4 steps to a successful application modernisation project

When carried out as part of the cloud migration process, modernising applications can help reduce any complexities associated with existing legacy applications and increase flexibility to create new features and meet market demand.

The move away from legacy applications can also help your business save money as they increasingly become more difficult to maintain, especially when the talent pool capable of working on those older systems continues to shrink. 

At the same time, deciding to modernise your applications will open opportunities for new revenue streams. Adding new business services supported by applications will be much simpler.

Here are the four main steps your business needs to take to ensure success at the end of your application modernisation project.


  1. Create an inventory of your apps

Before commencing any application modernisation project, it’s important to understand what are the applications you’re working with by compiling a list of all the ones that exist in your system. It can sound straightforward but it may also take a little bit of investigation by reaching out to all of the departments within the business to account for applications that you might not know exist because of shadow IT.

  1. Assess your apps

Once you have that list, you’ll be able to assess whether or not it’s worth modernising all the applications; some apps just aren’t worth moving to the cloud for reasons such as compliance restrictions, cost concerns or some applications might no longer be needed. Other factors that will need to be determined include if it’s mission-critical, how it is currently architected, and if the data within the application is bound by any regulatory compliance that needs to be protected during and after the migration process.

  1. Determine your migration strategy 

Here is when the real work starts. The migration strategy may chop and change depending on the nature of each of your applications. Some may be retired altogether as your business has determined it’s no longer useful or there’s a better cloud-native alternative, and you’d be better off purchasing a replacement that doesn’t require the heavy lifting of migrating an application.

For other applications where you’ve determined it’s best to retain them, there are a few pathways to consider:

  • Rehost: Otherwise commonly referred to as lift-and-shift, this involves moving the application to the cloud as it is
  • Replatform: This involves modifying or replacing some components of it with cloud so it can take advantage of the cloud environment
  • Refactor: Unlike replatforming, this involves modifying the application as a whole to better support the cloud environment

The other alternative is to rebuild, which involves rewriting the application from scratch, either partially or entirely with modern, cloud-native technology. This is best when you decide to build security into the application, for instance. However, rebuilding applications can often be a time-consuming process. 


  1. Gather your necessary resources

Once you know which apps you want to move and the best strategy, it’s time to determine what’s needed to make it happen from a budget, staffing and tooling perspective. Depending on the resources and expertise you have in-house, this would be the best opportunity to enlist the help of a trusted partner that specialises in application modernisation and cloud migration.

Enlisting the help of Fronde was exactly what Energy Market Services (EMS), a commercial group within Transpower NZ, identified it needed when it transitioned some of its applications to the AWS Cloud. The success of the hybrid model has since given EMS the confidence to step into utilising additional cloud services for migrating new and existing applications into AWS as their preferred cloud platform, a service that Fronde has been engaged to continue to deliver for their organisation.


Migrate your legacy applications successfully with Fronde (and enjoy a night out at the Cinema on us!)

If you’re interested in an introductory session to discuss cloud modernisation or integration design thinking, as well as AWS cost and cloud optimisation, we would love to facilitate this for you within your office or remotely.

In exchange for your time, we will send you 2 x Gold Glass tickets for your major city as a thank you and token of the opportunities you would have just unlocked! Learn more here.