Alternative Text Steve Pownall | 05 June 2020 |

Implementing the right strategy for application modernisation


Application Modernisation. Is it an industry buzzword or an essential step-change for your business? When faced with legacy systems, disparate technologies and the increasing demand for tailored experiences from your customers, application modernisation and the requirement for cloud technologies truly do become essential.


The benefits of digital transformation

When every organisation approaches digital transformation, it must be done so with key objectives and ultimate goals in mind, whether it is to:

  • Increase business value via new revenue streams and cost savings
  • Drive IT efficiency through optimisation
  • Unlock the power of data and integrate across environments
  • Leverage new technologies to create a competitive advantage
  • Ensure secure, resilient, compliant computer environments


Whilst transformation suggests a complete overhaul of current ways of working, business processes and key technology choices, in reality it is more a process of evolution as opposed to revolution. And this is where the importance of application modernisation comes to the fore.

During the recent IBM Think! Digital Conference the ongoing need for application modernisation was highlighted. So let’s look at some of the data, specifically around app growth.

In just three years’ time, by 2023, there is expected to be 500 million new digital apps and services. This brings with it multiple challenges for businesses, namely:

  • The increased difficulty to compete
  • The increased complexity to manage
  • The increased innovation and choice expected by consumers


In addition to this, by 2025, technical debt will continue to compound on top of existing technical debt, consuming more than 40% of the current IT budget.

For all businesses in the current economic climate, modernising applications is therefore a must to reduce costs and achieve digital readiness.


The right strategy for application modernisation

So, it’s clear application modernisation isn’t simply the next industry buzzword, it’s an essential process for businesses of today. But businesses of today are complex, they are evolving organisations that are fuelled by data and information and that involve large numbers of people interacting with diverse systems every day in order to produce key business outcomes.

Simplification and reducing this complexity is essential to elicit business change, with application modernisation being one of the first steps to begin a digital transformation journey. Often the complexity of an organisation manifests itself as the following:

  • Unique workloads and data needs
  • The dependence on legacy systems
  • The use of multiple clouds and vendors
  • The technology generation gap


As with any step-change in a business, application modernisation must be approached strategically. Here we can focus on some of the guiding principles detailing during a number of the presentations at Think! Digital, specifically the focus on modernising the core of your organisation and legacy software.

As a guide, organisations that are approaching this successfully are implementing a cloud transformation strategy and roadmap for optimum modernisation of their core using a range of approaches that can be used singularly or together, but which may include:

  • Rationalising and decommissioning 20% of their existing software
  • Replacing 10% with “as service solutions”
  • Modernising and migrating 50% to the cloud (consisting of hybrid multi-cloud IT) whether in the form of lift and shift, re-platforming, refactoring and re-architecting
  • Retaining 20% as is and hosting on traditional on-premises servers


Optimising the core, enables businesses to lower costs, unlock value and unleash digital experiences.

Lower costs:

By prioritising the right applications and optimising the core of their operation, businesses can drive efficiency, lower cost, automate ops, and reduce technical debt.

Unlock value:

By modernising applications, businesses can increase resiliency, maximise ROI, and unlock legacy workflows and data, as well as realising the operational benefits of clouds and containers.

Unleash digital experiences:

By leveraging data and AI to drive speed to market of new business models and capabilities (specifically cloud native solutions), businesses will accelerate their digital readiness for the future enjoying the benefits of scale and rapid deployment.

Crucially, for real digital transformation underpinned by application modernisation it is fundamental for businesses to be able to own their application modernisation and innovation journey.


IBM Cloud Pak for Applications

This is made possible through the use of IBM Cloud Pak for Applications, promising a faster, more secure way to move your core business applications to any cloud through enterprise-ready containerised solutions. Consisting of the following:

  • Ultimate flexibility: “Right-size” and modernise between the various WAS editions
  • Ultimate portability: Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4.2 for hybrid multicloud
  • Ultimate choice: Build new cloud-native apps on the broadest range of supported runtimes
  • Ultimate control: Empower teams to start quickly with increased productivity and enterprise governance


IBM have also recently announced the Accelerator for Application Modernisation, designed to reduce the overall effort and costs associated with application modernisation, through a series of tools designed to optimise the end-to-end modernisation journey.


Your application modernisation journey

The application modernisation journey will always be unique to the specific needs of your organisation whether there is a desire to increase business value via new revenue streams or to drive IT efficiency through optimisation, for example.

Whatever the goals of your organisation, change, optimisation and modernisation is essential to compete, grow and thrive.

If you’re keen to learn more about enhancing your business analytics, data and reporting, get in touch with the team today.

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