What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (2022)

It's the process of updating current apps and data to a cloud-first model to align with business needs. This may involve migrating to the cloud.

What does modernization mean?

Modernization is the act of updating organizational processes, systems, and tools to the most current versions or best practices. In the context of cloud computing, modernization is the process of transitioning an organization's applications, processes, and data management to a cloud-first approach. The goal is to improve organizational and technological performance, enhance the quality of customer and employee experiences, and accelerate time to market for new offerings and updates.

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (1)

What is application modernization?

Application modernization is the process of updating an organization's existing apps to a cloud-first model—sometimes called legacy modernization. If an organization uses on-premises apps, modernization may involve migrating those apps to a public, private, or hybrid cloud. Commonly modernized apps and data include:

  • .NET apps
  • Linux web apps
  • Java apps
  • SAP apps
  • SQL databases

An organization's current software systems and programs might have been great when they were first implemented, but they may not be able to keep pace with the latest (or future) technology. One approach to tackling this challenge is to start again from scratch—building or buying new apps that are compatible with the most current technology stack available. (While the most current stack is always evolving, some of the most recent drivers of modernization include new security best practices, scalability requirements, and advancements in AI, virtualization, IoT, containers.) However, this approach can be both costly and time-consuming. And the challenge will persist: Even the most current app can be outpaced by its technology ecosystem.

Instead of starting from scratch by building completely new apps, organizations can modernize the apps that they already have. It's also important to note that it's often possible—and more practical—to approach modernizing apps in stages. For example, many organizations start by simply moving their apps from their on-premises datacenters to the cloud in a "lift and shift" migration, allowing them to take immediate advantage of the most basic benefits of cloud computing. From there, they can move on to more advanced modernization techniques, such as rebuilding all or some of the parts of their apps to adopt newer capabilities or best practices.

What are the benefits of app modernization?

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (2)

Accelerated innovation and time to market. When organizations don't have to devote as much time and resources to maintaining apps and infrastructure, they can spend more time innovating. Cloud-based tools and services further help to streamline the development process, resulting in faster time to market.

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (3)

Security and reliability. With a cloud-first approach, organizations can use built-in updating and security capabilities to help safeguard their workloads. Other built-in features can include task automation for important things like high availability, disaster recovery, backups, and performance monitoring.

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (4)

Compatibility and agility. The advantage of modernizing apps isn't just that they'll be able to work with the most current technology—they'll keep working even as the technology evolves. This seamlessness allows for quick updates and changes to meet current and future business needs. It can also enable automatic scaling so that apps continue to work well when there are sudden increases in demand—and to instantly reduce costs when there are sudden decreases in demand.

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (5)

Efficiency. When done thoughtfully, it can be easier to modernize existing apps than to create new ones from scratch. That way, organizations can build on existing investments rather than sink time and money into something new. App modernization also helps to retain many current processes and maintain business continuity compared to plugging completely new apps into existing operations.

Application modernization steps and strategies

Modernization pillars

The steps and strategies for successful app modernization should work towards supporting a framework of organizational goals. For example, the Azure Well-Architected Framework has five architectural pillars geared towards organizational goals—these can be used for app modernization as well:

  • Reliability: The ability of a system to recover from failures and continue to function.
  • Security: Protecting applications and data from threats.
  • Cost optimization: Managing costs to maximize the value delivered.
  • Operational excellence: Operations processes that keep a system running in production.
  • Performance efficiency: The ability of a system to adapt to changes in load.

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (6)

(Video) Application Modernization: Three Transformations at Once

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (7)

App modernization steps

The process of modernizing an organization's apps can be broadly defined by three steps.

  1. Planning. This first step requires organizations to think carefully about their app modernization goals and define their strategy before any action is taken. This is the time to discover and assess existing apps and environments in preparation for change.
  2. Implementation. During this step, organizations build new skills and begin modernizing their apps iteratively. An iterative modernization approach gives organizations the flexibility to change their project scope or strategy as needed.
  3. Operations. App modernization is not a one-and-done deal. Once organizations move to a cloud-first approach, they can use cloud platform services and tools to help secure, govern, manage, and optimize their apps.

App modernization strategies

These strategies are distinguished by an organization's modernization goals and the need for code changes to the apps themselves. An app modernization strategy is defined during the planning step and put into effect during the implementation step.

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (8)

Rehost. Sometimes called "lift-and-shift," this modernization strategy emphasizes speed because it requires practically no code changes. Organizations take apps from their previous environment and transition them as-is to their current environment.

