Application Modernization: A Foundation to Accelerate Digital Transformation

BrandPost By Manish Govil, Ramachandran Padmanabhan
Feb 22, 2021
Digital TransformationIT Leadership

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Credit: istock

The COVID-19 pandemic came as a wakeup call for organizations to accelerate digital transformation. Enterprises acknowledged the need to digitally enable rapid innovation in developing and launching new business models and products, optimizing business processes, and responding to new requirements of both external and internal stakeholders. Digital-native organizations were able to adapt to the changing business scenario quickly in the COVID-19 era.

74% of large organizations realized the imperative to modernize their enterprise IT systems to drive digital transformation.

Modernization is no longer optional. Without digitization, enterprises will face many challenges and risks. Some of these risks include a poor brand image, a loss of market share, vulnerability to competition, and an inability to attract good talent.

Cloud has become the most important enabler to drive this system modernization imperative. Everything about systems and applications is evolving at a rapid pace, be it modern architectures including microservices and serverless; modern development processes such as DevSecOps, CI/CD; and modern infrastructure, including containers, infrastructure as code, site reliability engineering (SRE), and chaos engineering. Cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) are at the forefront of providing the building blocks of technology in all these areas.

Following are some patterns that drive customers to modernize:

  1. Application Portfolio Rationalization (APR): Drives consolidation and simplification of applications including retirement and decommissioning.

  2. Application Cloudification: Includes running application to cloud, standardization of operating systems and databases by re-platforming, and application remediation to make them cloud ready.

  3. Containers: Improves hardware utilization by helping package a solution to enhance portability, computing capabilities, and also reduce dependency on underlying infrastructure.

  4. Cloud Native Transformation: Rearchitecting applications from monolith to microservices and also leveraging serverless architectures like AWS Lambda.

  5. Digital Integration: Lightweight API-first architecture integrating upstream and downstream systems.

  6. BizDevSecOps: Accelerating business to IT delivery with automated processes across development and operations to accelerate faster time to market.

  7. Data Insights and AI/ML: Builds smarter applications and real-time insights to achieve operational efficiency.

By implementing the above patterns to modernize their IT estate, organizations have been able to achieve the following benefits:

  1. Optimize infrastructure costs: Achieved by migrating to cloud and then modernizing, replacing legacy systems with SaaS, and rebuilding applications.

  2. Optimize software costs: Modernize applications with open source licenses and then migrate and replace with SaaS.

  3. Improve security: Configure instead of build security.

  4. Improve application functionality: Add new functions, improve user experience, improve user access to data, and functionality.

  5. Improve operational efficiency and business disruption: Automate configurations and deployments, improve management visibility and controls, lower risk of bugs, and lower cost of transition for new functionalities.

  6. Improve business responsiveness and agility: Introduce new functionalities and changes quickly, fix issues, and scale at a rapid pace.

Application modernization powered by cloud capabilities is a powerful strategy for businesses as they look to increase agility, accelerate innovation, and reduce the total cost of ownership and unwanted technical debt.

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