Benefits of Application Modernization with VMware Tanzu

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Managing old legacy systems and outdated apps is a huge challenge for businesses. These systems are difficult to integrate with modern solutions. They can also develop vulnerabilities and bugs which risk security. Employees and customers get frustrated due to their inefficiency compared to modern solutions, leading to failure in achieving business goals.  

In addition, the cost of maintaining legacy systems is quite high. According to a 2019 report by the US government accountability office, the cost of maintenance for top 10 legacy systems in their offices amounted to nearly 337 million USD per year. A 2018 Deloitte survey found that enterprises spend 57 percent of their IT budgets on business operations.  

However, the idea of retiring such outdated applications is not viable from an operational or financial standpoint. Moreover, most of these applications are mission-critical. So, what is the best solution for companies facing such issues? 

Including a well-planned app modernization strategy as part of your digital transformation is one of the best ways to fix this issue. This blog discusses the benefits of app modernization and implementing it in your business with an example.  

What Is App Modernization

Application modernization or legacy application modernization in software development is the procedure of updating older applications with newer frameworks, languages, and infrastructure platforms.  

The goal is to improve security, resilience, uptime, efficiency, and other parameters with new tools, infrastructure, architectures, languages, libraries, and other technologies. In this way, organizations do not have to retire the legacy applications and replace them. 

It uses technical innovations to extend the lifespan of outdated applications and create business value. An organization can also protect its long-term investments by decreasing the resources needed to run the applications after modernization. 

Benefits of Application Modernization for Your Organization 

Benefits of Application Modernization for Your Organization

According to Valuates reports, the application modernization services market size is expected to reach 43350 million USD worldwide, at a CAGR of 15.1 percent from 2021 to 2026. There are several reasons why organizations are opting for application modernization. Some of the prominent ones are: 

1. Meeting business needs 

It is a huge challenge for organizations to meet customer needs with obsolete applications. Application modernization enables businesses to add new services and personalized features that can help meet the needs of their consumers.  

Modernized applications are compatible with new platforms, technologies, and codes. Such applications provide flexibility to adopt technologies like machine learning (ML), cloud, big data and make the business more successful. 

2. Better Employee Productivity 

Training IT employees on running legacy systems is time-consuming and expensive. In the case of outdated applications, the inability to automate repetitive tasks and integrate the latest technologies makes employees less productive. 

Through application modernization, it becomes easier for employees to work on their tasks and enhance the time-to-market for products. The applications have advanced features and tools that allow operational simplicity and can be used without any complex training. 

3. Security 

Outdated applications are incompatible with the latest authentication methods and security protocols, making them vulnerable to cyber threats. According to a 2021 report by the Israel-based Cato Networks, a SASE (secure access service edge) specialist, legacy vulnerabilities are one of the biggest cyber risks for enterprises. 

Application modernization helps add cost-effective security features that can help protect your company’s confidential data against the latest cyber threats. Businesses can easily update their applications with security patches and vulnerability fixes. 

4. Customer Experience 

Customer experience is one of the most important metrics to make a business stand out amongst its competitors. However, it is hard to find an effective and quick remedy for issues occurring in legacy applications. Adopting the right modernization strategy improves the reputation of brands among customers. 

Application modernization helps provide a friendly user interface and innovative features to customers that can significantly enhance their experience. In case of any failure, it is easy to recover data.  

5. Monetary Gains 

In a legacy IT system, you cannot maintain parts separately. Thus, fixing small issues expensive and time-consuming. Lack of scalability is another factor that adds to costs every time new processes or services are added. 

Due to application modernization, the company improves customer satisfaction with easy-to-scale infrastructure and on-demand features. It helps prevent technical debts and increases revenue for the organization.  

Suggested Read: 11 Best Calendar Apps to Stay Organized in 2022

Best Practices for Application Modernization 

All businesses face challenges during the implementation of application modernization. Some of the standard practices for long-term success are: 

Best Practices for Application Modernization  


1. Creating a Team  

Building a cross-functional team of people for application modernization can help brainstorm the modernization strategy better. You can take ideas and feedback from everyone to understand different possibilities. The team should understand unique challenges during each stage of the implementation lifecycle. Finally, commit to a course of action for developing tools and processes that can enable efficient modernization. 

2. Determining the Course of Action 

The team must have a detailed understanding of the applications to be modernized and their dependencies. This knowledge can help you weigh the pros and cons of modernizing each application. Knowing the existing operations, performance, and integration details can help make accurate decisions for creating individual roadmaps.   

