Application modernization strategies require organizations to reimagine their businesses


Why application modernization requires reimagining your business

Companies that reimagine their businesses to approach application modernization drive an increased speed to market, more engaged employees and enhanced security.

Like other aspects of digital transformation, application modernization is as much a product of people as technology. Companies that focus on maintaining the status quo or prioritizing a zealous approach to cost savings over serving the customers are unlikely to think about application modernization. Even if they do, they may not be equipped to take the right steps to modernize their legacy systems without a mindset shift.

Key Takeaways

Successful application modernization requires a top-down buy-in on reimagining the business to better prepare for a rapidly changing landscape. It will help harness converging technologies and drive disruptive innovation.

Companies can no longer do one thing well and only worry about marketing and selling a few products that don't change much from year to year. Competition abounds, and stagnant organizations will be attacked from all sides. Companies that can produce and deploy innovative ideas quicker than the rest of the industry can achieve a significant and lasting competitive advantage.

Here’s What You Need To Do

  1. Shift your mindset: Application modernization unlocks a vision of limitless possibilities in many organizations. But it is not easily achieved, and it cannot be done without a reorientation of priorities. The company leadership should embrace and encourage change to stay ahead of the competition while enabling employees to contribute to meaningful decisions. Companies cannot change their technology stacks without first changing their mentality.
  2. Prioritize collaboration: No strategy exists in a vacuum. And no application modernization approach will succeed without a cross-functional understanding of what needs to be done. The right partner unlocks incredible value by virtue of a) bringing a fresh perspective and b) using well-defined and -validated frameworks to maximize modernization. The right partner also brings a unique approach unique to the company and helps decide whether it needs to design, redesign, refactor or reengineer any particular application.
  3. Lean into partnerships: Few organizations can achieve a meaningful application modernization strategy if they can go it alone. The right partner works side-by-side with an organization to seamlessly ideate, build, measure, iterate and scale solutions. Companies can benefit from a tested end-to-end framework of design thinking, agile methodologies and DevSecOps best practices. Best of all, it causes the organization to rethink its approach to collaboration, opening it up to new opportunities to partner with like-minded companies and tap into broader ecosystems, where organizations collaborate and share information through APIs and other automated means.
  4. Embrace lean agility: Agility is about improving performance through adaptability and establishing a position prone to respond to changes. Leanness is primarily about eliminating waste and constraints. A company that adopts learn-agile methodologies can easily embrace app modernization because it focuses on opportunities for change. It understands the importance of clearing technical debt and adopts the right approach of either replacing existing applications or refactoring or rearchitecting existing ones. One way to build agility into technology is to adopt microservices, a style of software development for cloud-native applications that uses multiple autonomous, self-contained services.

Explore new ways of working: We have seen many clients reimagine how they serve their partners and customers through application modernization. Financial services companies, for instance, can more efficiently serve the underbanked. They can offer new solutions to existing customers by making their services available through partners and directly to customers using APIs. Modern applications open up entirely new ways of collaboration and directly connect with consumers and businesses.

The lasting the benefits of the reimagined business

Application modernization creates a world of new opportunities for businesses. It forces them to reevaluate their processes and explore new ways of working. Here are some of the benefits that await companies that move beyond their legacy systems.

  1. Increased speed to market
    A reimagined business engaged in application modernization can make smarter decisions quicker, enabling it to respond to changing market dynamics and beat competitors to launch products and services first.

  2. Happier and more productive employees
    The Great Resignation is not primarily about money or the desire to work for a new company. Employees who leave during the pandemic do so for many reasons - maybe they don’t find their jobs meaningful, feel that they couldn’t make a difference, or don’t feel a sense of community. Employees in IT can find working with a legacy stack dispiriting or failing to prepare them for new opportunities. Companies that embrace application modernization not only retain talent but can address the existing talent gap by recruiting new employees who want to work with modernized technology.

  3. Enhanced security
    Since legacy application portfolios can be difficult to support, update, scale and access, they can leave a company exposed to cybersecurity threats. Antiquated systems often make it impossible to connect with new technologies, especially security solutions. Modern technology stacks enable organizations to take advantage of advanced security. As organizations modernize their applications and migrate into the cloud, they have a golden opportunity to ensure that target platforms are securely designed, enterprise security standards are established, and industry best practices in DevSecOps and the "security first" mindset are adopted.

  4. A renewed sense of purpose
    A company that has embraced application modernization can rethink traditional paradigms. Innovative technology can spark additional innovation throughout the organization and drive a vision and strategic roadmap for new business services. It can deliver a solution that can include a variety of leading-edge technologies such as AI, automation, Internet of Things blockchain, AR/VR and 5G.


Application modernization requires companies to rethink the status quo and make significant changes to their operating strategy, but the benefits far outweigh the time and costs to execute. By embracing change and prioritizing agility, a company welcomes the opportunity to reimagine what’s possible. But it requires the right partner and the right approach. If you’re interested in learning how UST can help you take the first step, learn more about our approach today! Or you can schedule a free strategy session with one of our application modernization experts today.