How To Build An Application Modernization Roadmap

Most digital technologies, such as AI, machine learning, big data, and the cloud, are leveraged via application modernization. Businesses need to plan an application modernization roadmap to modernize legacy applications successfully.

Application modernization builds a flexible foundation for future innovation while transforming your IT ecosystem based on current market trends.

What Is Application Modernization?

Application modernization plays an important role in automating manual tasks, allowing data to flow easily between internal and external systems, and streamlining business processes. The term ‘legacy application modernization’ has gained popularity in the software development industry. It’s because market conditions and customer expectations are quickly changing in today’s fast-paced environment. So, many legacy systems have turned into liabilities rather than assets. 

Why Do We Need Legacy Application Modernization?

Every application has a life span, and it’s unusual for an application not to receive regular maintenance and improvements. Businesses must maintain and improve their applications due to changing company needs and adhering to legal obligations.

Modern applications are significantly different from legacy apps. Modernization offers the chance to transform the existing IBM i apps and continue using them while utilizing modern technologies. Here, it is important to consider the following customer pain points that may involve during the application modernization.

  • Rapidly changing conditions
  • Low developer productivity
  • Lack of talent
  • No easy way to innovate
  • Difficulty in integrating
  • Modern usage limitation
  • High cost of maintenance
  • Scaling to growing business needs

In this article, we will discuss a step-by-step implementation of the application modernization roadmap. Moreover, we will also look at the factors that influence a successful legacy application modernization project.

What Stages Are Involved In Planning An Application Modernization Roadmap? 

For each application modernization roadmap, you must go through several preliminary stages:

application modernization roadmap

Application Portfolio Assessment

Application portfolio assessment is a technique that scans and examines your apps while applying analytics to them. You may see the cost-benefit score using this method, which will enable you to make informed decisions on IT development. So, during the application assessment, you can list every application and provide a score based on how crucial it is to business operations and how extensively it is utilized.

Choose An Appropriate Modernization Strategy

Determine whether each application in the portfolio needs to be modernized, and for those that need modernization, create an application modernization roadmap and select a modernization strategy for each application that needs it.

Modernization Design Phase

In the modernization design stage, you will choose which components of your application need to be modernized and plan how to complete the modernization task. You need to select an application modernization method at this phase.

For example, in the case of modernizing IBM i As400 applications, if you want to only modernize the IBM i green screen of 5250 applications, then you will choose the appropriate technique for IBM i green screen modernization.

Legacy Application Transition and Transformation 

During this phase, your developers begin by setting up modernization tools and modernizing the legacy application. The risk of the project spinning out of control would be the biggest at this stage, especially if you weren’t careful throughout the design phase.

Application Modernization Deployment and Management

You deploy the modernized version of the legacy application after completing the modernization work. The ongoing maintenance and improvement of the modernized application are the management tasks at this phase.

Every stage includes a detailed project plan, and several stages may require multiple projects. The available funding and resources determine the project’s priority. The application portfolio assessment’s conclusion serves as the initial review point. The organization assigns modernization priorities at this stage and goes on to the next phase.

Which Factors Influence A Successful Legacy Application Modernization Project?

When you start modernizing the legacy application, you want this project to be successful. So, you should know about the given factors that influence the success of a modernization project.

Align Modernization With Business Goals and Objectives

Legacy application modernization gives business people modernized perceptions of the application. They must be aware of and appreciate modernization projects’ advantages to business operations. To ensure end-users have access to the data, they need to run business operations and think of modernization projects as part of a larger plan to enhance business processes and data management continuously.

The risk of failure rises when businesses separate business activities and objectives from application modernization.

Employ Modernization Tools

Business users now use applications dynamically thanks to modernization tools. An easy implementation is impossible due to the challenges of application modernization and the high cost of the tools. A green-screen application’s conversion to a browser just expands its exposure. However, it does little to improve business operations. 

When implementing the modernization tools, the software provider expects to participate in the service’s role. This information is invaluable when the project first starts. However, you must train your staff to become knowledgeable and skilled in modernizing tools.

Change Management Strategy

A successful project must include change management, which is frequently ignored. In the busy environment of software development and implementation, it’s simple to ignore. Change management also aims to alleviate people’s fears and assist them in adapting to change. 

Change management behaves like a website where people may go to discover more information about the project. The details include explanations of possible changes, their effects on responsibilities and functions, and how potential improvements may change the working environment.

How Do The LANSA IBM i Modernization Tools Help In Building An Application Modernization Roadmap?

LANSA’s IBM i Modernization solutions are used for successful modernization in each stage, depending on the selected modernization strategies. The LANSA aXes tool helps modernize existing IBM i Applications. Businesses can modernize their existing IBM i green screens into a new web and mobile-friendly interface. 

More specifically, users can instantly web-enable their current 5250 applications with LANSA aXes without developing a single line of code. With this solution, you can scale by providing extra capabilities to your modernized user interface.

The low-code development platform, Visual LANSA, allows for up to ten times faster application development than conventional development methods.  This implies that you can develop complex application components that require traditional coding while also quickly developing basic functionality utilizing low-code within the same IDE.

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