If you want to improve your company's competitive advantage in the market, you will need to focus on modernization. The only way to outperform the competition is to focus on simple, but effective solutions. The best way in app modernization is to rely on an application platform, that will allow you to achieve all necessary performance metrics. In this article we will focus on the application modernization platform, that will allow you to virtualize all software vendors, not related to business logic. It is very important to know, that currently, most of the elements related to software development have already been virtualized. If you wish to improve your effectiveness, you definitely should focus on building the platform modernization. Here are a few important information about this aspect!
Why should you modernize your platform?
A vast amount of older workloads, fundamental platforms, technologies, and conventional advancement techniques have prevented numerous organizations from achieving business nimbleness and invention. This is due to the fact that many legacy systems were created before cloud computing was popular. Solutions such as cloud-native development practices, Linux containers, and other modern advancements are currently much more popular and obsolete systems lack such capabilities. Many seemingly outdated applications or workloads are still generating a large part of the profit for the companies. That is why they cannot be simply shut down and replaced by new solutions. The best way to improve such systems is to modernize them. A company will need to plan a reasonable strategy on how to update the legacy application.
This predicament places organizations in a delicate situation. Companies will need to reconcile the need to uphold these systems with the ambition to develop, satisfy new customer requirements, and seize new openings. These legacy applications can be so expensive and labor-intensive to keep up that they become a major impediment to progress. That is why it is so important to think of the possibility of modernization in advance. The purpose of application modernization platform is to bring agility back to legacy applications by migrating them to a modern platform. Activities such as breaking up monoliths into smaller easier to maintain components, and applying modern software development and deployment practices will help you to integrate old solutions with the new ones.
It is important to know that, with the modernized application you are able to reduce the requirements for developers who will not need to know about aspects related to networking, disks, or memory. The developer will declare the required technological capabilities of his application, and the deployment team will provide it. Regardless of where the application will be launched, technological capabilities will be delivered to the application in the same way. This will essentially reduce the time and development resources needed to develop the application by about 60%!
Is application modernization platform really important?
In order to have a properly updated and modern app, you will need a launch platform that will allow you to virtualize all technical aspects in the area of application launch as well as the SDCL process (application development). The foundation of such a platform is Kubernetes. It is important to know, that Kubernetes can be appended with additional components. Such components will enable the virtualization of everything not related to business logic. We explained the details of what is, and how Kubernetes works in our previous articles, however, in order to understand the application modernization platform, let's summarize.
Kubernetes is a system that is responsible for managing the clusters of containers. It is not a Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution, instead, Kubernetes acts as a framework that allows users to choose the tools that are best suited to their individual business characteristics. With the Kubernetes framework, users can select which types of applications, languages, or tools they use. As a container-centric system, it doesn't matter which programming language or framework the container is running.
If you want to modernize the application, you definitely should focus on a multi-level solution, such as the Kubernetes platform. This platform's objective is to give the IT teams orchestration and management capabilities to deploy the containers at scale. With such orchestration in place and properly set up. Developers will be able to build new application services, across different containers, and manage them accordingly. Because, application modernization is a process, not a one-time activity, Kubernetes can be really helpful in that process. This system gives IT teams the ability to manage all applications in the long run, while the business can stay flexible.
App modernization strategies
It is important to know, that there are already solutions that will allow your company to build a competitive advantage using the latest IT solutions. With such solutions, especially modern platforms based on clusters, you will be able to implement new ideas and adopt them easily and quickly. If you plan to work on app modernization, you should take into consideration a few important patterns. Make sure to follow these patterns if you want to succeed in this process!
Lift and shift
Lift and shift, or “rehosting” pattern means that companies can change the environment of the application and move it to a different, modern one. With this strategy, you can move from an obsolete infrastructure, and transfer your app to a better environment. With this pattern, you are able to move the application “as is,” with little to no changes to its code or architecture. Also, with this modernization pattern, you need to consider, that some applications might not be customized for environment changes, and some sections might need to be adjusted by developers.
App restructuring is another way of rewriting the application. This modernization pattern assumes that legacy applications can be manually adjusted to some extent, by retooling significant chunks of their underlying code. This way the renewed application will run better in a new environment. Such a solution is commonly used by enterprises that decide to transfer to the cloud infrastructure. A development team can also choose this approach if they decide to break down a monolithic application into smaller pieces. This strategy, commonly known as microservice is recently used by IT in some business models.
