Back to blog When and How to Carry Out an Application Modernisation Project

Application modernisation is an important step within a company’s cloud journey. Often, applications that are truly mission critical get to a stage where they need modernising because, simply, they are considered so important they’re left well alone. Downtime of a critical application would stop a business in its tracks, and this often means that they aren’t updated until absolutely necessary.

Now, however, that application must move to the cloud. Furthermore, it — and the rest of the apps you run —must move to the cloud without issue. Your business can’t miss a beat, so your application modernisation project needs to be well timed and executed.

Don’t worry – in this post we’re going to help you do just that! With the right approach to application modernisation, your migration will go right the first time, and your apps can be relied on during and after the project.

Timing an Application Modernisation Project

You cannot jump right into an application modernisation project. First, you have to do some prep work. As soon as you start considering a move to the cloud, it is time to complete this work.

First, assess existing applications. Decide what legacy applications will be moved, what could be refactored into SaaS apps, and if there’s anything that can be removed entirely. You may find that you have apps that are going unused. Instead of migrating and modernising them, you may find third party, cloud-based alternatives that fit your needs.

At the same time, take a look at what is and is not working in terms of security and risk for each application. Legacy apps may work in a way that’s fine if they’re hosted on-prem, but moving them as they stand to the cloud will expose security flaws that need to be addressed.

Understand how your users are accessing, and would like to access, your application. User experience and testing is important. If using or accessing the modernised app is any more complicated, you’ll likely have some frustrated users to deal with. It’s important that this is considered and thought through.

If you decide to make big changes, or if modernisation requires major modifications to user experience, let your users know with enough time to work out the kinks and accept and implement feedback. The last thing you want to do is take users by surprise with an all-new app that’s been designed without the input of those using it.

Decide how you want to handle application modernisation before you start making further plans for migration. There are a few approaches that can be taken 1)For the smaller applications, you can build entirely new cloud-native apps and get rid of what you had before, completely overhauling the app. 2)You can modernise one app at a time based on priority. 3)You can find a mix between these two approaches, modernising in larger chunks and transforming what you need as you need to do it.

Of course, a full-scale move to the cloud will require you to speed up your modernisation, versus a hybrid approach where some legacy apps could stay behind on in-house kit for the time being.

The key is to clearly understand what needs to be moved or changed, in what priority. Once you have this planned out, then you can begin thinking about executing the project.

Planning and Executing your Application Modernisation

Make sure you have a clear roadmap in place for executing your modernisation project. The plan needs to align with overall business priorities and goals, so that your app modernisation coincides with the rest of your business forecasting. If you rely on an app to get something done, it’s clear that it must be in place before you reach that point, or else you will be scrambling!

It’s important to make sure you have the right tech in place to execute a successful application modernisation plan. Application replatforming requires tech expertise, and if you do not have that expertise in-house, it is definitely worth it to outsource. When your business relies on its apps to function, you do not want to lose those vital programs.

The technology stack you need depends on whether your applications are becoming cloud-native or are being rebuilt from scratch. Either way, you will need to plan for testing and quality assurance as part of your execution.

Another important aspect of executing application modernisation is knowing what you will do with your legacy software. This is where that testing is key! Do not get rid of your legacy apps, if you are planning to spike them, until you know that the modernised apps are working perfectly.

Even then, make sure you document the details of the legacy apps and keep any details around in case you have to refer to it in the future. Eventually, you will be able to bin anything you are not using. Until you reach that point, however, you have to consider the implications of losing vital legacy data and information.

Migrating and Implementing

On to the transformation and modernisation of your apps. It’s an exciting part of migration! This is where your applications and their data shift to the cloud.

Moving to the cloud is exciting! Your business is ready for its next big step, and on the brink of taking advantage of modern technology. But what about the applications that you are running from the cloud?

Application modernisation is important when a company migrates to the cloud. Often, apps need modernising because people have been afraid to touch them until it’s absolutely necessary. When your business requires a crucial, important application, breaking it could be catastrophic, so it’s typical to bypass updates or changes “just in case.” Perhaps you’ve been getting by like that until now?

Now, however, that app must move to the cloud. Furthermore, it — and the rest of the apps you run —must move to the cloud without issue. Your application modernisation project needs to be well-timed and well-executed. If it isn’t, you may be in for a big headache.

Don’t worry! With the right approach to application modernisation, your migration will go right the first time, and your apps will be ready for you to rely on all over again.

Migration and modernisation are big steps for any business to take. When done correctly they save time and money, and improve the user experience. Modernisation is not something that can be avoided, but we understand why people may be reluctant to step into what seems like a complex operation. That’s why we are pleased to offer our development and replatforming services. Trust us to modernise your business, leaving your team to crack on uninterrupted.

Posted in Cloud Consulting, Cloud Development on May 28, 2018