Application modernization

Organizations must adapt to new-age technologies in a digitally evolving business landscape to stay ahead of the curve. However, legacy applications that became obsolete over time can significantly contribute to a company's technical debt, ultimately limiting the business's ability to innovate quickly, enhance process efficiency, and outperform competitors. 

Why do businesses need application modernization?  

From an operational standpoint, most businesses have significant investments in their existing application portfolio. Few companies are willing to or able to simply retire these applications and start over; the costs, productivity levels, and other issues are, however, too great. Therefore, application modernization is the most sensible way for many enterprises to realize the advantage of newer software platforms, tools, architectures, libraries, and frameworks.  

Application modernization consists of some patterns as they include: 

  • Lift and shift – sometimes called rehosting, the phrase "lift and shift" has become software development lingo for taking an existing application and moving it from a legacy environment (such as an on-premises server) to newer infrastructure, such as a public cloud platform. With this pattern, you are essentially the application "as is" with little to no changes to its underlying code or architecture. This means it is usually the least intensive approach but not always optimal, depending on the application.  

    Refactoring is another way of saying "rewriting" or "restructuring." This approach to application modernization entails taking a legacy application and retooling significant chunks of its underlying code to better run in a new environment, usually cloud infrastructure. 
    In addition to a major restructuring of the existing codebase, this approach often requires rewriting code. A development team may choose this approach to break up a monolithic application into smaller, decoupled pieces, an architectural choice commonly called microservices. They may use microservices to maximize the benefits of cloud-native infrastructure and tools, including containers and container orchestration.  
  • Replatforming – This pattern can be viewed as a middle ground or compromise between the lift and shift refactoring approaches. It does not require major changes in code or architecture, as with refactoring. Still, it entails complimentary updates that enable the legacy app to take advantage of a modern cloud platform, such as modifying or replacing the application's backend database. 

    Application modernization involves devising an optimal modernization strategy to provide consistent implementation based on determining the technologies such as cloud computing and architectures such as microservices. 

    Cloud computing plays a crucial role by providing a scalable, flexible, and cost-effective platform to host and manage applications. When people discuss application modernization, they typically refer to migrating traditional applications to run in modern cloud environments. These include public cloud platforms, private clouds, and hybrid clouds.  
  • Containers are a cloud - centric method of packaging, deploying, and operating applications and workloads. The big-picture benefits of containerization include greater scalability, portability, and operational efficiency suited for cloud infrastructure, especially multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments.  

    Unlike cloud computing and other packaging methods, Microservices are considered an architectural choice, not a technology, as it is a modern approach to application design and development. It involves breaking down complex applications into smaller and independent services, and each is responsible for a specific business capability. 

    Orchestration and Automation in software development refers to automating many operational tasks associated with containers, including deployment, scaling, and networking. Automation is an important principle and technology, as it is increasingly necessary to ensure that development, operations, and security teams can sustainably manage their modern apps at scale.  


Allion will allow forward-thinking organizations to understand the promise of application modernization as we will deliver intelligent, differentiated, business-aware applications. The transformation of end-of-the-road legacy systems has achieved greater agility, scalability, cost reduction, and efficiency, leading to advanced levels of customer satisfaction and higher market share. 

Thareen Gulawita

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