Top 10 reasons for technology modernisation

This blog post was authored by Amanda Downs - Managing Director, Software Services and Alina Zamorskaya - Senior Manager, Software Services on the technology insights blog.

At a glance 

The big picture: Modernising applications can help companies take advantage of the latest technologies, streamline their operations, and stay ahead of the competition.

Why it matters: Outdated applications can limit productivity, hinder growth and negatively impact customer experience.

The bottom line: Application modernisation is a wise investment for businesses seeking long-term success and a competitive edge in today’s fast-paced digital landscape. We share our top ten reasons why organisations should modernise their applications and how to measure success after modernisation

What modernisation value drivers mean for leaders

Business and IT leaders can articulate business cases for modernisation efforts by linking them to key value drivers that modernisation efforts are known to deliver. The strongest business cases cite multiple benefits, and it isn’t unusual for application modernisation projects to add value in three or more related categories of benefit. The modernisation drivers listed below are synergistic: it isn’t unusual —it’s desirable — for initiatives to deliver outcomes aligned with several of these drivers, all at once.

A focus on the why — anticipated outcomes and specific impacts to clearly-defined personas — goes a long way to making a winning case for a modernisation programme. The value drivers presented here encompass concerns that are historically IT’s as well as matters that traditionally only interested the business.

When considering application modernisation, leaders will want to think about modern perspectives as well.

  • Modern leaders have learned to think beyond their silos of IT and business.
  • When business leaders once viewed IT as merely a cost center, a more modern attitude sees the potential competitive advantages IT has to offer.
  • Where IT leaders once focused only on technology, they now add greater value by relating technology’s possibilities to business outcomes and competencies.
  • All leaders will want to concern themselves with financial, operational and business benefits to ensure alignment to the business outcomes and strategy.
  • Leaders collaborate to spark new ideas for modernisation as well as teaming up to spur innovation initiatives.

Modernisation’s value drivers

To make a business case for application modernisation, companies need to identify the reasons and benefits of modernising their applications. Here are the top ten reasons why organisations should modernise their applications and tips on how to measure their success:

  1. To streamline business operations. Innovative and modernised applications can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of day-to-day business operations, resulting in increased productivity and profitability.
  2. To improve user experience. Modern applications are designed via user-centric approaches, providing a seamless and intuitive experience for employees and customers.
  3. To gain competitive advantage. Organisations that embrace innovation and modernisation will achieve competitive advantage in the market, differentiating themselves from competitors and attracting new business.
  4. To improve data management. Innovative applications improve data management to ensure data security, accuracy and accessibility.
  5. To increase collaboration. Modern applications often feature collaboration tools, allowing employees to work together in real-time and streamline communication.
  6. To achieve or enhance scalability. Modernised applications can be easily scaled as the organisation grows, ensuring long-term sustainability and growth.
  7. To save money. Implementing innovative and modernised applications can help organisations reduce costs by streamlining processes, reducing manual labor and minimising the need for expensive hardware and software.
  8. To become more agile. Modern applications offer greater business agility, allowing organisations to adapt rapidly to changing business needs and respond quickly to new market demands.
  9. To improve decision-making. Innovative applications can provide real-time data and insights, allowing leaders to make informed decisions and drive growth.
  10. To build positive brand perception. Organisations that invest in innovation and modernisation will project a positive image to customers and other stakeholders, demonstrating a commitment to growth and progress.

Readers may notice retiring aging systems are missing from this list. Old and obsolete software creates operational and cybersecurity risks, which increases technical debt. Replacing end-of-life systems, however, may be considered more as routine shoring up and keeping up. Application modernisation, on the other hand, delivers transforming benefits and outcomes.

As leaders consider modernisation efforts, it’s critical to articulate the benefits and outcomes expected from these initiatives. This helps not only with establishing the business case to secure funding but also with measuring success after projects are delivered. Every business has its unique set of shortcomings and vulnerabilities: what change is most needed? Consider customer and employee engagement, conversion and retention of customers, adoption rates and productivity gains, system performance, time to market for new products and opportunities to save money through cost reductions and streamlined operations. In addition, companies can measure the time and effort required to develop and deploy new features, functionality or applications before and after modernisation and compare these metrics to industry benchmarks.

Case study: A client realises multiple modernisation benefits

The world’s largest marina owner and operator, with more than 100 locations in its portfolio, was laser-focused on growth through acquisition while enhancing the member experience in this high-end market. Due to its suite of off-the-shelf software, this client was experiencing issues scaling and extending their custom software obtained through acquisitions. Each new acquisition incurred downtime, an inability to maintain separate build processes for the front and back ends, production and stability issues and long-term planning challenges. Improved user experience and business agility, a gained competitive edge, creation of a positive brand and the streamlining of business operations were benefits the client had hoped for from their modernisation efforts. Embarking on this technology modernisation journey focused on both application and data/operational improvements, the client aimed to deliver these benefits without adding technical debt and exacerbating existing issues.

To support the unique business model, the client set out to develop its own marina management system that allows for both optimised marina operations and improved member services. Besides resulting benefits such as a reduction in release cycle time, support volume, and over $3.5 million in capital and support development costs, the client’s custom system is the first in the industry to feature multi-marina management, an impressive improvement over existing industry-standard, single-marina platforms. Moreover, as a company that’s growing aggressively in a challenging luxury market, this client has embraced technology, modernising its current operations and positioning itself to accomplish its goal to become the number one marina company in the world.

Making the case, measuring the outcome

Leaders from IT and the business alike can link business cases to several key value drivers that modernisation efforts are well-known for delivering. By focusing on business outcomes, these leaders can not only articulate modernisation’s business cases successfully, but they can also measure programme effectiveness after the solutions are deployed.

Read the results of our new Global IT Executive Survey: The Innovation vs. Technical Debt Tug-of-War.

To learn more about our application, innovation and modernisation solutions, contact us.


Hanneke Catts
Hanneke is a director in Sydney with over 15 years’ experience focusing on technology consulting, including privacy, technology risk, project management and assurance, IT controls and security compliance, enterprise risk management, and internal audit and regulatory ...
Leslie Howatt
Leslie is a managing director, and Protiviti’s technology consulting solution and diversity, equity, and inclusion lead. She specialises in digital and technology strategy as well as transformational change with over 25 years’ experience across consulting, industry, and ...
Ghislaine is a managing director and leader in technology consulting and business performance improvement. She has over 20 years of applied experience across strategy, transformation, and delivery, guiding CIOs, CFOs, CDOs and CISOs in transformational initiatives that ...
Rupesh Mahto
Rupesh is a senior director specialising in strategy, technology assessment and enabled execution, digital transformation, cloud migration, and application of emerging technology to business demands. He successfully leads interactions with CXO, focusing on increasing ...