Pathway to simplifying complexity and fast track app modernisation

Increasing adoption of digital technologies are making apps inevitable in our everyday life. Apps are pivotal in enabling companies to innovate and gain a competitive edge in digital interactions, from social selling to data-driven marketing.

“With customers gaining control over the way companies deliver experiences, enterprises must provide new customer experiences to meet and exceed customer demands. From a technology perspective, this means having an agile and flexible IT environment,” said Paul Chik, Hong Kong Solution Leader at Kyndryl.

To keep up with customers’ evolving expectations and competition in the marketplace, modernisation of legacy apps, from user facing to mission-critical systems, empowers businesses to stay ahead of the competition. Companies can anchor on a basic framework based on the integration of a cloud adoption strategy with DevSecOps for agile delivery of services and customer experience or the modernisation of legacy apps for a seamless multi-channel experience.

Enterprises should also understand that modernising apps is not an all-or-nothing transformation approach. Decisions on which and how apps are modernised should be aligned with business objectives, with a strategy to integrate systems into the wider enterprise IT estate, which is becoming increasingly hybrid.

App modernisation continues to rise in priority. According to IDC’s Q4 2021 Application Services Survey, 51% of APAC organisations rate app modernisation as a high or top priority today; in three years, it will be a high or top priority for 88% of APAC organisations. A separate study echoes this finding: nearly half or 45% of APAC CIOs are currently focused on modernising infrastructure and apps for this year, higher than their US and EMEA counterparts, according to Foundry’s annual State of the CIO study.

Pathway to app modernisation

A successful app modernisation initiative ensures cost savings and improvement in efficiency and customer experience. Instead of a one-size-fits-all, a strategic approach to app modernisation is essential to avoid pitfalls throughout the process.

More importantly, it helps companies protect their traditional assets and maximise the benefits of cloud, a key enabler in enterprise digital transformation journey. Based on Kyndryl’s experience with customers across different industries, a typical cloud migration and modernisation strategy comprises:

Planning: This early-on assessment and planning is critical. Enterprises need to decide how to place the right workload in the right platform. Simply lift-and-shift from on-premises to cloud could increase overall cloud spending. Through app discovery and dependency mapping, we can compile the overall modernisation strategy and decide whether any particular application should be lift-and-shift, re-platformed, or re-architected. A wave plan could then be developed to put modernisation to work.Modernising: This is a process of up-versioning an organisation’s existing apps to meet cloud requirements. This stage involves the conversion of the apps’ source code to be cloud ready with operational testing and integration of an agile DevSecOps for security. Security is essential for an app environment and needs to be integrated early-on as it can minimise the risk of hacking and fraud when they are deployed.Operating: This phase focuses on app testing, deployment, and hybrid cloud platform management, ensuring legacy and cloud-native apps sit on a single platform to enable integrated operational agility.

While this makes up a typical modernisation framework, Chik cautioned that different organisations might embark on a whole different journey.


“Each enterprise has its own objectives and is at different stages of the transformation journey. It is important to have a purpose-built strategy, create an enterprise architectural blueprint and governance model according to your business needs,” he added.

IT leaders everywhere are acutely familiar with the complexity and immense effort required of a cloud migration and modernisation journey. Chik outlined some best practices to smoothen and fast track the process:

Employ a container approach to modernisation for agility benefits and TCO savings. Container platforms have become an integral part of the hybrid and multi-cloud landscape, helping companies to accelerate multi-cloud adoption and infrastructure cost optimisation, speeding up the deployment of apps, and increasing the availability of apps. Legacy apps would be modernised to microservice-based architecture and run on containers to become cloud-native.Embrace DevSecOps. Security remains top of mind for IT leaders, given the increasing sophistication of the threat landscape. Integrating security helps minimise risk for container contents and its interactions from the start, while embracing its culture of continuous improvement for learnings and operation management.Collaborate with service providers to expedite cloud migration and modernisation and ensure seamless hybrid cloud integration. Enterprises can leverage the provider’s technology and industry knowhow, local and global expertise, as well as deep partnerships with leading cloud hyperscalers and technology ecosystem.

“While IT needs to be efficient from Day 0 to Day 2, service providers can offer a global delivery model and use cloud native tooling to drive operations and cost efficiencies based on CloudOps and DevSecOps. It’s also important that the service provider takes on a lifecycle approach to ensure success and continuous improvement in every stage of the transformation journey,” Chik added.

App modernisation improves business agility by helping companies scale faster, improve time to market, and reduce IT operating cost. A partner with a deep understanding of the enterprise’s business requirements and its stage of cloud journey is key to drive end-to-end transformation and minimise business disruptions for a smooth and secure transition to modernisation.

Find out more about how Kyndryl can help your company in app modernisation and cloud transformation journey here.

Digital Transformation