Application modernization is not just a process that should be undertaken. The modernization journey must start with an overall strategic plan which will ensure that the enterprise aligns its business and technology goals. Each company has its own legacy applications, which might be developed in different technologies and programming languages, thereby requiring a thoughtful approach. Businesses need to leverage key success factors that can make enterprises successful in their modernization journey. Here we aim to share insights around application modernization best practices followed in designing a strategy for enterprise digital transformation.
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Creating a plan is the first step of application modernization. Several factors need considering including the business case, technology options, a roadmap and the metrics to be used. Let’s first look at application modernization itself.
The importance of application modernization
A lot of enterprises are already on the path to digital transformation, and to make the shift, many business leaders are looking for ways to modernize their application portfolios. While many are already on this path, it’s not always clear what the best practices are for making this happen. But if you want to get it done, you can’t afford to get it wrong. Application modernization can be a complex, time-intensive and expensive process, but it’s worth the effort. The first step is to determine which applications are really worth the time and money, and then you need to consider how to approach the process and which tools to use.
Modernization is a strategy that many customers use to improve the performance and stability of their existing infrastructure. The process goes through three phases: discovery, design, and implementation. Application migration to cloud goes far beyond just upgrading your applications to their most recent versions, it’s about modernizing your technology stack to make your application more flexible, more scalable and to allow for a faster time to market. While most of the work in software modernization involves coding and application logic, it’s good to have a basic understanding of the tools and technologies that are involved in modernizing an application.
Niveus’ work across the globe is a testament to our deep experience in application modernization. Our expertise, especially in the APAC region, has been transformative for businesses across industries. In Singapore, for example, the modernization of business applications is seen as a key way to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of businesses. By doing so, they can stay ahead of the competition and reap the rewards of a more efficient and effective business operation. We have detailed our application modernization best practices in Singapore.
Designing your application modernization strategies
The first step to choosing the right strategy is to understand your application. Choosing the right modernization strategy can seem like a daunting task. But understanding your application will save you time and money. When you’re upgrading an existing application you need to know what your legacy systems are running on, and the type of programming language your legacy systems are written in. By knowing this information you can find the right modernization strategy to fit your needs.
Understanding the objectives of the modernization project and the risks involved with any project is important to the success of the business. This is often the reason why professional services are required to assist in the modernization project. Through a clear and detailed understanding of the proposed project, a professional services consultant will help ensure the business is on the right track for success.
The right application modernization strategy will be unique to each business, but there are several common approaches that could be used. There is no one-size-fits-all application modernization strategy. But there are a few common approaches that can help a business update their technology to ensure that it continues being an asset to the company. One-off solutions are an option, but they’re usually created without considering the future of the application. On the other hand, complete overhauls are costly and can be risky. Instead, incremental upgrades can help a business reduce risk, costs, and complexity by gradually updating their systems.
Application modernization best practices to adopt
The necessity of organizational shift by adopting digital transformation is what makes leveraging app modernization crucial. Let’s look at some application modernization best practices to follow:
Adopt a microservices approach
Adopting a microservices approach can help you modernize your application and make it more scalable and agile. In a microservices-based environment, each process is carried out as a separate service, with its own logic and database. This allows services to be independent and scalable, making it easier to change or update them as needed.
Prioritize applications that need to be modernized
It is important to identify all applications that require modernization. Once these have been chosen, they need to be sorted based on priorities and requirements. The next step is to understand the risks associated with the modernization of each individual application, as well as the approach that would allow risks to be mitigated. Evaluate the time and cost required for modernization, and weigh this against the value offered by the modernized app. If modernization will offer benefits such as improved agility, scalability, reliability and performance, it is viable to go ahead with the process.
Design an effective legacy modernization strategy
When it comes to modernizing your applications, there are several approaches you can choose from, such as rearchitecting, refactoring, rewriting, ripping and replacing, or rehosting. Based on the complexity of your legacy application, you need to define an application modernization strategy that best fits the needs of your business. You also need to consider factors like time, cost, scalability and technologies that you would like to leverage.
Provide full stack visibility
Modernized applications still require communication with legacy systems. Also, visibility of those applications across the entire system, i.e., edge to the core (on-premises) to the cloud is critical. A full stack visibility would allow you to monitor performance from the end-users’ perspective back through to the data center. This, in return, helps you to stay ahead of potential problems and identify issues before they affect the end-user experience.
App modernization doesn’t have to mean automatically moving all apps to the cloud. You can be strategic about it by taking into consideration things like how much data will be involved, what kind of workflows are needed, and how communication will happen between devices and the cloud. It’s more important to be “cloud-smart” than to just jump on the bandwagon because it’s trendy.
Track performance metrics
It is important to design performance metrics that track the performance of applications at the code level. This includes monitoring the entire infrastructure, from the cloud to databases to networks. This allows you to identify problems before they arise and identify areas that need improvement.
App modernization is an exciting and important part of enterprise software development. If you’re considering making the switch to a more modern software solution, get in touch with us.