August 18, 2023
Unleashing Modernization Success: Assess, Prioritize and Update Applications
Strategic assessments, source code analysis and automated portfolio analysis can optimize resource allocation, minimize risks and drive impactful application modernization initiatives.
Application modernization has become a crucial initiative for businesses striving to stay competitive in today's rapidly evolving digital landscape. In a recent survey of 600 IT decision makers, leaders reported plans for more than half of their company’s custom applications to be modernized within the next year. As organizations embark on modernization journeys, it is imperative to make informed decisions that maximize efficiency and deliver tangible results.
The Importance of Application Modernization Assessments
In the realm of application modernization, numerous factors come into play, such as business objectives, technology landscape and resource constraints. Conducting comprehensive assessments enables businesses to gain a holistic understanding of their existing applications, identify critical pain points and establish a roadmap for modernization.
Suprisingly, many organizations do not know how many applications they have or why they are used. That’s why an important first step of the application modernization process is to list all your applications, including applications you may own but no longer use, and then define their business value.
Having an inventory of all your applications can help you avoid duplicative investments and help paint a clearer picture of how that application fits into your organization’s long-term strategy. By assessing the current state of applications and aligning them with business goals, organizations can prioritize modernization efforts based on the potential value, complexity and impact on the organization's overall objectives.
Pitfalls of Neglecting Existing Application Source Code Analysis
One common mistake organizations make when embarking on modernization initiatives is underestimating the significance of analyzing existing application source code. Failing to assess the codebase thoroughly can lead to unexpected challenges, such as dependencies, technical debt and outdated frameworks.
These pitfalls can cause delays, increase costs and hinder the success of modernization efforts. Therefore, conducting a comprehensive analysis of the source code provides vital insights into the existing application architecture, potential risks and areas that require attention during the modernization process.
The Value of Automated Application Rapid Portfolio Analysis
Traditional approaches to portfolio analysis involve numerous meetings, phone calls and email exchanges with team members, resulting in significant time and resource investment. Automated application rapid portfolio analysis solutions offer a transformative alternative.
By leveraging automated tools and techniques, organizations can efficiently assess their application portfolios, gain actionable insights and accelerate the decision-making process. This automation reduces the burden on employees and frees up valuable time and resources for other critical tasks, minimizing the impact of Conway's Law, the theory that the design of systems is significantly affected by the communications structure of the organization.
Rationalization and Prioritization of Applications
To ensure successful application modernization, it is crucial to follow a systematic approach. Technology decisions should be the final step in the process, after rationalization and prioritization.
Rationalization involves evaluating the suitability of each application for modernization, considering factors such as business value, complexity and alignment with strategic goals. Prioritization ensures that resources are allocated to projects with the highest potential for positive impact. By following this approach, organizations can avoid investing in technology prematurely and make informed decisions that maximize the return on investment.
Application modernization assessments serve as critical tools for clients seeking to embark on successful modernization journeys. By prioritizing efforts based on comprehensive assessments, analyzing existing application source code, leveraging automated portfolio analysis and following a rationalization-first approach, organizations can minimize risks, optimize resource allocation and drive successful modernization initiatives.
It is imperative to approach modernization strategically, utilizing available studies and references to make informed decisions that propel organizations into the future of digital transformation. Organizations may find it helpful to work with a trusted third-party advisor when conducting assessments, especially if they have limited technical resources. Having an outsider’s point of view can also help appropriately rank and prioritize applications.
Story by Greg Peters, who is the chief architect for strategic application modernization assessment with CDW and an award-winning technologist who has worked both nationally and internationally to help clients optimize IT spending and maximize their ROI. He has worked on projects ranging from state and local governments to Fortune 50 companies for over 20 years.