Application Modernization Benefits: 8 Reasons to Modernize Your Systems

James Ardis
Application modernization is widely popular, particularly after the pandemic-era shift to digital systems. 92% of companies are planning a modernization initiative or are already in the middle of one, according to a recent survey.
Two business executives high-fiving at desk after successful application modernization initiative

Application modernization is widely popular, particularly after the pandemic-era shift to digital systems. 92% of companies are planning a modernization initiative or are already in the middle of one, according to a recent survey.

However, before investing time and money into this process (much less trying to earn and maintain the buy-in of the rest of the c-suite), it’s crucial to know what your organization will get out of it. What exactly are application modernization’s benefits?

Application modernization benefits include:

  • Faster User Journeys
  • Increased Business Agility
  • Better User Experience
  • Higher Brand Reputation
  • Reduced Technical Debt
  • Ability to Leverage New Technologies
  • Heightened Cybersecurity
  • Reduced Human Error

Below, learn more about these eight benefits. Plus, discover the processes your company can leverage to maximize results from application modernization.

Faster User Journeys

Your customers lead busy lives. Whether they are using your digital systems to shop, research, create, or anything in between, they cannot afford prolonged slowdowns. Sluggish applications can also frustrate your employees and crater productivity.

Many application modernization processes can increase the speed of your application, such as cloud migration. This allows you to provide the seamless experience customers expect and employees need.

For example, at Programmers Inc., we worked with an organization that helps colleges track their student recruitment efforts. Before modernization, it took colleges an entire day to import data to the recruitment platform during high-demand periods. This frustrated the colleges our client serves.

We were able to iteratively migrate the most vital features from this application into the cloud, allowing it to scale up usage as demand increased. Soon, data that once took one day to upload only took one hour.

Three college students drinking coffee and navigating web application on a laptop together

Increased Business Agility

One of the most important benefits of application modernization is increased business agility. As Google’s Marie Gulin-Merle writes, business agility “can help you move faster, pivot to capture more performance opportunities, and drive more business growth.”

The ability to pivot is particularly crucial in a time of increased volatility. Organizations like yours are trying to keep up with changing customer demands while preparing for a possible recession.

So, how exactly does application modernization help you with business agility? By cleaning up code, integrating systems, and many other modernization processes, you are streamlining how you support and add features to your legacy systems. That makes it easier to move in the direction your customers require with velocity. 

Better User Experience

Users are spending more time than ever seeking entertainment and completing their daily tasks with digital systems. That’s why it is more important than ever that these applications be intuitive, stress-free, and aesthetically pleasing.

Application modernization focused on user experience (UX) design can greatly improve brand loyalty and customer satisfaction. Among your employees, it can also boost productivity and job satisfaction.

Young professional sketching UX improvements


Beyond making your application look nicer, high-quality UX streamlines how people complete tasks within the system, reduces the number of errors they make along the way, and offers clear instructions throughout the application, leading to more successful outcomes.

There are many ways to improve the UX of your legacy applications. Check out our guide to the top UX design tips to learn more.

Higher Brand Reputation

Faster, more intuitive applications also boost your organization’s brand reputation. 51% of consumers in the United States said in a recent survey that their brand loyalty hinges on the digital experience being at least as good as in-person service. All signs point to this trend only increasing with time, as 69% of Gen Z consumers said the same.

The brands that thrive in the years to come will be those with modernized applications that are easy to use and dynamically add new features based on emerging needs. That gives customers little reason to check out the competition. Plus, they will be more likely to recommend your products and services to others.

Reduced Technical Debt

One of the most enticing application modernization benefits for organizations will be reducing technical debt. With tech budgets tightening, the money your company saves could prove extremely valuable.

Right now, outdated applications are costing companies a fortune to maintain. Disorganized code is one reason for this problem, leading to countless bugs and making it a logistical nightmare to add new features.

Clean code can be the focus of your application modernization initiative, reducing the cost of keeping applications live. As maintenance costs decrease, your tech teams can invest that money in innovation.

This approach helps the long-term health of your company. It also gives employees more professionally satisfying opportunities than simply debugging legacy systems.

Four young professionals completing work easily on a laptop, one of the benefits of application modernization

Ability to Leverage New Technologies

In the years since your organization deployed its legacy systems, there have been many new technologies developed. Some of these technologies could truly help your legacy systems drive better outcomes for your customers, employees, and organization.

For example, just about every company is considering how to leverage generative AI technology such as ChatGPT. This advanced AI could empower your employees and customers to ask questions and immediately find the resources they need. It can also help them be creative, producing text and image content that was once extremely time-consuming.

Of course, it is important not to rush to the newest technology for its own sake. An application modernization trend may work for one of your competitors but not for you.

Before embarking on a modernization initiative, establish clear business goals. Then, it will be easier to find the technology to get you where you need to go.

Heightened Cybersecurity

Outdated applications mean more security vulnerabilities for your organization. That increases the possibility of a data leak, hurting your relationship with customers and clients.

Unfortunately, some of these damages are irreparable. 42% of consumers stopped doing business with at least one company after a data leak, according to Retail Customer Service

Open lock surrounded by keyboard keys, representing a security breach

Application modernization processes like system integration can benefit cybersecurity. Integrating your legacy application with the rest of your digital ecosystem means it no longer exists in its own vulnerable silo. 

Migrating your application to the cloud can also be a boon. Moving to one of the leading cloud providers, such as Azure or AWS, means you can leverage their robust (and always evolving) cloud security system.

Reduced Human Error

Outdated applications often rely too heavily on manual processes. When applications require your staff to continuously complete redundant manual tasks, a spike in errors is inevitable.

Companies facing this problem should consider focusing their modernization effort on automation. They can leverage technology such as robotic process automation (or “RPA”) to reduce the amount of manual user input.  

We recently used RPA for a client in the healthcare industry. This client helps oncology practices detect when they undercharged insurance companies and Medicare for procedures. However, their systems relied too heavily on manual reviews, leading to costly errors.

With our Fast-Track Application Modernization process, we iteratively added rules that allowed automated systems to detect and flag undercharged procedures. We created rules for the most common cases first, allowing oncology practices to see better results as quickly as possible.  

Final Thoughts

Application modernization is popular among CIOs and other tech executives for a good reason. The benefits of application modernization are far-ranging, including reduced technical debt, increased business agility, and improved security.

The key for any tech leader beginning (or restarting) such an initiative is ensuring it strategically aligned directly with their organization’s core needs. Embracing technology and modernization for its own sake leads to wasted resources and a disconnect between the CIO and the rest of the c-suite. That’s why only 35% of businesses say they have successfully completed or are on track to complete their digital goals.

At Programmers Inc., we offer an end-to-end modernization service that helps you prioritize business goals, target improvements that help you reach those goals, and see meaningful results every ninety days. Learn more about our Fast-Track Application Modernization service. You can also discover examples of application modernization initiatives to help inspire your own modernization journey.

Let us know how we can help you.

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