ISVs must prioritize product modernization to stay competitive, deliver customer value and drive consistent top line growth. Read this blog to burst the myths surrounding transformation initiatives – from refactoring to rehosting, monoliths to containers, UI to automation – assisting ISVs to build a robust, future-ready product roadmap that is a step in the right directions.
In the age of the fourth industrial revolution, companies across industries are facing disruption owing to proliferation of new-age intelligent technologies, skyrocketing customer expectations and rising competition. What does that mean for independent software vendor (ISVs)? Their products need to evolve at the same pace to meet their clients’ business requirements and the clients’ customers’ needs. In this blog, we’ll try to flag six such instances where ISVs might faulter if they continue to go down the traditional route.
1. The Plain Old Reactive Approach
Your product is a cash-cow. You have an impressive portfolio of clients who trust your solution to support business critical processes. Why bother upgrading that legacy application? Making a solid business case for driving an application modernization program in such a scenario might seem like a long shot, but there are some very convincing arguments you must consider. What if an agile, future ready start-up ISV were to enter the market with a state-of the-art application? Moreover, can your application offer the same level of flexibility and scalability as its modern counterparts? Can it be easily integrated with exponential technologies such as IoT, AI, Machine Learning, and more? Application modernization is not about ‘retrofitting,’ it is about making your Product adaptable to emerging business and technology trends. Being proactive will help you achieve a sustainable competitive edge and consistent top line growth.
2. Cloud is the Way to Go
While modern infrastructure offered by leading cloud providers can offer cost savings and simplify your IT landscape, it does not promise to rectify more inherent problems with your legacy application. Constraints such as technology obsolescence, code complexities, security loopholes, lack of data centricity, and architectural limitations cannot be alleviated by adopting a ‘life and shift’ approach. Rehosting might act as a short-term remedy but will not deliver the business agility that comes with a complete overhaul of the Product, eliminating more structural issues.
3. My CSAT Speaks for Itself
Your customers are satisfied with the way your Product is performing and you see no reason to reinvent the wheel and pursue a risky modernization project. Well, most customers might be able to meet their business requirements currently but considering the drastic changes they face due to technological advancements and evolving business models, they will soon realize the need to upgrade. It’s your responsibility as a strategic partner to pre-empt those challenges on their behalf. Furthermore, penetrating newer markets or geographies where more sophisticated products are already available might become impossible, affecting your ability to harness new revenue streams.
4. Monolith Never Disappoints
The omnipresent hand-held devices have been partly responsible for busting that common myth. Legacy applications often provide a non-responsive UI on mobile devices, leading to a poor end user experience. Over the years, as more and more modules were added to address the growing needs of business, the underlying code became extremely complex and convoluted, adversely affecting flexibility and scalability. The lack of separation or modularity makes it difficult to maintain legacy applications, adopt new technologies, and make incremental changes. A microservices model promotes granularity of change, leading to cost savings and improved business agility. IDC recently predicted that by 2022, 90 percent of new enterprise applications will be microservices-based.
5. Jazz Up thy UI
While making the UI more apt for web or mobile users could be a first step in your journey towards Product modernization, it is not all encompassing. At best, it is a quick fix which will provide a modern, slick look to your Product. However, if the underlying technology and architecture are not replaced, and code complexities not dealt with, the Product will continue to respond poorly, marring the end user experience.
6. Wrapping What’s Vintage
With the API-fication wave taking over the world, ISVs might feel compelled to expose legacy applications as web services to feed data to other peripheral modern applications. But, is that the right approach? By building a wrapper to create an interface, all we achieve is an extension on the lifecycle of the product. The inherent constraints and performance challenges remain.
Creating a prudent strategy for product modernization requires ISVs to realize that it can only be achieved through continuous improvement and is not a one-time fix. The idea is to anticipate change and respond proactively through phased strategic technological interventions that deliver superior business value. Eliminating everything that’s legacy at once might expose ISVs to operational, financial and reputational risk, and hence, the modernization approach must be carefully thought out after weighing all the pros and cons. To learn how you can curate a holistic Product modernization program, write to us. We would be happy to help.