In today’s digital world, businesses need to have a application modernization strategy. To remain competitive, businesses must continuously improve their IT systems and apps. Companies face increased challenges in remaining agile and meeting changing customer demands as legacy systems and apps become outdated and no longer supported.
Application modernization is the process of updating legacy applications and IT systems to make use of new technologies and approaches while preserving core functionality.
This blog will cover the different application modernization options available to businesses, what to look for when selecting a strategy, and best practices in application modernization.
Companies can keep up with the rapid changes in technology by knowing the latest application modernization strategies.
Need for App Modernization Strategies
Legacy systems can limit business agility, reduce innovation and increase operational costs. Modernizing applications is a way to tackle these challenges. It allows businesses to improve efficiency and scalability while streamlining processes.
Businesses can use new technologies, including DevOps and microservices to boost growth and remain competitive by modernizing their apps and implementing a modernization strategy.
Understanding Each of The 5 Common Application Modernization Strategy
The application modernization strategy is the approach that an organization can use to modernize its legacy applications. Here are five of the most common strategies.
1. Rehosting/ Lift & Shift
Rehosting (also known as Lift-and-Shift) is a process that involves moving an old system or program to the cloud from its current hardware infrastructure without making significant changes to the software itself. Using an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud, the strategy entails replicating the application from the present environment to the cloud environment exactly as it is. This strategy is usually a fast, cheap option that produces results faster than other options.
However, rehosting does not increase productivity, cost-savings, or scalability. Rehosting could involve moving an on-premise CRM to the cloud.
Replatforming involves minor changes to an application, while it is moved to a different platform. This strategy involves moving the application to a more modern platform such as PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) or containerized environments like Kubernetes or Docker.
It is important to maintain the functionality of the application while taking advantage of new platform features such as high availability, scalability, and enhanced security. This strategy could be used to migrate an on-premise Java app into a containerized AWS environment.
It is an system modernization strategy that involves significant changes in the code, architecture, and design of an application to make it more efficient and maintainable. This strategy involves rewriting an application’s codebase and optimizing performance. It also requires updating the user interface to modern standards.
Refactoring may be a risky and expensive option, but it offers long-term benefits such as increased speed, reduced downtime, and improved agility. Refactoring could be done by updating an old monolithic application into a microservice-based architecture.
The Re-architecting Strategy involves completely redesigning your application’s architecture and building a cloud-native application from the bottom up. This strategy requires a complete overhaul of the technology stack, codebase, and user interface of an application.
Re-architecting may be a risky and expensive option, but the long-term rewards are significant, such as increased scalability and agility, improved security, and better scalability. This strategy could be implemented by building a cloud-native system to replace an older legacy system.
The replacement technique is another application modernization strategy. It involves replacing an old application with a modern, new an application that meets current organizational needs and goals. This strategy involves selecting a new solution, vendor, or platform to replace an old system.
This is the riskiest and most expensive option. However, it offers the greatest benefits in terms of agility, efficiency, and long-term savings. This strategy could be used to replace an on-premise ERP solution with a SaaS-based cloud-based system.
The choice of strategy is dependent on several factors, including the state of the application at the time, the business requirements, and available resources.
Before making a choice, it is crucial to evaluate each strategy carefully to make sure that the strategy chosen aligns with your organization’s objectives and delivers the benefits you expect.
What to consider when choosing an application modernization strategy
The right modernization strategy will help you achieve the desired results and maximize the value of your modernization efforts. When selecting a strategy for modernization, the following factors need to be taken into consideration:
The available budget for modernization is an important factor when selecting the best strategy. Some strategies such as replacement may require a large investment while others such as rehosting may be more affordable.
2. A timeline
It is another important consideration. Rehosting and re-platforming are two strategies that can be implemented relatively quickly. Other strategies such as replacement, re-architecting, or redevelopment may take longer.
3. Business goals and needs
When selecting a strategy for modernization, it is important to carefully evaluate the goals and needs of your business. The chosen strategy must align with business objectives, and deliver expected benefits, such as increased performance, scalability, and user experience.
4. Level of customization required
Another important factor is the level of customization needed. Rehosting may not offer much customization while re-architecting may.
5. Integration with other systems
The modernization strategy chosen should consider the integration between the application and other systems. Re-platforming and refactoring are better options than replacing an application if it needs to integrate with legacy systems.
These factors can help organizations select the best modernization strategy to meet their needs and achieve their goals. They will also ensure that the project is completed on budget and within the timeframe.
Best Practices to Implement an Application Modernization Strategy
It is important to plan and execute the application modernization process carefully. Following these best practices will help organizations ensure that their application modernization efforts meet their needs and goals while minimizing risks, securing, scalable, and aligning with business objectives.
Best practices for modernization can be used to ensure success.
1. Through analysis
Conducting a thorough assessment of your current environment is crucial before embarking on any modernization efforts. This involves identifying applications that require modernization, evaluating technology stacks and infrastructures, and assessing technical debt.
2. Setting clear goals and a business case
For the modernization project, it is important to establish clear goals and a business case. It is important to identify the benefits that are expected, such as increased performance, scalability, and user experience.
3. Engaging end users and stakeholders
It’s important to involve end users and stakeholders throughout the entire modernization process. This includes asking for feedback, communicating updates and changes, and making sure that modernization efforts meet the needs of all stakeholders.
4. Implementing a phased strategy
Modernizing applications is a complex task that should be done in phases. It is important to break the modernization project into smaller and more manageable projects. Prioritizing applications according to business needs will also help.
5. Prioritizing security, and scalability
Security and scalability are important throughout the entire modernization process. It is important to evaluate the security and scalability in the current environment. Then, identify areas that need improvement and implement measures so the modernized environment will be secure and scalable.
The Future of app modernization
In the future, as organizations adopt new technologies, like data science and AI, machine learning, and the Internet of Things, the process of application modernization is likely to remain a crucial one. Organizations can remain competitive by staying on top of the latest strategies and best practices for application modernization. They will also be able to meet the changing needs of customers.