The evaluation stage is also important to estimate the cost and time taken for each application modernization. You can then decide the best approach for each application to meet your business goals and assign priorities. 

3. Preparing Workflow Consisting of Small Goals 

Teams must focus on achieving smaller goals through iteration to map out development workflow. This approach is better because projects keep changing during different stages and predicting everything in advance is difficult.     

Small changes to achieve huge milestones decrease the chances of problems in adjusting long-term plans. You must identify manual tasks, copies of the same data, and other inefficiencies that could disrupt your workflow. The ability to adapt quickly during these iterations helps in reducing the cycle time and achieving goals with agility.   

4. Choosing the Modernization Strategy 

There can be several ways for any application to be modernized based on factors like the level of modernization required and the complexity of the application. You can apply different strategies at every stage of modernization. Some popular approaches to application modernization include rehosting, re-platforming, refactoring, rearchitecting, and rebuilding strategies.   

Based on your business requirements, you can choose to retain, retire, or replace a legacy application.   

Rehosting involves moving applications from an on-prem environment to the cloud, while re-platforming only involves migrating the key components to benefit from modern technologies and architecture.   

In rearchitecting, you can create new architecture reusing parts of the old code to achieve your business goals.   

Refactoring involves complete rearchitecting for taking advantage of the latest technology.   

You must add cloud-native features while rewriting your application if you follow the rebuild approach. 

5. Paying Attention to Legacy Data Migration 

Legacy applications have a vast amount of data stored in them. It is crucial to evaluate and categorize the data based on their importance in the modernized version. This evaluation stage helps decide what needs to be moved so that there is no data loss. Having a checklist can ensure that the data is relevant and accurate. 

Suggested Read: 17 Best Free Productivity Apps for Project Management from Home

What is VMware App Modernization?

VMWare, the US-based cloud computing and virtualization giant, offers a wide range of services and products for app modernization to businesses. Its tools and techniques enable businesses to develop a personalized modernization strategy that is agile, sustainable, and cost-effective. It also helps in establishing patterns for future migrations. 

While earlier VMware focused only on virtual machines (VMs), it has now added Kubernetes to its infrastructure for running containers. Containers are slowly becoming popular for deploying cloud-based modernized applications and dev/test environments. VMware offers Tanzu, a portfolio of services and products, that enables businesses to run the Kubernetes framework across clouds (VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and service components), automate app lifecycle, and so on.  

Suggested Read: Software as a Service- Access Your Applications Wherever You Go

How to Modernize Your Applications with VMware Tanzu 

For application modernization, VMware offers Tanzu Basic, Tanzu Standard, Tanzu Advanced, Tanzu Labs and Tanzu Community Edition. VMware Tanzu family of products and services can be classified into three main categories – Build, Run and Manage.  

As modernization means running a modern application on a modern platform, Tanzu focuses on applications and infrastructure. There are separate sets of functionalities and services for development framework, modern infrastructure, and application runtime.  

For applications running on infrastructure platforms like VMware cloud foundation or vSphere, Tanzu enables the use of Kubernetes and other modern technologies across several cloud vendors.  

Build: 

VMware Tanzu speeds up the pace of application development via its popularly used .Net core and Java-based Spring framework. It enables the creation of ubiquitous Kubernetes that can be run across public and private clouds. It offers support for all hosted applications and ensures uniform operations. Businesses can have increased visibility over their fleet of Kubernetes clusters. 

Run: 

Application Runtime is offered by Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG), Tanzu Application Service (TAS), and vSphere on Kubernetes. VMware Tanzu helps in the creation of a modern software supply chain to reduce their time to market. 

Manage: 

With Tanzu mission control (TMC), it becomes easier for IT teams to manage and run the growing Kubernetes clusters hosted on the cloud, on-prem, or other managed services environments through a single platform. 

Suggested Read: Modernizing IndusInd Banks’ IT Infrastructure with VMware and Tanzu: Case Study

FAQs:   

  1. What is application modernization?

    Application modernization is the practice of updating legacy software with modern technologies to align it with present and future business goals.  

  2. Why App modernization? 

    App modernization is a cost-effective way of cutting down on the burden and costs of maintaining legacy applications while benefitting from new technologies.  

  3. What is the best application modernization approaches? 

    Best approaches for application modernization include rehosting, re-platforming, rearchitecting, replacing, and so on. 

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