Replatform. This approach lies in between rehosting and refactoring. With replatforming, organizations make code changes so that apps can be used with cloud technologies.

Refactor (or repackage). Refactoring prioritizes productivity as well as speed. With this strategy, apps need only minimal code changes so that they can connect easily to and make the most of a cloud-first environment.

Rearchitect. If an organization needs cloud scalability, rearchitecting might be the right approach. With rearchitecting, apps functionality and code get modified and extended to scale better in the cloud.

Rebuild (or rewrite). For recreating an app using cloud solutions, rebuilding is sometimes the right option. It's a heavier lift, but it may be essential if existing apps have limited functionality or lifespan.

Replace. If an app won't meet current or future business needs even after rebuilding, replacing it with a ready-made solution may be necessary. This approach can be faster than rebuilding and free up valuable development resources. But replacing apps could pose challenges including interruptions to business processes and limitations to future modernization initiatives.

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (9)

Modernizing the app development process

In addition to modernizing apps themselves, a critical element of any organization's long-term strategy should be to modernize its approach to app development, also known as Developer Velocity. This includes modernizing developer teams' tools and processes to maximize their productivity, collaboration, and work quality. There are tools, analyst studies, and other resources to help organizations assess and improve their Developer Velocity.

Tools and services

Organizations looking to modernize their applications have many ways to go about it. Technologies that support organizations in optimizing their IT assets include:

Cloud computing

Internet-based cloud services can increase application performance, efficiency, and scale.

Containers

These packages of software bundle together application code, which enables seamless deployment across multiple environments.

Microservices

This architectural approach makes application development more agile by allowing each core function—also known as a service—to be built independently.

Automation

Third-party services that automatically perform common tasks can help optimize application deployment, management, and diagnostics.

AI and machine learning

Intelligent services and solutions help companies mine richer insights from their applications and data.

(Video) App Modernization Options | Azure Migrate tool

Application modernization services

Fully managed services can help companies accelerate application development, improve customer and employee experiences, and increase application security and reliability.

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (10)

Azure Cosmos DB

Modernize scalable, high-performance apps with a fully managed NoSQL database service

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (11)

Azure Monitor

Get full observability into your app, infrastructure, and network

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (12)

Azure Virtual Desktop

Enable a secure remote desktop experience from virtually anywhere

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (13)

Azure API Management

Move faster with unified API management across multicloud and hybrid environments

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (14)

Azure DevOps

Plan smarter, collaborate better, and ship faster than before with a set of modern dev services

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (15)

Azure Spring Apps

Build and deploy Spring Boot apps with a fully managed service from Microsoft and VMware

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (16)

Azure VMware Solution

Move or extend on-premises VMware environments to Azure

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (17)

(Video) Cloud migration and modernization with Azure tools and resources

Azure App Service

Quickly and easily create enterprise-ready web and mobile apps for any platform or device

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (18)

Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS)

Deploy and scale containers on managed Kubernetes

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (19)

Azure SQL Database

Build scalable apps with managed and intelligent SQL in the cloud

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (20)

Azure Web Application Firewall

Help protect apps with a powerful cloud-native web app firewall service

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (21)

Azure Arc

Secure, develop, and operate infrastructure, apps, and Azure services anywhere

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (22)

Azure Machine Learning

Build business-critical machine learning models at scale

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (23)

Azure SQL Managed Instance

Modernize existing apps at scale with familiar tools, skills, and resources

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (24)

Personalizer

Deliver personalized, relevant experiences for customers

Application modernization tools

Modernizing existing IT systems may seem daunting at first. But organizations that want to update their technology investments don't have to go it alone. Cloud providers offer many assessment tools, methodologies, and programs designed to help enterprises update their systems.

What is Application Modernization | Microsoft Azure (25)

For example, Microsoft Azure offers the following resources to help enterprises begin modernizing at their own pace:

E-book: Cloud Migration and Modernization with Microsoft Azure

an overview of migration and modernization insights, strategies, and tips for getting started.

Azure Migrate

a clearinghouse of Azure migration tools for almost any modernization scenario.

(Video) App Modernization with Microsoft Azure : Build 2018

Azure Migration and Modernization Program

expert help, technical training, and resources that enterprises can use to confidently set up their cloud environment.

Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

a proven collection of documentation, guidance, best practices, and tools designed to accelerate cloud adoption.

Azure App Service migration tools

free, intuitive tools to help businesses quickly assess their web apps and migrate them to Azure.

