8 Reasons and 5 Inhibitors to Continuous Modernisation


28 January 2024

Software Development

Legacy Migration



Do you want to keep up with the changing needs and expectations of your customers, partners, and stakeholders? Do you want to leverage the latest technologies and best practices to deliver value and quality? Do you want to avoid being left behind by your competitors and disruptors? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to think about continuous modernisation.

What is Continuous Modernisation?

“Continuous modernisation is a term that refers to the ongoing process of updating and improving systems, processes, and technologies within an organisation to keep pace with changing business needs and market demands. It involves regularly assessing and updating systems and processes to ensure that they are efficient, effective, and aligned with the organization's goals. “ from Continuous modernization of legacy systems" by S. Tilley, D. Smith, and S. Huang, published in the Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance, 2003

So, why is this so important and what is inhibiting this in your organisation?

Why Continuous Modernisation?

Continuous modernisation offers numerous benefits to organisations. It allows them to:

  1. Adapt to changing contexts, such as legislative, industry, customer changes, opportunities, or threats.

  2. Continuous modernisation enables organisations to empower their business stakeholders.

  3. A consistent and flexible framework for development and deployment.

  4. The ability to experiment and innovate with minimal risk.

  5. The opportunity to test new ideas, deliver value, and respond to changing needs and expectations.

  6. Fosters a culture of collaboration and learning, where stakeholders can share best practices and feedback across different teams and domains.

  7. Reduce the need for support and maintenance by standardising processes or services, enabling the ICT group to focus on enabling other teams and domains to innovate and collaborate.

  8. Balance control and administration, reducing the burden on IT experts to sustain and patch disparate systems.

By achieving continuous modernisation, organisations can improve their efficiency, agility, innovation, and competitiveness, so what’s stopping you?

Definition of Continuous Modernisation

Inhibitors to Modernisation

There are several inhibitors to modernisation, including business processes being constrained by systems, lack of inertia, and the need to slow down to speed up. Organisations must address these inhibitors to achieve continuous modernisation. Some common inhibitors include:

  1. Resistance to change, which can stem from fear, uncertainty, or attachment to the status quo.

  2. Lack of resources, which can limit the scope, scale, and speed of modernisation efforts.

  3. Reliance on legacy systems, which can hinder innovation, integration, and scalability.

  4. Disconnected departments, which can create communication gaps, duplication, and inconsistency.

  5. Lack of leadership support, which can undermine the vision, strategy, and culture of modernisation.

These inhibitors can create barriers to modernisation, resulting in missed opportunities, wasted resources, and reduced performance. So, where do you start?

Jidoka and Continuous Modernisation

Jidoka is a software methodology that means, automations with a human touch. It allows organisations to update their systems to meet changing business needs and to optimise (continuously modernise) later. This approach offers greater control and momentum. If you follow this path in a micro or macro project, it will enable you to reuse and standardise. You don’t eat and elephant all at once. The first bite is picking a disparate legacy system or process that be used to build momentum.

It consists of three main components:

  • Automation, which enables organisations to automate their business processes and workflows, reducing manual errors and increasing efficiency.

  • Modelling, which allows organisations to design and visualise their systems and processes, enabling collaboration and innovation.

  • Quality, which ensures that the systems and processes are reliable, secure, and compliant, enhancing trust and satisfaction.

Jidoka Model Diagram

By using Jidoka, organisations can achieve continuous modernisation, improving their flexibility, productivity, and quality.


In summary, continuous modernisation is a key strategy for organisations to keep up with changing environments and customer expectations. However, it is not easy to achieve, as there are many obstacles and challenges that hinder modernisation efforts. Jidoka a way to modernise systems and processes, leveraging automation, modelling, and quality to improve efficiency, collaboration, and trust.

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David Burkett

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