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Is digital transformation forcing application transformation?

Is digital transformation forcing application transformation? One way to answer this question is to ask another in return: How well can your organization keep pace with industry-wide or even culture-wide digital transformation if the applications you depend on remain stubbornly unchanged?

As our society’s digital transformation changes the fundamentals of organizations (what they do, who does what, with whom and how) the applications those organizations use are transforming as well. That process offers both challenges and opportunities for organizations that are able to take a strategic look at their business processes and are willing not only to embrace but also invest in transformational change.

For the purposes of this discussion, we can oversimplify digital transformation by dividing its driving forces into three broad and interconnected themes: Data, connectivity and analysis. Those are, unsurprisingly, key to most application transformation projects.


Data is everywhere, and there’s more of it every day. We know more, we measure more and we create more data than ever before in our personal and business lives.

A large component of application transformation involves working with data coming into and out of applications, freeing that information from behind the locked walls of standalone applications and ensuring it’s able to provide value now and into the future. This also means opening up applications to non-native data, giving them the capability to work with information that previously wasn’t available or applicable as business needs and processes change.


We’re more connected than ever before. It’s easier to communicate, it’s easier to share data, it’s easier to collaborate. It’s also easier to go where you’re not wanted and take information that isn’t yours.

Application transformation follows the revolution in human connectivity at the heart of digital transformation, taking advantage of human-to-human, human-to-machine and machine-to-machine interactions. It also has to take the challenges and threats those new connections create into account, walking the line between connectivity and security.


The newest frontier in digital transformation is what happens when you have data, connectivity and the capability to apply the power of digital tools to identify patterns and consider possible outcomes. From the deceptively complex simplicity of “You might also like…” offers on an e-commerce website to automated insurance claims adjustment scoring, applications are being reengineered to take advantage of the artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities leading the way to the next frontier of digital transformation.

There are other factors in play in application transformation, and there’s much more complexity to digital transformation than “data, connectivity and analysis.” But in general, the two trends are so deeply intertwined that each should be a significant consideration for any organization considering the implications of the other for their business. If you’re wondering what digital transformation has in store for you, make sure you have a strategy to ensure your applications keep pace. And if you’re considering application modernization, a look ahead at digital transformation trends is a virtual requirement for any planning process.

Interested in what opportunities – and challenges – digital transformation trends hold for your legacy applications? Contact us to find out more.


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