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A Tech Leaders 2023 Playbook

The Anatomy of a Successful Application Modernization
From embracing an Agile process to adopting DevSecOps and leveraging cloud adoption accelerators, this playbook is your go-to guide for achieving enterprise-grade quality in your application modernization journey. Share this resource with your team and get started on your modernization today!

App Modernization Expert: May

Part 9

How to Select the Right Tech Partner

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Today’s technology and innovation leaders understand the urgent need for modernization. They know it’s time to let go of their legacy systems and migrate to the cloud.  

In fact, for most organizations, understanding that need isn’t the problem. It’s getting started on their modernization journey – whether that means locking down the resources they require or getting leadership buy-in that’s slowing them down.  

Maybe you’ve started your Java application modernization journey but don’t have the right talent or expertise in-house to see it through. Or maybe you don’t have the right technology to keep going or the support you need to put your strategy into action. The truth is, it can be a difficult journey with many potential obstacles along the way.

Yet modernizing your legacy Java applications and migrating away from legacy systems are critical today. Through modernization, you can create an innovative environment for your team, capture and retain top talent, reduce your technical debt, and develop and deploy scalable, resilient solutions with agility. So how do you get your Java application modernization journey on track?

Finding the right technology partner is a good place to start.

Why Do You Need a Technology Partner?

Modernizing legacy Java applications is a complex process that requires specialized knowledge and resources. Unfortunately, most organizations don't have the necessary in-house talent, time, or resources to undertake this journey alone. This is where the right technology partner comes in. By partnering with a reliable modernization partner, you'll have access to a wealth of expertise and resources to help:

  • Modernize your legacy systems with speed and quality
  • Set the stage for increased digital innovation
  • Put in place the governance and guiding principles needed to modernize your Java applications
  • Improve your ROI and organizational recognition
  • Help transform your processes, workflows and culture
  • Transfer their knowledge to your team
  • Build the foundation for a long-term relationship

A trusted partner will bring the necessary expertise and resources to the table, providing you with a customized approach to modernizing your legacy Java applications. By working with a reliable partner, you'll benefit from improved efficiency, reduced costs, and increased innovation, all while avoiding the risks of taking on the project alone. Don't let the lack of in-house resources hold you back. Partnering with a technology partner will help ensure your Java application modernization journey is a success, enabling you to meet your business goals, stay ahead of the competition, and deliver value to your end users.

What to Look for in a Partner

Not just any partner will do, though. You need a partner you can trust. One that’s reliable and knows the ins and outs of the Java application modernization process. They also need to have a world-class team of modernization experts, experienced and well-rewarded in Agile, engineering and design.  

Outside of that, you should look at standard criteria like price, delivery and years of experience. But there are three other important questions you should ask yourself when selecting a technology partner:

1.   Are they a good culture fit with your organization?

Application modernization is more than just a technical endeavor — it’s a cultural change. There’s a change management effort involved as your team adjusts to the new technical shifts. You need a partner who will understand that. But more than that, you need a partner that will understand your team, and come into the project with a similar mindset.  

Ask the vendor to set up some time to speak to a few of their key experts, so that you can get a feel for how they operate. Done right, when two teams come together it should feel as though they belong to one team, aligning to one vision. Oftentimes this gets overlooked, and the whole project falls off track.

2.   Do they have an effective client collaboration strategy?

Every client’s needs are different. But to get to the heart of those needs and ensure they’re meeting and exceeding your expectations, your technology partner has to have a quality collaboration strategy in place. One that starts with listening to your needs and fully communicating the plan they build out for you.

Many times, organizations going through this journey are not experienced. That makes it even more critical that your technology partner has the ability to articulate and properly manage expectations. With that in place, the whole project has a much greater chance of success.

3.   Are they focused on their clients’ problems?

Oftentimes, our clients have told us that their vendors expect them to follow a standardized application modernization approach. In doing so, they’ve completely missed the mark on addressing their clients’ unique challenges.  

The ideal technology partner should be focused on finding the best solution and outcomes for the specific client they’re working with — and not just on bringing in a cookie-cutter approach.

Don’t Forget to Follow Up

But don’t stop there. Once you’ve found a technology partner you like, it’s important to cross your T’s and dot your I’s. In other words, do your due diligence before you commit, by checking their credentials.

1.   Ask for proof of their success

Read their case studies and ask for success stories. But more than that, understand how they measure that success. Dive into the befores and afters of the projects they’ve worked on: their clients’ starting goals and how they achieved them, and how their technology landscape and strategy changed during the course of their modernization journey. How did financials like ROI, KPIs and operational costs evolve? What about non-financials like usage flexibility or employee retention? Analyze how their responses align with your own goals and objectives.  

2.   Validate their technical capabilities

Finally, ask to speak to their Solution Architects and/or Technical Leads to get their assessment of your needs. This will help you better understand how they would approach your particular landscape of challenges and the opportunities they think you should pursue. It will also help you better assess their technical capabilities and the skills they’ll bring to your project, giving you a comparison to go by if you’re talking to more than one vendor.  

What to Do if You Choose Wrong

Following these steps and taking a systematic approach to finding the right partner will help you make the right choice (Architech’s Partner Scoring Tool can also help). But what happens if you choose wrong?

The reality is that it does happen. But there’s no use dwelling on it. If you feel like things aren’t running smoothly, don’t be afraid to cut your losses and find someone new. In the long run, it will make a big difference to your project as a whole. If you’re working with someone who checks all of your boxes and who you feel comfortable with, the project will go more smoothly and align better with your overall culture, vision and team.  

It’s better to recognize the problem and minimize your losses quickly, rather than sinking more time and money into a vendor that’s not working for you. Success happens when you have a partner who’s on your same wavelength, invested in creating value with you.

How Architech Can Help

With 19 years of experience, Architech has worked closely with a large portfolio of clients to determine the best application modernization strategies for them, drawing on industry best practices to build secure, scalable and resilient cloud-native Java applications to fit the business goals and needs of every client.

Your application modernization journey will impact your entire business — which means selecting the right technology partner to help you is a very critical step. And at the end of the day, the key to selecting the right one is finding someone that’s focused on your needs and will prioritize them as their very own.

Architech can provide that.

Want help finding the right Java application modernization partner? Download Architech’s Partner Scoring Tool to help find the right technology partner for you.

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