3Nov Application Modernization: Where do you start? By Gary RowanIn ModernizationNovember 3, 2021 So where do you start with Application Modernization? Each business application environment is unique, and provides daily business needs for both internal and external users. In digitally transforming your organization the role of app modernization should not be viewed as unaffordable or unrealistic. As I continue to share my experiences, you will see I am a big believer in taking advantage of what was already invested in and currently provides cost benefit. I also recognize the benefit in taking those existing applications and processes, and making them more efficient, flexible and increasing their ROI. And these aspects of app modernization are attainable and can be provided in an affordable way. You just need to be informed as to the pitfalls to watch out for and where not to be mislead. Back to your app environment. Raise your hand if you have heard this statement before "This new platform that will satisfy everything your business applications will ever need." The wave of air from all the hands going up just knocked me off my seat! I cannot tell you how frequently I have heard 'just throw it on another platform because we were told it would work the same'. If app modernization was that easy, everyone would be doing it that way. However budgets continue to be wasted on attempting this route because decision makers were lead to believe this was the best option and place where their apps needed to go. I have yet to hear of a single case where that type of modernization worked as advertised. Features and functionality are consistently lost to this 'toss it onto this platform' method. When this occurs the application becomes less functional and more costly due to the inability of the new platform to retain existing efficiencies and features. When not taken into consideration this will lead to increased costs in development, support and the loss of user efficiency. This is the biggest issue I see right now with app modernization. One last item to keep in mind. Some platforms force your business processes to conform to the limitations of the solution. This is actually the opposite of what app modernization should be. Of course there are opportunities to take advantage of new tech stacks and capabilities, but my point is modernizing without increasing functionality and agility makes zero sense and will prove costly. So here is the conundrum. App modernization can seem like a gigantic, painful, career consuming endeavor, but it really isn't. What we have done is provide a solution that addresses the largest obstacles and keeps cost of modernization to a minimum. We came up the following requirements list that you should look for that gives you what you need to maximize your app modernization investment:  - Modern, browser-based user experience - Mobile ready: access anytime, anywhere, and from any device - Flexible deployment (on premises or customers cloud of choice) - Future ready and scalable - Low code options to easily deploy new business functionality - Ability to integrate existing data - Ease of onboarding - High user acceptance, low user impact - Ability to integrate via APIs with other applications and web services These are what we focused our efforts on and what lead us to create Compass. When we designed our platform, we centered on providing the highest value without the high cost we are seeing with other app modernization strategies. We know applications provide cost savings, but now is the time to take those and increase the attributes that make the applications more valuable and ready for the future.