While much of the growth potential for cloud computing, agile software development and applied DevOps methodologies will continue to come from the large enterprise sector, there's also increasing demand for improving the outcomes of government IT environments.
According to the latest market study by MeriTalk, 92 percent of Federal IT managers say it's urgent for their agency to modernize legacy software applications -- citing key factors such as security issues (42 percent), time required to manage and/or maintain systems (36 percent), and inflexibility and integration issues (31 percent).
Their study surveyed 150 Federal IT managers familiar with their agency's applications portfolio to find out how modernization can breathe new life into legacy applications, and deliver much-needed efficiency and/or security benefits.
Some legacy applications are already failing to keep up with agency requirements. In fact, 48 percent of Federal IT managers surveyed believe their legacy applications are completely capable of meeting their needs today, but only 32 percent believe they will be able to deliver five years from now.
"The Federal government is running legacy systems from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, which many Feds find outdated, inefficient, and difficult to fix," said David Hantman, general manager at MeriTalk. "However, if they take a deeper look into their legacy applications, they will realize that implementing the right modernization strategy can truly uncover unrealized potential."
What's driving the demand for modernization? Survey results show that 52 percent of respondents cite security breaches, 47 percent cite performance issues, and 40 percent cite increased downtime and service disruptions. Additionally, 62 percent say if they don't modernize their legacy applications, mission-critical capabilities will likely be threatened.
Despite the urgent need for modernization, only 53 percent of agencies currently have a formal application modernization strategy, and just 28 percent have developed a business case around renewing or replacing existing applications.
In addition, the survey uncovered that agencies are delaying the process to modernize for a variety of reasons -- citing delays are primarily due to risks (42 percent), failure to execute (34 percent), and the overwhelming amount of options (20 percent).
On average, Federal IT managers estimate that 55 percent of their current legacy applications could be successfully modernized using solutions like re-platforming the existing application (72 percent), leveraging architecture-driven modernization (69 percent), and remediating the existing application to extend its useful life (65 percent).
Moreover, regarding the upside, 77 percent of Federal IT managers say they believe that application modernization will improve the end-user experience at their agency, and 66 percent say modernization efforts at their agency should increase within the next 18 months.