App Modernization is the most common buzzword we hear these days along with Digital Transformation. We have been hearing these words for a long time in the IT space. In fact, they go in a circular motion every now and then. But as an organization, the journey of Application (App) Modernization may look different than another organization. In this post, we will answer the three basic questions that every organization should consider.
- Why should we consider App Modernization?
- How do we go about with App Modernization?
- What are the key benefits to be realized from App Modernization?
Why should we consider App Modernization?
Most organizations proceed with their modernization journey without understanding the “Why”. I would recommend watching this talk by Simon Sinek on “Start with Why”. Though this talk is centered around leadership, we can use the same questions for any transformation or modernization program.
For a majority of organizations, the IT transformation programs are carried over to support business initiatives. Whether it is to gain a considerable amount of market share, stay ahead of competitors, improve turnaround time to go to market strategies, reduce technical debt, stay relevant with current technologies, access to talent, improve operational margins, or reduce capital expenditures. We can keep on adding to this list.
But it is a common concern expressed in many organizations that the pace of IT transformations does not align or provide the expected outcomes at the end of transformations. In a 2021 McKinsey Study, you can see that often organizations will start with an understanding of their “Why” during the initial stages of transformation, but then they forget the “Why” after day one and miss those as part of the implementation stages.
“What’s more, while much of a transformation’s value loss (55 percent) occurs during and after implementation, a sizeable portion happens as early as day one (Exhibit 2)“
It is important to prioritize the most strategic goals that align with the core mission and values of the organization. Once we finalize the strategic goals, we need to measure them at every phase of our modernization journey to make sure we are not deviating from our goals.
How do we go about with App Modernization?
Once we have a clear understanding of the “Why” and our goals prioritized, it is easier to execute to meet our targets and goals. The details of transformation or modernization programs no longer stay within the executive team. We need to communicate the key goals to every person who is part of the transformation program and make sure that everyone knows why they are undergoing the transformation program.
Having everyone aligned with program goals helps in the transformation journey. As an organization, it is important to choose a framework. For example, when it comes to performing a Cloud Transformation or Modernization with Microsoft Azure, we can choose the Cloud Adoption Framework. Cloud Adoption Framework is proven guidance and best practices that help us confidently adopt the cloud and achieve business outcomes.
Once we identify or choose a framework it is important for us to consider the areas of People, Process, and Technology.
Cloud Adoption Framework covers all the aspects of People, Processes, and Technology that are needed to be considered as part of the transformation program. We can apply the same steps to any Cloud Transformation Programs, whether it be Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud Platform (GCP), as these are technology agnostic.
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What are the key benefits to be realized from App Modernization?
What is the fun in spending budgets on the transformation program when we do not know the benefits at the end of the modernization program? It is important to list the benefits in terms of the “Why” by mapping the benefits against our strategic goals which we choose at the start of the modernization. As we execute the program, we need to ensure that we have the right levers and controls in place that would help us in measuring the benefits after the program.
Measuring benefits can be achieved if we are able to manage the benefits using a benefits management system. We need to have a comprehensive approach to benefits management. For example, if one of our strategic goals is to reduce operating expenses, we should be able to measure the amount of cost reduction which we have realized by implementing the program. If we do not measure the outcomes of benefits and have a system in place to measure the benefits the entire program does not realize its expected outcome.
Once we have a clear understanding of the “Why”, “How” and “What” organizations should be able to prepare themselves to execute successful modernization programs.
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