menu close
  • Back

Application modernisation is crucial for Australian-based businesses striving to remain competitive in today’s fast-paced digital landscape. This process involves updating legacy applications and systems with modern technologies and frameworks, transforming them to operate efficiently in current computing environments. Legacy systems, often constrained by outdated technologies, become bottlenecks that impede business growth and operational scalability. Through strategic modernisation efforts, companies can enhance application performance, streamline business processes, and significantly reduce operational costs. Utilising cloud environments and modern application modernisation tools also helps in leveraging existing investments more effectively.

Modernising legacy applications is not just about upgrading software; it's a comprehensive development process that integrates the latest advancements in cloud computing, data management, and automation technologies. By adopting a systematic application modernisation strategy, organisations can ensure business continuity, improve customer experiences, and facilitate a smooth transition to new environments. Key elements of this strategy include assessing the existing apps, choosing the right modernisation approach, and implementing application modernisation services designed to transform legacy systems without disrupting underlying business operations.

The benefits of app modernisation extend beyond mere cost savings. It positions businesses to take full advantage of cloud technologies, hybrid cloud capabilities, and the scalability offered by modern cloud environments. Furthermore, modernisation helps in mitigating cyber threats and reducing technical debt, ensuring that the modernised applications meet current and future business needs. Overall, a well-executed modernisation project not only improves efficiency but also plays a critical role in driving business innovation and enhancing the end users' experience.

What is application modernisation, and why is It important?

Application modernisation is the process of upgrading legacy applications and systems to align with current business needs and modern technology standards. This transformation is essential as outdated systems can severely restrict a company’s responsiveness to market changes and evolving customer demands. By implementing a robust application modernisation strategy, businesses can enhance their agility, improve security measures, and ensure compliance with regulatory standards. Moreover, modernising applications allows for the integration of new functionalities that support business growth and operational efficiency. Utilising modern technologies and cloud environments also maximises the value of existing investments in legacy systems.

The benefits of application modernisation extend to all aspects of a business’s operations. Modernised applications are better equipped to handle the demands of modern business processes, including the need for fast data access, real-time customer interaction, and mobile compatibility. With the help of dedicated application modernisation services and tools, companies can update their legacy applications without disrupting their ongoing business operations. This ensures a smooth transition to new systems, improves application performance, and reduces the risks associated with maintaining outdated software. Overall, application modernisation not only boosts business efficiency but also plays a pivotal role in ensuring business continuity and superior customer experiences.

Key best practices for application modernisation

Set clear and measurable goals

Key best practices for application modernisation emphasise the importance of setting clear and measurable goals. This foundational step ensures that every aspect of the modernisation process is purpose-driven and aligned with overarching business objectives. Adopting the SMART criteria—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound—is essential in establishing these objectives. For example, a well-defined goal might state, "Reduce application load time by 30% within six months," which provides a clear target for the modernisation team to achieve. Such precise, quantifiable targets not only guide the efforts but also facilitate the monitoring of progress and the evaluation of outcomes. Setting these goals ensures that the modernisation efforts contribute effectively to enhancing business operations, improving customer satisfaction, and achieving competitive advantages in the market. Additionally, these goals help in prioritising tasks, allocating resources efficiently, and keeping the modernisation project on track.

Investigate various modernisation approaches

7Rs of Modernisation

Several strategies can be employed depending on the specific needs and context of the business:

Rehost: Often referred to as "lift and shift," this strategy involves moving the application to a new runtime environment without modifying its code. This can be particularly beneficial when transitioning from an on-premises infrastructure to a cloud environment, as it minimises disruption while providing the benefits of a more scalable and resilient infrastructure.

Refactor: Refactoring involves making significant code modifications to an application to adapt it to new technological frameworks or architectures without altering its external behaviour and functionalities. This strategy is suitable for applications that need modernisation to enhance performance or incorporate modern security practices without changing the user experience.

Replatform: Replatforming entails migrating an application to a new runtime platform with minimal changes to the code, optimising it to take advantage of the new platform's capabilities. It provides enhanced performance, cost efficiency, and improved scalability. This is suitable for applications that need to take advantage of specific cloud services without a complete overhaul.

