In the realm of business evolution, the cloud presents an unparalleled opportunity for enterprises to unleash the potential of scalability and flexibility.
However, this journey transcends the mere act of transferring applications to the cloud; it involves embedding them with cloud-native capabilities. While the idea seems straightforward, the execution is anything but simple. As is often the case, the devil resides in the intricate details.
Fortunately, the transformation of a legacy application for the cloud need not be a daunting and lengthy endeavor, provided realistic expectations are established and a well-prepared approach is adopted.
To navigate this terrain and avoid unwarranted pains and frustrations, the guidance of cloud modernization experts is invaluable. Below are essential pieces of advice distilled for anyone, regardless of their background, to comprehend and embrace with ease.
1. Purpose-Driven Modernization
It’s imperative to anchor any app modernization endeavor to a precise business need. Aparna Sharma, a hybrid cloud services expert at IBM Consulting, emphasizes the significance of this connection.
Whether the goal is cost efficiency, heightened security, enriched functionality, or other objectives, success hinges on clarifying the “why” from the outset.
Sharma warns against pursuing modernization merely for the allure of innovation, as such a motivation can lead to complications down the road. A clear understanding of the desired outcomes allows for deliberate choices aligned with business needs.
2. Resource Assessment and Partnerships
The foundation of successful modernization lies in meticulous groundwork. Identifying workloads, assets earmarked for cloud migration, dependencies, licensing implications, and business use cases demand engagement from stakeholders across the organization.
Steve Woodgate, a strategic advisor at Navisite, stresses the importance of expertise spanning legacy applications and target cloud environments.
Skills shortages often plague enterprises during cloud migration. External partners can lend their expertise, easing the process and mitigating disruptions to business operations.
3. Thorough App Architecture Analysis
A comprehensive examination of the app in question is pivotal. Understanding its architecture, dependencies, and requirements is crucial.
Nandor Csonka of NCC Group advises identifying components suitable for cloud migration and evaluating necessary adjustments.
Subsequently, selecting an appropriate application migration strategy, be it “lift-and-shift,” re-platforming, refactoring, or rebuilding, is paramount.
4. Tailored Approach: Rehost, Refactor, Rearchitect, Rebuild, Replace
The modernization toolkit offers an array of techniques, including rehosting, refactoring, rearchitecting, rebuilding, and replacing. Careful consideration of these options, as noted by Will Perry of PwC, is essential.
Optimal modernization should enhance both business and IT agility and scalability, with a focus on re-platforming and refactoring to harness cloud services and solution patterns.
5. Modernization Beyond the App
A holistic transformation extends to underlying business processes, user experience, and agility.
Amod Bavare from Deloitte Consulting advocates synchronization of business needs with application architecture, technology stack, and the potential of cloud-native services like AI/ML, mobility, and microservices. This approach boosts business users’ productivity and competitiveness.
6. Embrace Continuous Modernization
Ashish Varerkar, from LTIMindtree, champions a continuous, modular approach. Initial modernization projects should pave the way for ongoing alignment with business and technology objectives.
Abandoning the practice of creating rigid, standardized service catalogs is advised. Varerkar cautions against rebuilding from scratch due to the risks of budget overruns or loss of interest. Instead, he endorses continuous modernization to introduce new capabilities iteratively.
7. Think Ahead: Holistic Approach
A comprehensive perspective is crucial, encompassing current modernization efforts and future challenges.
Mukund Srinivasan of Capgemini Americas advocates partnering with cloud transformation experts who leverage DevSecOps, cloud-native accelerators, and infrastructure-as-code tools.
This strategy enables rapid software delivery and multifaceted modernization.
8. Framework for Maturity Assessment
Rajat Kohli of Zinnov underscores the value of a three-step maturity assessment framework.
The process entails discovery and assessment, roadmap creation, and role allocation. These steps empower enterprises to align with their end goals, accelerating development and fostering seamless integration across applications.
9. Systematic Componentization
Vasyl Magometa, co-founder of Reenbit, underscores a systematic process. Analyzing app architecture, identifying improvements, and breaking down the app into manageable components are the initial steps.
Leveraging cloud-native services, such as containers and serverless computing, optimizes performance and scalability. Gradual migration and thorough testing facilitate a smooth transition.
10. Unlock Potential with Containers and Microservices
The journey of modernization can be formidable for those embarking on it for the first time. Sergey Gladun, CEO of Agilie.com, recounts the transformative process of breaking down a monolithic application into microservices.
Despite the time investment, this shift enhances scalability and cloud adaptability. Containers and tools like Docker and Kubernetes amplify scalability and portability. The outcome is not only improved performance but also simplified maintenance and updates.
Mastering the art of cloud app modernization entails aligning business needs with tailored strategies, holistic thinking, and systematic execution.
As enterprises traverse this landscape, expert insights serve as invaluable navigational tools, ensuring successful modernization that propels organizations into the future.