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Why Do Enterprises Need Application Modernization?

Kajal Sharma

June 14, 2024

Application Modernization

Application modernization refers to updating and transforming legacy applications to leverage modern technologies, frameworks, and architectures. As businesses strive to stay competitive, the demand for modernization has grown exponentially.

  • 87% of business leaders consider modernization crucial for business growth and success.
  • Foundry’s StateFoundry ‘sIO Study 2023 reveals that 91% of CIOs anticipate budget increases for enterprise application modernization to enhance business agility. This is one of the significant focuses of CIOs and CTOs.
  • The application modernization market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.8% from 2024 to 2030, increasing from an estimated value of USD 15.3 billion in 2023 to USD 52.28 billion by 2030.

Business Leader consider modernization

The push towards modern software development services and agile development is not just a trend but a necessity. Today, Enterprises are constantly seeking ways to stay ahead of the competition and meet evolving customer expectations. One key strategy that has emerged as crucial for success is enterprise application modernization.

But what is application modernization, and why is it so important for enterprises? Let’s dive in.

In this blog, we’ll explore the current state of enterprise applications, the key benefits of app modernization for enterprises, the application modernization challenges involved, and the strategies for successfully modernizing legacy systems. Stay tuned and explore more.

Let’s start by understanding one common question that usually comes to mind when discussing modernization: What is application modernization, and why is it important?

What is Application Modernization?

Application modernization is renovating existing applications and bringing them to the contemporary infrastructure, technology, framework, and architecture.

This can include migrating an application or part of it to a new platform or rewriting an application using new languages and environments.

  • Application modernization can reduce maintenance and running costs by 30-50%.
  • It can lower costs of hardware, software, and staffing by approximately 74%.
  • Organizations can see a 10% improvement in application operational efficiency.
  • Annual revenue can rise by 14%, averaging around USD 1 billion for larger organizations.

What is Legacy Application Modernization?

Legacy application modernization updates and enhances outdated software systems to meet business needs and technological standards. This transformation involves incorporating modern frameworks, cloud services, and development practices to improve performance, scalability, and security.

By modernizing legacy applications, organizations can reduce maintenance costs, enhance user experience, and remain competitive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. It ensures that the IT infrastructure remains robust, adaptable, and capable of supporting future growth and innovation.

Key Benefits of Application Modernization

This paved the way for developing modern applications that are more efficient, scalable, and secure, ensuring the best user experience. This translates into maintaining competitive advantage, enhancing business process productivity, and minimizing expenditures for enterprises.

Key Benefits of Application Modernization

Finally, modernizing applications is about following technology trends, creating value, and building new business opportunities in digitalization. Let’s discuss the benefits of app modernization for enterprises and how it can help them improve their efficiency.

  • Improved Efficiency and Performance

    Second, modern applications are faster and more efficient than previous–generation applications, providing enterprises with higher throughput for data and transaction processing.

  • Enhanced Security

    Today, applications are equipped with high-end security solutions and timely compliance that effectively eliminate the risks of cyber threats and protect critical data.

  • Cost Reduction

    Modern applications contribute to a more cost-effective IT environment despite the initial investment in modernization by reducing maintenance costs and infrastructure expenses and improving resource utilization.

  • Better User Experience

    This is due to the easy-to-understand interface, quick response time, and integration, which improve the overall usability of the tools in today’s customer-oriented business environment.

  • Increased Agility and Flexibility

    Applications today are designed to allow enterprises to manage their business needs for change, technological advances, and growth in a more agile way, as modern applications are based on the principles of agile development.

  • Competitive Advantage

    Competition is another factor that motivates organizations to implement innovation and efficiency as work values. New and updated applications enable enterprises to deliver new products and features faster, improving competitiveness.

  • Integration with Modern Technologies

    Today’s applications can quickly adopt and incorporate newer technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud computing, pushing modern applications to the next level.

  • Data-Driven Insights

    Advanced business intelligence solutions enable organizations to analyze their operations and the consumer market more effectively, make well-founded decisions, and develop effective strategies.

  • Regulatory Compliance

    An application developed for the modern world complies with the sector’s current requirements and legal frameworks, thus avoiding possible penalties and boosting security.

  • Reduced Technical Debt

    Modern applications can enable IT environments to be less burdened by technical debt by removing legacy systems that may be slowing down efficiency or becoming redundant.

  • Support for Remote Work

    Many up-to-date applications are web-based and have remote access functionality, which is beneficial in the current workforce flexibility environment.

