How AnAr will help you to transform outdated applications into modern solutions?


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Insights on App Modernization Services


Application Modernization, which can also be referred to as legacy modernization or legacy application modernization, involves upgrading outdated software and systems in order to take advantage of the latest technological advancements. This practice is similar to renovating an older home to improve its efficiency, safety, and structural integrity. Legacy Application Modernization is an ongoing process that involves updating and transforming outdated Legacy Systems to reduce the complexity and expenses associated with IT environments. It also aims to enhance data consistency, foster cross-platform collaboration, and improve process flexibility. This process typically involves converting existing systems into web-based, thin client systems while integrating multiple interrelated systems.

Legacy Application Modernization plays a pivotal role in enhancing business operations and gaining a competitive advantage in the market. By upgrading outdated systems, organizations can significantly reduce costs, improve data consistency, and ensure better security of critical information. Additionally, it enables better collaboration across different platforms and departments, thereby facilitating seamless workflow.

Adopting a comprehensive modernization plan can help businesses achieve the desired results efficiently. A strategic approach ensures that the updated systems are in line with the company's goals, meet customer expectations, and optimize internal processes. By doing so, businesses can improve process flexibility, increase efficiency, and lay a strong foundation for future growth.

Legacy modernization is a cost-effective way for businesses to extend the lifespan of their applications while taking advantage of technical innovations. Instead of retiring an existing system or replacing it wholesale, modernization enables organizations to keep up with changing business requirements while minimizing downtime and disruption.

AnAr-Legacy-Application-Modernization-process picture

The process of Application Modernization involves analyzing the existing system's architecture, identifying areas that require improvement, and implementing changes to meet current business needs. This may include upgrading the programming language, framework, and infrastructure to improve scalability, security, and performance. It may also involve refactoring or re-architecting the application to make it more modular, easier to maintain, and more responsive to changing business requirements.

There are several patterns for modernizing applications, including:

  • The "lift and shift" approach involve moving an existing application from an older infrastructure to a newer one, such as a public cloud platform. This method requires minimal changes to the application's underlying code or architecture but may not be the most effective approach for all applications.
  • "Refactoring," which involves restructuring or rewriting significant portions of a legacy application's code to make it better suited for a new environment, typically cloud infrastructure. This approach may involve breaking up a monolithic application into smaller, independent pieces called microservices to take full advantage of cloud-native tools and infrastructure.
  • "Replatforming," which is a compromise between the lift-and-shift and refactoring approaches. This method involves making complementary updates to a legacy application, such as modifying or replacing its backend database, to enable it to take advantage of a modern cloud platform without major changes to its code or architecture.

When it comes to Application Modernization, there are several common strategies that organizations can use to update their software and systems. These strategies are often referred to as the 5 R's of Application Modernization.

  • The first strategy is Rehosting, which involves moving the application to a different infrastructure platform without making any significant changes to its code or architecture. This approach is often used when the existing system is still functional and simply needs to be moved to a more modern environment.
  • The second strategy is Refactoring, which involves making small changes to the application's codebase without altering its overall architecture. This approach is often used when the application's code is still relevant but needs to be updated to take advantage of new technologies or frameworks.
  • The third strategy is Rearchitecting, which involves redesigning the application's architecture to make it more modular, scalable, and easier to maintain. This approach is often used when the existing architecture is outdated or cannot support the organization's current business needs.
  • The fourth strategy is Rebuilding, which involves rebuilding the application from scratch using modern development tools and best practices. This approach is often used when the existing codebase is no longer functional or maintainable.
  • The fifth and final strategy is Replacing, which involves replacing the existing application with a completely new system that meets the organization's current business needs. This approach is often used when the existing system cannot be modernized or is no longer relevant to the organization's needs.

Modernizing legacy systems can provide numerous benefits to businesses.

Following are some of the notable benefits:

  • Increased Productivity

Application modernization can enhance productivity by streamlining different parts of the development lifecycle into one consistent ecosystem. This approach enables employees to work on different tasks simultaneously, improving time-to-market. Additionally, modernized applications often have advanced features and tools that enable operational simplicity and are easy to use, which can increase employee productivity.

  • Reduced Operational Costs and Tech Debt

Legacy applications are often hosted in on-premise data centers that are expensive to maintain and have insufficient documentation, which can make it hard to add new features. Application modernization allows enterprises to harness the potential of the private cloud to entertain emerging digital business demands. Additionally, modernization helps reduce tech debt by streamlining operations, and reducing costs with fine-tuned CI/CD pipelines, more agile release cycles, and continuous improvements across all development processes.

