By Milan Shetti, CEO Rocket Software\n\nTo stay competitive, today\u2019s businesses must run like a well-oiled machine. Efficiency impacts everything: revenue, customer service, brand reputation, the list goes on. At the core of this is technology is one principle\u2013 today\u2019s organizations cannot succeed without tools and solutions oriented toward helping people operate as efficiently as possible.\n\nMeeting this goal requires IT and business leaders to work closely together to modernize operations and set the organization up for success. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to modernization\u2014each organization\u2019s journey is intensely personal, focused on the needs of their employees and customers. However, there are three key themes that underscore every journey.\n\n1) Streamline your tech stack\n\nWhen the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, many organizations rushed to implement tools that would allow employees to conduct their jobs remotely. While this was critical at the time, it has led to redundant solutions, runaway IT spend and a lack of understanding around the purpose of tools or how they fit into the organization\u2019s operations. Business and IT leaders must come together to get a full understanding of the solutions they have in their tech stack and make strategic decisions about which can be retired, and which are necessary to ongoing success.\n\nAnd this doesn\u2019t just apply to new solutions \u2013 legacy solutions are still critical to success in today\u2019s business world. While the name modernization conjures up images of massive rip and replace projects for many IT and business leaders, abandoning core technology like mainframes is not feasible or necessary for success. Instead, leaders should embrace a hybrid approach. Managing hybrid tech stacks requires organizations to integrate and connect all layers of technology to ensure optimal performance and enable modernization.\n\n2) Start with employees\n\nAt its core, modernization is about optimizing employee workflows. Empowering employees to accomplish tasks more efficiently by automating the monotonous parts of their jobs, allows employees to focus on what drives the business forward: innovation.\n\nIT and business decisionmakers should invest in a modernization solution that can provide a clear vision of employee workflows across solutions, enabling them to make data-backed decisions about their modernization journey. These tools can also enable a more modern user experience for employees, making it possible for companies to tap into a deeper pool of talent \u2013 a critical need as leaders look to fill the tech skills gap. By investing in solutions with modernized user interfaces, new employees no longer need to be coding experts and IT teams can spend less time providing support \u2013 allowing them to focus on the future of the business.\n\n3) Understand that the journey is ongoing\n\nModernization is not a one-and-done activity. As the world continues to evolve, organizations must be responsive to changes within and outside of their four walls. As such, it\u2019s critical that the longstanding siloes separating business leaders from IT leaders be broken down. To do this effectively, it is critical that IT leadership is brought into the fold when broader business conversations are happening. As the world continues to be based on digital experiences and remote work remains the norm, IT must be at the forefront of any modernization strategy.\n\nModernization is about collaboration, something Rocket knows well. While investing in the newest, shiniest tools can be exciting, no new solution will ever be the silver bullet for an organization. Instead, leaders must work to drive value in a way that positions their business for the long term \u2013 which doesn\u2019t always mean adopting every trending technology on the market. Instead, successful modernization must be approached as a continuing endeavor that uses the best of what a business has and takes it to the next level. To learn more about Rocket\u2019s modernization expertise, visit our website.