Getting Value from Modernizing Your Business Application in 2023

Bob Quillin February 13, 2023

As we settle into 2023, today is the perfect time for your organization to start considering modernization in the year ahead. it’s essential that organizations regularly upgrade their operations to remain competitive. Keeping systems current and up-to-date also facilitates stability, growth and higher levels of success.

That said, the variety of options available for app modernization can make it difficult to determine the best course of action. At the same time, the fact that there are so many options suggests there are many innovative minds helping make the process faster and more straightforward. So, if you’re among the many CIOs, CTOs, senior developers, application architects, and system integrators pondering ways to modernize your apps this year, this article is for you.

The Case for Modernizing Your Business Applications

Propelling most digital transformations is the acknowledgment by executive-level managers of the pivotal function of technology platforms in accelerating growth. Of course, most digital transformation projects are focused on migrating infrastructure and apps to the cloud. Nevertheless, indispensable legacy systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, mainframe systems, Lotus Notes, and Microsoft’s SharePoint have been generally excluded from such projects.

While it may seem counterintuitive for organizations to hold onto legacy systems that are problematic and costly to maintain, these organizations value the familiarity and dependability of their legacy systems. But those seemingly beneficial qualities are greatly negated by a lack of features and flexibility. In addition, most legacy systems require specialized skill sets to manage them—skill sets that are steadily diminishing throughout most industries.

Many organizations that delay app modernization presumably find it more challenging to assess its value compared to measuring the value of other business priorities. However, modernizing internal legacy apps greatly enhances customer experience and business operations. 

Incorporating microservices, for example, facilitates persistent integration and ongoing delivery. This makes trying out new ideas and conducting rollbacks quick and painless. The microservice architecture achieves this by extending cloud support, though not necessarily exclusive to cloud computing.

According to a recent HubSpot article, cloud integration platforms break down software silos, improving collaboration, increasing visibility, and enhancing cost control. HubSpot reported that business departments using individual applications and services cause silos to develop quickly. 

Left unchecked, these department disconnects are increasing. Recent statistics indicated by HubSpot show that large organizations typically use around 175 cloud-based applications, while smaller organizations use 73. To bridge this digital divide and allow IT teams to monitor and manage heterogeneous apps from a centralized system, organizations are seeking to modernize their legacy systems.

What To Expect in 2023 for Technology and Cloud Modernization

Business relevancy wasn’t an issue many conventional tech leaders invested much thought or energy into at one time. Before digital modernization became a hot-button topic, organizations addressed business and tech alignment in two distinct ways:

  • Horizontally. Organizations arranged IT teams according to their various skill sets, such as coding, custom development, and business analytics, among others. Additionally, they would loosely support all necessary operational areas.
  • Vertically. Organizations dedicated IT teams to aid various departments, such as finance, marketing, sales, security, inventory, etc.

Over the past couple of years, many enterprise IT teams began developing nearly diagonal models, employing the most suitable of both strategies. In a diagonal model, the cloud provides a horizontal technology foundation accessible to any employee. Additionally, organizations are able to build on top of that foundation as they see fit. This restructuring process compels organizations and IT teams to cooperate in developing better ways of operating across the board.

Pivoting From Cloud Migration Toward Cloud Modernization

Over the past decade, cloud computing has gone from being merely a trend to being a megatrend. However, trends are rarely a necessity and are most typically short-lived due to their inclination toward style rather than functionality. Many experts have long argued that cloud computing transcends far beyond a trend and is a necessity.  

When it comes to cloud computing, as long as there is an Internet, it will only become more of a necessity for public and private users. In other words, unless another Carrington Event occurs in our lifetime, cloud computing is poised to become as integral to organizational operations as electricity.

Deloitte reported at the end of 2020 that nearly 70% of CIOs viewed cloud migration as one of their top IT spending drivers in 2020. Deloitte supported this by noting that the increased sales of data centers in Q2 2020 increased the revenue growth of the three biggest semiconductor companies by 51%. 

