Cloud

The Importance of Application Modernization for Businesses in 2021

Design Is A Method Of Problem Solving

Application modernization is a growing area of focus for enterprises, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why? Because business leaders feel increasing pressure to drive innovation. Digital trends, remote work, and escalating customer expectations are among the reasons. No industry is immune to these dynamics. Businesses must evolve to succeed, which is why so many organizations opt for digital transformation.

When businesses modernize applications, it drives new processes and the necessary infrastructure that supports them. A robust app modernization strategy can reduce resources needed to run an app, increase frequency and reliability of deployments, improve uptime and resiliency, and more. Ultimately, app modernization allows organizations to accelerate innovation and go to market faster by updating business processes, reducing maintenance costs, and making data more accessible.

What are common types of app modernization?

The most common methods of application modernization include:

  • Rehosting: Also known as “lift and shift,” rehosting involves transferring servers or software from the current environment to a public cloud infrastructure. For enterprises that are just starting a modernization journey, rehosting is the standard strategy. This option doesn’t require modifications to code, features, or functions. Business logic is preserved and data is migrated to the cloud.
  • Refactoring: This approach to application modernization entails taking a legacy application and retooling significant chunks of its underlying code to better run in a new environment, usually the cloud. It helps remove technical debt and improves nonfunctional attributes.
  • Replatforming: Similar to rehosting and refactoring, replatforming moves applications that are already in the cloud to a different cloud environment without making any major changes to the application. Examples of replatforming include upgrading the application to work with a cloud-native managed database, changing the operating system(s) or middleware it will work with, or containerizing applications. Replatforming enables enterprises to increase scalability and improve developer productivity.
  • Replacing: When an application is no longer needed in a cloud environment, it is worth considering decommissioning it. Reasons for replacing an application include limited value, its capabilities are duplicated elsewhere in the environment, or it is more cost-effective to replace it with a different application than to migrate it.

What are the key technologies involved in app modernization?

There are several technologies fundamental to application modernization:

  • Cloud Computing: Cloud technologies support and fuel an increasing amount of digital transformation initiatives, and application modernization is no exception. Today’s primary destination for application migration efforts is indisputably the cloud. This includes public cloud platforms, private clouds, and hybrid clouds.
  • Containers: Software containers and container management platforms, specifically Kubernetes, have quickly become an industry standard for strategic modern application delivery. With companies deploying a wide range of infrastructure across multiple clouds and operating environments, it is essential that applications remain portable and able to be run efficiently in multiple places.
  • Microservices: Microservices involve decoupling different components of an application into smaller, discrete pieces that can be deployed, updated, and operated independently.
  • Orchestration and Automation: Orchestration in software development refers to the automation of many of the operational tasks associated with containers, including deployment, scaling and networking.

What are trends in app modernization?

 When strategizing your application modernization endeavors, keep the use of the following trends in mind:

  • Multi-cloud environments: Multi-cloud refers to the use of more than one public cloud service provider for virtual data storage or computing power resources, with or without any existing private cloud and on-premises infrastructure. According to Gartner, multi-cloud strategies are now a matter of when rather than if, with many organizations having 70% of their cloud portfolio with one provider and diversifying the other 30% of their portfolio. For more information on multi-cloud environments, read one of our latest blog posts.
  • Hybrid-cloud environments: Hybrid-cloud involves the use of public cloud in conjunction with private cloud and on-premises infrastructure. According to Forrester, with data already stored in on-premises data centers, 77% of enterprise global infrastructure decision makers that are planning, implementing, or upgrading cloud say that are in a hybrid-cloud environment.
  • Containers and orchestration: Containers and orchestration are a popular means for packaging, deploying, and managing applications and workloads. While you can containerize a legacy app, containers are viewed as an optimal fit for a more decoupled approach to development and operations (i.e. microservices).

How can we help with app modernization?

Succeeding in 2021‘s competitive market means you have to disrupt it in one way or another by offering the latest technology.

But that is not all, application development and innovation has evolved. What used to be a project-by-project methodology with periodic software updates has been replaced by DevOps, a philosophy of collaboration and continuous innovation.

We understand these challenges and partner with industry innovators to bridge the gap.

One way we achieve this is through our solution that integrates your Microsoft Azure infrastructure with VMware’s open source Tanzu platform. This solution provides you with the reliability and elasticity of Azure while leveraging VMware’s platform, so your organization can reap the benefits of app modernization–faster time market, agility, reduced costs, and full automation.

Learn how we helped Intrado accelerate online transaction times by building microservices-based applications on the VMWare Tanzu platform, and how we equipped its team to maintain the platform in the future. Read the story here.

Why Perficient

Determining which applications and workloads to migrate – and how to do it – can be a challenge, and that is why working with an experienced partner, like Perficient, will ensure your application modernization journey is  successful.

As a Gold-Certified, award-winning Microsoft partner and one of just a handful of National Solution Providers, we are a recognized cloud expert with years of experience helping enterprises make the most out of the Microsoft cloud. Coupled with our expertise in VMware’s suite of cloud-native solutions, we are uniquely equipped to provide application development services and end-to-end delivery.

Additionally, our team of experts has helped Fortune 1000 companies across industries with cloud transformation projects. Forrester has also listed Perficient among the top service providers in its report, Now Tech: Application Modernization And Migration Services, Q1 2021.

Closing notes

For more information on the latest in app modernization and cloud technologies, make sure you to register for VMware’s SpringOne event, a virtual conference taking place September 1-2, 2021. Register for free here.

About the Author

Mary Porter is a Marketing Coordinator at Perficient. She is on the Partner Marketing Team, aligned to Google, VMware, Boomi, Appian, Pega, and partner-specific DevOps, and is based in the St. Louis office.

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