What’s on the Application Modernization Menu?

  • Posted by: Recode

Businesses, in their quest to remain competitive and satisfy rapidly evolving customer demands, are prioritizing their applications. On the agenda is “application modernization”. So, what does that mean?

In this article, we aim to delve into the options offered on the application modernization menu; while looking at their associated benefits and challenges.

This article should provide valuable insights into the application modernization landscape.

Why Modernize Applications?

IBM reports that modernizing cloud services, including applications and tools, can increase its value by an impressive 13 times. Foundry’s 2023 State of The CIO Study further reinforces this concept, uncovering that updating applications and infrastructures ranks as the third most crucial objective for Chief Information Officers (CIOs), highlighting its pivotal position in organizational strategies. Additionally, a remarkable 90% of companies face limitations in fully utilizing digital technologies due to their dependence on obsolete legacy applications. The imperative to upgrade applications is not a mere recommendation, but now imperative to effectively navigate the intricacies of the modern digital era. It lays the essential foundation for heightened agility, effectiveness, and innovation, positioning companies to prosper amidst fluctuating market demands and technological progressions.

Items for Application Modernization

Cloud Enablement

Cloud computing has changed how companies build, implement, and maintain applications. By using cloud services, companies can lower the costs of operations, make scaling easier, and make app performance better. Enabling the cloud means sensitively updating old applications and moving them to the cloud for better costs, and growth capacity, managing resources well, and protecting data. Moving from usual on-site hardware and programs to an adaptable, less expensive setup on the cloud lowers IT staff’s work and lets businesses concentrate more on their core activities.

Mobile Friendliness

Mobile devices becoming ubiquitous has altered the way individuals use and engage with apps. It is now essential for organizations to ensure mobile compatibility as part of application modernization. Today’s software needs to be designed for mobiles so that it works well on different phones and tablets. Developers need to adopt a mobile-first mindset to create these applications. Implementing mobile-friendly features not only improves user satisfaction but also expands the organization’s reach to a wider audience, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and business growth.

Adoption of Microservices

Instead of making big, hard-to-manage monolithic applications, businesses are moving to use microservices. This way gives them smaller application components that can work on specific application elements, grow bigger easily, and be updated without much trouble. Applications are split into distinct, independent services, with each one fulfilling a particular function. This method allows for easier upkeep and rapid release of updates, which makes the applications more flexible in response to the evolving requirements of businesses. This permits companies to apply various programming languages and frameworks for each service, which encourages flexibility and creativity.

UI/UX Revamp

A simple-to-use interface and smooth user experience are very important for an app to be successful. Old and difficult interfaces might stop users from wanting to use the app, making them have bad opinions about it. So, updating the UI/UX of old software is very important when making it modern. Adding a new user interface that’s easy to use and navigate can really make users happier and work better. As mobile technology gets better, businesses need to make their UI/UX work well on various screens and gadgets. Updating the UI/UX is a chance to include modern design styles and make the application look better visually.

Data Migration and Integration

Legacy applications often have data stored in outdated or incompatible formats, making it challenging to integrate with modern applications and systems. To tackle these problems, companies need to put resources into carrying out data transfer and combining processes as essential pieces of their updating plans. This process includes moving information from legacy systems to new databases and making sure it works well with the latest technology. When data migration and integration are done properly, companies can fully use their updated software’s features and make good decisions by using correct and up-to-date information.

Potential Obstacles to Modernization

Undertaking this transformative journey necessitates a thorough consideration of the significant obstacles that frequently come hand-in-hand with modernizing applications. vFunction’s 2022 Report, “Why App Modernization Projects Fail – What Architects Want Executives to Know,” underscores several substantial challenges looming on the horizon of modernization. Chief among them include: the process is complex and time-intensive; over half (58%) of software and architecture leaders confront an average project duration of 16 months, while a notable portion (27%) grapples with timelines surpassing two years. Secondly, a heavy financial burden casts its shadow as almost three-quarters (74%) of respondents state the average cost for a typical application modernization endeavor is $1.5 million. The inherent risks associated with these initiatives present an ominous threat; indeed, 80% of survey participants confirm they have suffered at least one failure related to app modernization. These obstacles underscore the critical importance of meticulous planning, strategic foresight, and robust execution frameworks to successfully navigate the modernization journey.


In summary, modernizing applications is essential for businesses to stay competitive in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape. This publication explores various methodologies for modernization, including enabling cloud functionality, optimizing mobile accessibility, adopting microservices, enhancing UI/UX design, and orchestrating data migration/integration efforts. While these techniques offer significant advantages, it is important to consider potential obstacles highlighted by vFunction’s findings, such as complexity, investment scale, and the risk of project failure.

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Author: Recode

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