Azul Intelligence Cloud The Powerful Analytics Solution That Boosts DevOps Efficiency with Insights from Production Java Runtime Data from Any JVM  

App Modernization

What is app modernization?

App modernization is the process of transforming and updating legacy applications to get them on par with modern technologies and consumer demand. The process aims to bring monolithic, outdated software into the future, allowing it to run on modern platforms and integrate smoothly with the latest personal devices and operating systems. 

A sub-category of app modernization is cloud app modernization. This process ensures legacy applications are compatible with cloud-based infrastructures. 

What is the purpose of app modernization?

The purpose of app modernization is to transform an older application into a modern one that’s more agile, scalable, cost-effective, and user-friendly. Modern applications can help businesses to stay competitive in today’s market by enabling them to respond quickly to changing market demands, improving application performance, and reducing operating costs. 

To many, working with what they already have can be easier than designing and developing a new application from scratch. 

Why is app modernization important?

App modernization is critical for businesses looking to keep a competitive edge in the market. Legacy applications are oftentimes slow, rigid, hard to maintain, and not user-friendly. This makes them less appealing to both customers and clients, but also shareholders and prospective investors. 

Through modernization, businesses can address each of these issues one at a time. By improving application performance, reducing costs, and increasing agility, modern applications are more equipped for meeting the average user’s needs whilst remaining compliant with the latest industry standards and regulations. 

How does app modernization work?

App modernization is a process conducted through a series of steps such as architectural analysis and platform and data migration. It starts by identifying the various components and dependencies of the legacy application and then categorizing them in order to determine which components can be separated and broken down into smaller segments. 

The new modular components can be run more efficiently on modern platforms. This is done by redesigning the architecture of the application, fixing bugs, faults, and errors, and rewriting some of its parts, making them more compatible with modern platforms. 

What are the benefits of app modernization?

There are several benefits to investing in app modernization, including: 

  • Apps are more agile and scalable 
  • Apps are easier to maintain and update 
  • Reduces the risk of downtime 
  • Improves app performance 
  • Apps are more cost-effective to operate 
  • Improves compliance with laws and regulations 

What are the challenges associated with app modernization?

White essential for evolving businesses, app modernization isn’t free of struggles, complications, and challenges. Some of these include: 

  • Budget: Before the analysis even starts, budget estimations may end up being inaccurate. 
  • Knowledge and experience: Identifying which parts and components of the legacy system are best broken into modular parts requires extensive, hands-on experience. 
  • Data migration: Data migration is an incredibly complex and risk-filled process. When data is linked to an outdated application, there’s also a risk of data loss and opening up old security vulnerabilities. 
  • System compatibility: The new application must be made compatible with multiple operating systems, platforms, and devices for it to be used by customers, clients, and even employees. 

What are the most common types of app modernization?

There are several strategies for app modernization, including lift-and-shift, replatforming, rearchitecting, rebuilding, and refactoring. 

  • Lift-and-Shift: This is the process of migrating the application to a modern platform without making any significant changes to the application code. 
  • Replatforming: Moving the application to a modern platform and making minor changes to the application code to take advantage of platform-specific features. 
  • Rearchitecting: Breaking down the legacy application into smaller, more modular components that can run on modern platforms, and rebuilding it to modern standards. 
  • Refactoring: Improving the internal structure of an application’s code without changing its external behavior. Typically used with structurally-sound applications. 
  • Rebuilding: Completely rewriting an application from scratch using modern technologies, frameworks, and best practices. It’s typically used either as a last resort or for outdated applications with no hopes of partial modernization. 

What use cases are best for app modernization?

App modernization isn’t a rigid process. In fact, it can be applied in more than one way, making it popular among growing businesses. Some of the most common use cases include: 

  • In-house development teams – Many organizations opt to modernize their applications rather than crafting them from scratch in-house. This approach allows them to leverage existing knowledge and expertise in business operations and the target audience while also maintaining complete control over the project. However, in-house modernization often puts strain on already-busy teams, taking valuable time from other projects and tasks. 
  • Outsourcing to a third-party – Some organizations, particularly smaller ones, prefer to partner with external vendors to modernize their applications. This approach affords them access to specialized expertise that may not be available in their in-house teams. However, outsourcing app modernization can drastically reduce their oversight of the project. 

What risks are involved with app modernization?

When deciding whether to modernize an older application or piece of software instead of developing a new one, there are numerous risks that businesses must account for, such as: 

  • Cost overruns: Not only is app modernization complex and challenging, but it’s largely unpredictable. Without proper planning and close monitoring of the modernization project, it may end up going over budget. 
  • Business disruptions: Significant changes to an application’s functionality or user interface could temporarily disrupt business operations. This is especially the case if modernization is conducted with little to no foresight or planning. 
  • Data loss and security risks: Rewriting bits of code and migrating data could interfere with the app’s security in the process. This could introduce vulnerabilities and compromise data integrity and security. Also, any data migration has the risk of data loss or corruption, making regular backups and testing of the utmost importance. 

When should enterprises use app modernization?

Knowing when to modernize an application prevents companies from spending time, energy, and resources on an unnecessary endeavor. There are two scenarios where modernization may be needed: 

  • Outdated systems: If the application is hard to integrate with newer technology, costly to maintain, or consistently shows poor performance, then it may be outdated and in need of partial or complete modernization. 
  • Business goals: Enterprises should always evaluate their apps in the context of business goals and objectives. This allows them to modernize and update their apps towards a solid and clear vision that’s likely to drive business growth and offer a positive return on investment. 

How does Azul help with app modernization?

Azul is a global software company that helps businesses with Java-based application execution and modernization. We’re providers of the world’s only cloud-native JVM that’s optimized for cloud infrastructure and provides businesses with the agility and scalability they need to stay competitive in today’s market.

Azul also offers a wide range of tools and services to help businesses with app modernization, including migration tools, cloud-native development tools, and expert consulting services. Contact us today to discuss modernizing your legacy applications quickly and efficiently, allowing your business to stay ahead of the competition and achieve your goals.

Azul Platform Prime

A truly superior Java platform that can cut your infrastructure costs in half.