Modernize to survive | VentureBeat

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The race for technological modernization is now a race for survival. That’s why, according to a new study from Infosys, 70-90% of the legacy systems that exist today will be modernized within five years.

However, despite the urgency, companies are avoiding replacement tactics and instead opting for incremental modernization. The reasons range from the risk and cost of the “big bang” implementation, to its outdated image, to the inability to eliminate core legacy applications. On the other hand, the relatively low cost and near-zero disruption of incremental modernization, and its assurance of business continuity, weigh heavily in its favour.

Additionally, this approach aligns well with the four essential elements of a comprehensive IT modernization program: a data-driven business, hybrid cloud adoption, a focus on user experience, and connections through APIs. .

Modernization makes the business data-driven

A data-driven business is precisely that; it’s a company that integrates rich data to drive day-to-day business processes, operations, and decisions, and improves them over time.

Data-driven organizations combine digital technologies such as robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud, and analytics to automate the business, anticipate customer needs, predict, and respond to real-time events, innovate and customize products, design new business models, and continually learn. For example, a data-driven business can use data to uncover inefficient processes, identify alternatives, and even automate routine, rules-based ones. Moreover, by introducing machine learning, it can trigger a continuous cycle of learning and improvement.

Unfortunately, the majority of organizations are far from data-driven. The reasons are familiar; namely, legacy systems, multiple technology stacks, outdated processes, and data silos that are inefficient, rigid, slow, and opaque — in other words, contrary to the principles of a data-driven business.

Modernization alleviates these challenges to a large extent. Simplifying monolithic, interdependent systems using platform-based components and open-source software solutions improves agility, adaptability, and flexibility; Additionally, a component-based system is perfect for gradual modernization.

Microservices, APIs (application programming interfaces), and webhooks enable data sharing across the enterprise — with AI, RPA, analytics, and other solutions — to enable straight-through processing , and with the external ecosystem to improve innovation and business decisions. In fact, survey respondents from the aforementioned research ranked APIs, AI, and microservices as the top drivers of business modernization, second only to data and analytics.

Last but not least, modernization prepares the organization for the cloud.

Modernization and the cloud need each other

Modernization and the cloud are so intertwined that it’s hard to imagine one without the other. Modernization makes enterprise systems cloud-ready, so they can work with various models as a service and also with cloud-native applications. In turn, the cloud has been the biggest accelerator of digital transformation and the sole reason for the success of remote working during the pandemic.

Organizations continuing their modernization journey should consider hybrid cloud before any other option. Hybrid cloud acts as a bridge between on-premises and cloud infrastructure to accelerate modernization programs.

A mix of public and private clouds from multiple vendors, the hybrid cloud combines the benefits of both; namely, the agility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness of public cloud, and the control, security, and reliability of private cloud. Additionally, it enables enterprises to take advantage of interoperability between private and public cloud platforms.

With its elastic and virtually unlimited computing capacity, access to a myriad of applications, and support for information sharing, the hybrid cloud is more than capable of meeting the extensive data and analytics requirements of data-driven organizations. Additionally, hybrid cloud infrastructure improves business processes, improving everything from customer experience to regulatory compliance to staff productivity.

Modernization is useless without a UX to match

Users inside the company demand intuitive and seamless experiences, just like customers outside; studies show that a large majority of people stop using apps due to poor user experience (UX).

Therefore, when modernizing their legacy technology landscape, companies must also modernize the UX. This means redesigning front-end interfaces to make data easier to access, reducing redundant processes and introducing efficient ones, minimizing “clicks” with automated support features, making navigation in the new system intuitive, etc.

While changing the infrastructure improves the performance of a system, changing the UX improves the performance of its users. A point to note is that usability encourages user adoption of the system, which is critical to extending the benefits of modernization across the enterprise.

Modernization via APIs connects the business

Large organizations with complex technology landscapes – for example, multiple central platforms that are not fully integrated – may need to undertake multiple modernization initiatives in parallel to shorten timelines. APIs enable this by modularizing the architecture and decoupling core platforms so they can be modernized.

After that, APIs play a crucial role in facilitating integrations and data exchange across platforms, apps, channels, and more. throughout the company.

IT modernization has always been important, but during the pandemic it has become a basic element for survival. Today, the pandemic may have receded, but modernization still needs to advance. While different organizations will follow different paths to modernization, they will pass through the same stages – data, hybrid cloud, user experience and APIs – along the way.

Gautam Khanna is vice president and global modernization practice leader at Infosys.

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