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Application Modernization- What It Means in The Post COVID World

The COVID-19 put enormous stress on every business throughout the US and rest of the world. The post pandemic business landscape looks entirely different from what businesses had experienced before. By now most of the business leaders have digitized some part of their businesses and are considering application modernization to cater to customers facing mobility restrictions during COVID. 

Read on this blog to understand the impact of pandemic on modernization and what it means for enterprises envisaging growth in the time of uncertainty.

Impact of COVID on Application Modernization Market 

The recent pandemic has brought about a significant change across every industry sphere be it retail or education, health or energy. Now companies are enabled with remote working setups and remote data access points, keeping productivity declines at bay. Businesses have offered all the required infrastructure and security support to their clients as well as equipped their workforce to keep up the business continuity during COVID. Such crucial factors have led the organizations to ramp up their migration to modern infrastructures where they can advance their software to meet evolving customer sentiments and business needs.

“95% of businesses say they are accelerating change organization-wide by focusing on innovation.”- Accenture

The rapid transition to digital technologies driven by increased online operations, faster transactions, and speedy contactless delivery will continue to accelerate and stay for the long term.  Indeed, recent data by Global Surveys reflect that some companies have covered 5 years milestone in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of just 8 weeks.

What Does Application Modernization Mean for Enterprises?

To enterprises, application modernization means creating new business value from existing business applications by implementing new features and capabilities. This could be launching new business models, solutions, optimize business processes and bring resilience that caters to new requirements (both external customers and internal customers i.e., in-house functions & employees).

Maintaining and managing legacy applications to respond to current customer needs can be time consuming and resource intensive. It becomes more laborious when the software turned outdated that it may not even show compatibility with the new system.

Related: Legacy Application Modernization Doesn’t Mean Starting Over

App modernization process decomposes old applications into its individual functions or services so that each service runs on its own, without hampering the entire application. These individual services are wrapped in containers that make the framework agile, scalable, faster-to-deploy, and OS independent.

App modernization entails redesigning and migration of legacy application to latest technology design like microservices, migrating from physical servers to cloud computing, and transforming the delivery from waterfall to DevOps & agile workflows.

“90% of businesses and IT teams say being agile and resilient should be the top priority; their organizations need to ramp up their digital transformation using cloud as the basic backbone.” Tech Vision 2021 by Accenture.

App Modernization in Action

For an example how app modernization benefited an organization, let’s take a quick look at Icreon’s work with one of the largest not-for-profit standards organization, ASTM.

ASTM International that develops and publishes standards for a large range of industries, was facing challenges to grow their networking opportunities in the modern digital age. The organization was rethinking their business model to keep business continuity as a pioneer in the standards industry. To help them achieve this goal, Icreon has pivoted their business model from a publishing organization to a SaaS based organization. The team redesigned the old databases of the system using microservices architecture. More than 1800 legacy databases transitioned to Postgres, MSSQL, DocumentDB, MongoDB and S3 buckets. The latest data model brings a lot of flexibility in the business model and provides greater insights to departments of various industries.      

Related: Which One to Choose: Cloud Native and Microservices Versus Traditional Development

Critical Levers to Look at When Building Modernization Strategy

Changing business rules and applications demand new functionalities to thrive in the competitive uncertainty brought by pandemic. This means pivoting all aspects of businesses from improving agility to boost process efficiency, improving performance and scalability to facilitating security and support.  

By migrating legacy architecture to the cloud, businesses can include the latest functionalities that align with current and futuristic business goals. 

As enterprises bring attention to application modernization post-pandemic, here are some critical levers to keep in mind while building application modernization strategy.

Put the Customers First with Customer Experience Transformation

Enterprises should focus on the current needs of their customers and provide them with a unique digital customer experience. This could mean implementing different functionalities to meet the growing needs of customers and make the journey as effortless as possible. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen amazing examples of how banks have moved to remote sales and become digitally native to make flexible payment arrangements for loans. On the retail front, grocery stores have turned online ordering and delivery platforms to ensure contactless delivery and curbside pickup for the safety of their customers; art galleries have transformed into virtual viewing rooms to enable personalized art-viewing experience. Doctors have started practicing telehealth, aided by more flexible regulation. All these processes have been possible using modernization of legacy systems that lend digital self-service and equipped with omnichannel sales capabilities.  

Now More Than Ever, Cloud Makes Most Sense

Cloud migration (life and shift model) that lifts the existing application stack to the cloud environment, counts among the most common application modernization strategies. Cloud offers multifarious benefits including on demand scalability, security, improved performance, and lower maintenance cost. By leveraging cloud, companies can build and deploy applications faster and scale the application whenever the business requirement evolves. In addition, applications migrated to cloud can be rearchitected and rebuilt using latest technologies like Containers, Microservices and DevOps which extend the life of the application. The cloud native approach also makes sense to data integration and sharing between the systems using APIs, thus fueling up the productivity and efficiency of internal teams.   

Might Helpful: Legacy System Migration to the Cloud - Is Your Organization Ready?

Focus on Futuristic Platforms

With cloud-based platforms like AWS and Azure, software development has become fast and cost-effective. Developers can build integrated, complex, and custom applications using modern technology stacks and infrastructure. Development on these platforms offer agility, adaptability, and flexibility that a business needs to respond to current disruptions. Moreover, platform-as-a-service (PaaS), a cloud model that supports complete development and deployment with resource provisioning, enable developers to build simple cloud-based application to complex, cloud-enabled enterprise level applications. Businesses can simply get the computing resources from the vendor on a pay-per-use basis ad access them over the internet.

Rise of Low/No Code Development

In the post COVID times, businesses are presented with the challenge of keeping up the business continuity at full speed along with adaptability to new changes. Software products and solutions that would generally take months or years to come to the market had the urgency to wrap up in weeks. Now one can imagine the volume of requests and workload that IT departments are facing during peak time of pandemic. But what if the developers’ role gets shortened in building and deploying software? Enter no code/low code development platforms that empower developers’ community to accelerate the development and deployment of new applications.

According to Forrester, 84% enterprises have moved to low code development because it offers tremendous benefits such as less IT interference and faster time to market.

As mentioned, it is an ideal solution for simple, internal applications that can be built on the Microsoft Power platform without much interference from IT team.

Modernize and Thrive

While businesses continue to navigate the COVID-19 challenges, they are presented with promising opportunities to build something better. In the modernization journey, they should consider customer needs, employee needs, tech stack requirements in mind to scale their business further and achieve tremendous growth.

Now is the right time to kick off the app modernization to provide the scalability and agility to business and ensure better preparedness for another uncertainty. 

Need help in your modernization project? Consult with us today to take your business to new heights. 

Questions?