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Application Modernization Strategies

Business IT resources are very much like your desktop computer. What used to work for you in the last five years might not be suitable for your new IT needs today. That’s why, when your PC starts to bog down, lag out, or face troubles, you’ll have to decide whether to update, upgrade, or replace the unit altogether. Obviously, computers with newer operating systems are capable to handle your needs.

Similarly, as a business grows, business processes and needs also evolve. A business will eventually outgrow its existing IT resources. Using old, underperforming software to handle new, complex business processes can lead to inefficiency and problems.

Running updated, productive, and mobile applications are crucial to efficient business operations. To ensure that your systems are up-to-date, there are several application modernization strategies you can choose from.


When a system does not serve its original purpose and has lost its value to the business, it’s time to retire the application. Over time, some processes and requirements become unnecessary to a business; hence, systems that exclusively cater to these aspects have approached end-of-life. In some cases, there are duplicate systems that perform similar business processes – these can also be retired.

By retiring unnecessary systems, you can cut costs, system overhead, and resources. Deciding on which applications, databases, and legacy systems to retire require careful study to avoid unwanted interruptions or problems in your processes.


If an application doesn’t perform as expected, you can replace it with an off-the-shelf system. With rapidly evolving technology and software solutions, there may be new solutions that will suit your business needs. Usually, third-party components can replace old legacy systems.

Compared with custom solutions, a replacement can help cut the time and cost needed to modernize applications. In addition, it reduces the level of specialization and customization thereby minimizing overhead with maintenance and outsourced support. Many companies turn to Software-As-A-Service (SAAS) because it provides faster implementation and lowers initial cost.


If the legacy application meets the primary business requirements and needs, the system can be retained with minimal revisions soon. This strategy is ideal if the company: lacks manpower and budget, has no sufficient time to change the system, and the existing system won’t interfere with planned future IT upgrades.

Basically, with rationalization, you prioritize which segment can be segmented and modernized ahead of the rest. It allows you to maintain the status quo while ensuring the optimum efficiency of your IT resources. Likewise, it enables businesses to buy time while evaluating which application modernization strategy to pursue in the near term.


In this approach, application modernization is done incrementally. IT experts at Tricension normally recommend this strategy to help businesses improve compliance, scalability, or user experience. In re-architecture, the existing core applications are upgraded to meet the drivers of innovation and scale, at the same time, ensuring compliance and minimizing risk.

Re-architecture requires the help of in house tech team to build and support new functionality and features. There are different methods this can be achieved. Businesses that require incremental improvements to allow customers and clients to test will find this strategy very useful.


Lastly, re-platforming entails a complete overhaul and transformation of the existing technology. This strategy is best for businesses that require a major shift in technology. For example, when the business process has drastically changed, new core components are necessary to meet these needs. Usually, this becomes is inevitable if the changes are tied to revenue and growth, and other essential functions necessary for continued operation.

The downside with re-platforming is that it can be costly and can take a long time. This broad and encompassing change often requires third-party experts throughout the development, launch, and maintenance of the system. Re-platforming can be very risky but it’s a worthwhile process.

Final Thoughts

No strategy is superior to the other. Application modernization strategy depends on your business’ present conditions. Some factors to consider include business needs and processes, business requirements, financial and manpower resources, timeline, and scalability and compliance of systems. To help you come up with an informed decision, work with a reliable IT specialist who can evaluate your business IT needs.

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