Cost Effective Application Modernization

Cost-Effective Application Modernization


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

Forward-thinking organizations understand the true promise of application modernization: delivering intelligent with 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.

Should you consider Application Modernization?


You may have hundredths, if not, thousands of legacy applications that may be crippled by their associated technical debts, however, they continue to remain critical to the operations of your business. If you are seeking out means and ways of lowering operating costs and streamlining the processes of your business – application modernization could be the answer to your prayers. However, transforming your application environment is more than just technology. It requires a comprehensive approach that aligns with projected business outcomes. Modernization specialists can help IT leaders identify dependencies between applications and processes, conduct gap analysis, and develop a tailor-made modernization strategy to upgrade legacy systems. Below are a few reasons why you should advance your technology investment and in doing so optimize business operations, drive innovation, and reduce costs and risks:

·         Gain a competitive advantage with technologies that allow for a
          faster response time and enhanced customer experience

·         Go should-to-shoulder with competitors and market offerings

·         Drive an agile business environment with fast adoption to change

·         Better resource management and increased productivity

·         Reduced operational and maintenance costs

 

Optimize your Approach to Application Modernization


An application modernization process starts with a thorough understanding of the problem or workflow disparity you are aiming to optimize, followed by the delivery of continuous application modernization across leading platforms and technologies. Helping you accelerate business growth and streamline operations. Here are the factors to consider when ensuring a successful modernization journey for each application.

- Refactoring
This is the process of expanding or reorganizing the functionalities, languages, and tools of legacy applications in accordance with new business requirements. Application refactoring is useful when extending an application’s life, increasing security, enhancing performance, enabling new functionalities, or facilitating mobile support. For example, you can strengthen an application’s core functionalities via an API layer enabled to support a new business module.

Re-platforming
Re-platforming involves upgrading an application from its existing platform with a minimal set of changes to run on the Cloud while preserving existing functionality. You can even consider distributing load via effective containerization and positioning components into a Kubernetes cluster.

Rearchitecting
Obsolete applications may not be compatible with the Cloud, in this case, your modernization specialist would recommend that you divide the application into several functional components that can be individually adapted and further developed with cloud-native rewrites.

Retiring
This involves decommissioning applications that no longer add value to a current business process, they should be retired and their data archived. De-supporting obsolete application allows for a load to be taken off the system, enabling better operational performance, reduced footprint, and a significant reduction in the associated cost of supporting outdated, redundant applications.

Transforming legacy applications to add value to business processes and outcomes requires the continuous displacement of outdated technology and effective delivery of modernization services, without disrupting business as usual. To accomplish this, it is important that you consider the following factors:

·         Identify the end product with realistic notions of achieving it

·         Effectively split legacy application functionalities into smaller parts

·         Categorize modernization deliverables into feasible components

·         Drive change organizations to iteratively deliver modernizations
          on a continuous basis

 

Selecting the Best Strategy

Application modernization involves devising an optimal modernization strategy to provide consistent implementation on the basis of determining the technologies, patterns, and architectures listed below:

Cloud Computing Migrations

Cloud migration is the process of transferring applications, data, and systems from on-premises legacy servers and data centers to a service provider’s servers, facilitating the operational advantage of Cloud features such as the automatic scaling of storage, compute, mobility, networking, disaster recovery, and cost-efficient maintenance. Leading Cloud-native architecture such as AWS, GCP, and Azure have been the cornerstone for innovation in providing effective, scalable, and secure platforms for legacy systems modernization.

Decompose Monolithic Applications

Microservices architecture (MSA) allows you to break down applications into a structured collection of autonomous services or into individual mini-apps that are responsible for one specific business function, for example, payment processing or e-commerce baskets. These independent software components should be designed around business processes to ensure they are highly cohesive, upgradable, and easily replaceable units of software.

To successfully achieve re-architecting from the legacy application you can:

Divide the legacy into service components
Decomposing legacy applications into service-related components enable independent deployments, allowing for more explicit component interfaces.

Break down the monolith by business capabilities
This is the ideal method for modularizing legacy monolith systems with multiple product lines. This may include breaking down the application stack by business area, user interface, data storage, or external collaborations. For example, an insurance company may choose to decompose their system by vehicle insurance, home insurance, and life insurance.

Smart Endpoints and Dumb Pipes
A common challenge with transitioning from monolithic architecture to microservices architecture is understanding how to enable communications between microservices. A complex, centralized communication bus that runs logic to route and manipulate messages is an architectural pitfall that commonly leads to problems in the future. Instead, microservices favor decentralized approaches such as Request-Response which allows one service to invoke another service by making an explicit request, or Publish/Subscribe forms that support asynchronous service-to-service communication so any message is received by all subscribers to the topic.

You can build a microservice with a set of serverless functions such as AWS Lambda, Google Cloud function, Azure functions, or an API gateway. You can also consider containerized component deployment to container management platforms such as Kubernetes Engine, AWS Fargate, Google Cloud Run, and Docker swarm. However, these technologies and platforms are highly dependent on the applications’ complexity and resources.

The combination of serverless functions and an API gateway will provide the most effective platform, empowering you with automatic scaling, cost-effectiveness (pay as you go model), and little to no infrastructure management challenges or limitations. However, this also means the complexity of application implementation will be more demanding.

Containerization

A lean modernization approach involves decomposing existing monolithic applications into containers in order to create new cloud-native applications that are both scalable and agile. The application is packaged and deployed based on operating applications and workloads. Serverless container management services such as AWS Fargate, Google Cloud Run, and Azure support a pay-as-you-go model, enabling faster delivery, agility, portability, modernization, and life cycle management.

Orchestration and Automation

Orchestration in software development enables the automation of the operational tasks associated with containers, it also supports system deployment, networking, and scaling. Automation empowers IT teams with efficient process management and reduced human error, ultimately resulting in lowered maintenance costs and the assurance that development, operations, and security teams can sustainably manage their modern applications at scale. For example, when building a workflow that has committed a code change to a particular branch in VCS, automation will allow for instant verification, integration testing, and the deployment of changes to a suitable environment.

Continuous Improvement

As the business landscape and technology continue to evolve it is important that you advance with it, especially if you wish to achieve a competitive advantage, operational agility, and increase market share. The continuous adaptation of application modernization and acceptance of digital transformation will allow you to make the most of your operational systems, enabling you to enhance customer satisfaction and experience business success while profiting from continuous cost savings through architecture optimization and innovation.



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