AhaApps Blog

When It Comes to IT Modernization, One Size Definitely Does Not Fit All

Posted by Satish Reddy

Feb 9, 2016 4:44:41 PM

IT_Modernization_Options.jpgYour business systems are a lot like a city’s infrastructure. Your customers expect certain services (perhaps a mobile app, one-click online purchasing functionality, live customer service on your website and communication via social media) in the same way that a city’s residents expect to have access to hot and cold running water, well-maintained roads and modern power and phone service. Cities often have a tough time keeping up with filling proliferating potholes resulting from increased vehicular traffic or replacing pre-computer era telephone lines strung on power poles with underground T1 lines that accommodate high-speed data. Similarly, your growing business is bound to experience challenges in updating legacy data systems and providing services that, although demanded by your current customers, may not have even existed just a few years ago.

And then there is the matter of planning for the future. Not only may legacy apps be holding you back, but you may also not know what newfangled app or service your customers will be clamoring for next year (or maybe even next month)? Will your 1970s and 1980s era software and hardware, which may no longer be supported, be able to keep up with the times?

The phrase “modernization” is bandied about at the highest levels in every company, but resistance to change is likely to cause headaches and griping among everyone from IT to accounting to HR. So what exactly are we talking about? What are your modernization options?

The right answers will depend on your business needs and long-term goals. 

To give you an idea of what may be involved, here’s a brief summary of the most popular approaches to technology modernization.

Web enablement harnesses the power of the internet as a middleman between your legacy apps and modern software. Much as parents and teenagers often feel as if they need a translator to have a basic conversation, cross-generational communication between software requires a dictionary of words that have the same meaning to everyone involved. Application program interfaces (APIs) establish a set of ground rules that provides the common language to allow a Babel of programs from different decades to understand each other. The Rosetta Stone is typically hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), the language of the Web. Popular web enablement acronyms include SOAP (simple object access protocol) and REST (representational state transfer), both of which refer to methods of establishing pathways for a variety of software to perform tasks such as retrieving web pages or sending data to remote servers.

Another approach involves the soul searching of stepping back and examining the big picture of the services that you provide to your customers and the specific functions that must be accomplished to fulfill their expectations. You can think of this as drawing a map or diagram of how data comes in and what must happen to that data before services are output. Common methods of tackling this challenge include business process management and service oriented architecture.

Business process management (BPM) is a move toward disentanglement that requires breaking down the functions performed by your business into chunks or building blocks. The goal is achieving process improvement that goes beyond dealing with old technology to encompass such processes as lean management and CRM. The idea is to modernize by eliminating duplicative and obsolete processes, by combining and streamlining operations, and by developing algorithms to automate repetitive functions.

Service oriented architecture (SOA) makes use of applications that work over a network to allow integration of the various components of your business operations. To do this, you might identify business functions currently employing the resources of multiple programs that could be performed by a single software package. Or you might examine how and under what conditions data transfers from one program to another to reduce unnecessary friction points and optimize throughput. The idea is to create less portage and more paddle, less of the clunky and more of the smooth. The right applications can leverage network capabilities to serve as a conductor that bring the strings, brass and woodwinds of your business processes into a unified symphony orchestra.

Finally, some businesses may benefit from a traditional migration or port/rewrite operation, sometimes referred to as “lift and shift.” While this may not require as much technology as other approaches, it does mean that your programmers must have coding expertise in both your legacy software and in the more modern programs on which your processes have come to depend. And it may cause you to lose the potential benefits of moving legacy software apps to the cloud.

What is clear is that the same solution will not work for every business. Like any grand plan for the future, technology modernization depends a great deal on where you’ve been and where you are today.

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Topics: Modernize your IT, IT Modernization, Legacy Modernization

Small World, Small Devices, Big Data: 2016 Trends in IT Modernization

Posted by Satish Reddy

Feb 5, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Tech_Trends_2016.jpgBusinesses seeking to modernize IT systems to keep up with advances in technology and customer expectations should look to the following trends in 2016: A shrinking world, smaller devices, mobile and cloud capabilities, and leveraging big data.

