You can reduce legacy costs by getting rid of duplicate software, stopping payments for infrastructure licenses, offshoring some tasks without sacrificing productivity, and redeploying the workforce.
However, the crucial question is whether there is a strategic approach to digital transformation that enables CIOs to cut costs during the app modernization process.
Modernization projects don’t necessarily have to be costly or risky. You can make progress in application modernization and migration incrementally without extensive funding.
It’s not mandatory to undergo a complete application rewrite with a substantial budget or migrate the entire system to the cloud as the only way forward. You can gradually modernize even complex on-premises applications.
This systematic and evidence-based approach focuses on altering organization-critical applications through a series of smaller, well-defined projects that require fewer resources.
By breaking down transformation projects into smaller segments, each improvement can build upon the preceding one. That enables the recognition of changes more rapidly, granting the organization sufficient time to adjust and adapt.
During application modernization, it’s crucial to ensure that the system remains fully operational. Relying on the legacy system while waiting for the development of a new one isn’t practical.
The benefits from modernization need to be evident within months, not years, to prevent team exhaustion and reduce anxiety within the organization.
That is where the API-first modernization approach comes in. You should design customized APIs specifically for the critical components of the current system and integrate them with cloud-based solutions. That enables the system not only to maintain its operations but also to promptly acquire new features.
In many cases, existing integration software requires modernization. Legacy on-premise middleware, such as ETL tools, ESB frameworks, or point-to-point coding, doesn’t align well with integrating cloud and in-house systems, leading to an inflexible and costly approach.
At times, it’s also essential to identify and remove redundant integrations and reduce the superfluous code.
Leveraging the API capabilities of the modern integration platform as a service (iPaaS), you can establish connections between legacy applications and mobile, social, IoT, and big data sources outside the enterprise’s firewalls.
Move only the customizations, not the core, to a microservices architecture
This principle focuses on the application architecture and aims to distinguish the core functionalities from customizations. If only you move the customizations or special features to separate microservices, the change might not be as drastic as a complete shift to a microservices architecture for the entire application.
This approach simplifies updating or replacing individual components without impacting the entire system. You can deploy microservices independently, allowing for scaling based on demand. As a result, you get more efficient resource usage.
Transitioning to microservices can facilitate faster development cycles, as teams can concurrently work on different services, expediting deployments. By segregating customizations from the core system into microservices, troubleshooting and managing the application become more manageable, ultimately enhancing its maintainability.
Developing a universal platform that enables local customization
Enterprises with a global presence find it crucial. It aims to standardize main functions but adapt to local needs, laws, or customer preferences.
The global platform can hold common functionalities like basic product features, security, and data management, ensuring consistency and efficiency. On top of this, localized modules cater to specific regional needs such as language, currency, taxes, or market features.
Using a modular or microservices structure allows separate deployment of these features. APIs enable interaction between the core platform and these localized modules. This design ensures the core remains unchanged, providing a consistent user experience regardless of location. It permits swift adjustments for local conditions or preferences. Central development of common functions reduces duplication of efforts.
Prioritize the modernization of essential user journeys
Focus on vital, frequently used workflows to boost user satisfaction and overall ROI. For instance, in a project management app, steps like creating a project, assigning team members, and allocating resources represent a critical user journey. That directly impacts user satisfaction and productivity. If these features are slow or frustrating, they must be prioritized for improvement.
Managing risks is simpler as the focus is on specific, well-defined areas of the application during modernization.
Arbitrary modernization means updating systems across various aspects without specific improvement goals. For example, a company might update its entire software stack because some technologies seem outdated. However, this approach can be expensive and might not offer the expected returns, as not all parts of the system need updating or are critical for business or user experience.
Transferring Non-Differentiating functions from the core application to specialized third-party SaaS/PaaS solutions
SaaS completely replaces a specific function or application, while PaaS offers tools for easier custom application development.
For instance, if your in-house app needs a specific database for reporting, you can use a PaaS providing that resource. It lets your team focus solely on the reporting feature itself.
Maintaining in-house non-core functions is costly. Shifting such tasks to third-party services lets a business concentrate on core strengths like product development or customer service.
Third-party solutions plug-and-play, speeding up development cycles.
SaaS and PaaS scale easily, avoiding complex in-house system adjustments. Providers invest in security and compliance, meeting industry standards. With third-party solutions, you’re relieved from software maintenance, updates, security patches, and new features handled by the provider.