4 Reasons Organizations Resist Software Modernization — and What They are Missing | Quisitive
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4 Reasons Organizations Resist Software Modernization — and What They are Missing
September 22, 2021
Rob Carek
Explore common reasons for resisting software modernization, what they're missing, and the true benefits of software modernization services.

Tech debt. You implemented a suite of applications back when your company required them, and they got you where you needed to be. But is your software still working for you, or are you now working for it? While the legacy investment you made might still provide some productivity, it might not be sustainable.

But modernizing your whole suite—not to mention the platform you’re on, and all your infrastructure—is difficult, disruptive, and, let’s face it, pretty scary. There are a whole host of reasons you haven’t modernized yet.

There’s no sugar-coating it: modernization is not an easy process. 

But maybe it’s not as big a problem as you think.

The money you might spend on modernization is an investment, not a cost. You’re already wasting resources on workarounds and maintenance to keep legacy systems running. Updates and fixes take far more time than they should. You’re investing not just in a new application platform, but in improved operations overall.

So let’s look at the most common reasons that decision makers don’t modernize, and why they are really reasons to move forward—fast.

1. Modernization takes forever and we don’t have the resources

Too much time, effort, and resources are being consumed by just having to maintain the legacy applications. So how are you going to find the time to add and refine features?

A common problem with legacy applications is trying to hire or keep people with domain knowledge. This can cause a lack of productivity. Not to mention, the legacy applications may no longer fit the work. Now resources are being used up trying to patch and maintain the legacy application, or coming up with workarounds to make it usable, rather than actually doing the work that’s needed.

Modernizing applications reduces that resource tax and provides a measurable increase in productivity. When employees have applications and technology that fit how and what they are working on, productivity increases.

Modernization doesn’t even need to be the huge, all-encompassing project that many fear it will be. You might have more options than you expect. You might think your only options are to replace or rewrite all of your legacy applications. The key is to find a solution that really works for you, and the proven path that will take you there.

2. Modernization is a cost sink, with no real benefits

Maybe you can see that modernization has to happen, but you’re worried that it’s just a money pit. You need to make a significant investment just to keep from falling behind—but you could burn a lot of capital without getting farther ahead. Maybe all those workarounds aren’t so bad when you compare them to the major spend that a modernization effort requires.

For many companies, though, there are other benefits—possibly major benefits—that can come along with modernizing applications. It’s not just throwing money into a pit. It’s creating new opportunities that a modern platform can provide.

One of the most important benefits companies find when they modernize their applications is the new opportunities to use their data. Legacy applications and their outdated data structures can be extremely difficult to link to, use, and perform analytics on. But moving to a modern cloud platform, for example, could enable you to implement a tool like Azure Data Services, enabling you to unlock and leverage your application data in new ways.

In a case like this, modernizing your applications isn’t just about the applications themselves; it can help put all of your assets, your data included, to work.

3. Employees will Hate It

It doesn’t matter if your staff are the ones complaining the loudest about your old application. They will resist a major change like application modernization. Personnel can be rightly cynical when big changes come along. Lack of preparedness and communication are often to blame, but disrupting their work and changing their processes inevitably cause stress for employees.

When a modernization effort goes right, though, the result is applications that are more aligned to the work that employees are doing. Time is no longer dedicated to annoying workarounds. Applications are no longer dictating how and when the work gets done. Staff will feel empowered and satisfied, and productivity can increase substantially.

So rather than put off modernization because of the disruption it will cause your business, embrace it as the key to a remarkable business improvement and a more engaged workforce. Working with an experienced and effective partner is essential for augmenting a great technical solution with a strong communication and change management plan that increases the rapid adoption and embracing of the application on its new platform. Getting employee input from the get-go, to really understand what they need from the application, and then informing staff each step of the way what is happening and when, can ensure that the effort isn’t just accepted by your staff, but celebrated by them. 

4. The disruption will be more than it’s worth

When you start to plan a modernization effort, you’ll find that everyone’s expectations are extremely high. No downtime. No disruption to regular business. Controlled cost. Tight schedule. The top decision-makers are going to demand—and expect—the world in return for spending on modernization.

There’s often very little room, and it’s tempting to take a staged solution. This has its own risks: if you implement an interim solution, you can lose support for stages that are later in the modernization effort. And when that happens, the interim solution may become permanent, while still not solving the bigger issues.

But a modernization effort doesn’t have to happen this way. Cloud technology has matured a great deal in recent years. By employing best practices to move your applications to the cloud, you can ensure that your modernization goes smoothly. Those best practices should include the whole effort, too—not just the technology solution, but the assessment, planning, training, and communications components of the project as well.

With the right plan, and the right partner to help lead your organization through the application modernization process, the disruption can be controlled, and so can the cost and the schedule. When you complete it successfully, the costs will likely pale next to the benefits and advantages of your modernized suite.

Modernization: Your Business Is Worth It

Quisitive has acted as the partner for many organizations modernizing their applications and moving to the cloud. We work to ensure  their modernization projects are completed successfully, and with minimal disruption.

To address the specific needs of modernization projects, in fact, Quisitive has developed a practice called ORTAM—the On-Ramp To Application Modernization. This systematic, iterative approach, led by our application modernization and migration experts, is designed to kickstart innovation and avoid the many pitfalls that organizations fear.

As a Microsoft-only partner, Quisitive is uniquely positioned to help customers define best practices to manage the change processes and adopt the cloud successfully.

There might be many reasons why you haven’t modernized your technology resources yet; but you can see that they shouldn’t hold you back from achieving the benefits of bringing your applications to the cloud. Talk to Quisitive and get started on the path to a better technology today.

Learn more about how you can get started with Quisitive’s On-Ramp to Application Modernization program.