IT systems are constantly evolving. And to innovate and thrive — staying competitive in today’s market — businesses need to evolve too.   

Yet many organizations still rely on older legacy systems and workloads, wasting time, resources and money as long as they do. Their IT teams spend too much of their time maintaining those systems, all while their employers develop “technical debt” — maybe saving money in the short term by not acting, but missing out on larger cost savings and increased business efficiencies over the longer term.  

To realize those savings and new efficiencies, organizations need a modern toolkit to draw from. That means that today, application modernization isn’t really a choice — it’s a necessity. Without it, those IT teams will continue wasting their time and that technical debt will only continue to grow.  

So how can you make sure you’re staying up to date — and ready for whatever’s ahead?  

What Is Application Modernization?  

The right technology adds efficiencies to your business, empowers your growth goals and helps you stay agile and competitive. Yet many legacy applications were developed before current technologies came to market — meaning they don’t let you take advantage of new features, faster processing power or other new capabilities. In fact, entire standards and methodologies have shifted since your legacy solution was developed — putting you at a disadvantage if you’re trying to use that system in a way it wasn’t designed for.

Application modernization, is the process of updating those older legacy solutions to make them more modern, productive and scalable. Depending on the project, that may involve any combination of the following:

1. Breaking monolith legacy systems into microservices

Traditionally, legacy applications have been built using a monolithic approach. That means each application is a single unified unit that can’t easily be divided. More modern applications, though, take a microservices approach. In this case, a collection of smaller independent units work together, with each process run by a different service. One of the first steps of any application modernization strategy, should be to break those monolith architectures into microservices. By breaking down the application into smaller components that are loosely coupled, it’s easier to find bottlenecks in the system and scale up those parts that need it.

2. Containerizing the application and orchestrating through Kubernetes

Introducing microservices architecture allows you to benefit from the containerization of parts of the system and to use Kubernetes to orchestrate it all together. Containerization and Kubernetes allow your applications to run in any cloud or non-cloud environment, making them more scalable, cost-efficient and flexible no matter where you’re running from.

3. Rearchitecting to the cloud

More than ever, businesses are realizing the power of the cloud. By 2025, according to Gartner, 85% of organizations will embrace a cloud-first principle. But they won’t be able to fully execute on their digital strategies without cloud-native architectures and technologies. “There is no business strategy without a cloud strategy,” says Milind Govekar, Vice President at Gartner.

Microsoft's Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

Migrating to the cloud allows you to use state-of-the-art architecture solutions without investing a lot of money into building from scratch. Depending on your needs, different types of cloud strategies are available: private, public or hybrid.

4. Introducing modern approaches like CI/CD and DevSecOps

Modern continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) practices have a tremendous impact on how change is delivered to an application. Meanwhile, DevSecOps practices help cut down the development lifecycle while upholding compliance and security standards. Pipelines providing one-click deployments allow the possibility of reacting quickly to business needs and functionality provided through application programming interfaces (APIs) can improve the way different parts of the system are working together.

With the right application modernization strategy in place, you can begin to develop a more modern infrastructure, add to your feature set and give your team a more up-to-date environment to work in. Several technologies can help.

5 Technologies to Ease the Way

Application modernization draws on different technologies and tools than the old legacy applications. These cloud-native solutions will help scale your applications and ensure you’re getting the most out of your new environment. Here are five: 

1. Kubernetes

Kubernetes, as previously mentioned, plays a critical role in the new microservices environment. An open source container management platform, Kubernetes was developed by Google and is now used in almost every public cloud environment. It helps companies build, scale and manage cloud applications, and provides virtualization across containers.

2. Prometheus

Prometheus is a popular monitoring tool for containerized applications, delivering real-time monitoring, alerting and time-series database capabilities. It can store your time-series data and provide easy and fast visualizations. When integrated with other open source tools, it can also be used for importing and exporting data.

3. Istio

A service mesh, Istio provides interconnections between multiple microservices. It lets you control the flow of traffic and API calls between services, for easier tests and upgrades. It also automatically logs, traces and monitors all of your services, letting you observe the interactions between microservices.

4. CoreDNS

The default DNS server for many cloud-native technologies, CoreDNS is optimized for performance, flexibility and service discovery. Deployable without explicit code, it can be used in a variety of environments and integrated into other technologies.

5. gRPC

Also developed by Google, gRPC is a Remote Procedural Call framework that’s optimized for large-scale and multiplatform cloud-native architectures. It connects services across languages, including clouds and data centers, mobile devices and backend servers.

How Architech Can Help

Despite the growing need for application modernization and the availability of reliable technologies to support it, many organizations are failing in their modernization efforts. That’s in part because application modernization is a process, not an event. Businesses need to treat it that way, easing their team through the change and never trying to take on too much at once.

The support of an experienced tech partner — one with a portfolio of application modernization projects behind them — can help. The right partner will be able to ensure you put the right strategy in place, and help you take advantage of the best technologies that will drive your modernization journey.

As experts in building secure, scalable and resilient cloud-native solutions adapted to our customer needs, Architech has been that partner for a range of clients. Our Architech Accelerators toolkit draws on a mature set of application modernization solutions to reduce time to market and optimize costs.

That toolkit, along with 18+ years of experience, and a team of world-class tech experts, puts us in the perfect position to build an application modernization strategy that works for you and your organizational goals.

Find out what Architech can do for you. Contact one of our account representatives.

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