Your Guide to Building a Strong Application Modernization Strategy

September 2, 2021 - by Synoptek

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Organizations that have successfully embarked on the digital transformation journey sooner or later realize the need to modernize their legacy applications to drive the intended results from their transformation efforts. Application modernization is not just necessary to improve the efficiency and security of their existing IT landscape; it is also critical to respond to new requirements with agility. Read on to learn what a good application modernization strategy entails, how you can build one, the challenges that may arise, and the steps you need to take to overcome them.

The Benefits of an Application Modernization Strategy

Despite the digital era that we currently live in, many organizations today continue to struggle to get full value of their legacy, on-premise enterprise systems. Establishing an application modernization strategy is a great way to make applications agile and elastic while maximizing their capabilities. By considering application modernization as an integral part of the larger digital transformation strategy, you can easily achieve your goals for transformative IT and business outcomes. Listed below are some compelling benefits of an application modernization strategy:

  • Improve the capabilities and performance of legacy applications and enhance business agility and speed
  • Enhance application integration capabilities, so they can seamlessly work in cohesion with other systems in the IT ecosystem
  • Boost the stability and efficiency of the application landscape while minimizing maintenance time, effort, and cost
  • Improve user experience through UI/UX enhancement and boost workforce productivity and efficiency
  • Enhance the security of the application landscape through the implementation of necessary encryption and access control mechanisms

Building a Strong Application Modernization Strategy

Legacy systems, although integral to the functioning of any business, are not prepared for the pace and scale of digital change. Not only are they incapable of meeting the demands of today; they also lack the security and integration capabilities that the modern world demands. This makes building a strong application modernization strategy critical to improve the underlying functionality and performance of systems, enhance their integration capabilities, and boost user experience. Here are some tips to building a strong application modernization strategy:

Conduct a Detailed Gap Analysis

Begin with an in-depth assessment of your legacy application portfolio to determine the best course of action. Carrying out detailed gap analysis can help you identify your weak spots including what applications need to be modernized first, what expertise you need, and what challenges you are likely to face. Such assessments will also help you choose the right modernization approach (re-architecting/ re-coding/ re-platforming/ retiring) and technology (cloud/ microservices/ containerization).

Ensure Leadership Support

Since application modernization is a complex and costly enterprise-wide strategy, make sure to have the support and guidance of your leadership team. Their support not only assures you of the budget required for the modernization effort, it will also help you in overcoming challenges and bottlenecks.

Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance

Another critical factor to keep in mind while building your application modernization strategy is your organization’s risk tolerance capability. Identifying your most-critical applications and gauging the impact re-coding, re-factoring, or re-platforming on availability and security is critical to minimize performance and user experience issues.

Up Your Backup Game

Modernizing rigid and proprietary applications can mean long periods of downtime. Therefore, to ensure your applications continue to serve the business, backup all necessary data and logs in the cloud to ensure application functionality and user experience is unscathed.

Monitor and Optimize

A single wrong move can lead to extreme frustration; therefore, once you have modernized your applications, make it a point to constantly monitor their performance. This will uncover insights into what’s working and what’s not working for your business, while providing you with opportunities to tweak your approach and set a clear path to modernization success.

Common Application Modernization Challenges

Application modernization, although an indispensable aspect of digital transformation, is also prone to several challenges. Let’s look at common application modernization challenges:


One of the biggest roadblocks to successful application modernization is lack of the right expertise. Organizations that rely on legacy systems often do not have the skills or resources they need to modernize their application stack. Partnering with a qualified and competent expert is a great way to 1) get the right guidance, 2) carry out successful modernization, and 3) ensure modernization efforts reap the intended benefits.


Another hurdle in the application modernization journey is lack of the required budget for enterprise-wide modernization. Although legacy systems are too complicated and demand knowledge of proprietary technologies for successful modernization, opting for a Managed Services partner can eliminate upfront expenditure while spreading costs over a period of time.


Organizations operating in highly regulated industries dodge the application modernization question because they are apprehensive of the security of and in the cloud. Although most modernization efforts are targeted towards making applications cloud-ready, embracing the right security approaches and establishing the required security controls can minimize vulnerabilities while making applications resilient to attacks.

Organizations that begin their digital transformation journey often focus only on implementing innovative technology solutions in order to keep up with market demands and customer expectations. However, what they fail to realize is that no transformation can be successful without a deep focus on application modernization. Building a strong application modernization strategy is critical to enhance the availability, performance, and security of applications while making them relevant in today’s digital age. Are you ready to modernize your legacy applications? Contact us today!