Whether you consider your business to be a tech company or not, today’s business world requires organisations of all shapes and sizes to increasingly rely on technology. Often, however, these investments in technology result in a hodgepodge of applications — most of which are outdated or inadequate for your business needs. This is where application modernisation comes in.

What is application modernisation?

You can think of application modernisation as a way to update your existing applications with modern features and capabilities, and then using these quicker, more efficient applications to accomplish your business goals. Simply put, application modernisation is a great way to update your technology stack to create more business value.

Application modernisation is a broad term that can apply to all applications. For instance, upon analysing your current applications, you and your team may discover that your content management system (CMS) is outdated. Not only is it slow, but it may not be optimised for a mobile or tablet experience. With application modernisation, however, you and your team can re-code or re-platform your CMS so that it better serves your audience.

The bottom line is that application modernisation can be implemented throughout your organisation — whether you want to update your cloud infrastructure or simply update the commenting system on your website.

The benefits of application modernisation

One of the most prominent benefits of application modernisation actually centres on costs. Namely, it helps you avoid the costs (in terms of both money and time) of maintaining legacy systems. While switching costs may seem high, the fact is that keeping your legacy software and systems is expensive in many different ways — increased maintenance costs, a poorer experience for your customers and employees, and missed opportunities to capitalise on emerging technology trends.

So why don’t all companies upgrade their software? It comes down to human psychology. Simply put, it is more comfortable to keep things we are familiar with — even if the change would lead to greater benefits in the long run. Ultimately, application modernisation helps you break through this inertia and save valuable cash.

Next, application modernisation can improve operational efficiency. This, in fact, is closely tied with the benefit above. Moving from legacy systems into more modern applications can make your company more efficient and productive. Whether it is migrating to an application that leverages artificial intelligence or employing data science in some of your updated applications, application modernisation lets you leverage technological innovations. These improved operational efficiencies flow throughout the organisation. Essentially, your company can offer better products or services to customers and can make life easier for your employees.

Finally, application modernisation can help you unlock new revenue streams. Many legacy systems prevent businesses from capitalising on potential opportunities to increase their sales. Even if those opportunities are obvious, internal friction and inertia can make them missed opportunities. By contrast, modernising your applications lets your business create new services or products that generate value for the customer. So long as you are solving a real customer problem, these services or products will generate top-line growth for your business.

Tactics for success

To ensure success with application modernisation, take your time. Application modernisation is exciting. You and your colleagues may be itching to upgrade an application that has created headaches for years. Nonetheless, patience is key here. Ensure that you are implementing the necessary features to accomplish your business goals. This may force you to have honest discussions with your colleagues. But by doing so, you will ensure that the investment is worth it.

Next, make sure that your entire team is on board. If you have some team members who are stubbornly attached to legacy systems, persuade them that change is in their best interests. Achieving buy-in from your entire team will help you avoid headaches down the road.

Finally, don’t be afraid to iterate. If you discover that a feature upgrade isn’t providing value to your organisation, don’t hesitate to take a step back. You aren’t modernising your applications for the sake of doing so. Instead, the purpose is to solve tangible, real-world problems in your business.