  • Eco-Friendly Operations

    Modern applications can utilize resources more efficiently, resulting in less energy use and lower emissions, contributing to corporate sustainability goals.

According to Cognitive Market Research, the global application modernization tools market is expected to reach USD 8951.2 million in 2023 and increase at a CAGR of 19.20% between 2023 and 2030.

Legacy Applications Modernization Strategies

Therefore, Application modernization is necessary and has become a strategic must-do for organizations that seek to compete and thrive in the ever-evolving business world.

It is also essential for you to implement the right strategies in your modernization process to reap the benefits of your IT investments. Here are some key application modernization strategies to consider when embarking on your application modernization journey:

  • Rehosting

    This includes migrating an application to the cloud without making many changes to the code or structure, which is referred to as rehosting or lift and shift. It is fast and cheap compared to other methods of giving applications a facelift. This is one of the most crucial application modernization strategies to consider.

  • Refactoring

    Refactoring is the process of restructuring an application to run faster, be easily scaled, and be more accessible to maintain, but with the same functionalities as the previous application. This is practiced in today’s software development services.

  • Replatforming

    Replatforming involves transferring an application to a different platform, for instance, changing the cloud vendor to leverage newer and better services.

  • Rebuilding

    Refactoring means redesigning an application and rewriting it from the ground up using new technologies and frameworks. This strategy uses modern frameworks.

  • Replacing

    Replacing entails replacing an existing application with a new one more relevant to the current business environment, requirements, and advanced technology systems.

  • Incremental Modernization

    As an alternative to modernizing applications in one go, you should consider a microservice approach where the modernization of individual components and modules is done gradually. This enables one to phase the modern architectures and technologies incrementally, thus not significantly affecting business continuity.

  • Hybrid Cloud Solutions

    Choose hybrid cloud applications that enable the benefits of the public cloud, which include the ability to scale and achieve high levels of agility and the reliability of private clouds that are hosted on-premise. This enables you to update your applications to the new platform as you wish while using the advantages of both worlds.

  • DevOps and Agile Practices

    Leverage DevOps and agile development principles to speed up modernization and incorporate new features and updates in the CI/CD pipeline. This leads to faster time-to-market and more efficient adaptation to changing business needs.

  • Data Modernization

    Modernize your data infrastructure and analytics capabilities to harness the full potential of your data assets. This involves migrating legacy data to modern platforms, implementing advanced analytics tools, and adopting data-driven decision-making processes.

  • Training and Talent Development

    Invest in training and upskilling your IT teams to ensure they have the skills and expertise to support modernization efforts effectively. Encourage a culture of continuous learning and innovation to drive long-term success.

  • Change Management and Stakeholder Engagement

    Effective change management and stakeholder engagement are critical for the success of any modernization initiative. Communicate the benefits of modernization clearly to all stakeholders and involve them in the decision-making process to gain buy-in and support.

  • Monitoring and Optimization

    Continuously monitor the performance and usage of modernized applications to identify areas for optimization and improvement. Collect feedback from users and stakeholders to ensure that modernized applications meet their needs and expectations.

By adopting these modernization strategies, enterprises can effectively modernize their application portfolios, drive business transformation, and position themselves for long-term success in the digital age.

Case study – Expense Monitoring and Analytics Portal for a Fashion Brand

One of our clients wanted to develop a comprehensive business intelligence (BI) solution to analyze expense-related metrics effectively. They were a renowned fashion brand specializing in clothing and accessories in the Middle East, headquartered in Kuwait. With operations spread across 6 countries and approximately 15 brands, the company manages around 140 stores offering a diverse range of clothing, luxury items, accessories, footwear, and fast fashion products.

Expense Monitoring and Analytics Portal

Expense Monitoring and Analytics Portal for fashion industry

Check out full case study to get better insights into the goals, challenges, solutions and results

Choosing the Right Modernization Approach

Choosing the right approach to application modernization is crucial for ensuring success. With various modernization strategies available, enterprises must evaluate their options carefully to select the approach that best aligns with their goals and requirements.

