Asperitas: IT Pros Struggle with App Modernization
August 8, 2022
key takeaway of a survey on enterprise application modernization is that
despite broad agreement on the value of application modernization, many
enterprise IT executives are struggling with the process.
According to Gartner, application modernization is the process of
migrating legacy systems to new applications or platforms, including the
integration of new functionality to provide the latest functions to the
business. Application modernization has become popular in recent years
as IT leaders recognized how modern technology can help a company scale
and innovate faster.
To better understand the latest thinking, Asperitas asked 150 IT
leaders, ranging from managers, directors, VPs and CIOs in companies
with at least 1,000 employees, for their views on application
modernization. Everyone who responded has been or currently is involved
with an application modernization project, and the responses highlighted
several key trends:
Application modernization is critical to the business
100% of IT leaders responding to Asperitas’ survey said that application
modernization was very or somewhat important to their business, and 45%
said the applications they had chosen to modernize were critical.
Meanwhile, 28% of respondents said modernization had enabled them to
innovate faster and scale more rapidly, 25% said it can improve end user
productivity, and 11% said it might make their company more attractive
to employees and customers.
Despite the benefits, application modernization can be challenging
93% of respondents said their modernization experience was extremely or
somewhat challenging. 30% of IT leaders said identifying the right tools
and technologies was the most difficult part of the process, while 20%
said it was finding staff with the right experience. Other top
challenges included choosing the right external partner (18%), getting
users trained on the new systems (17%), and securing the support of
Asperitas also asked IT leaders about application modernization
challenges in multi-cloud environments. 27% felt the biggest challenge
was securing applications, and 26% felt it was integration with
on-premises systems and other cloud platforms. Another 20% thought the
biggest multi-cloud modernization challenge was ensuring portability
Application modernization means something different to everyone, but
there’s widespread agreement on the importance of upskilling and process
One-third of respondents said their definition of modernization was
using cloud-based infrastructure, while 32% said it was moving legacy
systems to the cloud, and 22% thought it was using cloud-based tools.
Meanwhile, 54% said leveraging microservices meant that they were
modernizing, and 59% said the use of cloud-native services indicates as
Despite the varying opinions, 8 out of 10 of IT leaders said upskilling
of internal staff and improvements to antiquated processes was extremely
important to application modernization.
Time and tools are the key to success, while shortcuts and
distractions are to be avoided
plurality (36%) of respondents said that a key application modernization
best practice was giving yourself ample time to complete the project,
while 34% said the most important lesson was choosing the best tool for
the job. In terms of pitfalls to avoid, 36% said the biggest issue was
avoiding shortcuts, distractions and/or partners that over-promise, and
nearly a quarter (24%) said it was waiting too long to modernize a
system that's clearly in need.
At the end of the day, getting application modernization right is what
matters the most
78% of IT leaders responding to Asperitas’ survey said the top priority
of application modernization should be “getting it right,” giving far
less importance to speed and cost.
“Leveraging cloud-based tools and services clearly is part of the
application modernization process but applying these technologies alone
neither solves your application problems nor helps you attain your
modernization goals,” said Scott Wheeler, Practice Lead at Asperitas.
“The goal should be to create a measurable process that looks at all key
elements of modernization, and build a plan to execute against those
goals. To get here, companies need partners and staff who have
experience using the right tools and connecting business outcomes to