July 25, 2022

The Business Benefits of Platform Modernization

The term platform modernization gets thrown around a lot these days. Technology vendors keep promoting modernization as a must-have for businesses running legacy applications.

Simplifying the term, modernization is basically converting older platforms into a new one. From an enterprise’s technical standpoint, modernization involves rewriting or migrating monolithic legacy systems to modern computer programming languages, architectures (e.g. microservices), software libraries, and protocols. Today, that generally means a migration to the cloud.

Before getting caught up in the technical angles of modernization, it’s important to consider the benefits your business will realize by going through the process. Modernization just for the sake of modernization is not enough. There must be something in it for the business so leadership believes in the value of how the company will operate after modernization takes place. Only then can the entire company get behind modernization—a major prerequisite for the initiative to succeed.

The Key Capabilities Modernization Gives Your Business

At the highest level, modernizing your platform enables you to more easily roll out new features for customers, which helps you generate more revenue. You can do the same for applications that streamline workflows—so your internal team can work more efficiently.

With applications developed faster, and with automated deployment and support processes, you can redeploy your resources to other strategic initiatives. Additional efficiencies come from moving your legacy applications into the cloud, where infrastructure resources (servers, storage and networking) turn from capital expenditures into monthly operating expenses—and you pay for compute resources only when needed.

Here’s a quick rundown of other areas your business can enhance with the support of a modern application platform:

  • Drive innovation to stay ahead of your competitors by leveraging the latest technologies in artificial intelligence, automation, mobility, collaboration, and data science.
  • Respond more quickly to customer needs by rolling out new digital products and service updates faster.
  • Maintain business as usual for customers and end-users by scaling compute resources automatically to handle spikes in workload demand.
  • Facilitate mergers and acquisitions with the ability to quickly integrate and consolidate systems and onboard new employees.
  • Protect digital assets belonging to your business, customers and partners with a stronger security posture

With these capabilities, your company stays relevant—in both the services you provide to customers and by making it easier for employees to work productively. These attributes will lead to long-term loyalty from both groups.

Read More Insights on Platform Modernization

This growing series of posts gives business leaders an excellent view of the modernization process from beginning to end.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Legacy Applications

Another benefit of a modern application platform is access to the required skill sets. The resource pool of professionals and software developers is already too shallow. If you’re running legacy applications, finding experts who know your technologies is even more challenging.

That’s because anyone entering the job force or taking classes to learn new skills is focused on the newest technologies. Developers themselves are likely to be interested in learning the skills and techniques of modern software. With a modern application platform, you’re in a better position to appeal to expert software professionals.

Legacy applications also prove problematic when working with technology vendors. Support contracts increase sharply in costs as applications age, and at some point, application versions reach end-of-support status. It’s often difficult or impossible to get any vendor support at all. You will then have to rely on your internal team or consultants who know the software. And even they won’t be around forever.

Applications that reach end-of-support status are also a major security problem. With security patches no longer available, your legacy applications become prime targets for cybercriminals. Your platform presents as low-hanging fruit, thus putting your digital assets at risk.

Strengthening Customer Loyalty

In the cloud, the compute resources supporting your modernized applications that scale automatically to handle workload spikes can also scale down when you no longer need them. You avoid paying for compute power you don’t need—a common problem for legacy applications running in on-premises data centers.

And with a modern platform that syncs with current IT talent areas of expertise, your IT team will also find your environment easier to support. They will have greater agility to adapt technologies to solve business needs—such as integrating acquired technologies and teams and strengthening your security posture by efficiently removing vulnerabilities.

Just as importantly, your business can excel at change, achieving faster time to value for new applications and services. With deployment times reduced, your software developers can also experiment more with test releases that increase their level of innovation.

Ultimately, your business gains the ability to create modern customer experiences, by reacting quickly to changing customer needs and desires. This allows your organization to strengthen your brand and reduce the attrition of both of these vital groups.

If your company is modernizing your application platform, 3Pillar is here to help. For more information 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.