The IT industry has changed and evolved a lot since the digital transformation. The modernization of tools, companies, and technology has become a necessity over time. Modernizing their technology in order to make benefits out of it is the goal of every company these days. A growing number of companies are now using cloud technology for storing their data, accessing various services, and much more. The IT industry has gained a new perspective as a result.
Companies are now adopting technologies like cloud, mobile, and big data. Not only this, they are fastly moving towards technologies like AI, IoT, and blockchain to ease their working. But, some of the companies are still at the early stage of this change, so there is a need to accelerate change and leave behind the old infrastructure and traditional ways of creating applications. Once you implement the change, you will move towards growth.
To reach the new level of innovation, companies need rapid innovation changes for using the new business models, optimizing the complex business processes, and responding to the new rules and regulations. It is high time that you stay a step ahead of your competitors and that is only possible if you will start making a change in your business model. This is where Application Modernization comes into the picture.
In this article, we will focus on what is Application Modernization, its benefits, key technologies, tools, challenges, how to modernize, and some of its best practices.
What is Application Modernization
Application modernization is a project or process that was designed for creating a complete new business value from the existing, old applications by updating them with the help of new modernized features and capabilities. If you migrate your legacy applications, you will be able to include the latest features and functionalities that will help in better alignment of your business as per the changing needs.
To keep legacy applications running seamlessly without any issues, along with meeting today’s advanced needs, may consume a significant amount of your time, energy, and efforts. If you are using outdated software and technology, it might be difficult to run your applications due to incompatibility.
Benefits of Application Modernization
Application Modernization has helped many developers to scale and deploy their application’s components independently. Apart from this, you will get various benefits of modernizing applications.
- With Application Modernization you will get reduced operational costs for updating the applications. Also, it eliminates the need to have the physical data centers by moving the monolithic applications to the Cloud.
- Whenever a system is upgraded you will get business agility as an outcome. Also, it will help the employees to work better allowing them to focus on the main tasks rather than being involved in maintenance work.
- Moving the applications to the cloud also helps you to remove the burden of maintaining the old applications and helping the clients through them. In this way, the user will be able to get records easily improving the customer experience and support for such applications.
- With application modernization, you will be able to integrate new security measures, minimize the possible cybersecurity attacks, avoid continuous monitoring, and manage the regular and frequent updates.
- It helps in easing the process of managing the compliance by making the process completely automated and ensure regular updates to meet all the compliance.
- With app modernization, you can easily fit automation to every process, step, and task to make the system easier to manage and maintain.
Key Technologies for Application Modernization
Various technologies have contributed towards application modernization. Here, we have listed a few technologies for your easy reference.
- Cloud computing – whenever we talk about Application Modernization, we refer to migrating the traditional applications to the modern cloud platform to run and process them. It can be private, public, hybrid clouds as per your business requirement.
- Containers- with Containers we mean that we package the application along with its required dependency files to run them in an independent environment without relying on the underlying infrastructure. This allows the applications to be run on any platform. Such containers are well-suited for cloud environments. It helps in improving the scalability, portability, and efficiency of running the applications.
- Microservices- Here, we decouple various components into smaller packages that are independent of other running packages on the same platform. These smaller services can be independently deployed, updated, and operated efficiently.
- Orchestration and Automation- with orchestration, you can easily automate various tasks related to Containers like deployment, scaling, and networking. With automation, you can automate the deployment, operations in order to scale at a larger level.
Legacy Modernization Benefits
With Application Modernization, you will get an insight of the functionality of the existing and modern applications. It requires you to place a strategy for re-platforming of the applications to the cloud for achieving scalability and other performance benefits. Here, we have mentioned some of the benefits below. Let’s take a look.
- New advanced applications and their features are better and ensure faster delivery improving the performance of the applications.
- With modernized applications, you will save a lot of time, effort, and money. You will save money by avoiding updates, data centers, and dedicated servers, and others.
- It helps in improving productivity by allowing the employees to focus more on the development part instead of the maintenance work.
- With this, businesses will be able to deliver the best quality products and enhance the user experience. This will allow the business to expand, scale, and improve its outputs for increasing sales.
Application Modernization Challenges
Apart from various benefits you can avail using the modernized applications, you will face some challenges that will limit to some cases. Here, we are about to focus on some challenges that you might face.
- As a project takes time to implement the complete application modernization, the company has to stick to a single container or cloud vendor so they can easily scale in the upcoming time as per the changing requirement. But this will incur some costs that will increase with time.
- If we start modernizing the older versions of various applications like SAP, Oracle, Siebel, etc. then you might face some difficulty as they are strong monoliths and you cannot break their design to implement the modernization. Or you can say that these legacy applications and their related data, infrastructure, and security are tightly coupled with the underlying systems whose link is strong enough that you cannot upgrade the application components.
- If you are running a large business, then it is a better approach to install and run applications on different infrastructures but it makes the testing more challenging and makes it difficult to optimize and maintain a budget.
- If you have thousands of applications running, then it might be difficult for the IT team to manage them as the tools are either application-specific or infrastructure-specific. Thus it is difficult to implement all the overlapping product points into a coherent mesh of application delivery service.
How to Modernize Legacy Applications
Sometimes it becomes difficult to modernize the applications as it boils down to huge complexity and costs. You can be benefited if you re-platform the legacy applications but somehow the complexity of modernizing the applications will overpower the benefits as some of the legacy applications are tightly coupled to their infrastructure and systems.
Basically, for successful modernization of the legacy system completely depends on the type of steps you implement for the application modernization that will result in better ROI and user experience. Modernizing any application will require refactoring, replatforming, scaling, and re-architecting as well as other steps. However, we need to verify that these changes are optimized for this purpose in order to be successful.
Application Modernization Best Practices
If you are looking to overcome the challenges being faced during modernizing the applications, you need to evolve the implementation way for it. Here, we have mentioned some of the best practices you can implement for developing a mainframe application modernization framework.
- First, you need to create a roadmap for modernizing the applications that consist of the organizational structure, network configs, storage, security, and how you can efficiently deploy them on the servers. You have to break down the model into smaller components and consider all the networking between them. Then you can seamlessly create a virtualized application environment with the help of open-source and other tools.
- You need to abstract and separate all the applications from their respective underlying infrastructure that consists of data, security, and network configurations. This will allow the applications to run on any platform using different infrastructure without the need to make changes to the base code and achieve portability and avoid vendor lock-in.
- An application lifecycle comes with various phases that include the deployment, testing, and development of an application. Breaking the application down into smaller components will make it possible for each component to run independently without interfering with other components. This will allow you to debug the components quickly and easily.
- It is necessary that we implement security within every phase of the application lifecycle from the design phase to the deployment phase. With this method, you won’t have to worry about where you are running the application.
Today, it is important to modernize applications in order to stay on top of trends and to remain competitive. There is an endless race between businesses to be successful and to create the best product. This is only possible if you migrate your older versions of infrastructure and applications to the cloud and use orchestration tools to manage these applications regardless of their underlying infrastructure.
Every business tends to grow and it is only possible if they move to the cloud to scale accordingly as per the changing business requirement. We have mentioned detailed information on how you can achieve application modernization within your business efficiently. Reach out to us for any questions.