  • Improved Business Agility

App modernization enables enterprises to make changes and updates to applications more easily and efficiently. By dispersing the application into multiple independently managed workloads, there is no longer a need to spin up monolithic environments for updates. This approach allows businesses to be more agile and handle changes quickly and efficiently, which can improve business outcomes.

  • Scalability

With legacy systems, adding new features or functionalities can be challenging, and businesses need storage solutions that can accommodate changing requirements. With the scalability provided by the cloud, businesses can add or reduce IT resources to accommodate larger or smaller loads, enabling them to grow both physically and technologically to move forward, take on competitors, and drive more revenue.

  • Additional Revenue Streams

Modernizing applications can help businesses generate more income by introducing new services or procedures that can better their offerings. For example, brands are introducing VR games to promote their products and earn additional revenue.

  • Keeping up with the Latest Market Trends

Legacy system modernization allows companies to update their older systems with the latest technologies and features, enabling them to merge relevant components from the current ones without starting from scratch. Modernization enables businesses to make the most of key technologies like Big Data, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and the Cloud, which can lead to better business outcomes.

  • Better Support and Maintenance

Upgrading apps can help with support and maintenance, as legacy applications can accumulate bugs and rely on old codes that are costlier to maintain. Modernization makes it easier to implement source code changes, migrate databases, and write documentation, and it employs a re-engineering approach that contains data and coding restrictions to prevent the system solution from vulnerabilities.

  • Enhanced Security

Modernization provides a business entity with better security and protection for critical transactions, offering state-of-the-art DDoS protection, security upgrades, and Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) to safeguard an organization’s infrastructure from the most advanced threats. It also enables users to use secure web application firewalls and bot management solutions to protect applications and data from cybercriminals.

  • Improved User Experiences

The modernization approach helps redesign the user-facing elements of a legacy system, ensuring that the new one provides better access to information and enables users to perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with a system or app. Additionally, modernization combines icons, font style, size, and other visual components to create a unique look and feel for the application, improving the user experience in the long run.

Several technologies are essential for application modernization and they overlap with each other.

  • Cloud Computing - The usual context in which people talk about application modernization is the transfer of conventional applications to operate on contemporary cloud environments, such as public cloud platforms, private clouds, or hybrid clouds (which usually entail the integration of public and/or private clouds with on-premises environments).
  • Containers - Containers are a method used for packaging, deploying, and managing applications and workloads in cloud environments. The advantages of containerization include improved scalability, portability, and operational efficiency, which are particularly beneficial for cloud infrastructure, especially in multi-cloud and hybrid cloud settings.
  • Microservices - It's not exactly a technology, but more of an architectural decision. Instead of creating and running an application as a unified, self-contained codebase (often known as a monolith, or monolithic development), you divide various components into smaller, separate pieces that can be deployed, updated, and managed autonomously.
  • Orchestration and Automation - In software development, orchestration pertains to the automation of numerous operational tasks linked with containers, which include deployment, scaling, and networking. Automation, in general, is a crucial principle and technology, as it's becoming more and more essential to guarantee that modern apps can be sustainably managed at scale by development, operations, and security teams.

Two significant trends in legacy application modernization are multi-cloud and hybrid cloud. Multi-cloud involves utilizing two or more public cloud services to optimize costs, increase flexibility, and improve availability. Hybrid cloud involves a mix of public and private cloud as well as on-premises infrastructure, with integration between these environments. Modernization enables software teams to optimize existing applications for these distributed computing paradigms instead of rebuilding from scratch. As a result, multi-cloud and hybrid clouds are prominent catalysts for legacy modernization.

Another modernization trend is the industry's adoption of containers and orchestration for packaging, deploying, and managing applications and workloads. While it is possible to containerize a legacy application, containers are ideally suited for a decoupled approach to development and operations, such as microservices architecture.

The recommended approach for legacy application modernization is to focus on applications that can differentiate the business and improve the customer experience, and to adopt a cloud-native approach. This involves rearchitecting or rebuilding applications that are important in the digital transformation strategy. One common strategy is to initially transfer the application to the cloud to obtain some fundamental benefits, and subsequently redesign or reconstruct it entirely to achieve these benefits to the fullest in the long run.

Having a proficient partner in modernization programs is crucial to ensuring a smooth shift from a legacy monolith to the cloud. The partner should have great cloud-native skills, design thinking, and product expertise to ensure that the new applications are user-friendly. While it can be a challenging process, a capable partner can help plan and execute the modernization effectively.

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