Everything you need to know about Application Modernization: The why, how, and what!

Application Modernization
Application Modernization

Everything you need to know about Application Modernization: The why, how, and what!

Digital transformation plays a vital role in ensuring that organizations can adapt and thrive in today’s environment. By leveraging advanced, futuristic technologies, companies are better equipped to deliver breakthrough consumer experiences, drive innovation, and adapt rapidly to ever evolving market demands.

Application modernization is the process of transforming legacy systems to turbocharge growth. But, let us first understand what the term application modernization signifies!

What is Application Modernization?

The term application modernization refers to a diverse range of services such as recoding, rearchitecting, re-engineering, interoperability, replacement, and retirement.

Ultimately, these services transform legacy application or platforms to new applications or platforms and also encompass the integration of new features and functions designed to revamp business operations.

That being said, it is quite natural for you to wonder what the actual purpose of modernizing legacy applications might be. Let us dive in and find out!

Why you should Modernize Legacy Applications?

To put it quite simply, the advantages of application modernization include:

  • Rapid improvement in the rate at which new features are delivered
  • Clear exposure of the functionality of existing applications so that they can be consumed via API by other services
  • Movement of applications from on-premise to cloud platforms for better scale and performance
  • Development of a long-term data center and IT strategy

The Anatomy of Application Modernization

Modernizing your business’ applications is more than just a technical shift. An organization’s architecture, technology, and organizational structure must all be revamped, and each shift must be carefully planned.

Let’s take a closer look at the Three Levels of Transformation:
1. Architecture

The transition from three-tier, tightly coupled and difficult to change monoliths to a modern, agile, and loosely coupled micro services-enabled ecosystem that drives greater flexibility and agility begins with a technical shift.

The journey begins with an establishment of the right architectural foundation, which contains industrialized design patterns and best practices aimed at making application development and maintenance easier.

Domain-driven design is a cloud-native architecture paradigm that breaks down complicated business domains and monolithic systems into smaller data-driven micro services and helps define clear boundaries for each context.

To ensure that micro services enable enterprise-wide consumption and also comply with security and governance standards, use an API-first design strategy.

Asynchronous architecture eliminates the need for complex interconnections and introduces independent behavior, allowing for concurrent development and speedier deployments.

Furthermore, the architecture is built to withstand network and system failures and uses 15-factor design concepts instead of the traditional 12-factor approach to promote agility, scalability, and operational efficiency.

2. Technology

To derive the most out of application modernization, you’ll need to use modern cloud-native technologies like containerization, server-less, micro services and PaaS.

Incorporating DevOps and Quality Automation Pipelines into the very heart of your development campaigns can greatly reduce development and maintenance costs while also helping to enhance operational performance.

Additionally, when enterprises modernize their applications, they shift away from open-source technologies with limited re-usability and on-premises infrastructure towards leading-edge solutions based on three PaaS patterns: traditional, bespoke and public.

3. Organization

Silos in development, quality, assurance, testing and the business must be broken down and replaced with self-sustaining domain-driven teams to support the updated architecture.

Traditional development approaches involve big teams of 30 or 60 people are responsible for development, infrastructure, and quality assurance. In contrast, modern development approaches are more uniform or holistic and ensure that the same resources are responsible for development, platform operations, and automated scripting.

Application Modernization Approaches

No two applications can be identical; their requirements vary based on the function, user experience, integration with other applications, database, architecture, deployment, or other aspects.

For any application modernization, you need to understand the infrastructure behind each application in its current architecture.

Your application modernization approach depends on several factors such as the complexity of the application, application dependencies, required infrastructure, team skillset, and more.

             Read More: Top 6 Benefits of Application Modernization
Here’s a list of options that you can choose from to Modernize your Applications
1. Rehost

Also known as lift and shift, rehost quite simply means taking an existing legacy application and moving to newer modern infrastructure such as a public cloud platform.

This strategy involves shifting your physical servers and VMs to the cloud just as they are and reaping the benefits of cost savings, security, and increased reliability.

In this context, the current hardware and operating systems are managed by the cloud provider once the shift is complete. The other aspects of the workload or application management and operations remain the same.

2. Refactor

Refactoring means rewriting, restructuring, or repackaging. This strategy involves taking a legacy application and revising significant portions of its underlying code to ensure that it runs better in a new environment and optimize cost, reliability, and performance.

By making just minor changes to code or the underlying configuration, you can continue to use your current application as is and connect the application to a new infrastructure services such as containers, database, and identity management systems.

3. Rearchitect

Also known as redesigning, this strategy involves rearchitecting an application and transforming it with a modular architecture.

It means modifying or extending an existing application’s codebase to optimize it for a cloud platform for better scalability and reliability. It is the most time-consuming way to migrate an application to the cloud because it requires application code changes.

One example of rearchitecting includes decomposing a monolithic application into microservices that work together and scale readily on the cloud.

4. Rebuild

 It involves rebuilding the existing application by adopting cloud PaaS or even SaaS services and architecture. This means rearchitecting the application for the cloud.

An example of rebuilding would be redesigning code to decompose the original application into smaller chunks and then deploying using modern cloud services.

5. Replace

It involves discarding an existing application and replacing it with a commercial cloud software delivered as a service (SaaS). In this strategy, all the underlying infrastructure, middleware, application software, and data are managed by a service provider with an appropriate service agreement, ensuring the availability and security of the application and its data.

In a nutshell

Application modernization is a world in itself. Stay tuned to our blog as we dig deeper into this world. If you’re looking to partner with a leading-edge application modernization company, look no further!

Schedule a free consultation with our experts right away.