Software modernization (SM) has proven to be a valid business strategy regardless of where your organization is on the recovery continuum. Not only does it act as an accelerant to the digital enterprise, it also has proven to boost competitiveness and profitability. A masterstroke that can transform companies, software modernization can also help you reshape the competitive landscape and disrupt business models.

But software modernization isn’t just porting your legacy system to modern computer languages, software libraries, and protocols. Instead, it’s a complete overhaul of your IT system designed to bring it up to speed with the modern digital enterprise.  Impacting both your people and your processes dramatically, SM is often fraught with tough challenges.

One critical challenge that is common with legacy app modernization, for example, is what to do with existing data. It’s taken years for you to accumulate this data, and it’s an asset you can’t afford to ignore. Software modernization retains and extends the value of legacy investments through platform migration. The data question, however, is only one of the many challenges you’ll encounter when faced with software modernization.

Real-World Lessons Learned

Recently, CherryRoad’s Nazgol Khamneipur appeared on Life in the Cloud, a podcast hosted by Kris Reddy of Tuple Technologies. The podcast discussed how enterprises can beat the challenges of software modernization.

Below we’ve captured the essence of this podcast:

What have enterprises been doing to help themselves to drive recovery?

Many companies are turning to digital transformation to optimize recovery. Software modernization is a critical step in that process. But its time-consuming and exacting. As specialists in Cloud consulting, CherryRoad has the experience and expertise to help organizations do software modernization right. As an Oracle partner, the company works closely with companies to do Cloud ERP implementations and Cloud migrations.

What’s the secret to implementing a successful software modernization effort?

Communicating with clients and building their trust are paramount with software

modernization. Understanding a company’s pain points is also paramount. The critical question is: What does the company want, and how can partners like CherryRoad transform your technology to meet your future needs? Once we’ve answered that question, we can build a technology solution specifically for your company.

What are some potential roadblocks in a legacy app modernization?

Data conversion is among the biggest roadblock to implementations. It is especially critical with Cloud migrations.  You may, for instance, have compliance issues to consider. You may also have legacy systems to consider. They may have been in place for years and may not have the cleanest or best data. Plus, you may be working with an IT system that lacks a relational database where things have been validated. These challenges are why CherryRoad created its own solution for data conversion.

How can organizations stay current when it comes to software modernization?

Many organizations think they’re done once they go live with an implementation. As Cloud consultants, we see it all the time. Implementation, however, is only half the battle. The other is staying current with what’s happening with updates, patches, and so on. Companies like Oracle are always coming up with new functionality that impacts a system. So, companies must read the release notes that Oracle offers, envision how the new functionality will impact the system, and train employees on the new functionality if needed. That’s why CherryRoad stays in touch with our clients post-implementation and offer guidance.

How is working in the public sector different than working in the private sector?

Managers in the public sector need to do more change management than those in the private sector, especially with Cloud ERP implementations. Public managers need to be more proactive than managers in the private sector. They also need to ensure that employees know exactly what’s happening, what their new responsibilities are, and are trained for their new roles. Plus, public managers may have to deal with wording and union contract issues. Those challenges don’t always exist in the private sector.

Speaking of change management, how critical is it to a successful implementation?

It’s vital. Change is hard for people, especially when it impacts their jobs and lives. They instinctively think the new technology is going to make things more difficult. Plus, digital transformation projects often last a while—sometimes a year or more. So, employees aren’t able to see the big picture right away. They don’t see how the technology will streamline things and make work easier. Change management ensures everyone knows what life will be like once the project is complete and that they are comfortable with new technology.

Does CherryRoad help out with change management in modernization engagements?

Yes. We have a change management team that works closely with our technology team. Team members work with clients on organizational readiness and communication. That way, key stakeholders understand why the change is happening and that a training plan exists to help them make the transition. We also have to help clients provide the transparency needed to reassure employees and allay their fears. That way, they’re not afraid or resistant to using the new technology.

Is there an overarching framework or methodology you use with modernization efforts?

Yes. CherryRoad has a methodology that has been developed over many years and we use it with all our digital transformation projects. It’s something we’ve refined over many projects, and it’s flexible. It’s based on best practices, is iterative and quite effective.

But every project is different, and every client has its own set of requirements. So, before we start an engagement, we work hard to understand the client’s requirements. We also put together a statement of work that includes a requirement traceability matrix for each engagement. It has all the client’s requirements that will need to be accounted for in an engagement.

How important are a company’s business processes in an engagement?

One of the lessons CherryRoad has learned along the way is that our implementations have to be business process-centric. So, instead of talking to clients about the technology first, we discuss the impact on the company’s business processes. In doing so, we compare what they can do now with what they will be able to do after the project. It’s imperative companies understand what they can do in the future with the new system.

Any final advice you’d give companies about succeeding with software modernization.

Companies need to engage fully with the process, and actively participate in it. This is crucial to the success of the engagement They need to help design and build the process with their digital partners. Working closely with a Cloud consultant like CherryRoad pays off. Organizations should also do the configuration and business process validation early on. Then, when companies get to the project’s testing phase, they understand how their digital partners built the system. It’s also critical that organizations understand what their business processes do now and how the technology they’re getting can help them reach their business goals.

Legacy App Modernization Helps Optimize Recovery

Given all that software modernization can do when it comes to optimizing operational performance,  it is no surprise that more and more companies are adopting this strategy. Revenues from legacy application modernization, for example, could touch USD 24.8 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 16.8% from 2020 to 2025, says a report from Markets and Markets. But modernization is fraught with challenges, so companies shouldn’t go it alone.

CherryRoad has the experience and expertise to help you with your modernization efforts. A full-service Cloud partner, CherryRoad offers many solutions, products, and services for the modern enterprise. The company is a certified Oracle and Infor partner and has strong competencies in Cloud Applications implementation and support.

To learn more about CherryRoad Cloud consultancy services, email us at