Table of Contents
- Why Application Modernization Is So Important
- Innovative Application Modernization Strategies to consider in 2022
- Tips And Tricks While Choosing the Proper Application Modernization Strategy
Application modernization is a process of updating old software to support new computing approaches: updates of languages, frameworks, platforms, etc. The process itself can be compared to remodelling a house in order to make it safer, stronger, better in line with the present, and ready to last a long time. The modernization process is best suited for legacy applications as it extends the life of organizations’ solutions while taking advantage of technical innovation. And, of course, it’s very important to figure out which application modernization strategy is right for you.
Why Application Modernization Is So Important
Application modernization allows a company to update a piece of software with fewer resources than developing a new one would cost. Also, this process helps to adapt to the constantly developing market by introducing new tools, languages, and various technological advances in order to keep up with the times. Robust application modernization strategies can reduce the resources required to run an application, increase the frequency and reliability of deployments, and improve uptime and resiliency.
To avoid sounding unfounded, let’s look at some numbers. According to BusinessWire research, by 2023, over 50% of all ICT spending will go toward digital transformation and innovation, up from 27% in 2018 and growing at a compound annual rate of 17%. The same study states that 70% of enterprises will implement cloud solutions in their applications by 2022. These numbers, one way or another, make you think about applying one of application modernization strategies, and integrate clouds into your solutions. And by 2023, more than 500 million applications will be developed or modernized using cloud-native approaches. By the way, the same amount of applications have been developed over the past 40 years. By 2025, about 90% of applications will have artificial intelligence embedded, which will enable software to be smarter and more dynamic.
These numbers already look impressive and make you think about the importance of application modernization strategies and the whole process in general. However, here is some more data.
Based on the Markets and Markets report, the market for application modernization services is expected to grow to $24.8 billion by 2025 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.8% during 2020-2025.
Avanade has conducted research on more than 800 IT companies about application modernization strategies, the whole process and the results, and obtained the following results:
- The estimated boost in annual profit could be more than 14%;
- Business operating expenses could be reduced by more than 13%;
- Most of the respondents answered that the lack of application modernization can negatively affect the long-term growth of the company.
Also worth mentioning is a recent UN study, according to which advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, gene editing, and nanotechnology, are expected to reach $ 3,2 trillion by 2025.
It is simply impossible to ignore these numbers, so let’s move on to the main question: what kind of application modernization strategies are there?
Innovative Application Modernization Strategies to consider in 2022
So let’s take a look at some of the most innovative legacy application modernization strategies your company can use in the upcoming year.
TIME Chart Prioritization
When choosing which application modernization strategy is right for you, you need to prioritize them based on the business value and functionality of each one. This helps manage application modernization in the most efficient and cost-effective way. By tracking the workload characteristics of each application, it is possible to gain a better understanding of which apps are more critical for the business, what parts of them can be migrated and how.
Gartner’s Portfolio Triage Process is widely used as part of one of the best application modernization strategies. It involves placing applications on the TIME Chart, taking into account their business value and function. The chart itself consists of four categories: Tolerate, Invest, Eliminate, and Migrate.
- Tolerate. Applications in this category provide business value, but their integration with the company’s infrastructure is poor;
- Invest. Applications in this category provide great business value but require investment injections or the integration of an existing infrastructure to operate at a higher level than before;
- Migrate. This category of applications contains technologies which include software that is no longer supported or can only be operated by a small group of people with specific knowledge;
- Eliminate. This group should include applications that present almost no business value anymore, or their operating costs significantly exceed the results from their work.
Once the TIME chart has been drawn up, the place of each application in the company’s processes becomes clear. The actions that need to be taken to increase the apps’ efficiency and value also become apparent.
Five Rs of Modernization
It is considered as one of the best application modernization strategies. Here you need to build your IT capabilities around your business goals. According to McKinsey & Company, businesses create a healthier organizational culture by providing core services when they work in tandem with other businesses to shape an overall strategy using technology. For example, if a retailer needs to achieve better customer segmentation, the best solution would be to develop advanced analytics capabilities and a centralized database. After identifying the application that needs modernization, it’s time to move on to choosing an approach within the “Five Rs”.
The “Five Rs” consists of five approaches: Rehost, Refactor, Rearchitect, Rebuild, and Replace. Let’s consider each approach in more detail:
- Rehost. As part of this approach, a separate application component is redeployed into another infrastructure (physical, virtual, or cloud) without recompiling, changing the code, or modifying any features or functions;
- Refactor. This approach restructures and optimizes the existing code without making significant changes to the work in order to eliminate technical debts and improve the structure and function of the component;
- Rearchitect. This approach implies changing the application code to port it to a new architecture and using the new and expanded capabilities of the application platform to the optimal level;
- Rebuild. In this approach, a certain code component is rewritten from scratch, keeping its scope and specification;
- Replace. This approach involves completely removing a particular component and replacing it with a new one in accordance with the new requirements.