Repackage: Repackaging involves encapsulating an application into containers to ensure consistency across different environments. This approach leads to consistent deployment, improved portability, and simplified management. It is ideal for modernising applications that need to run consistently across various infrastructures.

Re-architect: Re-architecting an application involves transforming it to align with modern, often more modular architecture patterns, such as microservices. This is more extensive than refactoring, as it may involve changing the application's code structure fundamentally to improve its scalability, performance, and maintainability.

Rebuild: Rebuilding an application from scratch involves redesigning and rewriting the entire application. This approach is adopted when the existing system is too outdated to meet current and future business needs effectively. It allows companies to utilise contemporary technologies and practices right from the foundation, aligning closely with specific business goals.

Replace: Replacement involves discarding the old application and substituting it with a completely new software that fulfills the same needs. This is often considered when the existing application cannot be salvaged through other modernisation strategies due to fundamental flaws or inefficiencies.

Choosing the right modernisation strategy requires a thorough analysis of business objectives, technical requirements, and resource availability. Each approach offers distinct advantages and can significantly impact the efficiency and functionality of business processes, ultimately influencing the company's agility and competitive edge in the market.

Get in touch

Talk to us today to optimise your operations.

Contact Us

Select the appropriate architecture

Selecting the right architecture is crucial for the success of modernised applications, especially in the context of app modernisation and legacy modernisation. Considerations such as scalability, security, and compatibility with emerging technologies are paramount. Architectural options like microservices and serverless computing provide the necessary flexibility and efficiency, fitting various modernisation strategies and business needs. These architectures facilitate smoother transitions to modern cloud environments, enhancing both application performance and business continuity. Employing these advanced structures within the application modernisation process not only supports current systems but also aligns with future technological advancements and operational goals.

Prioritise team skill sets and competencies

Prioritising team skill sets and competencies is critical for the success of any application modernisation project. It’s vital to accurately identify and assign key roles, including project managers, developers, and quality assurance engineers, ensuring that each member is well-equipped to handle the specific demands of modernisation efforts. This team must not only be proficient in current technologies but also adaptable to new and evolving software development practices. Addressing any skill gaps through targeted training programs or strategic hiring is essential to bolster the team’s effectiveness. This proactive approach helps maintain project momentum, enhances the quality of the modernised systems, and ensures that the modernisation process aligns with business goals and delivers on its intended outcomes. Such thorough preparation and focus on team capabilities are indispensable in navigating the complexities of upgrading legacy applications and systems effectively.

Concentrate on individual objectives

Concentrating on individual objectives by breaking down modernisation into manageable phases is essential for a successful transition. By dividing the entire project into smaller, prioritised tasks that focus on specific functionalities or system components, teams can tackle the process systematically. This approach not only makes the workload more manageable but also significantly reduces the likelihood of errors. Each segmented task can be closely monitored for its success and alignment with the overall goals, ensuring any issues can be addressed promptly without affecting the broader scope of the project. This meticulous organisation is crucial in maintaining control over the modernisation efforts and achieving the desired outcomes efficiently.

Practice documenting every detail

Practising detailed documentation is an essential component of the modernisation process. This practice ensures that every modification, decision, and stage of the project is thoroughly recorded. Such comprehensive documentation aids in maintaining transparency across all levels of the project, allowing stakeholders to understand the changes made and the rationale behind them. Additionally, this meticulous record-keeping is invaluable for future maintenance, as it provides a detailed blueprint that can help troubleshoot issues or guide further enhancements. Moreover, detailed documentation supports compliance efforts by providing clear evidence of adherence to regulatory standards and internal guidelines throughout the modernisation efforts.

Coordinate full-stack visibility

Coordinating full-stack visibility is essential in managing and monitoring the performance and health of applications throughout the modernisation process. This comprehensive visibility involves tracking all components from the front-end user interface to the back-end databases and server infrastructure. Having a clear view across the entire application stack allows for real-time monitoring and rapid identification of any issues that may arise during and after the transition. This level of oversight is crucial for ensuring that the modernised application performs optimally and remains stable and efficient. It also aids in making informed decisions about further improvements and troubleshooting, ensuring the application's long-term success and reliability.

