6 min read

Exploring Application Modernization Technology

Application modernization technology is a rapidly growing field that allows businesses to utilize innovative architecture to fuel growth, reduce operational costs, and scale automatically.

If you're embarking on an app modernization project, trust Promevo. Our Google-certified team provides best-in-class consulting and support, helping organizations understand the technology available to them through Google Cloud Platform (GCP), such as microservices and APIs, UX architecture and design, and more.

But. before you decide to modernize your application portfolio, it's important to understand how this technology works.

 

Understanding Application Modernization

Before diving into the world of application modernization, it is essential to understand its objectives, benefits, and challenges.

This will provide a solid foundation for exploring the approaches and strategies that can be employed for modernizing applications.

Definition & Objectives

Application modernization is the systematic upgrading of legacy software apps to enhance their performance, functionality, and usability to meet the ever-evolving needs of users and businesses.

The primary objectives of application modernization include:

  • Improving performance and user experience.
  • Reducing operational and maintenance costs.
  • Enabling easier integration with modern systems.
  • Ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Increasing business agility, scalability, and resilience.
  • Optimizing resource allocation and utilization.

Benefits of Modernizing Applications

Modernizing applications offers numerous advantages for organizations, including:

  • Enhanced user experience and satisfaction, leading to increased adoption and brand loyalty.
  • Decreased dependency on outdated technology and resources, reducing risk and costs.
  • Improved alignment between business needs and technology capabilities, enabling proactive response to market changes.
  • Easier collaboration and information sharing across teams and platforms.
  • Streamlined implementation of new features and functionalities.
  • Increased value of data through modern analytics tools and methodologies.

Potential Challenges & Risks

Though the benefits of application modernization are compelling, organizations may face several challenges and risks during the process. These include:

  • Resource constraints, such as budget limitations, skills shortage, or lack of executive support.
  • Resistance to change, mainly when dealing with legacy systems deeply ingrained in business processes.
  • Complex interdependencies between applications and systems, making it difficult to minimize disruptions.
  • Unforeseen technical challenges, such as compatibility issues, security vulnerabilities, or data migration complications.
  • Failure to achieve the desired outcomes due to improper planning, execution, or monitoring of the modernization process.

To acknowledge and address these challenges, organizations can partner with legacy modernization experts like the Promevo team to ensure a smooth transition when they optimize apps.

 

Approaches & Strategies for Application Modernization

Several approaches and strategies can be employed to modernize applications, each with pros and cons. These typically fall into four broad categories: replatforming, refactoring, rebuilding and re-architecting, and replacing and retiring.

Let's explore these strategies in depth.

Replatforming

Replatforming, or lift-and-shift, involves moving an application from its existing platform to a new one with minimal changes to its original code. This approach can deliver immediate benefits through increased scalability, resilience, and cost efficiency.

However, it may not address underlying performance issues or enable the full utilization of modern features and capabilities.

Some examples of re-platforming include:

  • Migrating an on-premises application to a cloud environment.
  • Switching from a monolithic application architecture to a microservices approach.
  • Upgrading a database management system to a more recent version.

Replatforming is ideal for applications with high-performance requirements but low modernization complexity.

Refactoring

Refactoring involves incremental improvements to an application's codebase to optimize its performance, maintainability, and usability without changing its core functionality.

This can be achieved through techniques such as modularization, code simplification, and the introduction of design patterns.

Some examples of refactoring include:

  • Improving the code quality of a legacy application by removing unused code and enforcing coding standards.
  • Breaking down large modules into smaller, more manageable components to enhance maintainability.
  • Updating outdated libraries or frameworks with more recent, supported versions.

Refactoring is ideal for applications with moderate performance requirements and medium modernization complexity.

Rebuilding & Re-architecting

Rebuilding and re-architecting involve redesigning an application from the ground up to incorporate modern best practices, technologies, and design patterns.

This approach usually requires substantial investment in time, resources, and expertise, but can result in significant improvements in usability, scalability, and maintainability.

Some examples of rebuilding and re-architecting include:

  • Redesigning an application's architecture from monolithic to microservices-based.
  • Implementing a modern user interface (UI) framework or design system to enhance user experience.
  • Integrating machine learning or artificial intelligence capabilities to provide advanced analytics and insights.

Rebuilding and re-architecting is ideal for applications with critical performance requirements and high modernization complexity.

Replacing & Retiring

Replacing and retiring is the process of phasing out an outdated application and replacing it with a modern alternative, such as a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solution or a newly developed custom application.

This approach can be an effective way to address issues that cannot be resolved through other modernization methods but may result in the loss of tailored features and functionality.

Some examples of replacing and retiring include:

  • Implementing a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to replace a collection of outdated, disparate applications.
  • Adopting a modern customer relationship management (CRM) platform to streamline sales and marketing processes.
  • Consolidating multiple legacy applications into a single, unified software platform.

Replacing and retiring are ideal for applications with limited performance requirements and low modernization complexity.

 

Essential Technologies and Tools for Application Modernization

With these different modernization methods in mind, it's important to have the right technologies and tools to get the job done.

When you partner with the Promevo team, we bring decades of cloud experience to make the process as streamlined as possible.