Documentation: ASP.NET app containerization and migration to Azure App Service

step-by-step guidance on containerizing and moving ASP.NET apps to Azure using the Azure Migrate App Containerization tool.

Strategic Migration Assessment and Readiness Tool (SMART)

an assessment tool that helps companies gauge how ready they are to migrate their applications to Azure.

Application and Data Modernization Readiness Tool

an assessment tool that helps companies evaluate their business strategies for modernizing their apps and data.

FAQs

  • Through application modernization, organizations transition their apps to a cloud-first model. This may involve migration if they are using on-premises apps.

    Learn more

  • "Legacy modernization" is another way of saying "application modernization." However, both older and newer apps can be modernized with cloud technology to achieve greater agility, stability, and innovation.

    Learn more

  • Application modernization offers a variety of benefits both for the apps themselves and the organization modernizing them. Key benefits can include increased efficiency, compatibility with cloud technology, improved security, higher availability, and accelerated time to market.

    Learn more

  • There are three overarching steps for application modernization: planning, implementation, and operations. Planning includes defining a modernization strategy. Implementation involves skill-building and modernizing apps. Operations covers ongoing governance, management, and optimization.

    Learn more

  • App modernization strategies should be designed to support an organization's modernization goals. The Azure Well-Architected Framework lays out five pillars that work towards those goals: Reliability, security, cost optimization, operational excellence, and performance efficiency.

    There are four broad modernization strategies, each distinguished by the level of code changes that an organization wants to make to their apps. Rehosting moves the app as-is from an older environment to a newer one. Replatforming entails some code changes to connect apps to the cloud. Similarly, refactoring also calls for some code changes so apps get the most out of a cloud-first environment. Rearchitecting involves significant modifications to apps for cloud scalability. Rebuilding requires recreating apps using cloud-native solutions. Replacing swaps an organization's apps for a completely different one to meet current business needs.

    Learn more

  • There are a wide variety of application modernization tools and services available depending on what an organization needs. For example, if an organization wants to optimize costs, operate confidently, and ship features faster by bringing apps and data to the cloud, a fully managed service like Azure App Service could be a good fit.

    Learn more

Can we help you?

(Video) Application Modernization in Microsoft Azure

FAQs

Why do we need application modernization? ›

Application modernization enables an organization to protect its investments and refresh its software portfolio to take advantage of contemporary infrastructure, tools, languages and other technology progress.

What are the other two important components of application modernization? ›

To achieve these missions, agencies need to embrace four key components of IT modernization: cloud computing, shared services, data center consolidation and Agile development.

How does application modernization work? ›

Application modernization is the process of taking old applications and the platforms they run on and making them "new" again by replacing or updating each with modern features and capabilities that better align with current business needs.

What is cloud application modernization? ›

Start with the data-driven baseline assessments and promote faster, secure software development with our tailored set of proven DevOps practices and open-source-based application platform and tools.

What are two common examples of application modernization? ›

AI & ML
  • Data Science. Discover patterns in data and make predictions.
  • Machine Learning. Build and deploy machine learning models.
  • Chatbot. Build a domain specific chatbot.
  • AI for Customer Service. Build a customer service assistant using Watson.
16 Oct 2019

What are the main advantages of modernization? ›

What are the advantages of modernization in the industrial sector? Modernization provides the base for innovative business practices, increasing revenue, and automation. Implementation of Modern machinery also alleviates the risk of workplace hazards.

What is meant by modernization? ›

modernization, in sociology, the transformation from a traditional, rural, agrarian society to a secular, urban, industrial society.

How do you modernize an application? ›

5 ways to modernize your core applications
  1. The modernization conundrum. ...
  2. Break down the monolith. ...
  3. Unshackle applications from infrastructure. ...
  4. Create context to reduce costs. ...
  5. Build security into applications. ...
  6. Integrate tightly with DevOps. ...
  7. Modular equals modernized.

What is the biggest factor in deciding to start the modernization process for an application? ›

While Time to Market (TTM) is important, there are other factors that must be understood such as: Net Promoter Score, Cost of Service for product launch, Return on Investment, % Service Delivery Agility, % Automation, Average Resolution Rate, Test Coverage and many more indicators.

What is application modernization for digital transformation? ›

Application modernization is part of a wider program of work called Smart Digital Transformation. This happens when our software bridges the gap between so-called legacy systems running the business, and new technology enabling the innovation needed to succeed in a digital marketplace.

