The first generation cloud computing services began appearing between 2005 and 2011. Today, cloud computing has created an enormous number of opportunities on which businesses can and should capitalise. From creating massive storage facilities for data to making it easier to access that data whenever it is needed, cloud computing has made business much easier.
In the past decade since legacy cloud computing applications were first deployed, businesses and technology have evolved significantly. Today, many organisations find themselves in a position where they are still dependent on these legacy applications in spite of the fact that those applications may be leading to challenges and inefficiencies in the way they do business. For example, legacy applications are often unable to integrate with more modern SaaS marketing solutions, leading to manual data entry, data duplication issues, and reducing the velocity of business operations. From a security standpoint, if a legacy application is no longer officially supported by its manufacturer it cannot stay up to date with the latest security threats and thus becomes vulnerable to cyber security attacks.
Application Modernisation, also known as Cloud Transformation, is the process of updating current apps and data to a cloud-first model to align with business needs.It may involve migrating to the cloud or rebuilding all or some of the parts of apps to adopt newer capabilities or best practices.
In the current market, a business may be falling behind if they aren't using cloud computing services or if they aren't using them correctly. This is why it is a necessity to migrate legacy applications and data over to the cloud. If you are going to do so effectively, you need to look at application modernisation services.
Business leaders don't invest in something without a strong rationale for doing so. They need to be able to visualise the upsides to what they are doing before making the switch. One of the business decisions business leaders should explore is the benefit and value of modernising legacy applications and bringing them into the cloud.
A few of the key benefits of application modernisation services include the following:
It is a headache to try to share data from an outdated system. Also, those systems often have limitations that put a lid on innovation. This is a problem for any business. The goal should always be to update your systems in a way that allows you to keep up with the dynamic nature of your business. This is an absolute necessity because you need something that can adapt to ever-increasing amounts of data flow.
Another thing to keep in mind is which vendors your business chooses to work with. Your organisation should periodically assess the longevity, direction and product roadmap of your SaaS vendors to ensure that they will be a long-term partner for your business. Frequently changing vendors can weigh your business down by resulting in lost data, long ramp-up periods, or even becoming locked out of the systems and services for which you have already paid.
Did you know that running old technologies can cost you more than updating those technologies to run on a modern system? The cost of maintaining old systems is incredibly high, and there is a high probability that those systems will not operate as you require. For example, businesses running legacy applications using on-premise servers would need to hire staff to maintain their version & security upgrades. These services would be inclusive for a SaaS product, thus creating a situation where it can prove more costly NOT to modernise your applications.
All businesses and individuals should concern themselves with cyber security. Modernising applications will help to fend off some of the worst threats that you might face at any given time. Hackers and other cyber criminals are often interested in attacking dated systems because they have more information about those systems. Those systems have been around longer and have not been programmed as well. The vulnerabilities that exist within legacy systems make them an appealing target for those who want to steal information from you or your clients.
Aside from the security improvements that modernising your systems bring, there are also benefits in terms of compliance with cyber security and privacy laws. Consider the ACSC Essential 8 and the regulations the maturity model puts in place for businesses. Legacy systems were created before these laws went into effect, and it might be necessary to update your systems to remain in compliance with the latest regulations.
Understanding the way that one can begin to modernise given legacy applications is the best way to determine how you will go about shaping your applications for the future. Here are some of the main ways that you can find improvement in your modernisation process:
Re-hosting - This option involves taking apps from the platforms they exist on now and moving them on to the cloud. There is minimal change to the structure or usefulness of the apps in question in this case. It requires minimal effort, but it doesn't necessarily modernise the app as much as one might otherwise want.
Re-platforming - This option involves minor tweaks to the application when moving it from its current platform to the cloud. The tweaks relate to autoscaling and data capacity.
Re-factoring/Re-packaging - Completely repackaging the applications to make them as highly functional as possible in the cloud
Re-architecting - Completely rebuilding applications from the ground up to take advantage of the updates in technology and the capabilities of cloud computing.
Re-writing - Rewriting the code from a legacy application from the very beginning to take advantage of the advantages that can be enjoyed in the cloud.
These options are all available to you and may be more or less useful depending on what you are attempting to get out of your modernisation process. Consider all of them to figure out which methods make the most sense for your needs.
Every business leader has options when it comes to modernising their application services. Understanding which ones work best for you is the best way forward to make a change for the better.
Do you need to focus on speed above all else? If you are attempting to work quickly to get your systems updated, then working with a low-code approach is the way to go. This is an approach that allows organisations to build custom applications in a rapid manner to replace their legacy systems. Any organisation that is already experiencing lags in their performance must focus on getting those systems upgraded today. This likely means taking the low-code approach to get this work done. Every day that passes with a failing legacy system is another day that you simply aren't advancing.
It is not always possible or wise to build something as rapidly as possible. Microsoft explains:
“Many apps built like this can fulfil an immediate business need quickly and cheaply, but there will always be more complex situations that can't be satisfied in this way. For example, your organisation might have existing systems and databases with which the app needs to interact, and for which no connector is currently available.”
Working to create an application that works is often a better option for businesses than working on building something as quickly as possible. Using Fusion Power Apps and Azure development allows someone to create a modernised app that actually works in the present environment.
The code-first approach allows you to focus on the domain that you will store your data in. This is the opposite side of the approach, where one focuses on trying to force their databases into a new system. This approach is best done by a company that is just starting out and doesn't necessarily have a huge amount of data. If they haven't yet compiled databases or have only done so in a minimalistic way, they can work on creating the domain first and then see which type of database will work best for that domain.
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No matter what kind of cloud app modernisation process you are working on, you can benefit greatly from assistance from a consultant. Experienced Application Modernisation consultants will have worked with all of these different types of apps, and they understand the value that you will get out of bringing each one into the modern age.
The first step that your consultant will take with you is to plan how to bring your apps into the modern age. They will also assess the current state of your legacy systems and what you need to do to get those systems up to snuff.
The bulk of the work that a consultant will do is to help migrate your current systems over to the new, modernised systems you will use moving forward. They will help you bring that data over from where it is now into the new platform. Additionally, they can help you change how the data is structured so that it best fits into the new system.
It is critical to test that everything is working as designed after it is placed into the new platform. Your consultant will help you perform the tests you need to perform to verify that your system is working exactly as designed.
Finally, making sure the system can be deployed and ready to go is handled by a consultant as well. An elite consultant will work on maintaining your new systems as well. He or she wants to make sure you have everything settled into the new system and that everything is working as designed.
Are you ready to tackle the modernisation of your legacy systems? Canon Business Services ANZ is here to help. Our services assist our clients with the ability to gain an edge over their competitors. In particular, our clients have stated that we have helped them with the following:
Now is the time to bring your legacy systems into the modern age and unlock the true potential of your business.
Speak with an expert today and learn more about how CBS can help make your business’s goals a reality.