August 26, 2018
Digital transformations seem ubiquitous among corporate strategies today. What this actually entails will differ widely among industries, companies and even divisions and business units internally. However, the underlying motivations for embarking on the digital transformation journey are usually the same; elevate business leveraging today’s technologies to streamline processes, improve customer experiences and forge ahead of the competition. One of the ways in which organizations accomplish their digital transformation goals while keeping costs relatively low is through application modernization.
Types of Cloud Computing Applications
Cloud applications operate via the internet and present many of the benefits of desktop applications without many of the drawbacks. One of the primary benefits of cloud applications is the flexibility to modernize them. Updates can be done at any time by uploading new versions to the web server.
Cloud computing applications come in three primary forms, SaaS, PaaS and IaaS which we explain in depth in this post. The meteoric rise of SaaS offerings give companies a plethora of competitive choices to pick from. For many, SaaS offerings have become synonymous with cloud computing. Some of the most popular SaaS applications include CRM, ERP and HR software. Dominant players in the space include providers like Salesforce, Microsoft and Google. However, hundreds of niche and startup organizations have emerged making the market more competitive than ever. Organizations will leverage SaaS tools to slash IT costs and create more flexibility for their day-to-day functional applications.
Without question, the Cloud offers tremendous value and opportunities to elevate your business through operational efficiency and cost reduction. App Modernization involves more than simply moving your applications to the Cloud but rather improving them. At Attunix, our central mission is to bring greater agility to our customers’ businesses. App modernization is one of the best vehicles for that.
The key benefits of app modernization typically fall under four primary categories: cost reduction, better customer and employee experiences and increased agility.
Cost: Modernizing applications in the cloud will reduce IT costs precipitously in the areas of hardware, software and maintenance costs and overhead. With the right partnerships, organizations can outsource modernization and maintenance efforts without necessarily needing to employ expensive expertise in-house. This is especially true for organizations where IT is not a core differentiator. Many companies also realize savings on indirect costs such as downtime when bringing a new application to market.
Customer Experiences: User experience has become essential for both B2C and B2B companies. Creating exceptional and convenient experiences for customers now proves paramount in an increasingly competitive and commoditized market. At Attunix we help our customers create new experiences that lead to new revenue channels, new target markets, and increased brand recognition. Some customer experience focused projects may involve revamping websites, creating kiosk POS systems or improving information continuity.
By modernizing applications in the cloud, companies can take advantage of APIs and easier integration to deliver real-time information to the customer’s mobile device. With the flexibility of cloud applications, these user experiences can continually receive updates incorporating the latest technologies to keep up with customer demands.
Employee Experiences: Most companies utilize their applications for internal use. Modernizing applications can greatly improve the employee experience through simplification, seamless integration and improved user interfaces. With legacy systems, siloed information and functionality can inhibit productivity, create frustrations and increase employee training and onboarding time. By modernizing internal applications, work gets done faster and employees overall feel more empowered and capable.
Increased Agility: With app modernization in the cloud, IT will be able to respond and deploy new application updates more efficiently. End users including internal employees will be able to submit change requests more frequently without burdening IT resources.
Organizations also improve agility through better integration in the cloud. One of the primary challenges of legacy applications is that they tend to operate in silos and are managed separately from one another. While legacy applications can be improved through modernization efforts, it proves much easier and cost effective to modernize and integrate once migrated to a distributed cloud network.
Steps to Modernizing Applications
App modernization involves breaking down or containerizing large monolithic applications into smaller services in the cloud. However, organizations depending on their inventory, current needs and strategy may approach app modernization differently. Approaching modernization from the ground up can pose serious challenges for most organizations. That’s why at Attunix, we take a strategic, big-picture approach when embarking on the modernization process.
- Discover and Categorize: First, we take a look at where the most pressing strategic opportunities exist. Many organizations often lose sight of the big picture when undergoing modernization. Like any investment, we want to ensure our clients allocate their resources to the efforts that will ultimately improve their business the most.
- Design and Target: After breaking down strategic priorities, we take a close look at the application candidates and decipher what work needs to occur to modernize them such as replatforming, simplification or feature extension.
- Migrate and Modernize: The final step is where the actual migration and modernization takes place. Some migrations take a few weeks, others a few months. The most important aspect of any project is that our clients remain in charge of the scope of work.
Enabling a DevOps Environment
Ultimately, we aim to help our customers continue a culture of modernization by enabling a DevOps environment to thrive. DevOps is a method of development centered on Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) that enhances collaboration and innovation from inception to deployment. Essentially, it pairs IT and development efforts into one mission and culture. That way, organizations can maintain the momentum required to stay competitive in the modern digital economy.