Establishing a clear and realistic end goal is the key to building a successful roadmap. This is certainly true for any legacy application modernization endeavor. Although IT leaders want to transform their IT structure quickly, the reality is that success often takes time\u2014and in some instances, significant resource commitment.\n\n\nPerhaps the first and most important step is to visualize what you want your IT organization to accomplish. Once you have that end goal in sight, you can then determine how to arrive at your destination.\n\n\nHere are three steps to help you on your journey:\n\n\nSet organizational priorities and objectives. Begin by asking which objectives are most important for your business. For example, is it critical to enhance functionality and improve time to market, or is cost reduction and consolidation more pressing? These are all viable objectives that legacy modernization can help address, yet weighing the significance of each helps add clarity and build consensus for the ultimate plan.\n\n\nAccount for all required investments. Once your desired future state is set, prepare a comprehensive plan that includes all financial and resource requirements. This should include infrastructure, applications and operations, as well as business and performance requirements. For instance, are new test plans needed for the target environment? If so, who will establish these procedures? What amount of business downtime, if any, is acceptable during implementation and at what cost? Understanding the true total cost of ownership (TCO) will help determine if your organization is really willing to make the required investment.\n\n\nCommunicate your plan. Remember, securing and maintaining buy-in and commitment to an application modernization goal starts with clarity and communication. Weekly memos can keep business units and team members updated while also maintaining a level of excitement. Communicating key milestones and challenges can be equally as important. Raising a problem quickly with the right executive can resolve an item before it becomes a major roadblock and help keep your timeline on track.\n\n\nSo what\u2019s the bottom line? Application modernization can be a low-risk, cost-effective way to preserve your critical intellectual property assuming it\u2019s strategically planned, managed and delivered. Visualizing the end goal and clearly articulating what is required to get there is a great way to keep the ball rolling in the right direction.