What is modernization project? ›

Modernization project means an economic activity that is performed by a business to retool or upgrade production equipment to meet contemporary technology standards and that results in im- proving existing employees' job skills to enhance competitiveness for future growth and develop- ment.

What is cloud migration strategy? ›

A cloud migration strategy is the high-level plan an organization adopts to move existing on-premises and/or co-located application workloads and their associated data into the cloud.

Why is cloud modernization important? ›

A modernized cloud avoids these issues. More reliable systems: Since modernized databases and applications have features that are built to use cloud capabilities, they can take advantage of high availability infrastructure that improves their reliability.

What is infrastructure modernization? ›

Let us begin by understanding what is “Infrastructure Modernization”. It is the process of replacing legacy hardware solutions, consolidation and rationalizing the infrastructure footprint, building in automation, and migrating to new and improved cloud native systems.

What is Replatform? ›

Replatforming is a cloud migration strategy that involves modifying a legacy system to work optimally in the cloud without rewriting its core architecture. The replatform strategy goes by other names, like Lift and Reshape, Move and Improve, or the Lift, Tinker, and Shift application migration strategy.

What is an example of modernization? ›

Technology makes it possible for a more innovative society and broad social change. That dramatic change through the centuries that has evolved socially, industrially, and economically, can be summed up by the term modernization. Cell phones, for example, have changed the lives of millions throughout the world.

What is the impact of modernization? ›

As societies modernize, the individual becomes increasingly important, gradually replacing the family, community, or occupational group as the basic unit of society. Division of labour, characteristic of industrialization, is also applied to institutions, which become more highly specialized.

What is disadvantage of modernization? ›

Modernization can cause financial mischief as the advancement of hardware and innovations can lessen the requirement for human work. The negative impacts of modernization range monetary, social and even mental outskirts.

What are the factors of modernization? ›

3 Major Factors which Promotes Modernization
  • 1. Development of Science and Technology:
  • 2. Development of Industrial Civilisation:
  • Successful Working of Democratic Institutions:

What's another word for modernization? ›

What is another word for modernization?
renovationreconstruction
upgradingdevelopment
renewalinnovation
revolutionrejuvenation
refurbishmentrestoration
145 more rows

What are the five stages of modernization theory? ›

Using these ideas, Rostow penned his classic "Stages of Economic Growth" in 1960, which presented five steps through which all countries must pass to become developed: 1) traditional society, 2) preconditions to take-off, 3) take-off, 4) drive to maturity and 5) age of high mass consumption.

How can we modernize monolithic application? ›

Refactoring: Refactoring will be the first step in almost any process of modernizing monolithic legacy applications. By converting the codebase to a cloud-native, microservices structure, refactoring enables the app to be fully integrated into the cloud ecosystem.

Why is important for companies to invest and implement modernization in the IT systems? ›

By modernizing, you enable new services and processes. Your business can transform its front-end user interfaces, create new features, automate previously manual processes, and even launch new service offerings.

What approaches can an enterprise take for legacy modernization? ›

Top 8 Legacy Modernization Approaches
  • Re-Platform/Rehost. This is one of the legacy modernization approaches that allows legacy applications to function in the cloud without major changes to applications. ...
  • Rewrite. ...
  • Replace. ...
  • Retain. ...
  • DevOps for Legacy. ...
  • Data Modernization for Legacy. ...
  • Legacy Optimization. ...
  • APIfication.
25 Feb 2022

What are some of the challenges in today's business environment that are driving the need for application migration and modernization? ›

Technology Drivers
  • End of vendor support leading to technology obsolescence.
  • Application maintenance.
  • Diminishing pool of skilled resources in legacy technologies.
  • Long development life cycles.
  • Performance, Reliability and Availability.
  • Compliance for Security audit.
12 Jan 2017

What is the difference between modernization and transformation? ›

The how of modernization

However, digital transformation is about driving the evolution and creation of new business models, while modernization is focused on preparing your infrastructure, technology, and products to succeed in a fast-changing, digitally driven world.

What is digital transformation examples? ›

Some digital transformation examples include implementing tangible, customer-centric digital tools like mobile applications or websites that improve the customer journey. And others involve machine learning algorithms that transform a traditional business into a digital business.

What is a digital transformation framework? ›

A digital transformation framework is a tool, often used by consultants and organisational leaders, to analyse a business in order to assist it to reposition it in the digital economy.

What are two types of cloud migration? ›

The four types of cloud migration are called lift and shift, shift to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), application refactoring, and replatforming.