Enhance operational efficiency through automation

SEnhancing operational efficiency through automation is a critical strategy in the modernisation of applications. By automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks such as Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, testing, and deployments, organisations can achieve significant reductions in manual labour and time expenditure. This not only accelerates the development process but also boosts the overall reliability of the system. Automation ensures consistency in deployments and minimises human error, which is particularly beneficial during frequent updates and maintenance. Furthermore, it allows development teams to focus more on strategic tasks such as feature development and innovation, thereby increasing productivity and enhancing the quality of the applications.

Monitor KPIs to detect discrepancies

Monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) is a pivotal element of the application modernisation process. It's essential for organisations to track the effectiveness of modernisation efforts by setting benchmarks for application performance, user satisfaction, and operational costs. This monitoring not only helps in detecting discrepancies but also ensures that the business processes enhanced by modernisation align with the overarching business goals. Key metrics might include system uptime, response time, and error rates, which reflect the direct impact of modernisation on application performance and stability. By evaluating these KPIs, companies can ascertain improvements or regressions in performance, enabling timely adjustments that can reduce costs and optimise business operations. Moreover, tracking these performance metrics aids in ensuring a smooth transition to new systems and technologies, supporting digital transformation initiatives that contribute to long-term business growth and continuity. This strategic monitoring is integral to sustaining the enhancements gained through modernising legacy applications and systems within cloud environments and other modern technological frameworks.

Develop a well-defined project timeline

Developing a well-defined project timeline is crucial for the success of any application modernisation initiative. A realistic and meticulously detailed timeline helps in structuring the entire modernisation process, from initiation to completion. Utilising advanced project management tools is key to effectively outlining the project phases, setting critical milestones, and allocating resources. These tools facilitate the smooth transition of legacy systems to modern technological frameworks by ensuring each phase of the project aligns with the predefined business goals and deadlines. Effective timeline management also aids in monitoring progress, anticipating potential delays, and making necessary adjustments to keep the modernisation efforts on track. This strategic planning ensures that the modernisation project meets its objectives, maximises business operations, and minimises disruptions to ongoing business processes.

Create a portable environment

Creating a portable environment is crucial for modern applications, particularly those transitioning to cloud environments. By implementing cloud-native principles such as those outlined in the Twelve-Factor App methodology, organisations can significantly enhance the flexibility and scalability of their applications, making them adaptable across diverse operational landscapes.

Transition applications to microservices architecture

Transitioning applications to a microservices architecture offers significant benefits over traditional monolithic structures, including improved scalability and easier maintenance. This architectural style involves breaking down the application into smaller, independent services, each responsible for specific functionality. These services operate independently but communicate through well-defined interfaces, allowing for easier updates and faster deployment cycles. Such a transition enables better management of complex applications and facilitates rapid adaptation to changing business needs, enhancing overall system resilience and performance.

Strategies for speeding up the legacy application modernisation process

Accelerating the legacy application modernisation process is crucial for businesses aiming to reduce risks and seize market opportunities swiftly. Effective strategies to hasten this process include focusing on high-impact functionalities that provide the most significant benefits upon upgrade. Streamlining workflows by removing redundancies and optimising existing processes also contributes to speed. Additionally, enhancing team collaboration is vital; by improving communication and coordination among team members, organisations can ensure that tasks are completed more efficiently and effectively. Together, these strategies not only speed up the modernisation timeline but also improve the overall quality and impact of the modernisation efforts, allowing businesses to achieve their goals faster and more reliably.


Modernising applications is crucial for businesses that aim to remain competitive and relevant in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. By adhering to established best practices in application modernisation, organisations can ensure that their efforts are not only successful but also strategically aligned with their long-term goals. Effective implementation of these strategies results in more robust, efficient, and scalable applications, which are essential for driving business growth and improving customer experiences. Furthermore, modernised applications can adapt more quickly to market changes and technological advancements, offering businesses a significant competitive edge. Ultimately, the benefits of a well-executed modernisation project extend beyond mere operational improvements, fostering innovation, reducing costs, and enhancing service delivery, thereby ensuring overall business success and sustainability.

