The growing adoption of digital technologies makes applications inevitable in our daily lives. Applications are key to enabling businesses to innovate and gain competitive advantage in digital interactions, from social selling to data-driven marketing.
“As customers take control of how companies deliver experiences, companies must deliver new customer experiences to meet and exceed customer demands. From a technology perspective, this means having an agile and flexible IT environment,” said Paul Chik, Hong Kong Solutions Manager at Kyndryl.
To keep up with changing customer expectations and market competition, modernizing legacy applications from user-facing to mission-critical systems helps businesses stay ahead of the competition. Businesses can anchor themselves on a foundational framework based on integrating a cloud adoption strategy with DevSecOps for agile service delivery and customer experience or modernizing legacy applications for a seamless multi-channel experience.
Businesses also need to understand that application modernization is not an all-or-nothing approach to transformation. Decisions on which and how applications are modernized must be aligned with business objectives, with a strategy for integrating systems into the broader enterprise IT estate, which is becoming increasingly hybrid.
Application modernization continues to rise in priority. According to IDC’s Q4 2021 Application Services Survey, 51% of APAC organizations rate application modernization as a high or top priority today; in three years, it will be a high or top priority for 88% of APAC organizations. A separate study echoes this finding: Nearly half or 45% of CIOs in APAC are currently focused on infrastructure and application modernization for this year, more than their US and EMEA counterparts, according to the Foundry’s annual survey of the state of the CIO.
Path to Application Modernization
A successful application modernization initiative guarantees cost savings and improved efficiency and customer experience. Instead of a one-size-fits-all solution, a strategic approach to application modernization is essential to avoid pitfalls along the way.
Most importantly, it helps companies protect their traditional assets and maximize the benefits of the cloud, a key enabler in the enterprise digital transformation journey. Based on Kyndryl’s experience with customers in different industries, a typical cloud migration and modernization strategy includes:
- Planning: This early assessment and planning is essential. Businesses must decide how to place the right workload on the right platform. Just moving from on-premises to cloud could increase overall cloud spend. Through application discovery and dependency mapping, we can compile the overall modernization strategy and decide whether a particular application should be lift-and-shift, re-platformed or re-architected. A wave plan could then be developed to implement the modernization.
- Modernizing: It is a process of updating the versions of an organization’s existing applications to meet cloud requirements. This stage involves converting the source code of applications to be cloud-ready with operational testing and integrating an agile DevSecOps for security. Security is essential for an application environment and should be built in from the start as it can minimize the risk of hacking and fraud when deployed.
- Operating: This phase focuses on application testing, deployment and management of the hybrid cloud platform, ensuring that legacy and cloud-native applications are built on a single platform to enable built-in operational agility.
While this is a typical modernization framework, Chik warned that different organizations could embark on a whole different journey.
“Each company has its own goals and is at different stages of the transformation journey. It is important to have a tailored strategy, create an enterprise architecture model and a governance model based on your business needs,” he added.
IT managers around the world are well aware of the complexity and immense effort required on a cloud migration and modernization journey. Chik outlined some best practices to make the process easier and faster:
- Take a container approach to modernization for agility benefits and TCO savings. Container platforms have become an integral part of the hybrid and multi-cloud landscape, helping enterprises accelerate multi-cloud adoption and optimizing infrastructure costs, accelerating application deployment and increasing application availability. Legacy applications would be modernized to a microservices-based architecture and run on containers to become cloud-native.
- Embrace DevSecOps. Security remains a priority for IT leaders, given the growing sophistication of the threat landscape. Integrating security helps minimize risk to container content and container interactions from the start, while embracing its culture of continuous improvement for learning and operations management.
- Collaborate with service providers to accelerate cloud migration and modernization and ensure seamless hybrid cloud integration. Businesses can leverage the provider’s technology and industry know-how, local and global expertise, and deep partnerships with leading cloud hyperscalers and the technology ecosystem.
“While IT needs to be efficient from day 0 to day 2, service providers can deliver a global delivery model and use cloud-native tools to drive operations and profitability based on CloudOps and DevSecOps. equally important that the service provider takes a lifecycle approach to ensure success and continuous improvement at every step of the transformation journey,” added Chik.
Application modernization improves business agility by helping companies scale faster, improve time to market, and reduce IT operating costs. A partner with a deep understanding of the company’s business requirements and its stage of cloud journey is critical to driving the end-to-end transformation and minimizing business disruptions for a smooth and secure transition to modernization.
Find out how Kyndryl can help your business with application modernization and cloud transformation here.