We know that one of the top four challenges a CIO faces in a modernization project is the time it takes to complete. Why do some modernization projects take so long to complete? Are there ways to reduce the length of a modernization project to help reduce costs and see faster results?

How Long is Too Long?

Modernization projects are often a multi-year endeavors. Because these legacy apps are critical to enterprise operations, deploying a new system all at one time can present a huge risk. That’s why many organizations take a very long time planning, consulting, developing, testing, and deploying their modernization projects. Unsurprisingly, big modernization projects fail all the time. Whether organizations attempt a major technology change, application migration, or simply a new strategy for their existing legacy apps, these efforts can take up incredible amounts of both internal and third party resources and time.

What’s the Hold-Up?

The problem is that sometimes a traditional approach to managing modernization projects just doesn’t work. You can’t use old school project management with new school development practices and hope to see the right results. IT project managers need to re-examine how they approach modernization projects and implement agile development practices that match their organization’s long-term modernization project goals.

But there are are a few other reasons beyond incompatible project management techniques that explain why some projects take a long time to complete:


Modernization of a complex mission critical legacy system may need large investments and the duration of having a fully running modernized system could run into years, not to mention unforeseen uncertainties in the process.


Completely understand your system from the inside out. Perform legacy code analysis to see the crucial elements of your code that you’ll need to retain. Get rid of unused code to cut down on the amount of code you need to modernize, cutting down on project time.


Organization stakeholders have to be convinced of the commitment before even beginning a modernization project. They need to be able to see the benefits at every step. Sometimes, immediate ROI, so even if an organization does its due diligence, planning, and analysis, a modernization can stall because of stakeholder concerns.


Plan an incremental modernization that provides ROI at every step. Your roadmap should be easy for shareholders to understand, highlighting the ways that your project will save money or produce new revenue opportunities. They’re more likely to support a this type of project, decreasing the time it will take to complete.


Even if you’ve built your organization’s application using a standard framework, it’s likely that your organization needed special additions and customizations along the way. That’s okay! Your business isn’t like any other, so why should your applications all look the same?


Lean into your customizations. You need them for a reason. Choose a customizable, flexible modernization strategy that focuses on your unique business needs. Work with a knowledgeable vendor that offers expertise in this area to reduce project duration and demonstrates immediate results.

Meet our team to see how we can transform the systems that matter most to your business.