Frequently asked questions

What are the 7 R's of modernisation?

The 7 R's of modernisation are a comprehensive set of strategies used to upgrade and transform legacy systems: 

1. Rehost: Moving an application to a different hosting environment without modifying its code. 
2. Refactor: Modifying the existing code to fit into a new application architecture while preserving its external behaviour. 
3. Replatform: Moving the application to a new runtime platform, making minimal changes to the code, but not the overall code structure. 
4. Repackage: Adjusting the application to fit into a new container environment with minimal changes. 
5. Rearchitect: Significantly changing the code to shift it to a completely new architecture. 
6. Rebuild: Redesigning and rewriting the application from scratch while still fulfilling the same requirements. 
7. Replace: Eliminating the existing application and replacing it entirely with a newer solution that meets the same needs. 

What are the steps for application modernisation?

The steps for application modernisation typically involve: 

1. Assessment: Evaluating the existing applications to determine modernisation needs. 
2. Strategy Development: Defining the approach and planning the modernisation process. 
3. Execution: Implementing the modernisation strategies, which may include any of the 7 R's. 
4. Testing and Integration: Ensuring the new system works correctly with existing systems. 
5. Deployment: Rolling out the modernised application into production. 
6. Optimisation: Continuously improving application performance and functionality. 

What are 3 modernisation focus areas?

Three key focus areas in modernisation include: 

1. Application Architecture: Transitioning from monolithic to microservices or serverless architectures to enhance scalability and manageability. 
2. Technology Stack: Updating underlying technologies, platforms, and development practices to current standards. 
3. Business Process Integration: Ensuring that modernised applications enhance and align with business processes and objectives. 

What are the activities of application modernisation?

Key activities in application modernisation include: 

1. Legacy Assessment: Analysing current applications to identify areas needing improvement. 
2. Technology Alignment: Selecting and implementing modern technologies that align with business goals. 
3. Application Refactoring or Rebuilding: Modifying or completely rewriting applications to take advantage of modern architectures and platforms. 
4. Continuous Improvement and Maintenance: Ensuring applications remain efficient and current post-modernization. 

Similar Articles


Guide to application modernisation challenges

Unlock the potential of your business. Navigate application modernisation challenges and achieve seamless transformation with CBS Australia's expert insights now!

Key steps in Application Modernisation

Discover effective strategies for modernising applications. Unlock insights, tips, and tools to streamline your modernisation journey with CBS Australia's expert insights now!

Benefits of application modernisation

Learn more about business growth with application modernisation benefits. Protect your business data with CBS Australia's expert insights now!

Bridging technology and social good: A revolutionary approach to government services

Innovative Microsoft digital solutions have the power to revolutionise how government organisations support vulnerable citizens.

Getting started with Microsoft Copilot for M365

Get a clear understanding of what it takes to use Microsoft 365 Copilot effectively before you get started.

How Microsoft Copilot works

Unlock productivity with Microsoft Copilot. Seamlessly integrate AI assistance across Microsoft 365 applications. Protect your business data with CBS Australia's expert insights now!

What is Microsoft Power Platform?

Empower your business with Microsoft Power Platform. Streamline, analyse, and automate workflows efficiently with CBS Australia's expert insights now!

The benefits of Microsoft 365

Unlock business potential with Microsoft 365 benefits – scalability, security, and seamless productivity tools for your Australian organisation.

A guide to Microsoft 365 security best practice

Secure Microsoft 365 effectively with best practices. From MFA to Secure Score, fortify your defenses against evolving cyber threats in Australia.

A comprehensive guide to Microsoft productivity tools

Unleash efficiency with Microsoft's powerful productivity tools - Power Automate, PowerApps, and more. Elevate collaboration for business productivity in Australia.

Troubleshooting Office 365

Discover solutions to common Office 365 problems in Australian organisations. Explore troubleshooting tips now.

What is Microsoft 365 used for?

Learn how Australian businesses leverage Microsoft 365 for communication, collaboration, and productivity. Explore its versatile applications.