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Explore application modernization, its process, best practices, innovative tools, and technologies that align with your business needs.

Introduction to Application Modernization

Application modernization is the process of updating existing legacy applications to integrate new technologies and move them to modern platforms. As businesses scale their digital transformation initiatives, application modernization is becoming increasingly important to support new working methods, deliver enhanced customer experiences, and gain competitive advantages. Here’s everything you need to know about application modernization, best practices, and how modernizing applications can propel businesses into the future.

Application Modernization Process

The process of application modernization typically involves assessing existing applications. This means identifying modernization needs, selecting a modernization strategy, executing the modernization, and maintaining the modernized applications. Companies must first analyze their application portfolios to understand dependencies, technical debt, security vulnerabilities, and gaps between current functionality and business needs. They then determine the best approach to modernizing each application based on factors like complexity, criticality, and desired outcomes.


Application Modernization vs. Digital Transformation

Although often used interchangeably, application modernization and digital transformation are different concepts. Digital transformation, more broadly, refers to the company-wide adoption of digital technologies to enhance business processes, customer experiences, and business models. Application modernization enables digital transformation by updating the underlying technology infrastructure.

Modernizing applications allows companies to build new digital capabilities, participate in ecosystems and platforms, as well as gain the agility needed to keep pace with rapid market changes. Cloud application modernization, in particular, supports digital transformation goals by moving applications to scalable, elastic cloud environments. This provides access to advanced cloud-native features and services that can fuel innovation.

One application modernization example would be migrating an on-premises application to a cloud platform, such as moving from a traditional data center to AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. Simply even migrating from a desktop application to a responsive web application or adopting a mobile-first design approach is considered application modernization. Digital transformation initiatives would be investing in the commerce development of a robust B2B e-commerce platform enabling online payments without the need for cash on delivery and allow Request-For-Quotations (RFQ) and Online Sales Orders (OSO) to back-office processing. It could even mean integrating web application programming interface, QuickBuy@SGov into a business model for SME vendors to migrate their businesses online, digitalize business processes from order placement to invoicing to payment, and simplify the purchasing system with the public sector.


Application Modernization Strategies

When modernizing outdated systems and applications, companies typically employ a combination of the following strategies:

  • Rehosting: Moving applications “as-is” (unchanged) to new infrastructure like the Cloud.
  • Refactoring: Restructuring codebases without changing functionality to improve maintainability, scalability, and integration with modern tools and patterns.
  • Revising: Enhancing features and functionality through incremental changes, while preserving the overall architecture and database.
  • Rebuilding: Reengineering applications from scratch using modern architectures, frameworks, languages, and cloud-native design principles.
  • Replacing: Substituting legacy components with modern equivalents through a phased approach.
  • Retaining: Keeping applications that meet current needs and are not a priority for modernization.

Once a strategy is selected, it’s then implemented using agile methodologies by reengineering, re-platforming, or re-architecting applications.


Best Practices for Application Modernization

A few proven best practices must be applied for an organization to modernize its applications. These include conducting thorough planning and impact assessments, establishing clear modernization goals, selecting experienced technology partners, and adopting DevOps practices for continuous integration and delivery.

Companies should also re-platform in incremental phases, implement extensive testing, and properly manage change. Automating modernization workflows using tools like Kubernetes also helps optimize the process. Kubernetes, often abbreviated as K8s, is an open-source container orchestration platform that automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. It was originally developed by Google and is now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), a part of the Linux Foundation.

Focusing on security, maintaining high performance, and ensuring business and technical alignment throughout the modernization lifecycle is also advisable.


Tools and Technologies Propelling Application Modernization Trends

Emerging technologies like micro-services, containers, serverless computing, machine learning, and low-code/no-code platforms are revolutionizing how applications are built and modernized. Serverless computing automates infrastructure management, whereas ML / AI (machine learning / artificial intelligence) technologies help systematize tasks like code refactoring.

Containerization tools like Docker and Kubernetes allow modularizing applications into independent services that can be rapidly developed, deployed, and scaled. Low-code platforms empower SMEs to modernize legacy systems.

According to Civo, Docker and Kubernetes are both important tools in the containerization ecosystem. Docker is used for creating and running containers, while Kubernetes is used for managing and automating the deployment, scaling, and operation of containers across clusters of hosts.

Programming languages like Go and Rust are also gaining traction in building scalable, secure, cloud-native applications. These cutting-edge technologies are accelerating application modernization initiatives and fueling new digital capabilities.

Go, commonly referred to as Golang, is a statically typed programming language designed for simplicity, efficiency, and ease of use. It was developed by Google engineers Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson and was first announced in 2009. Go is often used for systems programming, cloud computing, web development, and various other application domains. Rust is a systems programming language that focuses on providing memory safety, concurrency, and performance. It was created by Mozilla and first announced in 2010.

Full Spectrum of Application Modernization with NCODE Consultant

Successful application modernization requires a full-spectrum approach – from stabilizing and optimizing legacy systems to building innovative, cloud-native applications. A trusted technology partner and software consultant like NCODE Consultant can guide the entire modernization journey. We have a proven track record of delivering modernization at scale for SMEs and corporations to ensure a smooth, risk-mitigated transition into the future.

We played a key role in updating a client’s obsolete Intelligent Building Management System (IBMS), originally designed for single tenancy. Through a migration to our secure intelligent automation and cloud-based Intelligent Multi-Tenant Building Management platform, we substantially elevated productivity and profitability. In addition, another client transformed their online procurement system, Budget Procurement Purchase Portal (B2P) for data management with a focus on financial data analytics and reporting. By embracing more advanced procurement features within a secure environment, they achieved heightened efficiency compared to the manual inputting of data into their ERP system.

Not only that, NCODE Consultant has also helped companies transition several legacy property management applications to a scalable cloud infrastructure. Their applications now leverage elastic cloud resources for improved performance compared to their previous on-premise servers. Contact our Singapore, Malaysia, or India team of software consultants at (+65) 6282 6578 to learn how we can help accelerate your organization’s application modernization and digital transformation with our Software Services.

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In the rapidly evolving landscape of business and technology, organizations are continually reassessing their business models and operating models to stay ahead. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital transformation efforts, propelling businesses to reshape their supply chains, business processes, and operating models. Data analytics and machine learning play pivotal roles in this journey, unlocking valuable insights and driving transformational change. Successful digital transformations are no longer just about adopting digital technology; they encompass holistic strategies that touch every aspect of how businesses operate. From improving customer experience to enabling remote work, businesses are leveraging digital transformation initiatives to align with evolving customer expectations.

We know what it takes helping 300+ clients navigate their digital transformation journeys enhancing products and services. Learn more about how NCODE Consultant can help craft your digital transformation strategy. Speak to a software development expert to see how your business can achieve higher ROI with NCODE Consultant. You can also call us at (+65) 6282 6578 or get in touch with our dedicated team on Whatsapp.

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Understanding Information Technology (IT) doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be simple and effective. Our technical mastery can help you. Contact us to accelerate your digital transformation journey and leverage your full software potential. 

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