June 21, 2022

5 Things to Include in Your Modernization Strategy

The digital revolution is as much about mindset and innovation as technology. If your legacy technology is preventing you from growing market share, innovating faster than your competition, or reacting to the changing marketplace and client demand, then it’s time to modernize. By committing to developing a platform modernization strategy, you’re also saying that improving your clients’ experience is a top priority.

There’s a reason businesses of every shape and size are investing heavily in digital transformation. When your outdated legacy tech infrastructure forces your team into rigid processes and workflows, it hinders your ability to innovate or build an agile mindset. It may even keep your team in a mindset of “This is how it’s done!” instead of “I wonder what’s possible!”

Digital transformation isn’t the only use case of a strong platform modernization strategy. Your company can also use it to:

  • Develop an enterprise strategy for digitization
  • Plan for funding, mergers, acquisitions to improve profitability
  • Modernize outdated infrastructure
  • Retire technology that’s no longer needed after moving from on-premise to the cloud
  • Uncover new opportunities and markets and quickly deliver industry-leading solutions
  • Quickly adapt to changing market conditions

Once you’ve realized that you need to modernize your technology to improve your ability to innovate, it can be tempting to dive in. When it comes to tech upgrades and modernization, strategy should come first. The key to a successful digital transformation lies in creating a comprehensive roadmap.

Investing time in strategy to define goals allows you to validate the problems you want to solve while giving you a path to achieve your key objectives. To that end, you’ll be able to focus efforts on doing the right things to maximize efficiency and minimize the time to value.

So what should you include in your platform modernization strategy to ensure you’re fully aligning your tech to excel at change?

The 5 Essential Steps to Create an Exceptional Platform Modernization Strategy

3Pillar Global uses a 5-stage framework to create a custom strategy for every platform modernization project. We’ve developed this process based on best practices from hundreds of modernization products. Our strategic approach blends mindset with methodology to ensure that we factor in all variables and deliver the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Step 1: Assessment & Prioritization

Before looking at any technology, we dive deep into your business to understand your goals as a company. This step allows us to create a platform modernization strategy that actually serves your needs. Using those goals as a lens, we explore everything about your company, from your team to your processes. Through this exploration, we can identify inefficiencies and opportunities for growth and improvement. As part of this assessment, we evaluate each application you use. In turn, we can understand dependencies, tasks, and tech currently in place and how it serves or hinders your company.

Step 2: Determine Approach

The next stage of creating a platform modernization strategy is determining which approach is best for your goals. Many systems may need retooling or reconstruction with new processes and tech that allow you to achieve your target outcomes. It’s best to prioritize the system that can deliver the quickest, most impactful wins. From there, you can update systems one by one based on priorities.

Incremental change leads to greater efficiencies and better results than taking an all-or-nothing approach to modernizing your applications. Despite many people thinking “big bang” modernizations are the only path towards the future, this approach of sweeping change is dangerous and prone to failure.

At 3Pillar Global, we take a more gradual and sustainable strategy toward platform modernization. We find that the best practices for modernizing technology include identifying legacy systems we can modify to minimize the time, energy, and effort for our clients while also maximizing the returns. Adding new features that align with an improved business process and market needs while enabling cloud access is part of our success matrix.

Step 3: Identify Implementation Team

Digital transformation is as much about developing a new mindset as it is about creating technological changes. Your platform modernization strategy must factor in the necessary cultural shifts as well. Resistance to change poses one of the biggest hurdles you’ll face as you adopt new priorities that focus on:

  • Identifying problems and solving them creatively
  • Striving for continuous improvement and growth
  • Developing a lean, agile organization that can adapt quickly to the changing marketplace
  • Accelerating the delivery of value to clients

To that end, your internal implementation team must commit to fostering a mindset of growth and problem-solving. So, who should be on your internal modernization strategy team?

We suggest identifying team members in company-wide leadership and at the departmental level—particularly within the IT department—who can support implementation. In addition to the necessary technical training, they must also be able to answer questions about why your company is taking this on. This team is critical for ensuring that your company transitions to a mindset focused on solving for need and uncovering new solutions that create value.

Step 4: Create a Roadmap & Timeline

Armed with the priorities, approach, and team, it’s time to create a platform modernization roadmap and timeline. To shorten your timeline, minimize time to value, and accelerate your wins, we recommend that your platform modernization strategy factors in:

  • Applications that must be migrated together: some systems are dependent on one another. Your minimum viable modernization efforts may include one top-priority feature and a second that’s lower on the list yet essential to optimizing the process.
  • “Side effects” on company culture: we’ve identified that change requires effort, training, and mindset shifts. All of which are important. However, it also frees up your team’s energy to focus on higher priorities that allow them to utilize their strengths and deliver greater value to clients.
  • Effects and progress each step makes towards goals: when you’re in the middle of a process, it’s not always easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Defining what every step looks like and allows you to help your team buy into—and maintain—the big picture vision.

Step 5: Implementation, Testing & Launch

Now it’s “go time.” Based on your goals, the approach we’re outlining here, and the resulting platform modernization strategy, it’s time to put the plan into action.

After rigorous testing and ongoing training with your team, we turn things over to you to keep the engine moving, so you can deliver value to your clients. With access to powerful resources and information, your team can continue innovating toward your goals.

At 3Pillar Global, we believe in continually striving towards perfection. And, because the marketplace and technology are constantly changing, your platform modernization strategy gives you the tools to react to both. Ultimately, this mindset empowers you to continue on a path of excelling at change, minimizing time to value, and solving for client need.

The Time is NOW to Create Your Platform Modernization Strategy

As our world grows increasingly digital, companies using legacy technology will get left behind. The time is now to start exploring how you can create a platform modernization strategy that allows you to join the digital revolution on a scale that makes sense for your company. A measured approach to modernization allows you to focus on your goals so that you can realize them one by one.

A powerful strategy for growth enables innovation within your company, strengthens consistency and stability, and empowers better decision-making.

Ready to transform how your organization thinks and operates so that you can succeed in the digital economy? Contact us today.

Special thanks to these members of FORCE, 3Pillar’s expert network, for their contributions to this article.

FORCE is 3Pillar Global’s Thought Leadership Team comprised of technologists and industry experts offering their knowledge on important trends and topics in digital product development.