Top Considerations for App Modernization in 2023

By Carm Taglienti, Chief Data Officer and Distinguished Engineer

As companies begin to scale, many depend on a set of key applications to support growth both internally and within their industries. However, many companies today rely on applications that have been in existence for several years and may not have evolved to meet the needs of their business. These outdated apps present a myriad of issues: poor user experience, management challenges, performance issues, and increased exposure to security risks.

Application modernization can address these issues and allow the organization to align your application estate to exactly meet your business needs . Business-critical applications are modernized to ensure that companies are able to fuel innovation and meet the evolving needs of customers and their businesses.

In an annual Insight-commissioned Foundry survey, 87% of IT executives agreed their organization needs to modernize critical applications in order to enable their digital transformation journey.

Here's what IT leaders revealed to be their top considerations when modernizing applications in 2023. 

Operational efficiency

60% of survey respondents listed operational efficiency  as the top objective of application modernization.

Companies require their critical applications to be optimized in a way that best suits and serves their business needs. Underperforming applications cause even top-performing companies to waste time and money. Now more than ever, IT leaders are leaning on application modernization to increase operational efficiency. This enables organizations to minimize costs and get business done faster and at scale.

Competitive Advantage

56% of survey respondents reported that driving competitive advantage and innovation is a top consideration in application modernization.

Modernizing applications enables organizations to leverage leading tools and technologies otherwise unavailable in legacy environments. This capability provides them with a unique competitive edge and the ability to create differentiation for their applications and services within the market.

For example, companies that modernize their applications using cloud-native solutions can leverage the various benefits of the public cloud — faster updates with little to no downtime, ease of management, and near-unlimited scalability. Application modernization lays the necessary groundwork to implement cutting-edge technology like data analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), carrying organizations to the next level of innovation.


55% of survey respondents listed rationalizing the entire application estate to better understand application benefits  and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) as a top consideration of application modernization.

53% of survey respondents reported that their number one modernization challenge is creating a plan for application rationalization.

Businesses that operate on various applications must frequently vet their application inventory to determine the current and future states of these environments. Through rationalization, companies can aim to understand the use of their applications and how their applications can be modernized to better serve their business outcomes. This serves as the basis for application modernization — businesses can explore which applications need to be rehosted, retired, rearchitected, or even replaced.


The survey also revealed security as a major consideration throughout application modernization. In fact, 52% of survey respondents listed security-centric application development and environments to be a primary focus area for application modernization.

Legacy applications are often prone to security vulnerabilities if not modernized. Many legacy software systems have not adopted modern approaches to addressing security vulnerabilities or integrating security into their Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipelines. And oftentimes, these security updates are mandated by national security compliance requirements. Modernizing applications allow businesses to implement the latest security software, ensuring their applications are safeguarded from cyberthreats.

Power innovation with application modernization.

In 2023, organizations are prioritizing operational efficiency, competitive advantage, and rationalization as top drivers for their application modernization projects. Many IT executives agree that application modernization is mission-critical for their business to enable digital transformation and scale to new heights. Modernizing applications empowers organizations to level up business operations and ensure they are on the right path to innovation.