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How organizations can build a successful application modernization strategy

How organizations can build a successful application modernization strategy
1 Jun, 2022
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The pace of change is constantly accelerating, demanding that every enterprise make its applications ready for a digital-first world. Internal enterprise applications need to be open and must integrate seamlessly with external applications. Research firm, IDC, has hence rightly predicted that by 2024, most legacy applications will receive some modernization investment, with cloud services used by 65% of the applications to extend functionality or replace inefficient code. While building modern cloud applications is essential to increasing flexibility, resilience, and agility, the task of building these applications can be extremely challenging.

The biggest challenge is the ability of organizations to quickly modernize legacy applications. On average, it is estimated that 50% of applications in an organization are legacy. A significant percentage of these applications have not been integrated with modern development tools like DevOps toolchains and integrated development environments. Such integration can be complex and expensive, a challenge exacerbated by the lack of quality developer talent.

Despite the fact that India is a software outsourcing hub and has a sizable supply of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) graduates, only 35% of these graduates are considered to be employment ready in the technology sector. Most enterprises have to address this gap through reskilling programs for existing employees and for new hires.

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Nasscom, India’s trade association and advocacy group for technology, estimates that the demand-supply gap for digital talent is expected to grow three times by 2026. This translates to a shortage of approximately 1.4 to 1.8 million skilled workers. Given the pace of technological innovation, most companies will struggle to attract talent and motivate developers.

To address the above stated challenges, it is imperative that enterprises rethink the way they look at software development.

Create a holistic software sourcing strategy

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To succeed in the long term, all enterprises that deliver business outcomes with software need a combination of multiple software development partners. This will give enterprises the capability to deliver solutions in weeks or months instead of years. Even integration with legacy applications and other existing systems, and be able to do so quickly, securely, and reliably. The partners must be selected by keeping in mind the overall business strategy. 

The right partner will provide enterprises with a technical architecture that allows them to meet their strategic requirements and provide a clear path to how the software development strategy will address other important requirements. These requirements encompass governance, privacy, and security, as well as integration with existing systems, namely legacy systems, SaaS systems, and cloud providers. But most importantly, this strategy must empower existing developers to deliver the business outcome required.

Accelerate the pace of software development by leveraging low-code platforms

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Irrespective of how a company has started, today, every company requires a digital-first mindset. As most companies do not have enough in-house talent and need to outsource development, they need to deliver value with less code and complexity to succeed as a software-driven firm. 

This is where low-code platforms excel. There’s still a myth that low-code platforms are not for real developers. Today, this myth has been shattered by the widespread usage of low-code platforms. Low-code platforms provide an abstraction to remove some complexities that developers typically face when creating an app or system. Low-code platforms can also automate routine or undifferentiated elements of the software development process enabling developers to focus on the highest value elements of an application.

These points align with the findings from IDC: when they asked full-stack developers what the most important attributes of the development tools and platforms they use were, the number one answer was code abstraction, as represented by low-code tools. Developers want to code, produce functionality, and not spend their time debugging or conducting software requirement analysis. These types of model-driven, visual solutions allow them to focus on creating highly impactful software. The report also found that companies experienced up to a 75% reduction in development time and a 65% reduction in costs with low-code solutions.

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Leverage existing code 

In today’s fast-paced world of software development, there is no need to create software from scratch. Enterprises can easily access repeatable bits of code in cloud marketplaces. Ideally, enterprises should give their developers access to the required tools, processes, and ease of using cloud marketplaces. This improves the pace of software development, and also helps in innovating as developers have more time to develop differentiated software products or solutions.

All the above factors can help enterprises develop a recipe for success for empowering and retaining their developers and, therefore, increasing the speed of delivering apps that meet the needs of their customers and deliver business outcomes.

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Subrato Bandhu

Subrato Bandhu


Subrato Bandhu is the regional vice president at OutSystems India.