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Before the advent of the internet, enterprises had only one option for business-related work: Stand-alone, self-contained systems tailored to individual needs (with limited capacities for change or diversification). Initially, most stand-alone systems were siloed programs produced by regional and city-specific organisations. However, with evolving times and increasingly sophisticated needs, these systems became the mainstay of big enterprises and multinational businesses.

A revolution and explosion in the late 90s and early 2000s in terms of online storage and processing capacities, connectivity, and responsiveness across gadgets implied that these stand-alone systems were no longer the centrepiece. With resources becoming scarce and maintenance being an issue, a new name was coined for them- Legacy Systems. Nevertheless, the incompetencies of legacy systems became apparent with the evolving technologies. As businesses realised the drawbacks of legacy systems, they became more aware of the efficacy of cloud-based processing and storage, making the gap between the old and the new wider.

Making Way for the New

While the old is becoming increasingly unstable and unsustainable, it cannot be jettisoned for an immediate shift to everything new. This especially holds true when the old has its advantages, such as ease of use that comes from long usage periods, which led to the introduction of Application Modernisation Systems.

Application Modernisations helps bridge the gap between the old and the new and infuse life into the old in the context of contemporary digitisation. While hand holding the old, they are meant to combine them with the latest with minimum gaps in an organisation’s computing and communication needs.

In other words, it is a necessity to maintain business growth and continuity. Reasons abound, including:

  1. Legacy applications run on systems that may be on the way out. Lack of servicing, backup, and patches may render vital data vulnerable to pilferage and malicious attacks. Therefore, to secure critical data, there is a need to modernise the applications in the backdrop of the latest cybersecurity apparatus and application.
  2. Business requirements having gone digital, there’s just about no option but to shift, given that legacy system allows for little to no customisation.
  3.  Businesses, and more so the smaller ones, do not have the luxury of time and resources to devote to an ageing, not-so-agile system. A changeover gives them the wherewithal to concentrate on business while leaving application and processing needs in the hands of experts- in-house or outsourced. 
  4.  Expenses stabilise to quite an extent compared to legacy systems due to the shift of computing needs on the cloud. Application modernisation can thus bring enormous savings on the back of exponential growth with data security.

Initiating the Transformation


Today’s digitally transformed business world belongs to those who think through problems and come up with solutions- a forte with those who have time to concentrate on customer needs. Application modernisation into the latest gives any organisation the bandwidth to think creatively and bring about much-needed change.

Steps that need to be taken to make the Legacy App Migration process effective include the following:

Why do you require application modernisation?


Unless the goal is clear, this exercise is bound to be another patch-up that won’t deliver and only add another layer to the existing series of patches. Where goals are clear, an implementation plan comes into being, leading to a team selection, smaller and more focused goals, and deployment of the right resources, including time and hardware.

Analyse what to modernise


A system like an ERP has many parts and layers that cannot be assigned an equal priority. In doing so, an organisation gets to know what to do when. Understanding the “what”, a business is able to bring in the right resource to address the issue at hand to bring the right value.

Breaking down the entire exercise


Instead of aiming for a complete, one-time overhaul that’s fraught with likely loopholes, an enterprise should aim at taking the entire activity down to micro levels with each component deployed individually as a service. Like a scalable jig-saw puzzle, it shall cost less while not holding the whole organisation to ransom.

Analyse the relative value of modernisation


To do or not to do should depend upon the value it brings versus the value it takes away. Besides costs, one should consider the user-friendliness of the existing and try to implement change that complements.

How does one implement application modernisation?


If the “why” is answered to the last detail, the “how” becomes easy to map. Would it be a cloud transformation, customisable API, and more of the same? It is when the organisation needs to look at its state in terms of existing resources and what it can summon from outside. 

What After Implementation?

This exercise can’t be left for beyond implementation. What if the outcome is anything but as planned? Where does the organisation go in such a state? Thus, it makes sense to make data migration and transition plans right down to the last detail while considering likely organisational structure changes after the modernisation exercise. 

To conclude, Application Modernisation is the need of the hour for businesses that are stuck with legacy systems, given that the latter doesn’t grow and doesn’t engender scaling up, and with time becomes a road-block on an otherwise great path towards growth. The earlier it is implemented, the better it is for everyone, including the business itself.

If you are looking to make your legacy systems more agile, Motherson Technology Services Application Modernisation team may help you transform your IT ecosystem and create an implementation roadmap. Therefore, start now and connect with our experts to take the leap.

About the Author:

Vinod Pahlawat, Geo Head – India and MEA, Motherson Technology Services

A senior management professional with 3 decades of expertise in driving business strategy & business operations and a strong understanding of value chain at multiple industry verticals like Telecom, BFSI,  Media & Entertainment, Manufacturing & eCommerce. Vinod has always been a synonym for customer centricity, dependable operational excellence and exemplary leader delivering corporate objectives including aggressive organic & Inorganic business growth.


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