Conducting a Thorough Application Modernization Assessment

by Capstone IT Solutions on March 14, 2024 in Solutions

How can your business update its legacy systems and optimize for an efficient, scalable future? 87% of organizations agree effective digital transformation hinges upon application modernization success.

However, the solution isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. Every business can benefit from an application modernization strategy—but the term can encompass a range of tactics. Selecting the right path starts with an initial assessment of your application portfolio, followed by the development of a proof of concept (POC) or minimum viable product (MVP).

The application modernization assessment should cover a breadth of considerations—application design patterns, your existing software development lifecycle (SDLC), legacy tech debt exposure and return on investment time horizon.

Here are four steps we would consider in our initial engagement with a potential customer.

1. Identify and Plan Your Business Goals

What is the purpose of your modernization initiative and the “why” behind your pursuit? A clear definition of success is the key first step to achieving desired outcomes. Without it, companies can easily lose focus and ultimately struggle to enhance modernization time to value. Strong objectives align team members, optimize time and energy, and empower your team to clearly focus on a long-term business goal.

Keep key priorities such as increased reliability, increased performance, or enhanced security front and center.

Be as specific when crafting your modernization goals. Set measurable milestones continually and contrast them against your budgetary outcomes. While this last statement may seem common sense, modernization projects have their fair share of unplanned and unexpected challenges. At Capstone IT Solutions, our years of consulting on these complicated engagements have allowed us to anticipate potential issues and refine and improve our on-time, on-budget reliability.

2. Document Your Application Characteristics

The makeup of your application portfolio is a determining factor for the right modernization approach. While some applications can simply be rehosted, others may require more complex refactoring or rewriting to thrive in a cloud environment. A comprehensive documentation of your existing apps—and the key characteristics of each—will help you forge the right path toward your modernization goals. At Capstone It Solutions, we leverage tools and automation to determine what our clients’ common portfolio design patterns might be.

A few essential characteristics to assess include the functionality, user interface, security features, integrations, and response times of each application. It’s also important to analyze your system architecture and deployment models. Identifying the programming languages and operating systems each app uses can further help you derive insights from your documentation.

This process will uncover critical gaps in your portfolio and processes. Take note of the applications that are hindering your top business goals—whether it’s due to poor user experience, missing features, or another deficiency. Then, assess the severity of the underperformance.

3. Prioritize Applications for Modernization

Which application issues are the most critical to resolve? Once you understand the deficiencies of each application—and their effect on your business goals—determine which apps must be modernized first. Answering these questions about each of your applications can help you effectively prioritize your efforts:

  • Will modernizing this app help us achieve our business goals? To what extent?
  • Does not modernizing this app create risks that can cause setbacks in our goals? To what extent?
  • What resources do we need to modernize this app, including costs and labor needs? Do we currently have access to those resources?
  • How long would modernizing this app take?

Your business should ideally prioritize high-impact efforts. However, if you don’t presently have the resources to tackle those needs, you can readjust your priorities accordingly.

4. Determine the Best Next Steps

Leveraging the insights gathered from your assessment, your organization can start to develop a roadmap for implementation. Collaborate with your IT team or work with our application modernization experts to determine the best approach for bringing each app up to date. As your findings come together, your business can start establishing a clear, realistic timeline for the scale of your application modernization project.

Strengthen Your Assessment with Capstone IT Solutions

Completing a thorough application modernization assessment can require significant time and technical expertise. It’s no wonder why external partners play critical roles in 70% of application modernization journeys. Experienced advisors—like our team of specialized experts at Capstone IT Solutions—can bring a fresh perspective while streamlining your evaluation, so you can optimize your entry into a cloud-first future.

When you leverage our application modernization or cloud advisory services, we assess your applications and infrastructure with a deep understanding of your business goals and challenges. Our collaborative efforts enable us to tailor recommendations to your needs—optimizing your IT strategy for the future. And our partnership doesn’t stop there. With our unique plan-build-run approach, you can gain unwavering support throughout your entire application modernization journey and beyond.

Kickstart your application modernization success. Get in touch with Capstone IT Solutions.

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