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Application modernization is a top priority worldwide in 2015

Any organization NOT doing an application modernization project this year is in the minority. Over 70% of businesses worldwide are modernizing their application environments to handle mobile, cloud and other emerging digital platforms in 2015, according to a recent survey.

Not only are most businesses engaging in application modernization (also called legacy application modernization) efforts, at least 61% consider it a strategic asset to drive business forward and a tool to help maintain market position and even survival. This is according to a recent survey of CIOs by app modernization vendor CSC.p

Application modernization projects will be a higher priority for businesses in Europe (80%) and Asia (73%) in 2015, largely because the technology refresh cycles have been slower in those areas than in North America, where 55% will invest this year.

A challenge in tallying application modernization projects is that they can be a part of larger projects, such as cloud modernization and portfolio modernization, both of which focus largely on app modernization. In some minds, the latter sounds old school, identified only with mainframe-to-server migrations, which are not irrelevant — as Moorcroft Debt Recovery Group’s recent project affirms.

Of course, the rapid rise in business use of cloud services is driving many businesses worldwide to modernize their app portfolios; that and the fact that their competitors are doing the same. Likewise, the rise in workers’ use of enterprise apps on mobile devices is exceeding IT’s ability to support either.

This cloud rush encourages a “fools rush in” modernization mentality. The sober but savvy enterprise architect approaches modernization from more than the cloud apps angle. By examining their app portfolios and on-premise IT infrastructure, they’re considering which applications should be re-platformed to hybrid or public cloud models. Which applications should be replaced by software as a service? Which strategic applications should be rewritten to take advantage of microservices architecture and platform as a service?

The complexity of modernizing applications and the importance and risk of these projects to business success is boggling. From my observations, the most successful projects started with intense application portfolio assessments. They choose app modernization products and services that are designed to be used in a systematic fashion and are flexible, the latter because every business will have different business needs, app portfolios and infrastructures.

There are many approaches to modernizing software, more than I can cover in this post. Fortunately, we’ve put together a library of articles on app modernization. Enjoy!