The methods and motivations behind cloud application modernization efforts

September 01, 2022
Author: Chad Stansel
Application Solutions | Blog | Infrastructure

Most business leaders understand the importance of updating their IT infrastructure. Still, many are grappling with how best to approach cloud application modernization efforts. The secret may lie in the growing abundance of cloud-based applications and networking solutions.

The Cloud isn’t merely an improvement upon existing database technology; it’s an entirely distinct networking environment that demands a new approach from organizations that hope to capitalize on it. According to a recent IDG survey, nearly 90% of responding IT executives expect IT modernization to significantly impact long-term growth. Another 90% report that digital transformation has accelerated over the past 18 months. As cloud computing becomes even more commonplace among businesses of all sizes, modernization will become crucial for readying your enterprise to tap into the Cloud. This post will explore why businesses seek to modernize their applications through the Cloud and the methodology behind various types of modernization.

What is cloud application modernization?

Application modernization refers to migrating legacy applications to the Cloud through various methods. The Cloud is constantly evolving, encompassing “multi-cloud architectures” that function differently from traditional data centers. For this reason, applications designed on legacy networking hardware must adapt to coexist with “the new Cloud.”

Revolutionary developments are also occurring in the virtual layers that bridge hardware and software, creating “microservices” that are leading to a new frontier of application management, integration, and portability. This signals a genuine change to the nature of IT across multiple industries, from research and manufacturing to commercial enterprises.

On top of being deployed in new ways, applications are now playing very different roles in daily life as the Cloud plays a more significant part in the modern world. With information constantly streaming through cyberspace, legacy networking infrastructures are struggling to keep up with the intensifying demands of application support. The lesson is that while applications grow in complexity, so must the systems that allow them to function. These myriad factors are adding up to a global data environment that is more connected and efficient than ever before. Developers can launch into production easily and with little delay, thanks to containerized microservices that enable smooth transitions between computing environments. However, these advances are only possible when an enterprise embraces cloud-native development systems and infrastructure. Teams must take care to migrate to these systems without compromising regular business operations.

Key results from application modernization

Another set of takeaways from the IDG survey revolves around the results gained from utilizing cloud application modernization. IT leaders report improvements in:

  • Quality of service.
  • User experience and satisfaction.
  • Improved business continuity.
  • Cost-efficiency and savings.
  • Resource optimization.
  • Business agility.
  • Increased uptime.

These, among other benefits, are some of the core reasons businesses seek modernization strategies.

Why modernize?

Initially, some elements of the IT industry assumed that cloud computing would be limited to smoothing out workload traffic that would bog down legacy infrastructure and speed up program deployment. However, the common understanding of the Cloud’s capabilities has evolved, and savvy enterprise leaders should be aware of the Cloud’s utility in various applications, including e-commerce, networked devices, and more.

In the IDG survey of IT professionals, 65% of respondents place high importance on accelerating application development and modernization to enable innovation, with 32% ranking it as “somewhat important.”

However, many respondents also reported difficulty in their modernization efforts, specifically regarding protecting their data and managing security risks.

Learn more: Supporting secure business solutions on the Cloud

Approaches to cloud application modernization

There are multiple avenues for organizations to approach modernization. DevOps, an organizational transformation practice that involves close coordination of teams and adopting automation wherever possible, is the most common method. In a nutshell, DevOps is a set of practices that merges software development and IT operations. Other technologies driving cloud application modernization include:


Containers are highly portable development environments. Applications can be moved to or developed in containers and later ported to their final home in the Cloud or multiple clouds. Highly scalable, these continuously running environments are a good choice when significant processing power is needed.


One-off functions are customized to run only when needed when utilizing a “serverless” approach. Microservices are a vital component in automation and software orchestration.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Creating more intelligent applications and processes is one way for businesses to future-proofing their offerings. Powered by AI and ML, applications can address gaps in automation, marketing, and security, just to name a few. According to the IDG survey, nearly half of respondents (48%) say optimizing data and analytics capabilities (AI, ML, IoT) for innovation is the top enterprise IT goal in 2022.

Common challenges in implementation

The struggle to modernize and keep up with the ever-changing world of cloud computing has more than its share of difficulties. Companies surveyed by IDG indicated that putting into action the many crucial improvements necessary to keep pace presents a significant challenge:

  • 44% reported gaps in tech skills and knowledge
  • 39% said that infrastructure is not optimized to support digital dexterity
  • 39% reported inadequate data analysis for decision making

The types of cloud application modernization

There are several ways to go about cloud application modernization. Including:

  • Lift and shift/Rehosting: This strategy moves an existing application from a legacy environment into a newer infrastructure. It is a low code approach.
  • Refactoring: Companies rewrite or restructure legacy code to work better in a cloud-native environment. It is a high code approach.
  • Replatforming: The middle ground between the above approaches, replatforming updates legacy applications backend without tampering with the core code. It is a medium code approach.
Learn More: Importance and benefits of app modernization

Future-proof your business with cloud application modernization

With these challenges in mind, today’s enterprises need to be aware of their options regarding technology partners who can empower application modernization efforts. The CBTS Application Services team has a proven track record of working closely with clients in many different verticals to modernize their applications for cloud environments.

The CBTS methodology aligns your business plan to your technology plan, nurtures constant feedback on functionality, and guides you through a customized roadmap that outlines each process step. Our agile development process shortens time to market and creates maximum visibility while managing applications in a cloud-first environment. And our fully hosted service options unburden IT teams, creating time and resources for you to focus on innovation. 

Contact us for more information on how CBTS can enable your application modernization strategies.

Related Stories

Schedule a complimentary
30-minute consultation with an engineer

Join the Conversation!

Related Solutions