The one thing that we all know and agree about enterprise technology is about it getting obsolete with time and use. A Flexera report finds that a majority of software products have a lifespan of just 5 years. The use of obsolete (or legacy) systems can burden business processes, and ultimately impact business outcomes.
These are some of the reasons why modern industries are emphasizing the need to modernize enterprise software to bring it in sync with the current age of digital transformation. Companies that have successfully modernized legacy systems have reduced the cost of business operations by 13% and boosted their revenues by 14%..
Of course, this is a signal to enterprise product companies. The signs are clear that it’s time to modernize legacy products to bring them more in tune with the times. Enterprise customers expect as much. The inherent danger being, if their current products are not modernized then soon enough this will start impacting business outcomes and enterprise customers will move on to other solutions.
So, what does modernization entail? Obviously, this is more than merely a technology upgrade. While that is crucial, there’s much more to be done. Let’s look at 3 key areas to focus on for software modernization.
3 Key Areas of Enterprise Software Modernization
The idea is to build a modern software product that is efficient, usable, scalable, and that can be released fast. To achieve that, here are 3 key areas that businesses need to focus on to modernize their enterprise software:
Software applications and delivery cycle
The first area of modernization is the process of migrating legacy systems or software to newer systems and applications while adding new features or functionalities. Organizations modernize software applications for:
- Fulfilling customer experience expectations
- Adopting an enhanced software architecture
- Enhancing system capabilities
What does application modernization typically include? It can include modernizing the application code with new technology. Modern applications must also become data-driven and customer-centric.
Along with applications, the software architecture also needs to be modernized to organize and integrate the various new expectations from enterprise software. For scalable and flexible applications, the underlying software architecture must embrace modular approaches such as service-oriented architectures (or SOA) and microservices.
With the growing emphasis on accelerated delivery models like DevOps, application modernization must focus on updated ways to design, build, test, and maintain products. Process-centric innovations like DevOps and Agile have accelerated modern application development. That’s why the call is to modernize the application delivery process to reduce the "time to market".
IT infrastructure continues to consume most IT budgets around the world and is a key concern of enterprise customers. This means creating products that optimally work with evolving IT infrastructure for better performance and cost-savings is a critical area of any modernization efforts for enterprise products too.
Be it the private, public, or hybrid, migrating IT systems and applications to the cloud is front and center in CxO considerations. A Forrester report mentions that “moving a core business application to the generic cloud platform isn’t a pain-free sourcing change.” An IDC white paper on modernization talks about mainframe applications and the “constant and cyclical re-evaluation of business core systems, along with the platforms on which these applications are developed, tested, and deployed.”
The modernization challenge for enterprise products is to transform to a cloud-centric approach. Such modern applications must thrive in IT environments with high auto-scaling and automatic server management. For example, serverless computing can help in better resource management, cost optimization, high availability, and better performance.
With the emphasis on “faster time to market,” artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is gaining more importance in the context of enterprise processes. We are witnessing the growth of non-traditional data sources including unstructured data and data generated by AI-powered sensors and other devices. Enterprise-level processes require analytical capabilities to process the data volumes being generated, thus addressing the organizational need for better analytics and insights. Perhaps, most crucial today, modern enterprise products must fold analytics capabilities in.
Next, how does application modernization impact customer experience?
Software Modernization and Customer Experience
The emergence of cloud computing, DevOps, and AI capabilities is paving the way for business enterprises to move away from legacy systems. Business leaders are appreciating the importance of software modernization initiatives and their impact on delivering a better user and customer experience.
A survey conducted by RackSpace Technology found that CX-focused organizations enjoy 1.6x times more brand awareness, 1.5x times more employee satisfaction, and double the average rate of customer retention. The survey highlighted the importance of modernizing applications for a better CX.
CX-centric organizations also try to deliver the same type of digital experience through their efficient and responsive application across all mobile devices. For example, more customer-focused projects by U.S. government agencies are delivering positive results. An instance of this is the 46% improvement in online reporting of missing (or stolen) passports to the U.S state department.
Despite the immense benefits, are “traditional” business enterprises ready to embrace modernization for a better CX? Not completely. The RackSpace survey listed many technology-driven barriers towards a better CX. This included legacy IT systems (26%), negative impact on current CX (28%), and complexity (23%) among the leading barriers.
As the expectations of business leaders from their enterprise products evolve, it’s become crucial for software products to modernize. Legacy software applications have to transform themselves fundamentally to drive better decision-making processes along with faster implementation for their enterprise customers.
With its expertise in AI and software product development, Outside The PC can help you modernize your enterprise software. As a specialist, we strive to help you create better products and release them faster. We are here to answer your queries. Do drop us a message on our contact form.