks. Or, what is the software resilience and the software elegance of the application? The portfolio assessment makes use of an objective code-scanning tool (from CAST) and is extended with interview questions.

Based on the results of the first step, together with you we make up an application priority list. If needed, we fine-tune your application modernization strategy, which should be in line with your cloud strategy. Note that the modernization can start on-premise. Private cloud is a valid cloud service provider. Out of this list, we select one or few applications for the next step.

In the second step we perform a deeper application assessment on the applications with the highest modernization priority. Based on the drivers we determine the best modernization option or a combination of several options:

  1. MODERNIzE: replace, rebuild, re-architect, refactor or encapsulate your application.
  2. RATIONALIzE: replatform or rehost your application.
  3. RETIRE: kill your application, while archiving business data as required.

Look beyond

Note that applications might be clustered, which requires extra steps before the actual application modernization. Next to that, we can have a thorough look at the associated IT infrastructure, application delivery pipeline and teams’ organization. This might result in extra recommendations. A bigger application can have several modernization iterations, while quick wins on other applications are sliced in between.

When all elements are known, we make a budget estimation – the potential impact in terms of costs – and a suggestion for the modernization backlog as a final piece in the assessment report for approval.

After approval by the necessary stakeholders, the modernization backlog is used as input by the different implementation teams for execution. Devoteam can support you in the implementation of the backlog.

An ongoing journey

Finally, it should be clear that application modernization is a recurring journey. Even applications in the cloud need to be regularly assessed if they are still fit for purpose. It is of crucial importance that your IT contributes to the strategic goals of your business in order to become more agile and thus adapt to a new reality. The faster you respond to new challenges and opportunities, the higher your chances are to survive and make your business thrive.

Ready to modernize your application landscape? Our experts help you adapt, transform and grow. Reach out to DevOps Transformation Coach Patrik Schrey via email or phone.