  • Assessment and Planning: It is crucial to evaluate the current state of applications before proceeding with modernization strategies. This means finding systems that are already outdated but still in use and learning about their specific difficulties and interdependencies. Also, enterprises should set specific goals and develop an application modernization strategy based on their technical requirements and costs.
  • Legacy Application Modernization: Legacy systems present many practical problems related to speed, capacity, and security. This is by adopting legacy app modernization strategies like refactoring or re-platforming to overcome these challenges and harness the benefits of the apps. The modernization process can be simplified, and applications can be made more versatile and scalable by incorporating some of the best contemporary frameworks and development practices. This includes agile and cloud-native application development, both top priorities for legacy app modernization.
  • Data Modernization: When the business focuses on leveraging data for decision-making, it is essential to highlight data modernization as part of the application modernization process. While modernization has been recognized as a critical process for enterprises, enterprises should also pay attention to modernizing data infrastructure and analytics to support massive data. This may require migrating old data into new-age platforms for data management and adopting big data integration tools for data analysis.
  • Software Modernization Services: They also recommended that engaging services that have done many application modernization can significantly help. These providers specialize in legacy system modernization, application modernization services, and the best practices any enterprise can adopt while going through the modernization process. That is why enterprises can successfully advance the modernization process with minimal risk and interruptions by knowing their potential and accessing the necessary tools and information.
  • Choosing the Right Approach: Choosing the Right Approach: When comparing approaches to modernization, certain factors should be taken into account, including the level of difficulty of the current IT systems, the degree of change that is required, and the resources available to the enterprise. In some cases, a lift and shift strategy is needed where existing applications are moved to today’s modern today structures but with little or no code changes. However, a refactoring or rebuilding approach may be necessary for more complex systems to address underlying architectural issues and optimize performance.
  • Legacy System Modernization: Legacy systems are often the backbone of enterprise operations, but they can also hold businesses back from embracing new technologies and innovations. By prioritizing legacy system modernization efforts, enterprises can unlock new opportunities for growth and innovation while mitigating risks associated with outdated technologies. Partnering with a legacy software modernization company can provide the expertise and support needed to modernize legacy systems effectively and efficiently.

The Role of Cloud Computing in Modernization

Cloud technology has multiple advantages regarding application modernization: scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency, among others. It helps enterprises to deploy, maintain, and run applications faster; it decreases the cost of infrastructure; and it enhances disaster recovery solutions. The cloud services are mainly segmented into the three following parts –

This section will focus on the three main categories of cloud computing: public, private, and hybrid.

Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid Cloud

Types of cloud services

  • Public Cloud: Public cloud services are provided by third parties over the Internet, offering affordable, scalable, and easily accessible solutions. Examples include AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
  • Private Cloud: Private clouds are exclusively used by one organization. They offer greater security and customization but with higher costs. They are ideal for organizations with stringent privacy and regulatory requirements.
  • Hybrid Cloud: Hybrid cloud solutions combine public and private cloud features, offering efficiency, flexibility, and enhanced control and security. This allows companies to extend their IT environment into the public cloud for better workload mobility, data replication, and resource management.

Impact on Business Outcomes

Application modernization is a process that goes beyond simple technology upgrades, and it is an organizational strategy that can potentially bring changes to different aspects of the business. These benefits include improved application performance, increased scalability, reduced costs, faster time-to-completion, increased reliability, and enhanced security. Let’s discuss the significant impacts of application modernization on business outcomes:

Enhanced Agility and Innovation

  • Faster Time-to-Market: Modernized applications enable more rapid development cycles, allowing organizations to introduce new features and services to the market more quickly.
  • Improved Competitive Advantage: By embracing modern technologies and practices, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors and stay ahead in the rapidly evolving marketplace.

Increased Efficiency and Productivity

  • Streamlined Operations: Modernized applications automate repetitive tasks, streamline workflows, and eliminate manual processes, increasing operational efficiency.
  • Employee Empowerment: User-friendly interfaces and intuitive workflows enhance employee productivity and satisfaction, enabling them to focus on value-added tasks.

Cost Savings and Resource Optimization

  • Reduced IT Costs: Modernized applications typically require fewer resources to maintain and operate, resulting in lower IT infrastructure and maintenance costs.
  • Optimized Resource Allocation: Cloud-native architectures and scalable infrastructure enable organizations to allocate resources dynamically based on demand, maximizing resource utilization and cost efficiency.

Enhanced Customer Experience and Satisfaction

  • Improved Performance and Reliability: Modernized applications deliver superior performance and reliability, ensuring a seamless and consistent user experience.
  • Personalized Services: Advanced analytics and data-driven insights enable organizations to tailor products and services to individual customer needs, driving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Strengthened Security and Compliance

  • Robust Security Measures: Modernized applications incorporate advanced security features and encryption protocols to protect sensitive data and mitigate cybersecurity risks.
  • Regulatory Compliance: By adhering to industry standards and compliance requirements, organizations can build trust with customers and stakeholders and avoid costly penalties.

