How To

Modernizing IT Applications in 2023: All You Need To Know 

It is unfortunately common for enterprises to rely on mission-critical legacy applications that hinder innovation and potential return on investment by being out of date. The good news is that there are both tried-and-true methods as well as emerging technologies that empower IT application modernization. Learn how you can bring your legacy applications into the modern space in 2023 and beyond.

Key Takeaways:

  • Application modernization is an upgrade process by which legacy applications become more able to capitalize on new developments in computing, infrastructure, and the cloud.
  • The datacenter on which modernized apps will run should itself be modernized, after which it is possible to shift, refactor, or replatform existing apps.
  • The adoption of a hybrid multicloud model further empowers application modernization, allowing apps to move seamlessly between clouds and exist at optimal locations in the network.

What Is IT Application Modernization?

IT application modernization entails updating legacy software to better capitalize on new developments in computing, infrastructure, and other IT practices. This often goes hand in hand with the concept of a company-wide digital transformation or, as tends to be the case in today’s IT landscape, cloud transformation.

This process of modernization allows companies to reduce costs by extending the practical lifespan of an application rather than replacing it entirely. At the same time, it removes the burden on developers of having to build a new application from scratch.

Successfully modernizing a legacy application can reduce the resources it consumes, improve its uptime and resiliency, and increase the frequency and reliability of future application deployments.

Keeping in mind that a business’s legacy applications are often among the most mission-critical software, it is rarely feasible to retire or replace them outright. The practice of IT application modernization makes it possible to update those mission-critical apps to perform at the same level as newer software without requiring any significant disruption in operations.

Datacenter Modernization Precedes Application Modernization

Modern datacenters utilize hyperconvergence to allow for compute, storage, virtualization, and networking in a single location. This makes it possible to reliably run any application in the datacenter while also maximizing the efficiency of fully modernized apps.

Opting for a cloud-based datacenter solution is one way to modernize IT infrastructure. The fully modernized datacenter extends hyperconvergence to the cloud for a siloless infrastructure model while also maintaining simplicity for the enterprise. Decision-makers then have the agency to determine if legacy applications are suitable for cloud migration as an IT application modernization method.

With a modernized datacenter in place, enterprises have multiple options for moving legacy applications over: 

  • Lift & shift is the process of simply moving an application to another infrastructure with little or no change to its architecture. While this does little to modernize the application itself, it can be a cost-effective way to transition operations to a modernized datacenter.
  • Refactoring is a complex restructuring of an application for the sake of better capitalizing on new infrastructure. While refactoring can be intensive, it allows an organization to utilize a legacy application to the fullest without fully replacing it.
  • Replatforming makes changes in an application’s code that are less invasive than refactoring. As the name entails, it involves tweaking an application with complementary updates that spur greater performance on a new platform.

The constant evolution of cloud computing and similar technologies bring legacy datacenters and applications closer to modernity through their implementation in enterprise infrastructure. Updating applications to utilize containerization and microservices, as well as adopting a cloud platform with strong orchestration and automation capabilities, are all steps toward IT application modernization. 

Hybrid Multicloud Leads Application Modernization Trends in 2023

With more than half of IT spending in major categories shifting to the cloud according to Gartner, it is clear that businesses looking to stay modern must follow a similar strategy. Much of this mass cloud migration goes beyond the mere adoption of a single public cloud, for that matter — many companies are embracing the hybrid multicloud in their application modernization strategies.

The hybrid cloud entails the presence of on-premises datacenters and public clouds. A modernized application uses containerization to gain mobility between the private and public cloud as enterprise leaders see fit.

Similarly, a modernized application can also move seamlessly between public clouds in a hybrid multicloud environment. This frees the enterprise from propriety and allows decision-makers to place apps at the ideal location in terms of cost, speed, and uptime.

The growing trend of adopting either or both hybrid cloud and multicloud practices is fueling IT application modernization in 2023 and beyond. The question remaining for many IT leaders is in regards to which cloud platform can best address the enterprise’s unique needs in modernizing their applications.

Read this customer success story to see how Nutanix helped the Kuwait Ministry of Higher Education.

IT Application Modernization on the Nutanix Platform

Modern applications need a modern datacenter on which to run, and the cloud presents a cost-efficient and highly scalable alternative to traditional datacenters in the modern IT landscape. It is evident, then, that finding the right cloud platform for your organization’s specific needs is a crucial step toward application modernization.

The Nutanix Cloud Platform accommodates hybrid multicloud infrastructure by design, incorporating modern technologies that businesses need when striving for application modernization. A complete software stack and a unified control plane ensure that the process of upgrading legacy applications is as simple as can be. 

Simplicity is truly the end goal when it comes to IT application modernization, not only for IT staff performing the upgrades but also for the end users who will ultimately enjoy the benefits of using fully modernized applications.

Learn more about the role of DevOps in modern application development as well as how to optimize app performance in the cloud.

The Nutanix “how-to” info blog series is intended to educate and inform Nutanix users and anyone looking to expand their knowledge of cloud infrastructure and related topics. This series focuses on key topics, issues, and technologies around enterprise cloud, cloud security, infrastructure migration, virtualization, Kubernetes, etc. For information on specific Nutanix products and features, visit here.

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