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Legacy Technology Modernization: Why? How?

Author: Tom Hoblitzell | | June 9, 2022


One thing the digital modernization process promises is access to innovation. Using their modernized technologies, today’s CTO leaders have identified where their organization can differentiate itself from the competition and are using their newly tuned assets to innovate in those directions. They are not just affirming their organization as a leader in its industry; they’re also leading their industry into a new and exciting future.


But there are many other opportunities available to enterprises that elect to modernize their infrastructure using cloud-based services and systems. Many of today’s foremost IT leaders have already made the switch. They are talking about why they changed and the benefits they’ve experienced in the aftermath of that process.

If you’re interested in modernizing your enterprise to capture innovation or other opportunities but haven’t yet committed to the process, consider the insights gained by these industry leaders as relevant to your decision-making process.

Modernization Prioritizes Innovation and Growth

A recent McKinsey survey asked CIOs to declare their organization’s top three priorities based on insights and conversations with the C-Suite. Of the six options offered (including ‘other’):

The top priority was revenue generation, with 88% of respondents ticking that box (respondents could select more than one option). These companies want to do more than just improve their current operations with their modernized IT assets. They also want to use those tools to develop new products and services, deploy those to new markets, and build revenues over and above what their current revenues streams are producing.

The second most popular priority (71%) was becoming more agile and increasing innovation speeds. How the world works is evolving as fast as its technologies, and consumers are changing their behaviors as quickly as technology allows them. To keep up, enterprises must be prepared to adapt at a moment’s notice to new customer demands, whether those relate to product innovations, financial opportunities, warranties, or other evolving customer service sectors.

Not the least important priority was cost reduction, with almost half (47%) of respondents citing it as one of their organization’s top three goals. Modernizing systems by migrating some or all proprietary apps to the cloud facilitates economies of scale that are virtually unmatchable in an on-prem configuration. Businesses can build an asset once, then deploy it as many times as necessary. Transferring repair and maintenance costs to a cloud services provider also offers several cost-saving opportunities:

  • it shifts those expenses from the CAPEX budget to the OPEX budget, so keeping systems running smoothly can now become a monthly budget item;
  • it relieves in-house IT talent to focus on more relevant corporate functions;
  • it also facilitates access to cloud management experts who can help streamline or enhance functions by connecting corporate digital assets to cloud values not available in on-prem systems.

For 29% of respondents, customer service itself is a priority. Being accountable for consumer interactions is becoming more imperative as those buyers have an increasingly large vendor pool to peruse. The modernized enterprise accesses sophisticated customer environment records related to both whole consumer segments as well as individual customers. It also relies on internal data related to product quality, sales numbers, complaints, etc., giving the customer service technician instant access to all relevant information for that particular shopper. These organizations know that the modernization of their systems gives them an edge over those competitors who don’t have the resources to truly achieve this critical business outcome, the satisfied customer.

Another 29% cited ease of risk and regulatory compliance as a priority. Risk management continues to have a high influence on corporate decision-making as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves into an endemic. More people than ever are accessing digital tools to achieve gains previously only available through in-person engagements. Each of those transactions can cause vulnerabilities in corporate coffers, databanks, and even customer files. At the same time, according to some experts, the possibility of cyber-attacks poses the ‘greatest economic threat of our times.’ In 2020, the European Central Bank suggested that any well-organized attack on a major financial institution could trigger a major financial crisis that could threaten whole countries. Considering the economic challenges posed by the COVID crisis to global digital security systems, this concern is probably elevated more now than it was then.

There are as many business growth opportunities to be found in the modernized system as there are companies investing in those assets.

Parsing the Migration Process

Clearly, the factors influencing the decision to modernize an organization are as unique as the enterprise itself. Therefore, understanding how to get started in the process requires a unique thought process and analysis to ensure that the project achieves all desired corporate goals and maximizes legacy and modernization investments.

CIOs who see the values of modernization should follow these three steps to start their organization on this journey:

  1. Assess all applications. Moving any technology from one format to another requires an analysis of its appropriateness in the new configuration. Further, in some cases, there are several ways to migrate the function, if not the entire app. Datavail’s professional cloud services experts can guide you through this process.
  2. Start small. After devising the overarching modernization strategy, start by changing one app at a time. The first cycle will demonstrate how any change impacts the larger system. Subsequent cycles will go faster by applying lessons already learned.
  3. Replicate the process. Each modernization process can inform all subsequent operations. Replicating or automating change processes for more than one instance can reduce the overall cost of the modernization effort.


The modernization of digital assets is clearly the industrial wave of the future. These IT experts agree that the benefits of the project far outweigh its costs. So if you’re ready to modernize your enterprise, Datavail’s digital wizards can help get you started.

For a real-life example of how a major P&C insurance company modernized their data and analytics strategy, download, “How a P&C Insurance Company Modernized its Unwieldy Data Management Strategy.”

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