EvolveWare points to application modernization trends

Information technology companies either name themselves after something logical related to their function (Splunk, VMware and even Tibco, the latter being The Information Bus Company), something slightly cerebral that pertains to the type of work they do (Cohesity, Snowflake and perhaps also Nutanix), or they just use a plain old acronym or initialism.

EvolveWare probably falls into the first group, the firm concentrates on evolving (i.e. modernizing) software applications and the whole process of application modernization on the journey to cloud-native (often mobile-first) AI-enriched API-centric applications.

The company’s State of Application Modernization 2023: Insights into IT Teams’ Strategies and Preparedness report is of course meant to make us think about application modernization and deliver a survey payload designed to highlight the organization’s message set, technology proposition and overall brand.As worthless as most technology surveys arguably are at their heart, is there any substance in the *ah-hem* ‘findings’ that EvolveWare now tables?

Surprising contradictions

The data analyzed by EvolveWare 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:

Looking at some actual practical real world use cases, EvolveWare says that confidence in having the knowledge required for modernization drops as projects progress. Some 70% of respondents state they are confident or very confident in their understanding of their applications when preparing for modernization.

Hmm, does that sound like that 70% might need an application modernization and maintenance specialist company to help them?

Responses to the above point suggest 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.

Here’s a good part then. EvolveWare says that motivations to modernize differ between IT teams and the C-Suite i.e. 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 and customer experience.

“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,” notes EvolveWare, in what is actually a comparatively enlightening revelation.

However, says the study, rationales most often cited by the C-Suite for modernization are (surprise, surprise) 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.

“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.”

Other ‘findings’ include a note that 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.

Yep, these people might just an application modernization specialist, what do you think?

Code freeze concerns

Finally, then, code freeze concerns loom large on IT leaders’ minds. Two-thirds of people believe freezing code during the modernization process will have significant business and financial consequences and a similar number say the ability to modernize without freezing code is on their technology wish list, making it the top most requested modernization capability.

Those concerned parties would do well to have their application modernization code freeze concerns allayed by working with an application modernization specialist. Perhaps, maybe, surely?

Technology surveys are not going away and (obviously) we know that no vendor engages in this activity if it’s not going to help underline their commercial go-to-market position and central customer offering. Naysaying and sarcasm notwithstanding, EvolveWare’s study is better than some i.e. it does highlight an actual dynamic currently playing out in IT shops all around the planet. Let’s continue to modernize, but when it comes to technology studies and surveys, let’s continue to scrutinize, criticize and perhaps even brutalize before we consider any action to legitimize.