This article is the second in a series of three pieces discussing application modernization-driven transformation. My earlier article addressed how digital transformation initiatives involving application modernization can easily stall, how so many encounter pitfalls end up moving only the most simple applications, and how often organizations have even higher IT costs supporting both new and old legacy applications.\nWe presented three fundament characteristics of successful planning as a framework, while incorporating the use of the \u201cRight Mix Advisor\u201d to successfully complete the application modernization journey. At a high level these were as follows:\n\n\nBusiness Discovery: Top-line catalogue of what IT services are required for the business\n\n\nApplication Discovery: Application functions and detailed components to provide the IT services\n\n\nHybrid View: Detailed information on all elements that provide each component and function\n\n\nNow, this article will explore the \u201cRight Mix Advisor\u201d approach in more detail. Underpinning this approach is two types of business applications. Those that address the:\n\n\n\u201cNeed to work\u201d - Run the current business, day-to-day business needs\n\n\n\u201cNeed to win\u201d - Innovate and create competitive advantage\n\n\nAnalysts still report today that 60-70% of legacy business applications remain expensive and \u201cland-locked\u201d on-premises, often in proprietary technologies. In addition, these workloads that haven\u2019t moved tend to be the ones that are core to the\u00a0business, including revenue-generating workloads that could bring tremendous value to the business if modernized. However, for these applications a move to hybrid cloud is complex and has a lot of risk, exacerbated by caution emanating from the impact of the pandemic. \u00a0\nOrganizations must then balance the risk of adopting innovation within given budgets and resource boundaries while also running the business. It\u2019s a tough spot to remedy for most \u2013 but unless remedied, it also increases risk and cost if they wait much longer.\nModernizing legacy applications can be a daunting task, especially for those with a large legacy footprint.\u00a0Modern software applications are developed by targeting a variety of devices, platforms, and browsers.\u00a0But legacy applications were designed to meet specific needs or work a certain way within a particular environment.\nDeconstructing inflexible legacy architectures requires a deep and accurate understanding of how an application behaves within its current environment and what its requirements are.\u00a0Organizations should have comprehensive knowledge of what the application\u2019s dependencies are with other systems; what the business, technical, functional, and implementation requirements are; and what the security and compliance requirements are in order to determine\u00a0 the right migration strategy and then weigh the timing and cost based on risk, ease of migration, and impact on the business.\u00a0\nUsing Right Mix Advisor helps organizations determine\u00a0the right mix of hybrid cloud strategies and hybrid cloud infrastructure targets, based on the workload catalog. This considers all business application requirements and doesn\u2019t ignore the more challenging and unique legacy applications.\u00a0It is not a \u201cmove everything directly to public cloud approach\u201d but rather one that strikes the right balance and the steps to success. It accounts for the business and\u00a0technical needs of the application with the level of complexity, risk, time, and cost to move it. It spans the landscape from simply re-rehosting legacy applications to being composable for container infrastructures, and to re-architecting to stateless and microservices, enabled for agile DevOps.\nAt the center of the Right Mix Advisor approach and tooling is an outcome, given to customers, called \u00a0the Master Data Repository (MDR). This is a \u201crecord of truth.\u201d The data contained within the MDR becomes exposed transparently for analysis, weighing each application candidacy against various constraints, stakeholder priorities, and business benefit perspectives in making decisions around moving to hybrid cloud, both at the infrastructure level and the workload level.\u00a0\n\nMaster Data Repository and Discovery\nThe discovery phase incorporates organizational or industry-partner tooling, as appropriate. This phase creates a top-level view of what the business needs for it to operate, which group owns what, and how the business service is delivered. This layer shouldn\u2019t care about what vendors, infrastructure, hardware, or software is in place or even selected; it simply captures what functions the business needs from IT Services to operate, to what volume, to what scale, and how it scales.\u00a0\nAside from the discovery function itself, some examples of the weighting factors brought into it from an established MDR that are considered closely, and must continually be refreshed throughout the transformation journey for true success, include:\n\n\nType of Application (core vs innovative)\n\n\nOrganizational Goals \/ Readiness\n\n\nComplexity\/Inter-dependencies\n\n\nCosts\/Benefit or Business Impact\/Returns\n\n\nDisposition\/Lifecycle\/Competitiveness\n\n\nActionable Plan\n\n\nMaster Data Repository and Assessment for Planning\nA solid plan to address application modernization should consider both complex and simple applications.\u00a0 It should provide deeper insights into legacy application challenges and provide the clarity for what the viable targets are to move to cloud, how to move them, in what order to move them, what to modernize, and what to keep on-prem. Application data discovery and assessment should drive the plan of action with a roadmap. It is the MDR that provides the basis for these considerations.\nWhat we are seeing today, utilizing Right Mix Advisor, is that about one-third of a client\u2019s\u00a0 \u201ceasy\u201d application migrations from legacy environments to public cloud have been completed, or will be soon, and net-new application development is predominantly cloud-native. What is left is the difficult workload or those not wanting to be touched because they\u2019re business critical. The MDR provides the necessary information and planning criteria to address all of this legacy workload. By cyclically running the discovery function it helps determine, at the planning phase, the target cloud endpoint and migration strategies for each application along journey lifecycle. The refreshed MDR is at the center of this, providing the basis for continuous and evolving insights into migration strategy, processes, plans, dependencies, budget\/financials, etc., throughout the transformation or digital journey (discover, assess & plan, detailed design, build & migrate, operate & optimize) while maintaining simplicity and efficiency.\nHere, what we are looking for, are the functional components, applications, interfaces, queues, and any areas that support the business services but in slightly more granular way.\u00a0 Here, we capture application owners, lifecycle information, development roadmaps, software details, testing and release cycles and owners, security models, business continuity, and compliance requirements.\u00a0 We learn how application lifecycle changes are handled in the organization, who approves, testing strategies for application releases, and more. We also explore how each functional team (ie., security or ITOps) views their level of criticality their contribution might be as individuals.\u00a0\u00a0\nMaster Data Repository and Infrastructure\nThe final layer to capture is the infrastructure view of how these business applications and workloads reside and interface on the overall IT Infrastructure. HPE has built powerful scanning tools over the many years in the data center consolidation\/transformation space, combined now with tools from VMware, Microsoft, and several of our close partners, and now some of the HyperScalers as well. All of this data is converged into a single \u201crecord of truth\u201d for our customers\u2019 overall environment.\u00a0\u00a0\nHPE\u2019s Right Mix Advisor program offers the clearest steps that organizations can take to navigate the pitfalls of modernization journeys. Beginning with a combined \u201cIT and business view\u201d that defines the services catalogue required to support the business, ultimately leading to the \u201chybrid view\u201d with the single repository of \u201ctruth.\u201d The Master Data Repository might be a boring name, sure, but it is the secret behind many successful transformation journeys today.\u00a0\nFor further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.\n____________________________________\nAbout Peter J Zandstra\n\nPeter Zandstra leads the Worldwide Hybrid-Cloud Application Modernization & Migration Practice at HPE.\u00a0 With 25+ years building his expertise he brings hands-on and management experience to develop, innovate, and continually improve programs, services and automation tools, along with carefully selected partner ecosystems. Peter and team work with clients locked-in to legacy platforms and applications, or stalled in modernization cycles, to unlock or progress them into a transformed, \u201cright mix\u201d hybrid cloud IT Services organization.\u00a0 Peter splits his home life between Saint Louis, USA and Winnipeg, Canada where he is also registered as Professional Engineer.