Future-Proofing and Scalability

  • Adaptability to Change: Modernized applications are built with flexibility and scalability, allowing organizations to adapt to evolving business requirements and technological advancements.
  • Preparation for Growth: Scalable architectures and modular designs enable organizations to scale their applications and infrastructure seamlessly as they grow and expand.

Applications must be modernized for organizations to succeed in the current global environment. When implemented, contemporary technologies and processes help businesses promote innovation, improve efficiency, boost clients’ satisfaction, and guarantee lasting prosperity.

Therefore, application modernization is critical for improving business outcomes and is an organization’s top priority.

Application Modernization Tools and Technologies

Application modernization is a complex process that requires the right tools and technologies to streamline development, enhance agility, and ensure the success of modernization initiatives. From automated migration tools to agile development frameworks, let’s explore potential application modernization tools in the market.

Application Modernization Tools and Technologies

  • Code Refactoring Tools: ReSharper, SonarQube, and CodeClimate are examples of tools that facilitate refactoring code legacy, code quality assessment, and future problem detection by developers.
  • Automated Migration Tools: Tools like CAST Highlight, Blu Age, and Modern Systems automate application migration to modern platforms from legacy applications to minimize manual work and the possibility of errors.
  • API Management Platforms: Some leading API management platforms are Apigee, MuleSoft, Azure API Management, etc.; such tools help organizations expose traditional systems as APIs for integration with new-age applications and services.
  • Application Modernization Platforms: Specific application modernization tools like Micro Focus Enterprise Suite, TmaxSoft OpenFrame, and TmaxSoft OpenWorkbench provide many toolkits for legacy system transformation, including Code analysis services, cloud migration, etc.

Application Modernization Software

  • Low-Code Development Platforms: Citizen development tools like OutSystems, Mendix, or Appian give the tools to citizen developers, allowing them to modernize the process rapidly with little code.
  • Containerization Platforms: Hence, Docker, Kubernetes, and OpenShift help migrate legacy applications to the container world to support portability, scalability, and resource optimization.
  • Cloud Migration Tools: There are many such solutions, including CloudEndure, Carbonite Migrate, and Azure Migrate, that can help move these legacy applications to the cloud without any significant disruption.

Agile Development Frameworks

Agile Development framework

  • Scrum: Scrum is an agile development framework emphasizing iterative development, frequent feedback, and continuous improvement. It enables teams to quickly deliver high-quality application modernization software and adapt to changing requirements.
  • Kanban: Kanban is a visual management method that helps teams visualize work, limit work-in-progress, and optimize workflow efficiency. It makes it easier to track and manage application modernization tasks.
  • DevOps Practices: DevOps practices like continuous integration, continuous delivery, and infrastructure as code (IaC) promote collaboration between development and operations, accelerating the modernization process and ensuring consistent deployment and operations.


Application modernization is essential for enterprises looking to stay competitive, improve efficiency, and meet evolving business needs. Enterprises can transform legacy systems into agile, scalable, and secure applications by leveraging modern technologies and frameworks. You can choose legacy app modernization to stay competitive in this technological era.

Application modernization brings numerous benefits, from cost reduction to enhanced user experience, whether through rehosting, refactoring, or rebuilding. Our legacy application modernization services ensure that your business stays ahead of the curve with modernized applications, which is crucial for long-term success as technology evolves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Rehosting, often called "lift and shift," involves moving an application from one environment to another with minimal changes. Refactoring, on the other hand, involves modifying the application's code to improve performance, scalability, and maintainability while preserving its existing functionality.

Application modernization enhances cybersecurity by incorporating the latest security features and compliance measures. Modern applications are designed to address current security threats and vulnerabilities, reducing the risk of data breaches and other cyber threats.

Yes, small businesses can significantly benefit from application modernization. It helps them improve efficiency, reduce costs, and stay competitive. Modern applications also provide better scalability and flexibility, allowing small businesses to grow and adapt to changing business needs.

Common mistakes in application modernization include a lack of comprehensive planning, insufficient stakeholder involvement, underestimating the complexity of the project, and failure to address data migration issues. It's important to approach modernization with a well-thought-out strategy and involve all relevant stakeholders.

The duration of the application modernization process varies depending on the scope and complexity of the project. It can range from a few months to several years. A phased approach is often the most effective strategy, starting with critical applications and gradually modernizing the entire application landscape.

Kajal Sharma
Kajal Sharma

Kajal Sharma is a Senior Content Writer at SPEC INDIA with over 6 years of experience. Specializing in SEO-centric writing, and with a strong hold in the IT sector, she excels at crafting engaging and optimized content. Kajal is adept at driving measurable results through strategic content creation. She also has wide experience in running marketing campaigns.

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