But what goes into this transformation? Let's take a look at some essential tools.

Microservices Architecture

Microservices architecture is an approach to developing applications as a collection of small, loosely coupled services. Each service is responsible for a specific functionality, with well-defined interfaces and the ability to be developed, deployed, and scaled independently.

This architectural pattern promotes better scalability, flexibility, and maintainability than traditional monolithic applications.

Adopting a microservices architecture can reduce the risk of application failures and help organizations evolve applications more quickly.

By breaking complex tasks into smaller components, developers can focus on single functionalities and improve code quality.

However, transitioning to microservices requires careful planning, as it involves significant changes to development processes and operational infrastructure.

DevOps & Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)

DevOps is a set of practices that unifies the software development (Dev) and operations (Ops) teams, optimizing both the development and delivery of applications.

DevOps aims to foster collaboration and establish a culture of continuous improvement across the entire application life cycle.

Continuous integration (CI) and continuous deployment (CD) are crucial DevOps practices that enable rapid and reliable application updates. CI is the process of automating the integration of code changes, which helps detect errors more quickly.

CD, on the other hand, automates the deployment of new code into production, ensuring faster release cycles and reduced time to market. Implementing CI/CD pipelines allows organizations to refine their software quality and deliver customer value quickly and safely.

Serverless Computing & Cloud Services

Serverless computing is an approach in which cloud service providers manage the infrastructure, allowing developers to focus on writing and deploying code without worrying about underlying servers.

This model offers cost efficiency, reduced management overhead, and faster scaling. Popular serverless platforms include Google Cloud Functions and AWS.

Cloud services also play a critical role in modernizing applications, as they remove the need for businesses to maintain physical servers and manage the associated overhead.

As a leading cloud provider, Google Cloud Platform offers an array of tools and services designed to simplify the modernization process, enhance performance, and optimize costs.

 

Implementing a Successful Application Modernization

App modernization can be complex and time-consuming, whether you're trying to update an existing application or develop an entirely new method to run enterprise apps.

However, when broken down into phases, the process becomes manageable. Let's take a look at how the Promevo team walks you through this transformation.

Assess the Challenge

First, our experts examine your current applications to identify challenges and map out improvements.

This step involves working with your team to conduct a comprehensive assessment of your applications, analyzing factors like code quality, business functionality, deployment environment, and more.

This evaluation will help identify areas requiring improvement and guide the selection of appropriate modernization tactics.

Analyze Opportunities

With a thorough understanding of the application's current state, Promevo works to strategize pathways for developing, managing, and modernizing the app framework.

This involves setting objectives, defining milestones, and identifying the technologies and tools to facilitate the process.

Analyzing and prioritizing certain opportunities is crucial, as it ensures modernization efforts align with your business goals and deliver the most value.

Plan & Evaluate

Next, Promevo creates and finalizes a roadmap to implementing the best solution. We'll also estimate a timeline so your team is aligned on when to expect completion.

As we work to modernize your application, we always prioritize clear and effective communication with your team. Our Google Cloud experts are here to answer your questions and create custom solutions to any of your pain points.

Finalize the Initiative

Finally, our team will deliver a clickable prototype for delivery. Our work is grounded in best practices and methodologies, so you can trust you're getting the best in the business from our Google-certified experts.

 

Choose Promevo for Your Application Modernization

If you're looking to update your applications and take advantage of the power of Google's Cloud services, Promevo is here to help.

Trusting Promevo and Google means you'll get access to Google's robust computing power and our team's expert knowledge. Our team understands that each app modernization is unique, so we provide robust support and custom solutions for your organization.

Contact us today to start the conversation.

 

FAQs: Application Modernization

What is application modernization?

Application modernization refers to the process of transforming legacy applications and software into modern, efficient, and agile solutions that can keep up with today's rapidly changing technological landscape.

This can involve updating the architecture, platform, programming languages, or methodologies of an application, enabling it to meet current and future business demands.

Why is application modernization important?

Legacy applications frequently face challenges such as lower performance, difficulty integrating with newer technologies, higher maintenance costs, and limited scalability.

Application modernization allows businesses to overcome these limitations, enabling them to:

  • Improve operational efficiency
  • Enhance user experience
  • Reduce operating and maintenance costs
  • Increase agility and flexibility
  • Facilitate faster innovation cycles
  • Improve the organization's ability to compete in the digital landscape

What are the different approaches to application modernization?

There are several approaches to application modernization, each having its own pros and cons. The most common methods include:

  1. Rehosting: Often called "lift-and-shift," rehosting involves moving legacy applications to a new environment, such as a modern data center or the cloud, without making significant changes to the underlying code.
  2. Replatforming: This involves moving applications to a new runtime platform, such as a different operating system or application server, which may require some code modification.
  3. Refactoring: Also known as "rearchitecting," refactoring involves rewriting or reconfiguring the application code to leverage newer, more efficient techniques or technologies, such as microservices or containerization.
  4. Rebuilding: In this approach, an organization completely redevelops a legacy application from scratch, using modern technologies, frameworks, and architectural patterns.
  5. Replacing: If a legacy application is beyond modernization, it may be more cost-effective to replace it with a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solution or a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering.


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