Application Modernization: Break Barriers With LeanIX

Posted by Neil Sheppard on June 6, 2024
Application Modernization: Break Barriers With LeanIX

Application modernization efforts are often stunted by a few common issues. Discover how LeanIX can overcome the three biggest challenges for application portfolio transformation.

Application modernization is key for any organization in the modern market. Not only must companies have the right tools to satisfy evolving customer needs, but their software toolset must also support future transformations to adapt to whatever comes next.

LeanIX has been supporting our customers with application modernization for 12 years and, during that time, we've observed a repeated pattern in the challenges that are holding our customers back from optimizing their software portfolio. We've found three key areas where companies attempting application modernization are stumbling.

The LeanIX Application Portfolio Management product is specifically designed to overcome these barriers by offering you clarity in the areas where organizations are flying blind. To find out more about the barriers to app modernization and how LeanIX can overcome them, download our poster:

DOWNLOAD: Breaking Barriers To Application Modernization Infographic


What Is Application Modernization?

Software was never designed to keep up with the pace of change we're currently experiencing. Engineers building the first software applications didn't predict a time when the software they were creating could be outdated before they've finished coding it.

Thankfully, engineers have now designed software that can be easily updated to progress as technology does. Adopting this software, however, requires a digital transformation process, which is easier said than done.

BCG research has shown that 70% of digital transformations fail . This is a "catch 22", as it's difficult because the legacy technology you're moving away from wasn't designed for transformation, which is why you're attempting application modernization in the first place.

Often, application modernization is synonymous with cloud migration, since the majority of modern software is cloud-based. Cloud migration, in itself, is not a simple lift-and-shift of your IT landscape, but a complete re-architecture to make it suitable for the cloud.

So, application modernization is a lot of effort, but once you've modernized your applications to create a more-flexible portfolio, future transformations will be much easier. So what is it that's preventing 70% of transformations from succeeding?

As we said above, we've identified three common barriers that are blocking application modernization and we've ensured LeanIX can overcome all of them. Let's look at each one, in turn.


First Barrier To App Mod: Security

"Technical debt related to legacy systems poses a moderate challenge for the majority of [survey] respondents (61%)"

Consult The Board: Technical Debt in Legacy Systems, Gartner Research

This barrier is actually about technical debt, but security risk is the biggest consequence of imperfect code and legacy technology. While inefficiency and difficulty carrying out transformations are an expected consequence of tech debt, older technology is also far easier for cyber criminals to breach.

Tech debt originally meant the necessary shortcuts your engineers take in coding that will have consequences later, but the term has grown to imply a kind of technology amortization. Tech debt now encompasses the loss to productivity you experience in using outdated technology, the costs involved in maintaining end-of-life technology, and the expense of transformation.

Our own 2023 IT Cost Optimization Survey found that 24% of IT budget is wasted on technical debt each year. Some surveys of non-LeanIX customers place this at 75%.

Many see application modernization as the solution to paying off their tech debt. Yet, simply lifting and shifting their inefficient application portfolio into the cloud is not going to solve any of the problems.

Working the opposite way and optimizing their application portfolio to prepare it for the cloud first will make the cloud migration far easier. This way, you can ensure efficiency, cyber security, and regulatory compliance before, during, and after your cloud migration.

To optimize your estate, you need to assess each of your applications to determine which are sufficient as they are, which need to be modernized, and which need to be retired. Before you do any of those things, however, you need to discover all the dependencies and connections between your applications so you can ensure that your work to fix your IT landscape doesn't break it.

The LeanIX Application Portfolio Management product allows you to map your complete application portfolio and all its dependencies to ensure you have clarity. Then, our Architecture and Road Map Planning solution will empower you to plan an effective project to modernize and secure your IT landscape.


Second Barrier To App Mod: User Experience

"Those organizations that did invest in digital transformation technologies in 2020 enjoyed a 20% increase in employee productivity"

Employee Experience And Customer Experience – What Is The Connection?, DIC

Employee experience is not traditionally a priority for organizations, but leaders are increasingly waking up to the importance of it. A frustrating experience with poor technology can reduce employee productivity, as IDC reported, but a consistently poor experience can actually lead to the loss of essential talent.

A report by Lakeside software found that employees claimed they were only able to achieve 60% of their potential productivity due to poor tech experiences. 30% had even considered quitting their jobs because of it.

Apollo Technical, meanwhile, found that losing an employee costs the company about 33% of that employee's annual salary. Not to mention, the cost to your organization from not retaining the key talent that drives your success.

Having the latest workplace technology is vital to employee retention, productivity, and success in general. Yet, ensuring every employee's experience is optimized means having oversight across all technology use in your organization.

LeanIX allows you to visualize the impact of technology transformation across your organization and ensure no-one is left behind. You can also visualize the change for all of your key stakeholders, ensuring buy-in and collaboration.


Third Barrier To App Mod: Sustainability

"38% of the Fortune Global 500 have made commitments to reduce emissions by 2030"

Business Leaders Challenge Fellow CEOs To Raise Their Game On Net-Zero Commitments, Fortune

We're all concerned with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues in the modern age, but none more so than regulators. Since IT generates 2% of the world's carbon emissions, about the same amount as the entire aviation industry, eyes are turning to IT leaders to increase IT sustainability.

Most monitoring tools, however, don't track carbon emissions and sustainability as part of their data sets. Without key oversight of these metrics, any success IT leaders achieve in reducing carbon emissions is pure luck.

We know that application modernization can replace applications and IT components that use more energy than is necessary, but do you need to replace your whole portfolio? To hit ESG goals, you need clarity on which applications need replacing.

That's why LeanIX has a built-in ESG Capability Map that allows you to visualize carbon emissions and track them against key ESG performance indicators. LeanIX empowers you to immediately showcase your ESG as-is and your improvement over time to all of your stakeholders.


How LeanIX Breaks Barriers To Application Modernization

The LeanIX toolset supports any application modernization project by providing the clarity you need to understand where you are now, and where you want to be in the future. All you need to do is decide your approach.

To support you with this, we asked Gartner to complete a report on choosing the right approach for your application modernization. Whichever you choose, LeanIX will enable your transformation.

To find out which application modernization approach is the right one for your organization, read Gartner's report:

GARTNER REPORT: How To Choose The Right Approach For Application Modernization And Cloud Migration

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