Focus on the company’s growth
While choosing one of the application modernization strategies, the company’s focus should not be limited to risks, but should also include growth. Application modernization stimulates the emergence and development of new business processes and a supporting infrastructure. This can lead to an increase in market share, lower risks, better customer service, higher operational efficiency, faster business innovation, and other positive aspects. Keep in mind, however, that the modernization process can take a significant amount of time to effectively impact the business. Therefore, linking a business case to digital transformation is the best solution.
Do not overdo it
An upgrade process is largely optional. Make sure that the app you want to update actually has a pain point that needs to be addressed. So focus your resources and efforts on the existing problems that can be solved with the help of application modernization strategies instead of wasting time and money on unnecessary upgrades.
Keep your finger on the pulse of modernization
The business world is constantly evolving, which leads to the inevitable obsolescence of software and the appearance of numerous application modernization strategies. That is why it is necessary to always be aware of any changes and be ready for modernization. You can modernize your legacy systems in manageable increments. However, the best solution is to create a continuous modernization environment that includes dedicated teams working with the business and aligning the business strategy with the modernization goals. In this case, it is necessary to identify the key business stakeholders of the modernization initiative, define the zones of improvements, and record the current levels of performance to ensure proper benchmarking.
Tips And Tricks While Choosing the Proper Application Modernization Strategy
As in any other area, there are many tips and tricks to help you succeed in app modernization. Now, let’s have a look at them.
Do Not Forget About Elimination
Sometimes upgrading does not mean updating, but eliminating the application. At times, a company may find itself using different applications that have nearly the same functionality. This situation can arise for a number of reasons, but in this case, it’s better to choose one of application modernization strategies where it is necessary to carefully analyze these applications and choose which one can be done without. This will prevent the unnecessary burning of resources that could be spent on upgrading other applications and company processes.
Do not bet all on microservices
When implementing one of application modernization strategies, companies often turn to microservices too quickly, believing that this approach is a panacea. In practice, this is not the case. Microservices work well in many situations, but under certain circumstances, they can create more problems and complications than benefits.
Typically, microservices require a complex runtime environment and the professional approach of DevOps. Microservices are most useful when they are shared by overlapping functions. Splitting an application into multiple microservices when it isn’t needed can lead to unnecessary complexity, as well as management and scaling difficulties.
Set small and achievable goals
Creating a global schedule and timeline and choosing one of the application modernization strategies allows you to effectively structure the process. However, the schedule for specific actions should be made for a short period of time. The reason is simple: everything changes quickly, endlessly, and inevitably. Reducing cycle time and instead focusing on iterating to achieve smaller goals will have a much higher probability of success. Within these iterations, the adaptation, feedback, and completion of projects occur in a much shorter time frame than with long-term ambitious plans. It also allows you to be more flexible and make decisions successfully based on the feedback received. That way you’re more likely to finish the project while reducing risks.
Protect yourself from data loss
One of the key priorities when choosing among application modernization strategies should be to preserve and prevent the loss of data processed, moved, and stored. The most convenient approach to this is to assign a category to the data, such as “high-medium-low” or “red-yellow-green”. However, it is imperative that the upgrade team clearly understands these categories and makes sure that specific security measures are applied for each one.
Keep the gaps closed
There are a myriad of languages, technologies, tools, methodologies, systems, and application modernization strategies that an application developer needs to know. Therefore, they need to update their knowledge quickly and continuously, as well as think of ways to implement this knowledge into work. So it’s highly important to keep teams in the loop on all the changes and dedicate resources to making sure they understand how to navigate the new workflow. This practice should be long-term if the company wants to achieve greater success. After all, the tools are only as good as the people who use them.
Given the continuous technological progress, the lifespan of every single company is going to decrease in proportion to the speed of this progress. The main way to stay afloat as a business is to keep your finger on the pulse of innovations and understand when it’s a right time to choose among application modernization strategies. Outdated IT systems negatively affect not only the business itself, but also the customer experience, which spells big trouble for most brands and services. Modernizing applications can help keep your business afloat and avoid unnecessary costs, while increasing your software’s flexibility. The Bamboo Agile team can easily help you with application modernization. Just contact us and book a free consultation to take your application to the next level!
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