Modernization Challenges and Lifecycle

While digital transformation and cloud have become somewhat synonymous in recent years, the reality is that digital transformation is driven by modernization efforts to leverage technology that best supports your business initiatives. This is the modernization of applications, data sets, and platforms—and can happen both in the cloud and within the data center.

With modernization becoming so critical, it is imperative to understand that it also presents a unique set of challenges. What do I modernize and when? What is the right platform for modernization? Are my modern platforms enterprise-class? How will I manage and optimize this new modern platform? These are just a few of the hundreds of questions organizations stumble upon as they begin their journey to modernize. It’s critical to take a hard look at what you hope to accomplish and make the best decisions to enable those outcomes.

Modernization Challenges

In order to become the most efficient service provider to your business, it’s helpful to look at modernization through a lifecycle lens. Modernization is not a one-time path that your organization goes down, it is a journey that each workload must go through individually. Realizing the repetitive nature of this process points to the development of a modernization lifecycle framework, which will equip you with a consistent methodology to solve your modernization challenges and identify applications and workloads for modernization.


Any effective modernization initiative begins by answering one simple, but critical, question: “What do I need tomorrow that I can’t do today?” The answer to this question determines the charter of the initiative and becomes your North Star to create your roadmap and drive towards those business outcomes you seek. You’ll evaluate the applications that are in-scope, their interdependencies, the technical readiness of the applications for modernization, as well as the readiness of your organization from an operational perspective.


Finally we have the ongoing management and optimization of your new modernized workload. Cost, security, best practices, and tools—all require continuous optimization in order to most efficiently manage in a modernized deployment.

As we work our way around the modernization lifecycle, there are four main areas:


Once you have defined your goals and your requirements, you’ll be able to make an informed platform selection for your workload. This could be modernization within your data center (private cloud) and/or adoption of public cloud models.


Next, it’s time to do the design, build, and migration: this could be for an entirely new platform or fortifying an existing platform for a specific workload—all to fit that workload’s unique requirements. Then we move to migration. You’ll identify if you’re going to lift and shift, lightly modernize, and/or fully modernize applications as you determine how to bring them into this more modern foundation.

Think of the modernization lifecycle as a track you’re working your way around. The first time you do it, you’ll likely walk slowly around the outside of the track. As you become more efficient, you work your way towards the middle into a jog. As you grow more competent, you bring yourself to a full sprint around the middle of the track as an extremely-efficient service provider to the business.