What are the 5 cloud migration strategies? ›

Top 5 Cloud Migration Strategies
  • Rehosting. The first migration strategy is just simply moving your existing data and systems to the cloud with no change. ...
  • Replatform. This strategy gives you the advantage of using some of the cloud services provided by the cloud provider. ...
  • Repurchase. ...
  • Rearchitect. ...
  • Retire.
21 Mar 2022

What are the 3 R's of migration strategy? ›

Application Migration Strategies - The 3 R's
  • Rehosting. ...
  • Replatforming. ...
  • Refactoring / Re-architecting (and a little bit of repurchasing)
12 Apr 2022

Why is important for companies to invest and implement modernization in the IT systems? ›

By modernizing, you enable new services and processes. Your business can transform its front-end user interfaces, create new features, automate previously manual processes, and even launch new service offerings.

Why is cloud modernization important? ›

A modernized cloud avoids these issues. More reliable systems: Since modernized databases and applications have features that are built to use cloud capabilities, they can take advantage of high availability infrastructure that improves their reliability.

What is the advantage of modernization as part of social change? ›

Modernization is a form of social change, coined by M.N Srinivas.
...
Modernization in social change.
AdvantagesDisadvantages
Opportunity to gain knowledgeIt spoils good values and ethics of life
Gives higher place in societyIt is harmful for nature
Increases survivability power through different sourcesThe life becomes artificial
6 more rows
1 Aug 2020

Why is legacy modernization important? ›

Legacy Modernization is the continued process of transforming Legacy Systems in order to reduce IT environment complexity and costs, increase data consistency, enable collaboration across platforms and improve process flexibility.

What is meant by modernization? ›

modernization, in sociology, the transformation from a traditional, rural, agrarian society to a secular, urban, industrial society.

What is the role of technology in modernization? ›

New technology is a major source of social change. Modernization deals with social change from agrarian societies to industrial ones, so it is important to look at technology changes across contexts. New technologies do not change societies by themselves. Rather, it is the response to technology that causes change.

What is Modernisation strategy? ›

Modernisation is the improvement or upgrading of existing code and physical infrastructure (plants, machines, processes, and so on) to improve product quality and provide consumer value to achieve business objectives. It is also undertaken to engage in proactive competition and gain competitive advantages.

What is cloud migration strategy? ›

A cloud migration strategy is the high-level plan an organization adopts to move existing on-premises and/or co-located application workloads and their associated data into the cloud.

What is cloud Migration? ›

Cloud migration is the process of moving a company's digital assets, services, databases, IT resources, and applications either partially, or wholly, into the cloud. Cloud migration is also about moving from one cloud to another.

What is an example of modernization? ›

Technology makes it possible for a more innovative society and broad social change. That dramatic change through the centuries that has evolved socially, industrially, and economically, can be summed up by the term modernization. Cell phones, for example, have changed the lives of millions throughout the world.

What are the problems of Modernisation? ›

The following are some of the problems of modernisation:

(1) The first paradox of modernisation is that a modern society must change in all ways at once but such a regular, coordinated pattern of growth cannot be conceivably planned. A certain amount of social unrest is, therefore, inevitably created.

What is the impact of modernization? ›

As societies modernize, the individual becomes increasingly important, gradually replacing the family, community, or occupational group as the basic unit of society. Division of labour, characteristic of industrialization, is also applied to institutions, which become more highly specialized.

What are examples of legacy modernization? ›

Explanation: Example of Legacy modernization is Computers running MS - DOS.

Why are legacy systems important? ›

As technology advances, most companies find themselves dealing with the issues caused by an existing legacy system. Instead of offering companies the latest capabilities and services — such as cloud computing and better data integration — a legacy system keeps a company in a business rut.

What is a legacy process? ›

A legacy system is an old or out-dated system, technology or software application that continues to be used by an organization because it still performs the functions it was initially intended to do. Generally, legacy systems no longer have support and maintenance and they are limited in terms of growth.

Videos

1. Modernizing Apps with Microsoft Azure
(Opsgility)
2. Application Modernization with Microsoft Azure
(SphereGen)
3. Learn Live - Choosing Your Application Modernization Approach in Azure
(Microsoft Developer)
4. Intro to App and Infrastructure Migration and Modernization through Azure | LRN233
(Microsoft Ignite)
5. Modernizing and migrating your web apps and data with Azure
(Microsoft Azure)
6. What Is Azure? | Microsoft Azure Tutorial For Beginners | Microsoft Azure Training | Simplilearn
(Simplilearn)

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