Understanding Application Modernisation
In this blog about Application Modernisation blog we cover:
- What is Application Modernisation?
- Rethinking your digital platform?
- The many benefits of Application Modernisation
- The problems with legacy systems or apps
- How modern apps are built on a cloud infrastructure
Application Modernisation, it’s just making new, pretty apps right? Not quite, so let's find out what it means.
Depending on your organisational requirements, Application Modernisation can refer to two solutions:
- Building beautiful, new customer-facing applications and experiences using cloud technology that drives engagement and profitability
- Modernising old, expensive legacy software applications by rebuilding or repurposing the technology
For the sake of the blog, we'll be focussing on the first definition as we're passionate about building new and innovative platforms that optimise your user's experience!
So, you’re considering building a new platform, but how do you know if a cloud-based app is for your company?
By asking yourself a few questions, you can quickly identify whether or not you’re ready to build an innovative solution in the cloud:
- Do you want to increase operational efficiency?
- Are your apps slowing your team down or stifling your innovation initiatives?
- Are you seeking to enable technologies such as advanced analytics, IoT, or AI features?
- Is your data centre lease ending and do you need to get out of it fast?
- Do you need to make your data more readily available and accessible?
- Are you intending to make your apps available outside the corporate network and/or on mobile devices?
Hopefully, you answered yes to a few (or most) of those questions. By answering yes, you have identified that a cloud-based app is right for your business.
By building a modern app in the cloud your company can reap a multitude of benefits:
Speed – Cloud-based systems help reduce the issues of cost and lack of resources. Modernised systems can be transformed more quickly, making businesses more agile and able to respond to market changes.
Scalability – Applications operating in cloud-based systems can be accessed and maintained from anywhere. This makes it easier to review the automated processes of applications that reuse code and removes the issues of maintenance.
Engagement – By giving users a better platform, productivity, creativity, and innovation can thrive. The real-time accessibility of modern apps results in easy data entry, increased security, and improved customer service. Studies show that 74% of customers are somewhat likely to purchase based on their experience alone. So by improving their experience through a modern, cloud-native app you have a higher chance of converting users into customers.
Business value – By supporting and enhancing existing applications, businesses are able to consider new opportunities and achieve increased revenue growth.
Accessibility – Legacy apps can contain custom widgets that are difficult to navigate. By migrating to a web-based environment, businesses widen accessibility to a larger group of end-users.
Productivity – According to this report, over 50% of employees are dissatisfied with the software they are forced to use. By building an application with an intuitive interface companies will see increases in workforce productivity.
Adaptability – Features become more flexible and able to integrate with other apps from external suppliers, devices, and systems.
By building a cloud-native app, your company will be able to provide a more engaging and creative experience, that is future-proofed, for all your stakeholders.
“That all sounds well and good, but what about my legacy system - it’s been fine for decades”. Building on a cloud platform will in fact be less challenging compared to how legacy systems have been built in the past.
You avoid these challenges that aren’t found when building a modern web application:
- The high cost of ownership and expensive maintenance
- Unavailability of talent in the creation, development, and maintenance of legacy technologies
- Need for customer centricity and the necessity to deliver multi-channel capabilities smoothly
- Increase system elasticity to foster growth and leverage pay per consumption basis
- Enabling business agility
- Non-agile – New business requirements are not possible to adapt to the legacy architecture
- Poor or no vendor support – Legacy apps might be using old hardware for which finding vendor support can be tricky
- Missing business opportunities – Modern businesses need modern technology to meet customer needs. It might not be possible to build new features into the legacy
- Lack of security
There is a multitude of challenges when dealing with legacy apps or apps that aren’t built on a cloud platform. This can all be solved when using the right technology to help execute the build.
Let's get a little nerdy with it. Here are some of the key technologies used to execute building a modern web application:
Cloud Computing: When people discuss application modernisation, they are typically referring to the process of running applications in a modern cloud or serverless environment. These include public cloud platforms, private clouds and hybrid clouds (which usually refer to public and/or private clouds integrated with on-premises environments.)
Containers: Containers are a cloud-centric method for packaging, deploying, and operating applications and workloads. The big-picture benefits associated with containerisation include greater scalability, portability, and operational efficiency that is well-suited for cloud infrastructure, and especially multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments.
Microservices: This is not so much a technology as an architectural choice. Instead of building and operating an application as a single, complete codebase—usually called a monolith or monolithic development—you decouple different components into smaller, discrete pieces that can be deployed, updated, and operated independently.
Orchestration and Automation: Orchestration in software development refers to the automation of many of the operational tasks associated with containers, including deployment, scaling, and networking. Automation, in general, is an important principle and technology, as it is increasingly necessary to ensure that development, operations, and security teams can sustainably manage their modern apps at scale.
Without these technologies and architectural choices then your company won’t be able to get the most out of the benefits of modernising a web application.
Ready to move into the future?
By covering the benefits, features, and technologies used to build a modern app, it's easy to see why it's the way into the future. Avoid the challenges of a legacy app or system and reap the benefits of utilising new technologies to provide a better experience for all of your stakeholders.
Engaging in Application Modernisation will enable your company to uncover new business value by developing and deploying applications that will have a faster time to market, incur a reduced cost, increase your operational efficiency and improve your customers' experience.