Application modernization is the process of taking existing legacy applications and modernizing their platform infrastructure, internal architecture, and/or features. Much of the discussion around application modernization today is focused on monolithic, on-premises applications—typically updated and maintained using waterfall development processes—and how those applications can be brought into cloud architecture and release patterns, namely Microservices
The benefits of application modernization can typically be summarized as improving the velocity of new feature delivery, exposing the functionality of existing applications to be consumed via API by other services, and re-platforming applications from on-premises to cloud for the purpose of application scale and performance as well as long-term data center and IT strategy.
The challenges with application modernization typically boil down to cost and complexity. Moving an application from on-premises to the cloud with no thought to the ROI is moving applications just to move them. Conversely, other applications might benefit meaningfully from replatforming or rearchitecturing but are so heavily coupled to existing systems and infrastructure that the complexity of modernization might outweigh the upside.
The key to success in application modernization, like most things, ultimately comes down to strategy and picking application modernization projects where the benefits of cloud, speed, performance, scale, new feature dev, etc. are ones that offer the given application a clear path to improved customer experience and ROI.
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