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IT Teams Reveal Surprising Findings on Application Modernization Preparedness, Priorities and Technology Access in a New Report based on Independent Research

IT Teams Reveal Surprising Findings on Application Modernization Preparedness, Priorities and Technology Access in a New Report based on Independent Research

EvolveWare, a leader in automating the maintenance and modernization of software applications since 2001, released The State of Application Modernization 2023: Insights into IT Teams’ Strategies and Preparedness. This report examines IT teams’ application modernization priorities, preparedness, and access to the latest technologies amidst economic uncertainty and a growing shortage of IT talent.

The data reveals some surprising contradictions to common assumptions around modernization priorities and goals, as well as a curious disconnect between IT leaders’ perception and the reality around overall readiness, ability to secure legacy talent, and the availability of sought after technology capabilities:

  • Confidence in having the knowledge required for modernization drops as projects progress: 70% of respondents state they are confident or very confident in their understanding of their applications when preparing for modernization. However, the high confidence level drops between companies planning their modernization project (41%) and those that have begun their modernization project (28%). This indicates that organizations only start to understand the impact of the level of knowledge that is needed for these efforts after they are further in their planning or execution of these projects. Responses also show that many base their confidence on having personnel with knowledge of these legacy systems. This is a clear blindspot for IT leaders, as a full 81% of respondents say they currently have, or anticipate, challenges hiring or retaining talent to support these legacy applications.
  • Motivations to modernize differ between IT Teams and C-Suite: 40% of IT team respondents say that boosting employee productivity is their number one goal when modernizing applications, as opposed to improving business efficiency by reducing maintenance costs (30%) and customer experience (29%). Typically, boosting employee productivity is related to increasing business efficiency, yet increasing business efficiency is in the bottom two motivations cited by the respondents. This discrepancy seems to imply that IT teams’ reasons are tied to the challenges they face with maintaining legacy applications, possibly due to lack of documentation and/or lack of qualified personnel. However, rationales most often cited by the C-Suite for modernization are business efficiency to increase revenue and profits, and cloud migration to improve customer experience and reduce costs. Hence there seem to be different and multiple rationales for application modernization depending on which interested party within an organization you speak to. The disconnect may lie between IT teams, who are likely defining modernization motivations, and the C-Suite who are defining tangible measures of success.
  • No more than 31% of respondents are taking advantage of commonly desired and available advanced modernization capabilities. Most respondents don’t believe they have access to the capabilities they want. For example, more than half would like to automate code transformation and business rules extraction (BRE) to a large degree, and 40% want to automate documentation creation. Yet while these, and all of the technologies on their wish lists, are available in the current modernization market, no more than 31% of IT leaders say they have access to them.
  • Code freeze concerns loom large on IT leaders’ minds: 64% believe freezing code during the modernization process will have significant business and financial consequences, and a full 59% say the ability to modernize without freezing code is on their technology wish list, making it the top most requested modernization capability.

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“As business goals and customer demands spur organizations to embark on transformation initiatives, it is crucial that IT teams and the C-Suite understand each other’s motivations and align on the goals and measures of success,” said Miten Marfatia, CEO, EvolveWare. “Enterprises must begin with a documented understanding of their application portfolio. Only then can they adequately prepare a strategy, mitigate risks, plan navigation around challenges, and utilize advanced technology that will deliver success.”

The State of Application Modernization 2023: Insights into IT Teams’ Strategies and Preparedness surveyed 200 senior IT leaders across the healthcare, financial services and insurance industries with modernization projects either planned or in progress.

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