May 18, 2022

Building a Business Case for Application Modernisation and Innovation

Peter Heydon
Solution Lead – Data & Analytics at Data#3
Application modernisation can be a daunting topic. Just thinking about making changes to the way your applications operate within your business may conjure up images of complexity and stress. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

At its heart, application modernisation is a process designed to systematically improve the operating model of your applications and, in doing so, provide increased value to your organisation. In this way, application modernisation brings with it a number of benefits when embraced fully, as well as a number of challenges.

The main advantages of application modernisation come from leveraging the power and scale of cloud services like Microsoft Azure. Through Azure, you can offset the management of your IT infrastructure, applications and operating system maintenance, as well as improving the overall security levels of your mission critical business applications. You also gain access to a world of integration opportunities with other Azure services that can accelerate your ability to bring new features to market.

Of course, application modernisation doesn’t come without its own set of challenges. But, contrary to what you may think, the ability to modernise your applications and migrate to the cloud is entirely achievable in most cases. In fact, a recent analysis done by Microsoft Australia’s Modernisation team found that 90% of applications successfully transitioned to the cloud with minimal remediation.

One of the most frequent challenges to modernisation is obtaining business stakeholder buy-in. Mindshare of business executives is paramount for investment for launching an application modernisation program. It is in exactly this area that many IT teams struggle; they need to clearly articulate the benefits of application modernisation, but it can be difficult to put them into a business case that company executives understand.

For a very long time, we have been conditioned to build applications with limitations and constraints defined by data centre infrastructure. In reality, the process of modernising and migrating your applications to the cloud puts your business leaders in a position to be more responsive to business challenges that otherwise couldn’t easily be achieved with legacy data centres. Moving your applications to the cloud minimises many operating overheads while supporting agile and DevOps practices as well.

We Need To Change Our Thinking, But How?

In a recent conversation with Data#3, strategy and innovation leader Scott Bales offered his advice for approaching the topic of innovation within your organisation. Bales outlined that we need to change the way we think about innovation in that it doesn’t have to be something created in a fancy lab or think tank, as we often see in the media. Instead, it is simply about creating enough space to develop a defensible point of value – such as when leveraging cloud for your applications.

There are a few approaches you can use to create this defensible point of value. Building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or a Proof of Concept (PoC) are great ways to test out modernising a single application to safely learn in a sandbox environment. In addition to these tools, Bales recommends developing a six-page narrative process. The six-page narrative was popularised by Amazon and encourages deep critical thinking as a way to communicate new approaches and innovative ideas, in this case the potential gains from the application modernisation process.

Bales explained that we need to think of innovation as a seedling that needs space to grow and gentle nurturing in order to flourish. We shouldn’t try to rush its growth because we want to see it bear fruit. The same is true for driving innovation. The decision makers in your organisation need to provide space and nurturing to their team for innovative approaches to be developed.

Consider your own suite of enterprise applications. Do you have any innovative ideas you’d like to try that would modernise your applications? Can you create space to build that defensible point of value? Do you feel as if your applications are becoming outdated and holding your enterprise back from achieving its true potential?

We can also help you drive innovation by upgrading those systems that are becoming outdated, such as SQL Server 2012, which is reaching end-of-life in July 2022. Windows Server 2012 will be end-of-life as of October 2023 as well. As a result of Microsoft pulling back its support, continuing to use Windows and SQL Server 2012 may open up your organisation to an increased security risk and a considerable spike in cost. This is the type of factor that inhibits growth of that carefully nurtured seedling.

No matter where you are in your cloud journey, as Microsoft’s leading partner in Australia, Data#3 can help you deliver innovation and build a more adaptable and secure app environment. We’re here to help you plant those seeds by working with you to enable your application modernisation program, assist with building your MVP, and explain how the application modernisation process is beneficial for your organisation.

Get Your Data Estate Assessment Now

The Data#3 team is here to help you plan the way forward as we work together to drive innovation through the power of the cloud. Book in for your data estate assessment by filling out the form below to uncover the application modernisation decisions that will best support your unique business goals.