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How and Why to Modernise Applications
April 2, 2020 Blog


If your applications have always worked fine, why do you need to get caught up in modernising applications and moving them to cloud – away from the safe on-prem environment where they have worked reliably for years?

The question is legitimate, hence understanding the reasons why applications need modernising is critical.


So Why Do You Need to Modernise?

The reality is that the business itself needs to modernise, and because business today is application-driven, then application modernisation is the key to bringing your organisation into the digital economy.

The starting point needs to be understanding your current range of business applications and how closely they align with your business plans and priorities – which is no easy task. Where current applications do not align well, you need to build a strategy around creating new modern applications from scratch, repurposing existing applications and even combining legacy applications with modernised point applications.

Companies like IBM have tools such as IBM Transformation Advisor that can automate and assist with this important but complex process.

Very often, “cloud” and associated technologies will become the lynchpin to make the modernisation possible. In some cases, cloud unlocks features that in themselves are the reason to modernise.

How Does Modernisation Happen?

Once you have built a strategy about what needs to be modernised, the “how” gets more intricate. This is one of the true challenges of digital transformation, where ideas have to contend with reality. Namely, those shiny new app-driven business models need to be built on new types of technology.

People from the “line of business” that want the modernisation need to understand the technical lifting required and support their DevOps colleagues to secure the experience and technology to make the modernisation possible.

This means getting at least familiar with concepts like API, containers, and microservices. These technologies may live in the world of development and infrastructure, but they are the technology enablers. They allow legacy applications to run on any cloud. They allow new-world apps to “talk” to old-world apps, and they allow large, monolithic applications to be broken down into modules and developed in a more agile manner.

In business-speak, this translates to things like much faster development life cycles so your business can be faster to market with new applications and business models. Core applications that cannot be modernised can still serve data and information to new modern applications that can be built more quickly. Cloud-enabling means you can cope with unplanned or exponential growth in users or online customers without disruption.

Application modernisation brings into focus the juxtaposition of business-driving technology and technology, limiting where the business wants to go. For companies with a substantial investment in legacy applications, the complexity of this process cannot be underestimated. Neither can it be allowed to stop the modernisation activities.

Making a successful transition requires the right tools and expertise. You need to work with a technology partner and services provider that has deeply ingrained in this process with other organisations.

To learn how you can accelerate your application modernisation journey with IBM, click here.