The high cost of falling behind with legacy technology

Application modernization can take many forms, but not all of them are created equal.  When considering how to modernize technology, the array of potential paths organizations face can be daunting. It is no wonder many organizations continue to depend on legacy applications that are both critical to day-to-day operations and reliant on outdated technology. When it comes to tech modernization, replacing legacy applications is certainly not the only option. In fact, modernizing existing applications by upgrading and moving to the cloud is often a wiser choice. Let’s explore why.

Why modernizing tech is mission critical

While modernization may present some challenges, maintaining the status quo is not without risk. In a recent blog, OpenText addressed why moving away from legacy applications should be a priority.  In brief, the key risks organizations face when they fail to modernize critical business applications are these:

  • Lack of agility: Relying on legacy technology can mean lacking the flexibility to tackle key business challenges or lagging behind other organizations facing similar hurdles.  
  • Lost productivity: By failing to integrate with leading applications or leading to workarounds, relying on outdated technology often results in unnecessarily complex, inefficient business processes.
  • Missed opportunities: Sticking with legacy applications means your business won’t be able to deliver new ways of delighting customers or enable new ways of working. Failing to take advantage of leading-edge capabilities puts you behind the competition, making you less able to compete for both customers and talent.

Taken together, these risks can mean that organizations that delay modernizing critical applications are not just failing to operate at peak efficiency but also failing to maximize growth. IDC predicts that “By 2024, companies offering frontline workers democratized access to digital collaboration, process automation, and similar tools will see a 20% increase in revenue due to improved productivity.” In other words, providing employees with better tools through application modernization can ultimately impact long-term competitiveness and even survival. Think of your organization’s technology stack like your savings. If you simply hold onto funds, you will ultimately lose more value to inflation than if you invest. In the case of technology, investing means modernizing to ensure your applications meet your business needs, both now and in the future.

What are the benefits of having a strategy for technology modernization?

Organizations that invest in digital transformation initiatives experience better business outcomes, including:

  • 23% improvement in operational efficiency
  • 26% increase in employee productivity
  • 25% reduction in business risk[1]

Despite the urgency surrounding legacy application modernization, it is not wise to embark on any modernization effort without first establishing a strategy. Engaging experts who have experience with not only the technical aspects of modernization but the strategic and business aspects as well, is most likely to lead to success. Here are a few key reasons why:  

  • Support long-term success: Before embarking on any modernization effort, consider your overall information management strategy, and take the approach that best prepares you for the long-term. For most, this will mean shifting toward cloud-based digital infrastructure and streamlining business processes through integration.
  • Avoid business disruption: Having a strategy can help minimize disruption and ensure business continuity during the modernization process.
  • Choose a tailored strategy over shortcuts: While it may be appealing to adopt a “rip and replace” or lift and shift approach in the name of expediency, experts agree that both approaches often bring both added cost and increased risk. Moreover, both present new hurdles. Replacing legacy applications with new ones will demand changes to business processes and may present adoption or change management challenges. On the flip side, by simply moving an existing implementation to the cloud as part of a lift and shift, you won’t get the full benefit of current technology. Instead of focusing on the fastest approach, OpenText recommends working with an expert to develop a modernization strategy tailored to your business.

Taking a phased approach to your modernization strategy

While it may be tempting to complete modernization as quickly as possible, OpenText recommends taking a phased approach. OpenText’s Accelerated Modernization Program (AMP) breaks the process into three phases to:

  1. Assess technology modernization needs
  2. Manage the move to a modernized implementation
  3. Decommission legacy applications

A stepwise approach ensures that the goals and impacts of modernization are fully considered before the process begins. It also allows you to achieve iterative wins, demonstrating the value that modernization will deliver to your business. During the process, OpenText experts work with stakeholders to understand your organization’s unique requirements, how modernization will impact multiple areas of your business, and how moving to cloud fits into your strategic initiatives.

How can organizations get started on tech modernization?

To begin any modernization effort on the right foot, OpenText advises thinking big picture. Take time to consider your entire technology ecosystem and all the business processes that could be improved for better employee and customer experiences. In other words, begin by thinking less about how to modernize and more about the end results you’re aiming for.

Get started with some quick self-assessments to:

  • Decide if it’s time to modernize
  • Assess your current business needs to choose the right path forward

Think outside the box to get started on your modernization plan.

[1] IDC Spotlight, sponsored by OpenText, How Cloud Modernization Achieves Business Resilience (March 2022) – Doc # CA48900022BRO

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