This article is a repost from Ergo website https://www.ergogroup.ie/blog/why-2023-may-be-a-good-time-for-app-modernisation
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Meta has called 2023 ‘a year of efficiency’ and they are far from alone in the corporate world. Many businesses are knuckling down, shedding staff and focussing on the old adage of ‘doing more with less’. Belt tightening is a business initiative again, like the bad old days of 2008.
That’s not to say that digital transformation or cloud migration projects should be put on hold – they may be precisely what’s required to run a leaner enterprise, saving money and increasing efficiency over a longer period of time. There are two options: you can innovate your way out of an economic downturn and build something from scratch, or you can regenerate legacy applications that cost a lot to maintain and add little to the agility of the business at a time when it is badly needed.
When to regenerate rather than replace
Research reveals that most businesses spend between 70-80% of their IT budgets maintaining legacy applications, something that will jar with CFOs as they look for cuts in 2023 to offset inflation and rising costs. When it comes to knowing where to start, you could do worse than follow an IT mantra that says applications should be revisited when the cost to maintain them exceeds the cost to replace them.
What’s changed is that there’s a realistic alternative to replacing them. Executed properly, modernising and regeneration are a way forward, allowing organisations to retain familiar tools and processes while pepping them up with digital attributes. Almost always it’s about taking them to the cloud where it’s easier to integrate older applications with newer parts of the business that may be cloud-first.
Big wins are scalability and accessibility, but there are also cost savings to be made by locating different parts of an app in different types of cloud environment. Old databases that are rarely used but need to be retained, for example, can run as a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) workload and use cheaper, slower storage that’s more affordable than what was done on premise.
Enable the cloud advantage
By enabling legacy applications to function in the cloud you are not just giving them a new lease of life, you are putting them in an environment that makes it easier to keep up with the rapid pace of change. They can continually evolve to address the needs of the business, whether it’s supporting a move into a new market or meeting regulatory changes.
The cloud is also proving to be a useful platform for companies that target growth through M&A (Mergers & Acquisition). A big challenge around merging businesses is enabling them to share the same IT infrastructure and work effectively as one. Monolithic legacy apps are a big obstacle to a smooth transition, whereas apps hosted on a cloud platform like Azure make it much easier to adapt, integrate and share.
Another advantage with cloud is greater transparency around total cost of ownership. At Ergo we have a cloud optimisation service that ensures value is always maintained and expenditure kept under control. It’s very different to the maintenance and management costs associated with ageing on-premise infrastructure and applications that depend on repeated refresh cycles of capital investment to keep them up to date.
Finally, app modernisation in the cloud is a way to improve your cyber security defences and be in a better position to counter new threats that will inevitably emerge in 2023. Old, unsupported apps that lack encryption capabilities to support multi-factor authentication and single sign-on may be the single best reason to take them to the cloud.
Make a digital difference
A case for replacement rather than regeneration can also be made. Gartner has argued that ‘differentiating with digital’ is a viable strategy in an economic downtime, with the research company making the argument that the best way of countering the triple squeeze of high inflation, scarce talent and a sluggish global supply chain is to automate processes. It will permanently reduce labour costs, while advancing digital product and services that will put businesses in a good place when the economy recovers.
BoatyardX is an Ergo company that operates exactly in this space, designing and delivering innovative platforms and solutions that radically reinvent or replace workflows and processes previously stitched together by clunky apps and manual tasks. They have been very busy in the last year, suggesting that some businesses do see a downturn as a good time to innovate and do things differently.
Talk to our experts, who can help you design a roadmap for application modernisation with an approach that best aligns with your business strategy.
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