The Importance of Application Modernization in the Age of AI

Application and data modernization have been established objectives for customers since cloud PaaS services were established. Many customers understand the value of modernizing legacy applications, but see these projects as a “why now” when compared with other pressing priorities and initiatives. The release of Open AI, language models, and an established path to deploy and access these services have pushed application and data modernization efforts higher on the priority list as organizations look to take advantage of new services in Azure.

Why modernize now?

Many organizations have likely discussed and settled on strategies and plans for what to do with these legacy applications. Some of those plans likely involve updating or developing new applications on premise-based infrastructure, but this can rob you of the opportunity to take advantage of the cloud’s expansive capabilities and services, not to mention the ever-increasing advancements around AI. AI services have the potential to revolutionize the way that applications are developed and used. For example, AI can be used to automate tasks, improve decision-making, and provide personalized experiences to users. However, to take advantage of AI services, applications must be modernized to leverage the expansive services available in the cloud.

Legacy applications are often monolithic and difficult to change. This makes it difficult to integrate them with AI services and to take advantage of the benefits that AI can offer. By modernizing legacy applications, organizations can make them more agile and adaptable, and they can better position themselves to take advantage of AI services. Here are some key benefits of application modernization in the age of AI:

  • Improved performance and scalability: Modern applications are designed to be scalable and performant, even under heavy load. This is essential for applications that are using AI services, which can be computationally intensive.
  • Increased security: Modern applications are built with security in mind, which can help to reduce the risk of data breaches and other security incidents. This is especially important for applications that will be overlayed or integrated with AI services, which often process sensitive data. To this point leveraging cloud can also help ensure compliance concerns are being met specifically in the case where your organization is subject to federal regulations.
  • Reduced costs: Modern applications can help to reduce IT costs by automating manual tasks and workflows, and by reducing the need for hardware and software maintenance. This is especially important for organizations that are using AI services, which are usually net new costs that can be expensive and difficult to calculate in these early stages.
  • Improved agility: Modern applications can be deployed and updated more quickly and easily than legacy applications. This is essential for organizations that want to be able to take advantage of new AI services as they become available.

How should I modernize?

There are several different ways to modernize your applications. One approach is to rewrite your applications from scratch using modern development technologies. However, this can be a time-consuming and expensive process.

Another approach is to use a low-code development platform (LCDP) to modernize your legacy applications. LCDPs allow you to create and modify applications without having to write code. Leveraging LCDP’s like Microsoft Power Platform can be a faster and more cost-effective way to modernize your applications, especially if you have limited IT resources.

Finally, you can also use containerization to modernize your applications. Containers allow you to package your applications and their dependencies into a single unit that can be easily deployed and managed. This can make it easier to modernize and deploy your applications to cloud-based environments.


Application modernization is an essential activity for organizations that want to stay competitive in the age of AI. By modernizing your applications, you can improve their performance, security, scalability, and agility. You can also better position yourself to take advantage of new AI services as they become available. Cloud experts can help organizations assess their current IT landscape, identify which applications and workloads can be migrated to the cloud, and develop a comprehensive cloud adoption strategy.