A new paradigm shift - Application modernisation in a new cloud landscape

November 3, 2020 Claranet Limited

Danny Nicholson
Principal Cloud Specialist

Organisations today have a constant struggle with both new product development, alongside the ongoing maintenance and admin of their existing application, and services portfolio. All of which are critical to the way organisations run their business day-to-day.

Within this context, application modernisation is a new paradigm shift towards how these applications can be delivered in a new cloud landscape.  

Refactoring your enterprise applications to become cloud-native opens up a world of possibilities, impacting the way organisations work and collaborate to drive business outcomes.  

But what are the main reasons businesses should pursue application modernisation?  

There are many, but in our experience at Claranet, customer-centric services should always lead the way. Delivering greater experiences and changing the face of customers' touchpoints with a business - the connection between people, business, and things that allow organisations to innovate for new scenarios or models. That in addition to meeting the ever-dynamic demands of the organisation and customer.  

The markets businesses trade in are continually changing, and applications need to adapt quickly, and effectively meet these shifts. Application modernisation enables agility, speed, scale, and innovation. More importantly, modernisation of applications can allow organisations to truly disrupt traditional industries - much like cloud-native companies Uber and Airbnb have disrupted theirs.  

We’ve all heard of the Six R’s approach to cloud migration. Once you decide to modernise your applications, you have five migration options to application modernisation:  

  1. Rehost - Also known as the ‘lift and shift’. While potentially the easiest to implement, this approach still leaves the application as-is — for better or worse.  
  2. Refactor - Here, the code largely remains the same while it is migrated to cloud IaaS. Refactoring has most of the drawbacks of the Rehost option. It can create the perception of being modernised and leveraging cloud, but this is not the case.  
  3. Rearchitect - In this option, the application is re-architected according to the microservices model, containerising them and utilising modern Mode 2 DevOps practices.  
  4. Rebuild – Claranet highly recommends this option. Rebuilding as a cloud-native application involves the most fundamental change but delivers the most value. The application is rewritten as cloud-native, helping to accelerate innovation, delivering value faster, and reducing overall operational costs. 
  5. Replace - If a legacy application has some functionality that is still useful, you can sometimes replace it with a nimbler cloud-based solution. On-premise Exchange moving to Exchange Online through Office365 is a good example of this.  

Modernising an application to cloud-native derives the most benefit for organisations but has the potential to be the costliest approach. It involves adopting a modern DevOps approach, building the application for the future, and delivering all the benefits of cloud-native.  

Claranet strongly recommends this approach for the few applications that can help differentiate your business and improve customer experience. As you start your journey to modern applications, you will need deep cloud-native skills, plus the expertise to ensure the new applications delight your customers who will use them.  

Making the transition from your legacy portfolio to the cloud isn’t simple, but Claranet can help you successfully plan and execute this modernisation. 

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