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Modernizing Your Business Applications for the Future

Modernizing Your Business Applications for the Future

November 23, 2015 0 Comments
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Sunil Belgaonkar explores the drivers of business application modernization, exploring topics like UI/UX, SaaS, analytics and more.

According to a recent TechTarget article on
modernization, “Over 70% of businesses worldwide are modernizing their application environments to handle mobile, cloud and other emerging digital platforms in 2015.”

In my first blog post, Building Business Applications of the Future, I talked about the changing audience for business applications, with many users now falling into the generation called “millennials.” These users have different needs, and for your business to succeed you will need to recognize this and adapt to the current market. In this blog, I will discuss various business drivers for business application modernization, and briefly touch on the Progress vision to support your modernization efforts.

Business Application Modernization Drivers

In working with many Progress OpenEdge® partners and customers, I see three main goals as the drivers for modernizing existing business applications: a continuous process of modernizing the user experience, optimizing operating costs and providing relevant and real-time information to drive innovation and improve decision-making in businesses.

In Building Engaging Business Applications of the Future, I discussed various ways of accessing your applications through Systems of Engagement. According to the Design Management Institute, design-driven companies outperformed the S&P by 228% over a ten-year period. User experience is becoming a key business strategy for many companies, and having a modern user experience is critical to the success of your business application. Over the past 20 years we’ve seen UI/UX technologies evolve every three to five years, and the rate of technology evolution has increased rapidly in the past few years. Selecting a future-proof UI/UX platform is essential to success.

Many OpenEdge partners and customers are adopting a “Software as a Service” (SaaS) business model to reach a wider audience. SaaS enables software vendors to license their business applications on a monthly or annual subscription by centrally hosting their business applications. To offer business applications in a SaaS model and to reduce the operating costs of keeping applications running 24x7, many business application vendors are modernizing their applications to take advantage of features like multi-tenancy, scalability and availability.

In the past, business application vendors have incorporated various in-the-box reports to meet the needs of a given business. In the digital era, to make decisions effectively, businesses are looking for access to different information and key performance indicators (KPIs) in near real-time. At times, they need this information to be based on their transactional databases too. Many businesses would now like to see analytics embedded in their business applications so they can look at the data and explore various possibilities in the context of their tasks. To meet this need, business application vendors are modernizing by incorporating embedded analytics into their application.

It is important to realize that modernization is a continuous process. Just because you updated your business application UI/UX recently, or provided an analytics solution a few years ago, does not mean your modernization journey has ended. Your competition will continue to innovate and modernize, and to stay competitive, you need to continue to innovate as well.

The OpenEdge Modernization Vision

We recognize that OpenEdge partners and customers have business applications with various architectures and user interfaces. Many business applications were written a while ago, while others have been updated/upgraded recently. To help modernize this wide variety of business applications, we offer a three-pronged strategy. This strategy provides state of the art technology choices and an innovative roadmap, architectural guidance and best practices, and modernization accelerators to help update business applications.

  • The OpenEdge 11 release family provides easy to use technology features like multi-tenancy, Integrated BPM and Rules capabilities as well as a next generation application server for scalability and maintainability. Mobility and web development capabilities using Telerik technologies to help modernize business applications are available as well.
  • For more than a decade, OpenEdge has provided best practices and architectural advice with OpenEdge Reference Architecture (OERA). It has also recently launched a community driven, open standards body to create Common Component Specifications for business applications.  
  • The Progress Consulting Services team provides a great set of modernization accelerators, like a modernization boot camp and a modernization methodology, to get your applications modernized quickly.

I will explore the OpenEdge modernization vision in more detail in the following blogs, so stay tuned for additional details.

If you have not already modernized your application or do not have plans to do so, you’re in the minority. Even if you think your applications work “well enough,” by standing still you risk your customers growing less satisfied or missing opportunities you can’t even see yet. So get started with your modernization now—Progress is here to help!

To find out more about how modernization can help move your business forward, see what’s new in just-released enhancements to OpenEdge, or watch our latest webinar.

Sunil Belgaonkar

Sunil Belgaonkar brings more than 22 years of software industry experience to his position at Progress, and is currently responsible for the strategy and direction of OpenEdge business.

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