Before excavating into the topic, ask yourself, why did you land on this article? If you know the answer, then you probably have an idea of what “application modernization” is. If not, then this article might help.
Now let’s start the excavation!
The best method of application modernization depends on the problem that you want to eliminate from your business process.
It’s no secret that businesses across all industries are turning to cloud-based architecture to run their IT workloads. According to the study, it is predicted that 83% of the workloads of IT enterprises will be on the cloud by 2020. Hence tech leaders are forced to embark on new strategies for application development to survive. Today, organizations are deliberately focusing on legacy application modernization to cope up with the accelerated pace of change in IT architectures.
The reason for their deliberate focus might be because of the following purposes (which possibly even your business must have come across):
- Difficult to update software
- Lagging on speed
- Old-fashioned UI/UX
- Lower scalability and stability
- Security Issues
Therefore getting in touch with application modernization consultant firm would surely help, as they would guide, understand, and solve each of your legacy system issues.
According to a Research and Markets report :
The application modernization services market size is projected to grow from $6.87 billion in 2017 to $16.67 billion by 2022.Click To Tweet
Quick questions to ask before understanding methods of application modernization
Have you set goals for application modernization?
One way to get started is to identify your business-critical legacy application and explore how it would be advantageous in terms of scalability, reliability, and performance by modernizing it.
For example, modernizing an inventory application, so that it can integrate with a new e-commerce system could translate into excellent customer satisfaction and higher retention.
Businesses must also consider the factor of application maintenance. Before selecting any application modernization method – understand which method will be best suited for you and requires the least application maintenance.
Are you planning to migrate everything at once or in phases?
This initial decision would define the total length and cost of the project.
When it would require workforce and how much risk would be encountered.
Which implementation route is optimum for organizational style/strengths, available budget, urgency/complexity of a project, and the nature of individual workloads.
This plan will ultimately help you set the stage accordingly for the entire mainframe application modernization process.
If you’re planning to rewrite every component of legacy application from scratch without making any changes to its scope and specifications, then this would fall under “Rebuilding or Redesigning”.
Do you have enough resources?
Depending on the particular stage of your mainframe modernization project, the resource requirements can differ in both; number as well as participation level. During each migration process, even with a partner engaged, you will need to assign internal staff at some stage.
It is essential to have experienced team members with ethical decision-making and execution skills during the migration process. Successful program managers able to convey goals and expectations clearly would keep the milestones on track.
Here we go!
Best Application Modernization Methods
1. Eliminate the Dependency of applications
Don’t you hate it when you’re almost at the end of some significant project, but you come across a barrier that can only be solved by an individual who is NOT available at that moment. Well, this just ruins your whole enthusiasm for the work, doesn’t it? And you might have come across this situation many times.
But when it comes to legacy modernization, everything must be abstracted and freed from any dependency on the underlying structure.
When abstracting an application’s functions into modules that can run anywhere, the application/project can be moved to different (modernized) infrastructure without changing a single line of code.
The software-defined architecture allows you to use these components to combine the application, thereby achieving full portability. It is only by complete portability between cloud environments, container tools, storage options, and servers.
Most IT organizations break the vendor lock-in and gain flexibility —which is necessary to switch their legacy applications to vendors providing the best price, performance, reliability, and features.
Dependency on others for your happiness is the most foolish thing to do.
2. The Evolutionary method
This method is a step-by-step approach that doesn’t create a massive impact on major business processes and entails significantly lower risks for the organization.
You can consider this method as a “first-aid” or “band-aid” component as the evolutionary method focus more on solving the problems where companies can pinpoint the issue and resolve it, rather than just identifying and removing the factor that causes them.
Rehosting involves transferring an unchanged mainframe program to other physical, virtual, or cloud infrastructures. This technique is economical and risk-free.
Compared to re-engineering projects that take years to complete, rehosting is quicker and keeps the underlying business logic intact, which means zero negative effect on the company. The best part, no changes in system operations.
With the rehosting technique, an application is forklifted into the cloud environment like it is — without any code modification. While providing a less resource-intensive migration process, rehosting typically does not take advantage of cloud-native features like fre-platforming and refactoring.
Replatform migrations include up-versioning to adapt the code to a new platform while retaining existing features and functionality. Minimum enhancements, such as using a managed database service or introducing auto-scaling, a function that adds or removes computing resources automatically, will help return the simple benefit of cloud infrastructure.
Replatforming offers basic cloud functionality and cost optimization, without any resource commitments required for refactoring, in terms of cloud migration.
The rearchitecting method usually deals with shifting to a purely new application architecture while updating or altering the code so that it can run on a new platform with better capabilities. This method has low risk and cost. The downside is that the results might get compromised.
According to IDC Worldwide Digital Transformation 2019 Predictions
By 2022, 90% of all new apps will feature microservices architectures that improve the ability to design, debug, update, and leverage third-party code.Click To Tweet
Sometimes it’s cool to replace your legacy applications with a different (modernized) tool, instead of investing in its modernization. Although the reuse of existing legacy business logic is not possible in this case, this method might require some level of re-engineering or modification of packages and rewriting business logic.
For example, no one changes their vehicle because of a tire-puncture.
Leveraging the potential of Kubernetes
Modern complex systems may require an assortment of various components that can span multiple containers. Hence to handle and operate those different containers, you need a tool to orchestrate the whole process.
Google designed and named that tool “Kubernetes.”
Kubernetes’ objective is to eliminate as many manual processes as possible. At the moment, it is the most popular tool for container organization.
Kubernetes is a system that manages clusters of the container. It is backed today by many major players such as Microsoft, AWS, Red Hat, and more. It is not a Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution but acts as a framework for users to choose the tools best suited to their business and employee talent.
Kubernetes enjoys industry-wide support as an open-source platform and is the standard for managing resources in the cloud. Cloud-native systems ultimately benefit from containerization.
Summing it up
To sum up, the methods of application modernization have an influence on various aspects of the legacy system—Rehosting and re-platforming impact the framework of technology.
Refactoring and rearchitecting can fix issues in the fields of technology and architecture. Rebuilding and replacing allow, among other things, the modification and addition of functions and features.
We have experienced consultants who can guide you by making understand each aspect of the application modernization and smoothen your transition from the legacy system.
NOTE: On each step of your application modernization, remember to check and monitor:
- Application response time
- Database response time
- Application error rates
- Cost to operate
- Conversion rates
It may seem challenging to modernize a legacy system, but breaking it down into small pieces will help you get started.
Procrastination is never the right choice for any mission, and in a business mission, it will just get harder and harder to run your legacy system if you procrastinate.
This is the time, turn over now and reap the benefits of a modern system rather than waiting to be pushed into obsolete, more complicated…costlier and more time-consuming alternatives -switch to application modernization technology.
Reasons to Unlock Modernization with Radixweb
Words won’t justify why Radixweb has 20+ years of proficiency in application modernization services.
We have a portfolio of products and services especially designed to help organizations fetch their legacy application estates into the modernized cloud environment.
In conclusion, with proven excellence, Radixweb has application modernization services that can help and guide you through planning and executing your application modernization strategies from scratch.