Five paths to achieve the benefits of application modernization

April 12, 2023
Author: Chad Stansel
Blog | Digital & Application Solutions

Obstacles to streamlined service

Keeping up with modern customer expectations is a daunting endeavor for companies struggling with legacy applications and aging IT infrastructure. By investing in application modernization, companies benefit from future-proofed apps that address many common challenges:

  • Slowing applications.
  • Maintenance of increasingly inflexible software stacks.
  • Increasing workloads as processes break down both internally and in customer-facing systems.

At first, application modernization might seem like another bullet point on your IT department’s already lengthy to-do list. But fully embracing application modernization allows organizations to shift from maintenance to innovation through the power of the Cloud.

Different approaches to application modernization have unique nuances and benefits. Selecting the right path is critical to guaranteeing the success of your business in the application age.

Learn more: The methods and motivations behind cloud application modernization efforts

Five paths to application modernization and their benefits

1. Lift and shift

How it works

Lift and shift (also known as rehosting) essentially pulls an application from a legacy architecture and moves it into a cloud environment. Migrating from an on-prem virtual machine or bare-metal OS to a cloud or multi-cloud platform is a classic example of lift and shift.

Key benefits

Rehosting is fast, has minimal risks, and is reasonably easy to implement. As a result, it offers one of the speediest ROIs and minimizes system downtime during migration. For organizations new to application modernization, lift and shift provides excellent benefits. It allows businesses to scale the rehosted application rapidly and makes it easy to utilize other modernization methods as your enterprise matures digitally.

2. Refactoring

How it works

Outdated code makes it challenging to integrate applications into various workflows across a software stack—especially if they are written in an obsolete coding language. Updating an application’s codebase to modern standards allows developers to “unlock” an application from old paradigms and integrate into cloud environments, transforming the app through automated coding tools.

Key benefits

Refactoring is more labor-intensive than lift and shift but can prove more valuable. By utilizing reliable open-source code and automation, teams can realize value faster. Refactoring preserves the gist of the original application architecture while upgrading the code to modern standards.

3. Containerization

How it works

Traditionally, developers create software to run on a specific OS or platform (Windows, Unix, etc.). When transferring that application to a new environment, bugs and other incompatibility issues arise. Containerization avoids this issue by creating a “container” for the application, which contains the code, libraries, and related files the application needs to run. The container itself can run on any OS or platform, making it ideal for cloud development.

Key benefits

Rapid scaling, greater efficiency, and reduced dependence on infrastructure are the benefits of this approach. In addition, containers allow developers to work on an app and migrate it to a cloud environment without worrying about compatibility issues.

4. Microservices

How it works

Previous generations of applications were monoliths which were composed of many processes, with each process supporting a specific part of the application. That also means that if one operation or piece of code failed, the entire application would either crash or fail to build. Microservices divide an application into distinct services with their own codebase, and each service works independently from the others.

Key benefits

Scale and autonomy are the advantages of microservices. Each microservice can spin up and scale on demand. Additionally, each microservice can be updated individually without slowing overall processes.

5. Replatforming

How it works

Replatforming is a hybrid of lift and shift and refactoring approaches. Replatforming focuses on rewriting legacy code to allow an application to function on a cloud platform while keeping most of the codebase intact.

Key benefits

By adjusting the backend code, an application can function in a cloud environment (a modern platform) and improve flexibility, user access, and functionality.

Learn more: CBTS Application Modernization services bring your company into the digital age

Continuing the modernization journey

While providing many benefits, application modernization is not the end goal of digital transformation. In many cases, it is only the first step in migrating mission-critical processes and operations into a cloud environment and modernizing your organization as a whole. Companies must ally themselves with trusted partners who can provide guidance and support to avoid overload and the inevitable pitfalls of this journey.

CBTS is uniquely positioned to guide your business through digital transformation. Leaning on decades of experience and partnerships with industry leaders like Microsoft, the CBTS team has the skills, knowledge, and expertise to guide your company through each phase of the process.

Ready to begin your digital transformation journey? Contact CBTS today to learn more about how your company can benefit from modernizing aging applications.

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