The last pattern is some sort of compromise between the lift-and-shift and re-platforming approaches. It does not require major changes in code or architecture, as with restructuring. Instead, this strategy assumes, that large updates are carried out, and therefore the legacy app can take advantage of a modern solution such as for example cloud refactoring. This strategy can be easily achieved with an application modernization platform.
What are the benefits of application modernization?
There are many benefits of app modernization and using the proper modernization platform. If your organization wants to take part in digital transformation, you must find a way to quickly deliver new and reliable IT solutions. It is important to find a method to accelerate the development of new functionalities in your applications. Please take a look at the below list where you will find the most significant benefits you can achieve if you decide to follow this approach.
- Improved functionality. With new, modern solutions you will have access to the latest app functionalities. With this, you should be able to work on your projects more efficiently.
- Your business will be more agile. You will be able to improve your speed of new feature delivery and with it your organizational capacity to respond rapidly to new threats, opportunities, or demands.
- Better performance and scalability. With modernized systems, you will be able to re-platform your applications to the cloud from on-premises data centers. This way you can improve application performance and gain a competitive advantage in the market.
- Business roadmap. The application modernization strategy can help you to create a roadmap for digital transformation. With such a roadmap you should be able to better plan your business strategy and have a tactical vision with possible outcomes for the business.
- Better UX. Improved user experience is definitely a huge benefit of using modern applications. If you wish to attract new users and do not scare them with an obsolete app, be sure to start your application modernization!
- Cost Savings. Companies that decide to modernize applications with cloud migration can release resources to put toward the core mission rather than infrastructure management. What is also important – with cloud services you receive better security and your data is much more protected in case of any IT incidents.
- Maximize your ROI. Using the latest solutions can help you to use existing solutions and enable integration between cloud-native solutions and legacy applications. This way you will be able to gain a competitive advantage in the market and reach different clients.
What are the consequences of ignoring the need to modernize legacy applications?
Some companies might think this whole modernization is just a story aimed at naive in order to sell some fancy solutions. They have a right to think that, even if they are mistaken. However, soon they will face the consequences of staying with obsolete applications and frameworks. It is especially important because of the lack of use of virtualization in all aspects are:
- Longer time to perform functional changes in applications;
- Longer time needed to prepare a new application;
- Difficult implementation of continuous delivery and continuous deployment processes;
- Extended project implementation time due to differences between environments;
- Higher requirements for developers. The IT staff working on obsolete applications must understand aspects related to the operation of the infrastructure surrounding these apps;
- Lack of standardization in the area of infrastructure. Because of that, your company might need more administrators to maintain an obsolete environment;
- Longer waiting time for changes in applications in response to new business circumstances appearing on the market.
All these points jointly can result in a weakening of your company among the competition. That is why it is important to constantly improve, and modernize your work. Solutions such as containerization, cloud adoption, or moving to a hybrid cloud solution, will help you to optimize your strategy.
Technologies you can use in your modernized platform
If you want to focus on the application modernization platform, you definitely should take a look at some of the crucial components of such a platform. Please take a look at the below list and find out which elements can be virtualized with specific technology:
- Kubernetes – OS, RAM, CPU, Networking
- Logging – Elastic Stack
- Monitoring – Prometheus and Grafana
- Rook – Distributed storage system
- Databases – Postgres operator
- Network Security and Application Tracing– Istio
- Identity Management – SPIRE and SPIFFE
- Application Platform Security – StackRox
- Backup and Migrate – Velero
As you can see, many technologies can be used to create the robust platform needed to modernize applications. In such activities, it is worth using the support of specialists. DevOps consulting services help improve communication and collaboration between software developers and system administrators. This helps to improve the quality and speed of software development and deployment. We will focus on these components and services in our next articles!
Application modernization platform, should we use it?
It is definitely a good idea to move from the legacy application and modernize them in order to meet today's standards. It will not only increase our position in the competitive IT market but also reduce the fixed costs and some of the risks. As said before, the best way to implement these changes is by using a well-optimized modernization platform. Such solutions will benefit your company and definitely improve your application portfolio!