A Rapid Assessment Methodology for Application Industrialization

What is Legacy Application Modernization?

In order to evaluate the work to modernize and move apps to hybrid cloud, situating an application portfolio against the various hybrid cloud transformation and migration paths must typically be done fast, which is often in a matter of hours.

When doing a detailed application portfolio study is not practicable, the Rapid Assessment methodology was intended to generate application industrialization and migration estimations. Instead, using a small set of inputs, the applications are evaluated and allocated to one of four dispositions: bespoke vs. COTS vs. SaaS apps, software platform, mission-critical vs. non-mission-critical apps and programming language. (Containerize, Refactor, Move, Keep As-Is)

In comparison to more extensive evaluations that take months, this method allows application dispositions to be made in a matter of a few hours with an efficiency of 80-90 percent.

App Modernization Architecture

The Rapid Assessment’s goal is to develop a set of high-level requirements that can be implemented fast to the application portfolio in order to successfully move all of the apps to the cloud. This is an initial evaluation with the goal of forming a first impression of the application domain. The goal should be within 10% to 20% of the dispositions which would be determined from a more thorough investigation.

To do the following, you’ll need to establish a perspective on the disposition of the complete software estate:

● Support the hybrid cloud transformation’s overall company case.
● Calculate the cost of updating and transferring the application portfolio to the cloud.
● Establish a systematic strategy for modernization that enhances overall corporate value.
● Demonstrate the ability to instantly grasp the application portfolio and define the characteristics that influence sophistication, time to market, efficiency and sustainability.

It’s useful to look at the Distributed and Mainframe operations independently while creating the Rapid Assessment technique. Various modernization catalysts, SLAs and enabling infrastructure are common in these ecosystems, resulting in a diverse list of requirements for assessing the portfolio. Despite the fact that several distributed systems have mainframe backends, or “systems of records" in this case, a distributed workflow is defined as one whose principal operation thread runs on a distributed system.

Application Modernization Strategy

The following is an example of high-level distributed software dispositions and their interpretations:

● Modernize/Refactor to cloud-native: 5-15 percent of applications are mission/business-critical and must be refactored/modernized. These programs are modified or redone to be cloud-native/12-factor. The program becomes more flexible, adaptable and infinitely scalable with this configuration, but at a considerable expense. As a result, these applications should be carefully chosen, as they reflect significant strategic expenditures worth millions of dollars each.
● Containerize: 50% to 60% of Java applications and some Windows apps are containerized. Depending on the cost of containerization vs. the ultimate benefit obtained, containerized apps deliver the best ROI.
● Migrate: COTS, certain Windows, and other “Exotics” operating on physical hardware or virtual computers account for 30-40% of the total. To migrate these systems to the cloud, they use a lift-and-shift strategy with little to no application code. Physical to digital and digital to digital are the most typical migration patterns.
● Leave as-is: This is 10% of desktop programs, mobile apps (excluding the backend) and cloud-based apps, especially SaaS, although some apps in the cloud could be migrated to a preferred cloud.

These dispositions vary from other software classification rubrics in that they provide a much more concise and simple way of categorizing the portfolio while classifying the apps that will help propel the most innovation value — the apps that will be containerized and refactored.
To run the Rapid Assessment for distributed systems requires only a small number of data characteristics. Let’s take a closer look at each requirement.

Commercial Off-the-Shelf Applications

Commercial off-the-shelf apps will have to be transferred to the cloud because the source code is often not supplied to the consumer. An additional inquiry can be performed during a more extensive assessment, usually a 30-day sprint to see if the COTS supplier has plans to transfer the program to containers or produce a cloud-native edition.

Some of the customer’s COTS bespoke adapters may be contenders for refactoring or containerization. During a more extensive assessment, this component-level disposition would be identified.

SaaS Apps or Apps Already Moved to the Cloud

If the final aim is to hasten the total migration to the cloud, apps that are continuously working in the cloud are often left as is. If the goal is to shift all workloads to a single cloud provider, the apps could conceivably move to a different cloud, but it’s safer to assume they’ll stay put.

Business-critical/Mission-critical Apps

Refactoring or updating business-critical or mission-critical systems to cloud services should be addressed since they stand to profit the most from the high price of refactoring.
Determine which apps from this group of apps have a lot of change going on or a big backlog that would profit from becoming more agile. Also determine which apps do not immediately satisfy business requirements and may be reinvented to reflect a more modern business approach or a better customer experience.

This segment usually accounts for only 5-15 percent of the whole portfolio. That means rebuilding 25–75 apps in 3 to 5 years for a portfolio of 500 apps, which is a significant figure representing a significant developmental effort and expense.

Java Programming

Containerization is a good fit for Java applications. Any JavaEE server software app should be containerized with minimal effort. The basic minimal will be done to containerize the project, middleware updates or migrations, such as moving from a relational database to a cloud-native database, are not included. The CI/CD pipelines, on the other hand, need modifying to produce containers.

Applications for Windows

Containerization is available for Windows apps in two ways:

● Run in Linux containers, which usually .NET CORE workloads migration to Linux containers
● Custom Window apps migration to windows containers.

For strategic planning, consider that at least half of the Windows apps can be containerized. More extensive investigation is required to better establish the suitability for containerization.

All Other Apps Can be Migrated

All other apps would be moved to the cloud, with the most prevalent structure for most distributed applications being physical to digital or digital to digital. Because a cloud landing zone may not be commonly accessible, exotic or non-mainstream systems require extra careful study.

Decision Criteria for Mainframe Apps

When it comes to designing app dispositions, mainframe workloads add another layer of complexity. Depending on the client’s overall mainframe strategy, the eventual endpoint of these apps is not necessarily clear. Containerized or virtual platforms on x86 servers in the cloud are a common target landing zone for distributed workloads. Depending on the client’s mainframe mindset and business objectives, the ultimate endpoint for mainframe programs can take on a variety of flavors, including the following:

● Reduce computation and operational costs by optimizing apps on their present technology footprint such as compiler improvements and coding optimizations
● Transform/modernize apps so that they can run in a cloud environment that is distributed
● Other distributed applications can maximize and connect mainframe app assets
● Remove all on-premises data center operations including mainframe workflows

The solutions to these problems will subsequently aid in the development of target dispositions such as:

● Updating the application to run on Linux
● Modernizing the application in the cloud to Linux on x86
● Improving productivity improvements and refactoring the application with its present technology architecture and programming language.
● Using APIs to externalize key services.

Benefits of Application Modernization

● Improved performance: shorter time to market and improved experiences for internal and external consumers are all benefits of modernized IT systems.
● Reduced cost: Software, hardware and licensing costs are minimized when monolithic apps, data center space and dedicated servers are decommissioned.
● IT agility: You can tune your surroundings to respond faster to natural variation, leverage data from across company, integrate systems to optimize processes, adjust to company operations or immediately move on the next development opportunity to knock your contenders to the industry with modernized frameworks.

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