The State of Application Modernization
April 19, 2023

Alisha Marfatia

Share this

As businesses continue to rely heavily on technology to drive growth and innovation, the importance of modernizing outdated applications has become a top priority for CIOs and IT teams. With this in mind, EvolveWare commissioned an independent survey to gain current insights into IT teams' strategies and preparedness for modernization initiatives, revealing some surprising contradictions to common assumptions around modernization priorities and goals. It has also highlighted a curious disconnect between IT leaders' perception and the reality of their overall readiness, their ability to secure legacy talent, and the availability of the much-sought-after technology capabilities.

Jump to infographic below

Key findings include:

Confidence in understanding of applications wanes as projects progress

A comparison of the confidence in knowledge of applications being modernized between those who have not yet begun their modernization projects (41% very confident) to those who have already begun projects (28% very confident) reveals a notable drop. This is likely an indication that organizations only start to realize the level of knowledge needed for these efforts after they execute on the project plans.

Many respondents also base their confidence on having personnel with knowledge of these legacy systems. This is a clear blindspot for IT leaders, as a full 81% of respondents say they currently have — or anticipate — challenges hiring and/or retaining legacy programming talent. This shortage of specialized IT talent will only continue to grow as employees retire and expertise in legacy systems continues to decline.

IT Teams and the rest of the C-Suite may not be aligned on modernization goals

The number one modernization motivation for IT team respondents is boosting employee productivity (40%). This is opposed to commonly cited rationales such as improving customer experience (29%) and migrating to the cloud (22%). However when looking at success measures, increasing business efficiency is in the bottom two chosen, which boosting employee productivity would typically be related to. This discrepancy seems to imply that while IT teams are looking to address challenges they face with maintaining legacy applications, possibly due to lack of documentation and/or lack of qualified personnel, they must also justify these projects in terms that are important to business leadership.

Reasons most often cited by the C-Suite for modernization are directly related to increasing revenue and profits, such as moving to the cloud to improve customer experience and reduce costs. The disconnect indicates that IT teams, who have their own modernization motivations, must find ways to align with the C-Suite who are defining tangible measures of success, prior to executing on these projects.

IT teams lack of awareness and access to modern tools

Most respondents don't believe they have access to the capabilities they want. For example, more than half would like to automate code transformation and business rules extraction (BRE) to a large degree, and 40% want to automate application documentation creation. Similarly, 64% believe freezing code during the modernization process will have significant business and financial consequences, and a full 59% say the ability to modernize without freezing code is on their technology wish list, making it the top most requested modernization capability. Yet while these, and other technologies on their wish lists, are available in the current modernization market, no more than 31% of IT leaders say they have access to them.

The ability to successfully modernize will be a key differentiator for businesses as they navigate the ever-evolving digital landscape. While the process can be complex and challenging, insights into potential blind spots and disconnects can help IT leaders develop more effective strategies and make the most of their available resources and technological advancements.

Alisha Marfatia is a Product Strategist at EvolveWare
Share this

The Latest

February 29, 2024

Despite the growth in popularity of artificial intelligence (AI) and ML across a number of industries, there is still a huge amount of unrealized potential, with many businesses playing catch-up and still planning how ML solutions can best facilitate processes. Further progression could be limited without investment in specialized technical teams to drive development and integration ...

February 28, 2024

With over 200 streaming services to choose from, including multiple platforms featuring similar types of entertainment, users have little incentive to remain loyal to any given platform if it exhibits performance issues. Big names in streaming like Hulu, Amazon Prime and HBO Max invest thousands of hours into engineering observability and closed-loop monitoring to combat infrastructure and application issues, but smaller platforms struggle to remain competitive without access to the same resources ...

February 27, 2024

Generative AI has recently experienced unprecedented dramatic growth, making it one of the most exciting transformations the tech industry has seen in some time. However, this growth also poses a challenge for tech leaders who will be expected to deliver on the promise of new technology. In 2024, delivering tangible outcomes that meet the potential of AI, and setting up incubator projects for the future will be key tasks ...

February 26, 2024

SAP is a tool for automating business processes. Managing SAP solutions, especially with the shift to the cloud-based S/4HANA platform, can be intricate. To explore the concerns of SAP users during operational transformations and automation, a survey was conducted in mid-2023 by Digitate and Americas' SAP Users' Group ...

February 22, 2024

Some companies are just starting to dip their toes into developing AI capabilities, while (few) others can claim they have built a truly AI-first product. Regardless of where a company is on the AI journey, leaders must understand what it means to build every aspect of their product with AI in mind ...

February 21, 2024

Generative AI will usher in advantages within various industries. However, the technology is still nascent, and according to the recent Dynatrace survey there are many challenges and risks that organizations need to overcome to use this technology effectively ...

February 20, 2024

In today's digital era, monitoring and observability are indispensable in software and application development. Their efficacy lies in empowering developers to swiftly identify and address issues, enhance performance, and deliver flawless user experiences. Achieving these objectives requires meticulous planning, strategic implementation, and consistent ongoing maintenance. In this blog, we're sharing our five best practices to fortify your approach to application performance monitoring (APM) and observability ...

February 16, 2024

In MEAN TIME TO INSIGHT Episode 3, Shamus McGillicuddy, VP of Research, Network Infrastructure and Operations, at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) discusses network security with Chris Steffen, VP of Research Covering Information Security, Risk, and Compliance Management at EMA ...

February 15, 2024

In a time where we're constantly bombarded with new buzzwords and technological advancements, it can be challenging for businesses to determine what is real, what is useful, and what they truly need. Over the years, we've witnessed the rise and fall of various tech trends, such as the promises (and fears) of AI becoming sentient and replacing humans to the declaration that data is the new oil. At the end of the day, one fundamental question remains: How can companies navigate through the tech buzz and make informed decisions for their future? ...

February 14, 2024

We increasingly see companies using their observability data to support security use cases. It's not entirely surprising given the challenges that organizations have with legacy SIEMs. We wanted to dig into this evolving intersection of security and observability, so we surveyed 500 security professionals — 40% of whom were either CISOs or CSOs — for our inaugural State of Security Observability report ...