Nonetheless, while companies find it easy to invest in data centers, sifting through the multitude of options for implementing data migration complicates the process. But it doesn’t end there.

Many organizations finally bit the bullet in 2022 and made a 2023 New Year’s resolution to migrate to the cloud. As most business leaders know, as soon as you have the funds and resources to upgrade an aspect of your operation, the next innovative solution hits the market. 

Trying to keep your company up-to-date starts to feel more like a game of Whac-A-Mole. As we’ve written in the past, it will only become increasingly essential to think beyond cloud migration throughout the 2020s.

By the time the 2030s roll around, many businesses will find it nearly impossible to provide consumers with any sort of value without cloud modernization. Cloud migration is only a step toward the ultimate goal, which is modernization and future-proofing. Replicating legacy technology in cloud environments may seem sufficient at the moment, but this will certainly wain the closer we get to 2030.

2023 will be a year that more leaders realize that even minor modernization projects require the adoption of cloud-native technologies. Of course, microservices are requisite for adopting cloud-native technologies. Once the growing pains of all this have subsided, the scalability and flexibility provided by cloud modernization will help enterprise IT teams innovate, develop, and deliver both faster and more efficiently. Not only will your customer experience have notable improvements, but your organization will be able to collect data across the totality of your business.

Shifting to Data-Driven Decision-Making With Cloud Computing

It’s safe to say that any forward-thinking enterprise wants to evolve into a dynamic data-driven company. As they say, the wars of the future will revolve around data, not oil. We already see this unfolding with private data firms like Palantir analyzing the Ukraine conflict. The U.S.-based company develops software that coordinates satellite imagery to assist the US military in monitoring conflicts and various threats globally.

“Palantir’s software is crucial during bad times for governments to handle the massive amounts of data they need to make a change,” the firm stated in a self-published press release. What pertinence does this have on the topic at hand, you might be wondering? 

If data holds such value to governments and possesses enough power to influence geopolitics, imagine the benefits data offers companies that use it strategically in business. This is why we believe that the algorithmic enterprise will no longer be an ideation but a tangible reality.

Pivoting from gut-feeling analytics to purely data-driven analytics requires a robust, dynamic cloud foundation. The cloud offers the high level of computing power required for enterprise-level analytics. That computing power comes from awesome innovations such as unsupervised artificial intelligence, data mining, machine learning, and predictive models. In addition to that, cloud platforms assist enterprise leaders in democratizing data access.

Most importantly, various types of data will become available to more employees and departments besides IT. The end result will be your teams tapping into treasure troves of data-driven sagacity leading to them making the best decisions most if not all of the time.

Provide Value Points by Modernizing Your Business Application

Gartner published a report predicting that spending on cloud projects will be over 50% of IT budgets by 2025 compared to 41% in 2022. This increase in cloud investment has resulted in many more organizations launching app modernization projects. If you’re considering, planning, or beginning to modernize your business application, you will want to ensure that you get the most value from your modernization efforts.

Michael Warrilow, research vice president at Gartner, stated:

“The shift to the cloud has only accelerated over the past two years due to COVID-19, as organizations responded to a new business and social dynamic […] technology and service providers that fail to adapt to the pace of cloud shift face increasing risk of becoming obsolete or, at best, being relegated to low-growth markets.”

In today’s cut-throat market, being relegated to a low-growth market is often a warning sign of becoming obsolete. To prevent this, it’s important to extract as much value as possible from modernizing your business application. 

In other words, it might not always be enough to go through the process without establishing value points particularly critical to your company. Modernization shouldn’t be approached as merely doing the minimum to get by. The value points enterprises most commonly concentrate on include improved scalability, increased release frequencies, better business agility, boosted engineering velocity, and more adequate levels of security.

The vFunction Architectural Observability Platform helps many organizations properly formulate their modernization strategies. It’s a purpose-built modernization assessment platform for decision-makers, empowering them to evaluate technical debt, risk, and complexity. Request a demo today to see for yourself how we can assist with your transformation.