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Application software is the foundation of the modern enterprise. As business models adapt to new market opportunities, respond to competitive threats, and move to leverage distributed global resource pools, IT systems are continually stretched and re-tooled to support the business. Since application software embodies business logic, software systems must be modernized to support the business as it evolves. The evolution of business takes many forms including the introduction of new products and services, the on-ramping of global supply chain partners, the management of new government and risk compliance, and/or having to support other significant operational initiatives. In short, the logic of business software -- often referred to as "business processes" -- must continuously align as the business evolves.



The pressure to support this evolution in business is only one driver for application modernization projects. In today's economic environment, the efficiency of IT systems has become increasingly scrutinized. System obsolescence is a constant pressure point that initiates application modernization projects. Many IT systems continue to rely on legacy mainframe back-ends that absorb intense amounts of financial and human resources. New technologies and initiatives (such as service oriented architectures (SoA), virtualization and server consolidation) are pressuring IT to re-think application deployments in terms how they impact the bottom line.

IT system vendors have embraced this market opportunity with the introduction of application technology built to specifically assist with the modernization of business software, allowing them to leverage existing investments as they move to update and modernize systems that support the business. With new technologies for custom applications and next generation packaged software systems (from vendors such as SAP and Oracle,) IT teams are beginning to embrace new approaches to more fully leverage their existing capital investment.

Understanding Application Software Assets is the Beginning

Even with new technologies, the complexity of understanding the needs of the business, the upgrade options, and the implementation requirements for a new system demands a level of application-centric domain knowledge and business subject-matter-expertise beyond what has been required in the past.

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