Application Modernization: How to Get it Right the First Time

According to research by information technology research and advisory firm Gartner, “If you own an application for 15 years, the cost of your initial project will be, on average, 8 percent of the 15- year ‘total cost of ownership.’ In other words, 92 percent of the cost of an average application occurs after the project has finished as maintenance.” 1

This means that when you select an enterprise resource planning system or update legacy investments, you should plan your transition carefully because you could be paying for your new target environment for a very long time.

When it comes to application modernization and IT transformation, it’s critical to have a full understanding of your application environment’s current state before getting started. Interconnections between code components should be clearly documented to map out an accurate implementation timeline and asset groupings should you opt for a phased implementation. Data domain models also need to be well understood in order to create mapping rules that accurately convert all required legacy data into a modernized data structure.

 Another critical element is thoroughly understanding your application business models. Getting a clear picture of which business processes are still relevant, and which can be retired, helps prevent spending valuable time and resources converting elements that are no longer required.  Mapping out how users follow a business process into a use case, into screens and into the programs that enable the screens, helps you design modern interfaces that streamline interactions without missing key requirements.

Our Application Modernization services team uses advanced tools such as video capturing, business process and use-case modeling, along with deep linking to create a complete picture of how users interact with your applications. We track application assets, capture changes, make revisions and sign off — right in our tools — to help ensure that all information is up to date and available to your stakeholders during any stage of a project.

By capturing a complete picture of your legacy environment including technical and business requirements, our approach helps you prevent additional costs that can result from missing key requirements during the application modernization design phase.

In a recent example, our application understanding technology and Portfolio Assessment services helped Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) analyze a business-critical mainframe application before moving to a new service-oriented architecture. Our unique approach saved ARC’s technical team around four months of effort.  

To learn more about this customer story and our innovative approach to application assessment, please click here.

1 Gartner Webinar: Best Practices to Reduce Future Application Maintenance Costs, Andy Kyte, January 9, 2013

About the Author: Brandon Edenfield