Jul 24 2023

How Application Modernization Is Helping Organizations Protect Important Data

The process of updating apps gives organizations a valuable opportunity to enhance their security posture as well.

As digital transformation initiatives accelerate across industries, organizations face a need to bring their applications up to date. The limitations of some legacy applications may hold back transformation efforts and hamper improvements to efficiency, productivity and security.

“This slows the pace of innovation because organizations can’t meet the demands of their customers,” says Greg Peters, chief architect for strategic application modernization assessment with CDW. “Organizations need to extract out functionality and modernize those applications.”

Ultimately, digital transformation initiatives can improve the experiences of both customers and users while delivering numerous business benefits as well.

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“Digital transformation is the application of technology to drive better customer experiences and business efficiencies,” says Rolf W. Reitzig, a member of the Digital Velocity Solutions team at CDW. “It gives businesses the ability to respond to what the customer wants in a more effective manner.”

LEARN MORE: How application modernization supports digital transformation.

However, as organizations engage in digital transformation, they must ensure that their data and workloads remain secure from cyberthreats that are constantly growing in number and sophistication. Application modernization provides several valuable benefits toward achieving this objective. 

In fact, a 2022 report found that 54 percent of companies stated that their app modernization initiatives were intended to improve security.

A DevOps Approach to Improving Security

Many organizations modernize their legacy applications using a DevOps approach, which brings development and operations teams together to improve the speed, quality and security of app development. DevOps processes can increase velocity, shorten resolution times, improve customer satisfaction and spur innovation. They can also reduce the security risks faced by organizations that employ them effectively.

A further refinement of DevOps is the DevSecOps approach, in which security plays a foundational role in the development process. DevSecOps automates the security testing of applications as they are undergoing modernization. Any security issues that are detected in an app must be remediated before it can move to the next stage of development or production.

EXPLORE: How CDW's development services can support your modernization efforts.

“When you’re trying to modernize applications, you want to look at every key aspect, and that includes things like which dependencies they use from a security perspective,” Peters says. “If they’re using containers, are they secure?”

Addressing these concerns early in the modernization process helps to ensure security issues are resolved before they can lead to a data breach.

Organizations need to extract out functionality and modernize [legacy] applications.”

Greg Peters Chief Architect for Strategic Application Modernization Assessment, CDW

Important Security Objectives for Application Modernization

Application modernization projects present organizations with an opportunity to further enhance their security posture by integrating with security measures. For example, an application can be incorporated in an organization’s zero-trust security approach.

Zero trust requires all users — whether inside or outside an organization’s network — to be authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated for security configuration and posture before being granted access to an application. Adoption of zero trust has risen sharply in recent years. A recent report stated that 55 percent of companies had implemented a defined zero-trust initiative by 2022.

DISCOVER: How small businesses can modernization their applications.

As organizations engage in app modernization, they can also ensure their applications work with updated security solutions, including multifactor and passwordless authentication. These help to keep unauthorized users from gaining access to applications and data. Ultimately, the security benefits of app modernization improves the performance and reliability of applications, further helping companies achieve the goal of enhancing the experience of customers and users.

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