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Key Aspects Every Company Aspiring to Undergo Application Modernization Must Keep in Mind

Prashant Singh, CIO, Max Healthcare

An IIM Ahmedabad alumnus, Prashant is a seasoned business leader with over two decades of experience in Healthcare IT, Computer education, Project Management, Software Development and System Administration areas. Prior to joining Max Healthcare in 2019, he has worked with well-renowned healthcare organizations such as Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, Paras Hospitals, BLK Super Speciality Hospital and Radiant Life Care.

In a recent conversation with Keerthana H K (Correspondent, CIO Insider) Prashant shared his insights on application modernization and various other related aspects. Below are the excerpts from the exclusive interview –

Briefly explain the importance of application modernization for overall IT strategy of an organization.

The entire landscape of an organization resides on the applications irrespective of the industry. Large organizations have a lot of legacy applications which need modernization from various aspects to be able to stay in tandem with changing market dynamics and serve the customers better. Although there are a lot of factors that contribute towards the importance of application modernizations, two biggest parts of this critical journey are security & compliance and scalability & flexibility. These two attributes also play a significant role in an organization’s growth. With healthcare being among the top industries in terms of cybersecurity threats, data security is now a mandatory criteria for every healthcare project. Since legacy systems become difficult to manage and repair over a period of time, enhanced cost-efficiency is yet another key resultant of application modernization especially for a price-sensitive market like India.

Throw some light on the major challenges organizations face while modernizing their existing applications.

Be it in terms of process, applications, systems or any others, any change begins with resistance. That is one of the major challenges enterprises face when they embark on any kind of transformation journey. As you proceed further along the process, you understand that the application you are modernizing will still need to interact with a lot of legacy applications. This is one of the major technical challenges when it comes to integrating modern applications with legacy applications. Also, many business leaders refrain from modernizing their applications due to the costs involved in the process and pay little/zero heed to the humongous benefits that this upgrade would bring to the company in the long run. Additionally, it is important for the organization to have necessary training programs in place for its employees to become familiar with the new modernized applications & systems. Lastly, every organization that aspires to modernize its application must keep in mind that an effective project management and governance are key ingredients that lead to the overall success of every application modernization journey.

How should organization ensure security and compliance during the application modernization process?

Given the recent increase in cyber attacks on many healthcare organizations, it is paramount for every organization to formulate efficient security and compliance strategies during their application modernization journey. This can be done by implementing secure development practices from the initial phase of the application design/development process by leveraging various software for both dynamic and static testing processes. Also, since a lot of data exchange & integration happens between various applications, organizations must ensure to give due diligence to the API security layer as well. Additionally, organizations must device a very robust Incident Response Plan to detect threats beforehand and avert them before being subject to any kind of damage.

It is very important for an organization to measure the impact of its every effort in improving the business, and this is especially for mission-critical processes like application modernization.

What are the most effective metrics and KPIs through which organization can measure the success of their application modernization initiatives?

It is very important for an organization to measure the impact of its every effort in improving the business, and this is especially for mission-critical processes like application modernization. Some of the prominent KPIs through which companies can measure the effectiveness and success of their application modernization process are performance of the new application, RoI post the modernization process, user experience, and most importantly, the ability to support existing legacy systems and flexibility to scale as per future requirements.

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