What is Application Modernisation?

Legacy Modernisation or Application Modernisation (in the case of existing but not so ‘legacy’ applications) can be a confusing topic for business-decision makers, and there is a lot of conflicting advice given on this topic.

At Version 1, when we discuss Application Modernisation, we are referring to much more than a simple ‘upgrade’ or a lift-and-shift style migration to Public Cloud. We view Application Modernisation as a project, (or a set of projects) designed to deliver new business value from existing, ageing applications by updating them with modern features and capabilities.

The key differentiator of Application Modernisation is its relentless focus on business change and business value that is achieved through IT transformation. These projects should seek to target the IT Changes that will have the most tangible impact and deliver the most impactful benefits in terms of business value.

What is a Legacy Application?

A legacy application is an information system that may be based on outdated technologies but is critical to day to day operations. – Gartner Group

A legacy application will be a core mission-critical platform that is usually integrated with several other technologies that are widely relied upon within the business, with a direct impact on the commercial realities of the business should anything go wrong. Typically, this will be a solution that’s been integrated into the business for a long time, with older skill sets, older technologies and older platforms used to keep the solution running.

Starting your Modernisation journey

Three different elements are involved within an organisation’s modernisation journey: Enablement, Migration and Innovation. The modernisation journey and the way the application is modernised will be affected by combining these three elements.


Migrating to a more modern platform might give organisations greater scale and greater availability. In the case of Cloud, this could lead to potentially lower costs through migration to a newer platform.


There may be some forms of activity to enable a later modernisation to happen, which could include moving existing applications to a Cloud platform, or a particular architecture change.


Organisations may want to modernise as they are unable to leverage a level of innovation that isn’t available with current architecture. Bringing in new levels of innovation such as artificial intelligence or chatbots can act as a differentiator for businesses and continues driving business value out of existing systems.

Why Application Modernisation?

Application Modernisation aims to deliver all the benefits of solving IT problems without having to entirely replace IT systems, through minimising the risks and impact to business as usual. By approaching these problems in a different or targeted way, organisations can deliver just the change needed without disrupting key elements of the business. It is especially suitable for this since it works well with a variety of different technology stacks and different technology platforms in existing solutions. Below are some of the key reasons as to why organisations should modernise their legacy applications:

  • Delivers tangible business change and value
  • Enables wider digital change and digital transformation
  • Leverages and retains existing investment in applications
  • Incremental improvement with early visibility
  • Preserves business as usual
  • Delivers change whilst minimising the level of risk
  • Intended for varied environments

When is Application Modernisation Suitable?

A particular business case needs to be built for Application Modernisation, so it’s important to identify what the triggers for Application Modernisation are. By identifying triggers, organisations can distinguish what applications may be suitable and the reasons why modernisation should take place.

Key triggers include:

  • Platform Obsolescence
  • Emergent Requirements
  • Data Centre Consolidation
  • Contracts / License Renewal
  • Security Concerns
  • Experiencing Issues
  • External Business Change

Take our Are you ready to Modernise?” quiz to see if your organisation is ready to start its Application Modernisation journey.

A Unique Methodology for Modernising Applications

Our unique methodology for modernising applications is highly beneficial to enterprise organisations seeking an agile, strategic and outcome-focused approach. Find out more about Version 1’s approach here.

Why Version 1?

Version 1 helps customers across the UK and Ireland derive optimal value from existing systems. We are in a rapidly changing Digital era, and businesses face increasing pressure to change the way they operate. It could be time to Modernise your Applications. We don’t believe you should let the investment you have already made go to waste – we can help you to modernise your core business systems and legacy applications, utilising emerging innovative technologies, to work in the way you need them to.