2021 Trend Almanac: Technologies and trends that will dominate the business and consumer landscape. Get instant access
Application modernization is the process of rewriting existing software applications, updating them to adapt to newer languages, frameworks and infrastructure platforms. Many businesses are faced with legacy systems with outdated computing software or hardware that at one time met business needs but no longer allows for organizational growth. Often a business application that once satisfied its intended purpose may actually prevent interaction with newer computer systems. Application modernization transforms these older systems so that they can seamlessly interact with modern software applications.
There are many paths to IT transformation, including modernizing existing application architecture by rewriting existing code. Rearchitecting or rewriting portions of applications by altering original code allows legacy systems to access newer applications. Or an organization may decide to take a “rip and replace” approach to modernization, which, as the phrase suggests, involves replacing an entire software system with a newer system that more closely aligns with business process. A legacy application can also be reposted or re-platformed off the mainframe to the cloud, preserving the original code or features.
Cloud-native development is an emerging trend in application modernization that takes its cues from cloud-computing technologies to build, optimize and connect scalable applications quickly. These loosely coupled systems are resilient solutions that run entirely in the cloud for increased scalability and availability. Although there are many businesses on the cloud, the older legacy systems of so many others were not built for it. Forcing these systems to run in cloud environment ultimately creates performance issues, putting organizations at a competitive disadvantage.
With application modernization comes significant digital transformation, allowing businesses to: