Application modernisation is the term used to describe the modernisation of (sub)applications or entire application landscapes. Application modernisation projects pose an organisational challenge for companies; however, they also offer the opportunity for them to reorganise and to adapt their IT landscape to the latest circumstances and requirements.
Depending on the initial situation and the strategy chosen, a number of different approaches to modernisation are possible – ranging from a complete technical overhaul, to the targeted further development of the application, and even to replacing the application with standard software.
Application modernisation is necessary so that companies can meet the current and future requirements of their business. Modern companies’ core applications have a decisive impact on how competitive they are: new opportunities on the market need to be acted on quickly, business is becoming more agile and so the software that supports this business needs to adapt as well.
Outdated applications are often based on end-of-life technologies and tend to be extremely complex. As a result, they generate additional costs, pose a potential security risk due to a lack of support, and result in a competitive disadvantage over the medium term.
Working on a business-critical application is essentially open-heart surgery. It demands exceptional methodology and technical skills. Seamless migration of data, archives, and ongoing business must be guaranteed at all times. Most companies wait too long to start the modernisation process, resulting in additional time pressure and poor underlying conditions. This situation is compounded by the fact that the company is often lacking sufficient knowledge of the outdated application and the supporting processes within the organisation. Application modernisation projects are change projects that go beyond simple technical modernisation and also involve organisational changes and updated processes. For this reason, support from management is critical for modernisation projects.
Additional applications are installed because new business applications can no longer be implemented in the existing system. This makes the overall application and infrastructure landscape even more complex and difficult to maintain. In this way, the outdated applications become an operational risk and inhibit innovation.
Zühlke has successfully used a four-step approach to modernization projects for many years:
The freedom regained in the area of applications offers the business new opportunities to develop. Time to market is reduced over the long term, while service quality is improved. The IT landscape can be streamlined through application modernization, which in turn increases efficiency. The reduction of maintenance requirements also allows additional savings to be made.
Cloud technologies such as Microsoft Azure and AWS are another option for the operation of applications. Using the cloud can increase organisational flexibility. Often, cloud providers can offer better data security and a more modern infrastructure than an in-house data centre. Furthermore, the cloud makes it possible to remain independent of providers; however, this needs to be taken into account in the architecture of the application and the use of cloud services. The cloud ecosystem can simplify or even enable the integration of new services in the environment of business applications. This means that cloud applications can serve as a viable alternative to local development or local operation of applications.
From ideation to operation – a next-gen mobile banking experience, medical-grade software for infusion pumps, or embedded software that runs on a connected construction machine - we can handle just about anything.
Regina Dietiker is a partner at Zühlke and responsible for the DevOps Practice at Zühlke Switzerland.
Creating and maintaining successful customer products and modernising applications is her passion.
Myles Davidson is an experienced leader for the digital transformation of companies and product innovation. Significant experience in driving business initiatives on a local and international level in a complex and rapidly changing environment. Myles is known as trusted advisor for clients at C- and board-level for strategic questions around business innovation and technology.
Stefan Novoszel joined Zühlke in September 2018. After graduating as DI (FH), Stefan gained in depth experience regarding the digitalisation of customer channels. He worked in the insurance-, banking and telecom sectors. His passion lies in the creation of digital value chains with which companies can inspire both their customers and their own employees.
Andreas Karsten loves working with customers and partners on innovative and transformational international IT Projects. As an Engagement-Manager, he has a long experience in supporting many German MDAX and DAX accounts across all industries, including Public-Sector.