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Topics: Modernize your IT, IT Modernization, Legacy Modernization

Why Modernizing Your IT Should Be Your New Year’s Resolution

Posted by Satish Reddy

Jan 26, 2016 4:19:13 PM

Modernizing_your_IT_-_New_Years_Resolution.jpgThe advent of a new year causes many of us to become contemplative, looking back on the successes and challenges of the past twelve months and forward to what may lie just around the next corner. Alas, while we crane our necks to gain a glimpse of the future, the crystal ball tends to turn up foggy. However, one thing that we can predict with certainty, particularly in the realm of technology, is change. Former methods of doing business, once standards in the industry, give way to the latest developments in communication, marketing and gadgetry. Technology that is currently state of the art will be rendered obsolete while a shifting economy alters the shape of your business practices and your customers demand modes of service that most of us haven’t yet imagined.

As change is inevitable, it is incumbent upon businesses to remain sufficiently flexible to keep up with whatever comes. So the question is: Is your IT organization future proof? If you’re already a little behind in the tech race, it might be time for IT modernization. The following are a few questions that may be helpful in making this determination:

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Topics: Modernize your IT, IT Modernization, Legacy Modernization

5 Trends Emerging as Cloud Changes IT Departments

Posted by Satish Reddy

Jan 7, 2016 3:44:40 PM

How_Cloud_is_Changing_the_IT_Workforce.jpgChanges in technology can have a lot of unexpected results. Things that could not necessarily be foreseen in their early days: super qualified, wise shoppers trained by the use of the Internet. Quicker pace in business environments led by the onset of email.


The Cloud will be no different – we are only starting to see what results may come, writes Paul Gillin for CIO magazine.

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Topics: Cloud, Recent News, Modernize your IT, Legacy Apps, Leadership

5 Reasons Why IoT is the Future

Posted by Satish Reddy

Dec 28, 2015 4:43:53 PM

5_Reasons_Why_IoT_is_the_Future.jpgBehind enterprise mobility management , the Internet of Things is a super hot topic right now.

The interconnectivity of so many devices and the data in them is something that business leaders can rely on to help them become a future-oriented organization, Scott Steinberg points out in an article for Mobile Business Insights.

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Topics: Cloud, Enterprise Mobility, Modernize your IT, Customer Experience

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence for Leaders

Posted by Satish Reddy

Dec 8, 2015 9:34:45 PM

Emotional_Intelligence.jpgBeing stuck in the old ways of doing things in terms of technology, management and other important work areas can have serious implications for a supervisor or company, but the solutions can be learned.

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Topics: Modernize your IT, Digital Disruption, Digital Initiative, CIO

The Case for Emotional Intelligence

Posted by Satish Reddy

Nov 27, 2015 8:00:00 AM

The_Case_for_Emotional_Intelligence.jpgAlmost everyone has experienced points in their career that are high pressure enough to be uncomfortable. IT environments in particular deal with a great amount of precise data, often working with the information under deadline. On top of it, the functions are vital to other areas of a company 24 hours a day - there is no “grace period” for resolving an IT difficulty.

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Topics: Custom Software Development, Enterprise Mobility, Modernize your IT, CIO

Large Government IT Networks Coming Around Slowly to Realities of Modernization

Posted by Satish Reddy

Nov 24, 2015 8:00:00 AM

IT_Modernization.jpgBecause legacy apps have various factors dependent on their platform, many are not portable to the Cloud easily.


Methodologies are thus needed to prepare well for modernizations.


In government IT systems, for example, older systems account for more than half of the IT expenditures, and cost literally billions for maintenance.


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Topics: Custom Software Development, Enterprise Mobility, Modernize your IT, Digital Initiative

7 Ways That Legacy Applications Can Hurt The Bottom Line

Posted by Satish Reddy

Nov 20, 2015 8:39:38 PM

Legacy_Application.jpgLegacy systems and applications are still powering businesses all around the world.

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Topics: Enterprise Mobility, Modernize your IT, Digital Disruption, Digital Initiative

How to Modernize Legacy Apps for Hybrid Cloud

Posted by Satish Reddy

Nov 16, 2015 9:00:00 AM

How_to_Modernize_Legacy_Apps_for_Hybrid_CloudMore than a third of enterprises will have at least half of their applications on a cloud platform by the end of 2017, and the ramp-up toward migrating such huge amounts of applications to the hybrid cloud has many implications.

Which applications should be moved? What about those more than a decade old?


Hybrid clouds are desirable because they allow movement of information between public and private cloud platforms. For example, a company’s big data application that requires expensive storage systems may run more cost effectively on a public cloud, while sensitive data may be better to remain on a private cloud.


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Topics: Cloud, SaaS, Enterprise Mobility, Modernize your IT