Identify and Use KPIs to Reach Your Modernization Goals

application modernizationapplication inventorymetricskpioperational efficiencydigital transformation


For some companies, the business motivation for modernizing may already be clear, from the need to cut infrastructure costs to performance woes affecting user experience and profits. Others may be aware of the benefits of modernizing, but are unsure what to prioritize or where to start.

Before embarking on any application modernization project, it is important to establish baseline performance metrics and KPIs. This will give you a clear understanding of how the applications are currently performing and what improvements need to be made to grow the business. It will also allow you to track the progress of your modernization efforts and ensure that they are delivering the desired results.

Start application modernization with an application inventory

The first critical step is understanding the current state of your application environment. Not only the technical aspects, but also the importance of those applications to the growth and operations of the business.

Application inventory is a catalog of all applications in the organization. It includes relevant information such as supported business capabilities, business and technical owners, workload categories (e.g., business-critical, internal etc.), technology stack, dependencies, incident response and performance metrics, etc..

If you don't have an inventory of your apps, create one by mining your configuration management databases, IT and software architecture spreadsheets and knowledge base, and catalog the full set of applications, assets and code repositories in one central location. For automated app discovery, you can use application migration assessment (AppDynamics, Carbonite, CloudM) and application performance monitoring tools (Splunk, NewRelic, DataDog).

Measure app and business performance to track progress

Performance monitoring is the process of collecting, analyzing, and using information to track applications and infrastructure metrics in order to guide business decisions. It gives you insight into your systems and your business so that you can quickly find and fix problems.

Monitoring also helps you communicate information about your systems to people in other areas of the software development and delivery pipeline, and to other parts of the business.

This continuous data gathering and review allows teams to learn and improve, whether in reaction to a production issue, a deployment error, or modifications in customer usage patterns. You can then share these learnings across your organization to help employees develop and systems improve.

Effective performance monitoring requires both:

  1. data collection from key areas throughout the value chain, including application performance and infrastructure, as well as business metrics, and
  2. continuous review of the data to learn and make business decisions.

In the context of application modernization, application and business performance monitoring should be used to capture baseline metrics and KPIs at the start of the modernization iteration, and track progress throughout and at the end of iteration.

Focus on KPIs that matter for your organization

Each company's modernization journey will likely be unique. Each organization (and each application) has unique challenges and goals at any one time. It is important to focus the modernization effort on improving metrics and KPIs that align with the organizations current goals.

Even so, there are a few categories of metrics that are commonly tracked and improved during application modernization efforts:

  • IT costs – hardware, software, and maintenance costs.
  • Business agility – eliminating technical issues to open up new opportunities.
  • Scalability & elasticity - optimal utilization of resources without compromising performance under high load.
  • Data analytics - improved data availability, integration, reporting, and analytics.
  • System and data security - elimination of vulnerabilities that could put your customers' sensitive information at risk, resulting in reputation and financial losses for your company.
  • Customer experience - Real-time data processing enables real-time services, enhancing customer experience.
  • Time to market – new cloud-native infrastructure and devops practices can reduce application delivery time.
  • Operational efficiency - how quickly can changes be deployed, and mistakes be rectified.
  • Performance – improved application response times, throughput, and resource usage.


It's easy to lose focus during application modernization efforts and optimize areas that don't have a meaningful impact on your organization's bottom-line. By carefully selecting metrics and KPIs aligned to your business goals, establishing a performance baseline at the start, and continuously assessing progress against it, you can ensure that your modernization project is achieving the desired outcomes.

Modernizing with Aligned

Application modernization is an essential part of any digital transformation strategy. It helps businesses improve efficiency, reduce costs, and stay ahead of the competition. Application modernization is a structured data-driven iterative process that improves the performance of your application portfolio and helps drive a culture of engineering excellence in your organization.

We are deliberate in our process. We help you uncover what matters and how to measure it. Our experienced architects and engineers make the process of modernizing your legacy apps faster and more cost-efficient. We minimize or avoid service interruptions, and help upskill your employees.

Let's talk through your app modernization goals and create and execute your modernization roadmap. Contact us today to find out how we can help you achieve your business goals.

More articles

Maximizing Your Business Potential: Why You Should Upgrade Your Legacy Software

Upgrade outdated software to improve efficiency, security, and scalability, reduce cost, enhance data governance, and attract new talent.

Read more

How to Make Data Modernization Your Winning Strategy

Learn how to create a data modernization roadmap that prioritizes your data assets for immediate ROI, in alignment with your critical business capabilities.

Read more

How to Create an Application Modernization Roadmap

Create an application modernization roadmap that prioritizes your application portfolio for rapid ROI in alignment with your core business capabilities.

Read more

Azure Services for Application Integration & Business Process Automation

Azure services for App Integration and Business Process Automation, what do we choose, design-first technologies or code-first technologies? See our answers here.

Read more

Connect with our team now

Learn more about how Aligned can help your business with custom software, data, and cloud solutions.

Our office

  • Vancouver
    170-422 Richards Street
    Vancouver, BC, V6B 2Z4
  • Email
    1 604 259 7676
    1 877 390 7676