This year, businesses will spend $3.5 trillion on information technology, with $1.3 trillion going into corporate software and IT services. Unfortunately, a large portion of the software and services budget is spent simply to keep the lights on – supporting the business's existing enterprise programmes. That's a lot of money merely to keep things as they are, which are hard to scale.
That's why migrating traditional programmes to a new infrastructure, such as the cloud or containers, offers enormous potential for firms looking to save IT costs while gaining a competitive edge. If you, do it correctly and avoid the dangers, modernizing makes sense.
What is Legacy Application Modernization?
When an obsolete/old program is upgraded or rebuilt to function efficiently in current runtime environments and with other applications, it is referred to as legacy application modernization. Legacy apps were created using now-outdated technology, making them difficult to upgrade, modify, and move.
Because these apps are crucial to an organization's business operations, they are typically sluggish to be replaced with a more recent version.
The software modernization conundrum
Application modernization initiatives have been undertaken by many IT businesses and DevOps teams. The issue is that these initiatives take too long and lead to vendor lock-in. Organizations are compelled to choose a single cloud or container vendor, which might result in unanticipated (and unplanned) price hikes in the future.
Because SAP, Siebel, Oracle, and PeopleSoft, as well as their custom-built brothers, were generally intended as monolithic, unbreakable monoliths, modernizing earlier versions of these systems is difficult. The underlying infrastructure is strongly integrated with the applications, including data, security, and networking setups. Because of the close interdependence, upgrading separate components of an application is challenging. Even minor changes cause a lengthy, sluggish regression-testing procedure that entails manually configuring a near-production testing environment, as well as the necessary data, setups, and so on. Even the tiniest modifications might take weeks to complete.
Larger companies' applications also tend to exist in silos. In a bank, for example, the retail business unit may run applications on a different infrastructure than the commercial business unit. This not only exacerbates the testing issue, but also makes it impossible for IT to consolidate and optimize its infrastructure budget for systems that provide the optimum mix of speed, agility, and affordability. Even when apps are placed in the cloud, CIOs are concerned about vendor lock-in and the threat of unanticipated price hikes.
Finally, because the tools available to manage apps are either infrastructure-specific (e.g., CloudFormation, VMware) or application-specific, maintaining a wide portfolio of applications can be difficult for the IT operations team (e.g., SAP Landscape Management). The scope and number of tools that IT operations teams must grasp, not to mention the task of maintaining many vendor contracts, each with its price, conditions, and upgrade dates, soon overwhelm most IT operations, teams. It's no surprise that CIOs grumble about "tool fatigue" and the time it takes to integrate all of these point products into a unified application delivery process.
To overcome these obstacles, businesses must reconsider their approach to application modernization. These are five suggestions that may be useful.
Reasons to modernize existing software
- There is no single application that can meet all of an organization's requirements.
- The application is an important component of a company's product line, so it is wise not to change it entirely suddenly.
- With the existing application, several security laws are best followed, as they are time tested.
There are valid reasons, however, to simply replace the legacy program. Rebuilding an application, for example, maybe deemed too resource-intensive by an enterprise. In such instances, developing or purchasing a new software makes greater use of existing resources. Alternatively, the gap between where the legacy application is now and where it needs to go might be so wide that the underlying technology can't be transformed into a contemporary application.
When it comes to modernizing a legacy program, altering the code to varying degrees is common. It's sometimes only a matter of getting the legacy program to operate with APIs. The other extreme is rewriting the legacy application from the ground up.
Rebuilding old apps with a cloud-native design is a good way to modernize them. While this leads to an application that is ready to use in current cloud systems, it necessitates significant time, money, and talent commitments.
Best approach to mordanize an application
Dismantle the monolith
Create a detailed model of what the application will look like. Model each component of the program, including the network configurations, storage configurations, servers, the organization they'll work with, and how the application will be deployed on the servers. All of the networking between the separate components should be modelled. Deconstruct the model into its many components and configurations. It will be easier to develop a virtualized application environment using techniques like containers if the monolith is broken down into its component functional sections. While various tactics have been explored in the past, developments in software-defined infrastructure have made this approach saleable.
Applications must be free of infrastructure constraints.
Enterprise applications must be abstracted and decoupled from any infrastructure dependencies. Data sources, network and security setups, and data itself may all be abstracted. It is feasible to migrate an application to multiple infrastructure combinations without modifying a single line of code by abstracting the functions of an application into components that may run anywhere. Software-defined infrastructure enables you to assemble an application from these components, resulting in total portability. IT organizations will only be able to break vendor lock-in and gain the flexibility they need to move their applications to vendors that offer the best combination of price, performance, reliability, and features if they have complete portability between cloud environments, container tools, storage options, and servers.
To cut expenses, establish context.
Many diverse application environments—various versions with different deployment flavours—make up an organization's full application lifetime. Once an organization has broken down a program into its core components, it may establish a catalogue that allows for the creation of an almost infinite number of new versions of the application. Developers, test engineers, and DevOps teams may use this strategy to pick and choose the components they require, as well as swiftly clone existing complicated application setups for testing and deployment. Because the catalogue has all of the essential information, the cloning procedure should just take a few minutes. Integration testing, performance testing, planning, and migration procedures are all significantly accelerated as a result of this.
Integrate security into your apps.
Security should not be added after the application has been deployed. This causes friction between the DevOps and security teams and slows down continuous delivery approaches like DevOps. Instead, think of security as an important part of your entire application environment, and treat it like any other component by building it in from the outset. This allows businesses to safeguard apps from the moment they are launched, independent of the infrastructure they utilize.
Integrate with DevOps as much as possible.
Taking a point-and-click, push-button approach through a contemporary UI, as well as seeking tight interaction with continuous deployment tools and processes like DevOps, makes upgrading corporate apps much easier.
Furthermore, corporate applications should be on-demand, which means that the provisioning of new instances should be completely automated and hands-free. This may be achieved by combining virtualized application environments with orchestration technologies, which are currently in use by the majority of businesses to provision infrastructure. The main feature proposed is to connect a catalogue of portable, virtualized application components to the orchestration tools directly, including storage provisioning, which must also be fully automated. Modern applications will not be dependent on the exact data storage on which they rely, which makes this possible.