Application Modernization

Definition:

Application modernization consolidates, repurposes, or refactors outdated programming or software code to extract new business value from an existing application and better align it with current business requirements.

Image depicts the steps of an Application Modernization model: Legacy, Migration/Digital Transformation, and Modern.

What is application modernization?

Updating existing software for newer computing methodologies, such as more unique languages, frameworks, and infrastructure platforms are known as application modernization. 

The term “legacy modernization” or “legacy application modernization” also describes this process.

It’s the software development equivalent of upgrading an older home to benefit from advancements in efficiency, safety, and structural integrity, among other things. 

Legacy modernization extends the life of an organization’s applications while simultaneously using technological advances rather than retiring or replacing them entirely.

Why modernize legacy applications?

Application modernization allows a company to secure its investments while refreshing its software portfolio to take advantage of new infrastructure, tools, languages, and other technological advancements.

An effective application modernization strategy can minimize the resources needed to run an application, increase the frequency and dependability of deployments, and improve uptime and resiliency. 

As a result, a plan for application modernization is a standard component of a company’s overall digital transformation strategy.

Legacy Modernization Benefits

Application modernization provides insight into existing applications’ functionality and enables strategic re-platform apps to the cloud for scale and other performance advantages. The following are some of the benefits of application modernization:

Performance. The delivery of new features and applications is faster and more efficient.

Reduced cost. Application modernization minimizes the time to update apps and lowers overall operating costs.

Efficiency. By utilizing cloud-native technology, application modernization increases employee productivity, opens up new business prospects, and helps team members better serve clients.

Benefits to the business.   Another advantage of application modernization is the continuous supply of best-case end-user experiences, regardless of changing technology. In legacy software settings, systems can be reshaped and modified, and they can be delivered quickly and, in a process, -driven method, reducing the risk of support loss.

Application modernization patterns

The following are some examples of modernization patterns:

Lift and shift: Commonly known as rehosting, the term “lift and shift” refers to the process of migrating an existing application from a legacy environment (such as an on-premises server) to a modern infrastructure (such as a public cloud platform). Using this method, you’re migrating the application “as is” with minimal to no changes to its underlying code or architecture.

This implies that it’s usually the least time-consuming strategy, but it’s not always the best option depending on the application.

Refactoring: Refactoring is simply another word for “rewriting” or “restructuring.” This method of application modernization comprises retooling significant portions of a legacy application’s underlying code to make it run better in a new environment, usually in cloud infrastructure. This strategy frequently necessitates rewriting code and considerable restructuring of the existing codebase.

Suppose a development team wants to divide up a monolithic application into smaller, decoupled pieces—an architectural option known as microservices. Microservices could be used to get the most out of cloud-native infrastructure and tools, such as containers and container orchestration.

Replatforming: This pattern can be considered a compromise or middle ground between lift-and-shift and refactoring. It does not necessitate large code or architecture changes as refactoring does, but complementary improvements enable the legacy app to run on a modern cloud platform, such as updating or replacing the application’s backend database.

Critical technologies for application modernization

Application modernization necessitates the use of numerous intersecting technologies.

Cloud Computing: When experts talk about application modernization, they’re usually talking about converting existing applications to work in modern cloud environments. 

Such as Public cloud platforms, private clouds, and hybrid clouds (which refer to public and private clouds that are connected with on-premises environments)

Containers: Containers are a cloud-based technique for packaging, delivering, and running apps and workloads. The big-picture advantages of containerization include increased scalability, adaptability, and operational efficiency, which is ideal for cloud infrastructure, particularly multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments.

Microservices: This is more of an architectural choice than a technological one. You decouple separate components into smaller, distinct pieces that can be deployed, updated, and managed independently instead of designing and operating an application as a single, entire codebase (commonly referred to as a monolith or monolithic development).

Orchestration and Automation: The Automation of many operational processes connected with containers, such as deployment, scaling, and networking, is referred to as orchestration in software development. 

Generally, Automation is a crucial principle and technology since it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that development, operations, and security teams can manage their modern apps at scale in a sustainable manner.

Why is it necessary for businesses to update their applications?

Most businesses have made significant financial and operational investments in their current application portfolio. While the term “legacy” in software has a negative connotation, legacy systems are frequently among a company’s most mission-critical applications.

Few businesses are willing or able to retire these apps and start again due to the high costs, productivity losses, and other concerns. As a result, application modernization is the most cost-effective approach for many businesses to reap the benefits of newer software platforms, tools, architectures, libraries, and frameworks.

Legacy modernization trends

Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud are two of the most important developments in legacy app modernization. Multi-cloud refers to the use of two or more public cloud services for several reasons, including cost savings, flexibility, and availability. 

A hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private clouds and on-premises infrastructure, with integration between them.

Instead of reinventing essential programs from the ground up, modernization allows software teams to optimize current applications for these more distributed computing models. Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud are two of the most notable catalysts for legacy modernization.

The IT industry’s embrace of containers and orchestration to package, deploy, and manage applications and workloads is a related modernization trend. While a traditional app can be containerized, containers are better suited to a more decoupled approach to development and operations, such as microservices architecture.

Application modernization and Werq Labs

Modernizing your applications is only one aspect of pushing your company forward, especially as the need for Automation expands across business and IT functions. Moving toward greater Automation should begin with simple, measurable projects that you can eventually scale and optimize for other processes and areas of your company.

Working with Werq Labs gives you access to the AI-powered automation capabilities of Werq Labs cloud consulting for Automation, including prebuilt workflows, to help you accelerate innovation by making every process smarter.

Werq Labs’ product and service portfolio is also designed to assist businesses in migrating their legacy application estates to the cloud.

It’s essential to be prepared for cloud migration and application modernization and optimization initiatives in a quickly changing infrastructure and application environment.

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