The concept of application modernisation is fundamental for all those companies that wish to keep up-to-date with the times and the latest technologies. Improving your company’s most important core applications can bring huge advantages in terms of time, efficiency and earnings.
Modifying and updating an outdated program, while not impossible, is not a simple task and requires significant investment of resources. It should also be emphasised that very often, there is no need to delete and re-write the source code; in some cases, it is sufficient to convert the architectures in order to adapt them to the micro-service approach.
How to plan the evolution of company software
Transferring from monolithic software (typical older software) to micro-service based software is an interesting challenge, which can bring many advantages for a company that has decided to go down the application modernisation route.
Before being able to proceed with modifications to the source code however, it is important to create a well-organised executive strategy. First of all, it is essential to analyse all those applications which are fundamental in the proper running of your company’s business operations, in order to establish where and how interventions should be made.
The next step is the choice of the most appropriate solutions for the specific situation. There are many different approaches to upgrades for modernising application legacies and each one is different. This means that there is a wide range of modifications to choose from, according to the client’s individual needs.
One of the most common, for example, is to convert monolithic core applications into cloud-native applications, so as to exploit the increased level of versatility offered by cloud technology. It is one of the least expensive methods available to companies, since it maintains the functionalities of the main software, but also integrates the advantages offered by the ‘cloud’.
Advantages of application modernisation
Companies that decide to update their business software do so in the hope of obtaining real advantages. This kind of upgrade should not be underestimated, especially if the company wants to remain competitive in a market brimming with IT innovation.
Moving to a cloud-native micro-service architect helps to improve management of every aspect of the software, by partitioning it into several distinct independent sections. This choice considerably facilitates maintenance work carried out by developers, as well as future updates.
A micro-service based structure also offers a good level of protection against bugs. If one section of the software has an error, programmers can temporarily halt that specific block (without compromising any of its associated functionalities), while they work on correcting the error.
The independent scalability of the various services offered by the software is another benefit worth bearing in mind when considering application modernisation. This feature allows companies to distribute specific services among several different servers and infrastructures according to their requirements.
Which applications are worth modernising?
Although it is fair to say any type of monolithic software would gain great advantage from this type of upgrade, we will illustrate certain more specific cases in order to better highlight the potential of application modernisation.
In the presence of software developed in a COBOL/CISCS environment (typical of financial management systems used by older banks), transferring to a cloud-native structure would allow expert programmers and resources for such an outdated programming language to be found more easily.
Older e-commerce websites could also benefit in many ways from transferring to a micro-service structure. By dividing the user interface from the back-end during order management, separating the message area from the product section and so on, much tighter control over portal management is assured. Furthermore, upgrades become easier and do not require the system to be totally down during maintenance.
Translated by Joanne Beckwith