Software Development

How to Create A Software Modernization Roadmap

Software modernization is a necessary step to staying ahead in any industry. It can improve performance and prevent unexpected lapses in security and productivity. Application modernization roadmaps are a window into the future to manage expectations for budgets, outcomes, timelines, and teams to ensure you have the smoothest transition possible with the best possible outcomes for your modernization project.

We’ve developed a five-stage process for your software modernization journey: Prioritize, Engage, Execute, Modernize, and Optimize. We know all companies are different, so take our roadmap and modify it to suit your organization and process.

1. Prioritize

To start, you need to gather your core team of stakeholders, then prioritize your goals and vision for your company. Once you’ve established your goals, select a software modernization service provider, and sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to engage their services.

Once you have selected your contractor, make a list of your modernization goals. If your migration is company-wide or will affect multiple departments, have each department director list what they would like to gain from the process. It is also recommended to have departments list the added features they desire and the feature losses they wish to avoid.

Assess for at-Risk Technologies

Negotiate a final migration and maintenance contract with your migration consultant. Then, have them coordinate with your IT team to assess your network and software for at-risk technologies. These can include applications, processes, and/or hardware with known vulnerabilities. Integrate these recommendations into your migration plan.

Draft Your Budget

At this point, you’ll want to draft a general budget based on your modernization consultant’s pricing expectations. If you need funding from departments, make plans for how you’ll manage financial sourcing budgets and timelines.

Recommend priority

List your focus outcomes and priorities. Say you want faster software performance, or a more advanced ticketing system– list those as your top priorities. It is also helpful to list the features of your software that you do not wish to change. It is just as important to upgrade as it is to maintain core features that are essential to the productivity of your company. Each department is likely to have its own set of priorities. You will have to negotiate with your departments and decide which will take precedence.

2. Engage

The engagement phase is when you get to research, plan, and staff your project execution teams. It is important to implement this phase carefully, as it sets the stage for the success of deploying your new application(s).

Detail Your Plan

Based on your vision, surveys, and initial status assessments, develop a plan and a timeline with your core team. Look to your consulting team to come up with reasonable timelines alongside you.

Notify Impacted Departments

Notify the impacted departments of changes to come. Share the benefits that the change will make. Give a generous timeline in which you’ll need their engagement. Let them know ways in which you’re asking for their support and participation.

Review Infrastructure

Your consultant and IT department will review the structure of your infrastructure and how it affects the modernization project. They will propose any updates and changes as necessary.

Staff Project Team

Staff your project team that will be executing and giving access to third party providers. Establish roles in the project and make sure everyone is aware of privileges and milestones. Once you have staffed your project team, draft your testing plans, and prepare for execution.

3. Execute

Pilot Test

This step verifies a core part of the system or the entire system under real-time operating conditions. At this point, your testing team will want to document workflows, errors, and any bugs they encounter. They will report issues back to the project team to fix.


Once all major bugs and errors have been addressed and fixed, the team should be ready to deploy the software across the network and test again.

Application Integration

Once the application is live across the network, you can begin to integrate and test it alongside your other systems.

4. Modernize

At this point, your consultant should be highly available for support in case new issues arise. Once the new system is running well and all databases are backed up and transferred, the modernization consultant will decommission any obsolete or at-risk technologies.

5. Optimize

Work with your consultant to improve the functionality and user experience of the software, so that it is fully optimized. Configure settings to best serve users and work on any remaining bugs that the software may have. Continue to monitor the software for issues.

Train Staff

Schedule staff training so they will able to use the software effectively and efficiently. Record any feedback they may have.

With this roadmap, you can prepare yourself and your team to make the most of your software modernization project.

Published on Java Code Geeks with permission by Simon Martinelli, partner at our JCG program. See the original article here: How to Create A Software Modernization Roadmap

Opinions expressed by Java Code Geeks contributors are their own.

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Simon Martinelli

Simon Martinelli is a passionate Java, performance optimization and application integration expert and an active member of the Java community process (JSR-352 Java Batch and JSR-354 Money and Currency API). He is the owner of 72 Services LLC and an adjunct professor at Berne University of Applied Science in Switzerland, teaching software architecture and design and persistence technologies
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2 years ago

That seems to be really useful advice, great thanks for this!

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