At a glance
The big picture: Modernizing applications can help companies take advantage of the latest technologies, streamline their operations, and stay ahead of the competition.
Why it matters: Outdated applications can limit productivity, hinder growth and negatively impact customer experience.
The bottom line: Application modernization is a wise investment for businesses seeking long-term success and a competitive edge in today’s fast-paced digital landscape. We share our top ten reasons why organizations should modernize their applications and how to measure success after modernization
What modernization value drivers mean for leaders
Business and IT leaders can articulate business cases for modernization efforts by linking them to key value drivers that modernization efforts are known to deliver. The strongest business cases cite multiple benefits, and it isn’t unusual for application modernization projects to add value in three or more related categories of benefit. The modernization drivers listed below are synergistic: it isn’t unusual —it’s desirable — for initiatives to deliver outcomes aligned with several of these drivers, all at once.
A focus on the why — anticipated outcomes and specific impacts to clearly-defined personas — goes a long way to making a winning case for a modernization program. The value drivers presented here encompass concerns that are historically IT’s as well as matters that traditionally only interested the business.
When considering application modernization, leaders will want to think about modern perspectives as well.
- Modern leaders have learned to think beyond their silos of IT and business.
- When business leaders once viewed IT as merely a cost center, a more modern attitude sees the potential competitive advantages IT has to offer.
- Where IT leaders once focused only on technology, they now add greater value by relating technology’s possibilities to business outcomes and competencies.
- All leaders will want to concern themselves with financial, operational and business benefits to ensure alignment to the business outcomes and strategy.
- Leaders collaborate to spark new ideas for modernization as well as teaming up to spur innovation initiatives.
Modernization’s value drivers
To make a business case for application modernization, companies need to identify the reasons and benefits of modernizing their applications. Here are the top ten reasons why organizations should modernize their applications and tips on how to measure their success:
- To streamline business operations. Innovative and modernized applications can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of day-to-day business operations, resulting in increased productivity and profitability.
- To improve user experience. Modern applications are designed via user-centric approaches, providing a seamless and intuitive experience for employees and customers.
- To gain competitive advantage. Organizations that embrace innovation and modernization will achieve competitive advantage in the market, differentiating themselves from competitors and attracting new business.
- To improve data management. Innovative applications improve data management to ensure data security, accuracy and accessibility.
- To increase collaboration. Modern applications often feature collaboration tools, allowing employees to work together in real-time and streamline communication.
- To achieve or enhance scalability. Modernized applications can be easily scaled as the organization grows, ensuring long-term sustainability and growth.
- To save money. Implementing innovative and modernized applications can help organizations reduce costs by streamlining processes, reducing manual labor and minimizing the need for expensive hardware and software.
- To become more agile. Modern applications offer greater business agility, allowing organizations to adapt rapidly to changing business needs and respond quickly to new market demands.
- To improve decision-making. Innovative applications can provide real-time data and insights, allowing leaders to make informed decisions and drive growth.
- To build positive brand perception. Organizations that invest in innovation and modernization will project a positive image to customers and other stakeholders, demonstrating a commitment to growth and progress.
Readers may notice retiring aging systems are missing from this list. Old and obsolete software creates operational and cybersecurity risks, which increases technical debt. Replacing end-of-life systems, however, may be considered more as routine shoring up and keeping up. Application modernization, on the other hand, delivers transforming benefits and outcomes.
As leaders consider modernization efforts, it’s critical to articulate the benefits and outcomes expected from these initiatives. This helps not only with establishing the business case to secure funding but also with measuring success after projects are delivered. Every business has its unique set of shortcomings and vulnerabilities: what change is most needed? Consider customer and employee engagement, conversion and retention of customers, adoption rates and productivity gains, system performance, time to market for new products and opportunities to save money through cost reductions and streamlined operations. In addition, companies can measure the time and effort required to develop and deploy new features, functionality or applications before and after modernization and compare these metrics to industry benchmarks.
Case study: A client realizes multiple modernization benefits
The world’s largest marina owner and operator, with more than 100 locations in its portfolio, was laser-focused on growth through acquisition while enhancing the member experience in this high-end market. Due to its suite of off-the-shelf software, this client was experiencing issues scaling and extending their custom software obtained through acquisitions. Each new acquisition incurred downtime, an inability to maintain separate build processes for the front and back ends, production and stability issues and long-term planning challenges. Improved user experience and business agility, a gained competitive edge, creation of a positive brand and the streamlining of business operations were benefits the client had hoped for from their modernization efforts. Embarking on this technology modernization journey focused on both application and data/operational improvements, the client aimed to deliver these benefits without adding technical debt and exacerbating existing issues.
To support the unique business model, the client set out to develop its own marina management system that allows for both optimized marina operations and improved member services. Besides resulting benefits such as a reduction in release cycle time, support volume, and over $3.5 million in capital and support development costs, the client’s custom system is the first in the industry to feature multi-marina management, an impressive improvement over existing industry-standard, single-marina platforms. Moreover, as a company that’s growing aggressively in a challenging luxury market, this client has embraced technology, modernizing its current operations and positioning itself to accomplish its goal to become the number one marina company in the world.
Making the case, measuring the outcome
Leaders from IT and the business alike can link business cases to several key value drivers that modernization efforts are well-known for delivering. By focusing on business outcomes, these leaders can not only articulate modernization’s business cases successfully, but they can also measure program effectiveness after the solutions are deployed.
Read the results of our new Global IT Executive Survey: The Innovation vs. Technical Debt Tug-of-War.
To learn more about our application, innovation and modernization solutions, contact us.