Introduction

The most obvious obstacle for modernizing legacy applications is the inability of an organization to provide the foundational elements such as infrastructure and frameworks for continuous delivery etc. that are needed for containerization and automation. Organizations must be aware of their systems’ strengths and capabilities in order to modernize seamlessly. IT Modernization might sound like an easy task, but there are a lot of factors that decide the outcome. Not all technologies are suitable for all businesses and it is important for them to choose the right one to achieve their business goals. Modernization must always be a means to an end because adopting new technologies should positively transform the business of the organization. A study conducted in 2019 states that around 40% of IT budgets are spent on IT modernization initiatives. This is because building a continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) framework is a priority for organizations that are in the early stages of IT modernization. Organizations cite IT silos, lack of governance and compliance procedures, gaps in skills and budget constraints as the top challenges to IT modernization. These challenges point to some key factors that organizations must address while considering modernization of legacy systems.

Migration tools must be compatible with the current technology

Development teams can get overwhelmed by the complexities while migrating to the cloud or adopting a new software architecture. This is the reason why companies should use migration tools that facilitate the process. Quick and easy implementation of technologies is essential in order avoid affecting the current operations. Migrations are made easier by migration tools and pre-made modules that allow companies to migrate them seamlessly. However, organizations can always choose to rewrite the entire code for their applications based on the new architecture. This can cost you a lot of money and resources, but sometimes custom made applications will give you a competitive edge.

ROI Analysis

Modernization of legacy systems is not a simple task. Therefore it is important for businesses to do a thorough analysis and make sure the task will be profitable in the future. Any investment done by an organization must be compatible with the long and short-term business goals. Calculating the Return On Investment is an objective approach to make decisions. The decision to modernize legacy systems involves taking into account factors such as needs of the company, cloud compliance, and the risks and constraints. Aspire has developed a simple ROI calculator for companies that are in a dilemma as to whether modernizing or not. It will help you assess your situation and make appropriate decisions.

Cost analysis

“Maintaining legacy systems” costs more than “Modernizing legacy systems”. Large organizations usually spend a fortune on just maintaining legacy systems. This is because they were built for needs that are no longer relevant. In an effort to modernize, organizations must refrain from replacing their entire IT infrastructure. Instead, they must resort to only modernizing applications that are deemed critical to business. Doing so will save them a lot of time and resources.

Budget availability

IT budgets of an organization must have sufficient funds allocated for modernization. 44% of companies cite competing priorities as the top obstacles to IT modernization. A good fiscal plan that recognizes the need to modernize and links it with business transformation is mandatory for successful modernization. Budget constraints during half way into the modernization process will seriously hamper the performance of the application and make things complicated. Lack of a clear modernization strategy is the reason for companies not provisioning well for modernization and this is one of the main reasons companies abandon modernization half way through. Budget unavailability can ruin modernization efforts and ultimately result in loss of business.

Risks and Time constraints

Business risks that can arise due to obstruction of operations during modernization and organizations must be prepared to deal with them. Constraints on the other hand can range from low budgets to deadlines for releasing. While insufficient funds can risk abandonment, not having the proper infrastructure for automation can delay the releases. While the use of frameworks and automation can cut short the time to modernize, there might still be time constraints and risks associated with modernization. Legacy systems that evolved over years usually are complex and reengineering can be a daunting task. Organizations must have a foolproof strategy to enable modernization in a seamless manner.

Availability of documentation

Any modernization strategy must have a good documentation process automated. Companies must build a repository of meta-data for the applications that are being modernized in order to locate and process the information about the application in the future. Automated documentation can save a huge amount of efforts for the documentation team and there are platforms that allow you to generate detailed documentation from the extracted meta-data. A well thought out documentation process will help you to identify redundancies and evaluate the modernization process in the future.

Adherence to overall tools, strategy and compliance

In order to step into a higher maturity level that adds value to business, companies must adhere to the right strategy and use quality tools that are easy to use. Apart from these, having modernized compliance will help you automate, streamline and optimize overall compliance management. Modernization is all about choosing the right technology that are in line with the business goals. The migration tools chosen and the decisions made along the processes must be in line with the strategy and teams must comply with the procedures that govern it.

Ready to modernize your IT infrastructure? Learn how Aspire Systems can help you improve scalability and productivity.

Sriram Sundaresan