April 01, 2020
As technology plays a key role in enabling core business objectives, it makes sense to review the technology portfolio periodically for possible enhancements. This will bring in better ROI in-terms of lower running costs, increased productivity and better customer service or scale to achieve ever-demanding business requirements.
There are many reasons to continue investing in technology.
The following are key focus areas one should consider while upgrading enterprise-wide applications:
In large enterprises, most of the applications, built decades ago, lack the support of the development platform and associated best practices. These applications are not updated with the latest platform specific security patches or enhanced language/framework capabilities for robustness and reliability. This is leading to the frequent breakdown of the applications. Hence, overall team productivity is reduced and causing challenges around customer service.
Lack of Developer Community Support
As technology is ever-evolving, most developers prefer to work on the latest breed of technology stacks. Legacy stacks will always pose challenges to finding the right talent to support them. It is important that key applications undergo periodic technology upgrades to harness the power of the latest platform capabilities along with good community support and availability of talent to support the application portfolio. This will boost the morale of the team with the latest technology training. Otherwise, many frustrated individuals will move on.
Better User Experience
Most of the time, legacy applications miss a good user experience. It is very important to engage the application users with a better user experience. Most of the applications lack responsive design with multi-channel support—like mobile devices. A strategic decision should be applied to overhaul the UI layer of the key applications with organization-specific UI ergonomics and guidelines.
Unified Hosting & Release Models
Enterprise applications are deployed in heterogeneous environments. It is very important to bring all application deployments to uniform platforms—such as cloud deployment models, and to leverage modern application deployment architectures using frameworks such as Docker and Kubernetes for standardized release trains. This would help release application fixes/features in a more reliable manner.
Leverage Modern Architecture Style
Most of the applications follow the old monolithic style and lack good design with long processing times leading to sub-optimal performance. Apps can be moved to cloud, but underlying technical debts remain the same. It is very important that we refactor applications to be cloud-native by taking the scale and performance of cloud services to have better-performing apps.
With good code refactoring of key modules and providing comprehensive unit test suites to lead to better diagnosis of production issues. This will increase the quick turnaround time of production tickets, as a replay of unit test suites would quickly identify abnormal conditions.
Uniform technology stacks and deployment/release environments will help to streamline application knowledge. In addition, this would help better organize the training for new joiners.
Periodic technology upgrades will bring much needed stability and innovations to the enterprise application portfolio, resulting in happy users.