Breaking Down The Application Modernization Process

Breaking Down the Application Modernization Process

Arraya Insights | June 3, 2022

The way a business invests in their technology will determine whether they remain competitive within their industry. Our world is rapidly changing. From the way employees report to work to the way businesses interact with their customers, flexibility for the future is a necessity.

Businesses looking to stay ahead are taking advantage of the digital transformation process and migrating to the cloud. However, what good is migrating to the cloud if you’re not able to take full advantage of its benefits? The next step, application modernization, is where the true advantages lie.

We’ve touted the numerous benefits of application modernization many times, but there’s no doubt that this transformation saves businesses time, money, and provides them with the flexibility they’ll need in the future.

For those looking to begin the application modernization process, this blog will outline how to assemble the right team and what to expect throughout each stage.

How to Get Started: Acquiring the Right Skillsets

As with most projects, the initial stages of the application modernization process are critical to set up the following phases for success.

Before getting started, all necessary skillsets must be on board to ensure your team is prepared for every stage.

This team should include a:

  • Executive Sponsor: Evangelizes the project, identifies business objectives, and sets the timeline and budget
  • Business Analyst: Documents use cases and business requirements, creates UAT scripts, and creates As-build documentation
  • Business Subject Matter Expert (SME): Acts as representative of the business unit and provides insights into use cases and business processes
  • DevOps Engineer: Builds IaC automations and DevOps pipelines and deploys new code
  • Data Engineer: Analyzes requirements for application data, recommends future-state for data, and executes on data plan
  • Software Developer/Tester: Updates and writes code based on project plan and requirements, provides testing/peer review of new code, and manages sprint pipeline tasks
  • Security & Compliance Engineer: Informs architectural and infrastructure decisions based on security requirements and performs audits on any secure coding requirements
  • Project Management: Creates project plan and timeline, manages communication methods, and facilitates deployment schedules

With a complete team in place, your business will ensure that each stage of the application modernization process is addressed and handled appropriately.

Step-by-Step: The Application Modernization Process

Every step of the application modernization process provides crucial information that will help your business select the right migration path for each individual app.

As always, preparation is key. Putting the work into the early stages of this process will ensure this project is successful and your application’s lifetime will be extended well into the future.

  1. Evaluate

We consider this step to be the most critical and the easiest to get started on. In this stage, the Business Analyst will complete a migration readiness assessment and begin to focus on the application migration process, which will include:

  • Defining the business case
  • Planning the migration to establish who will be involved, what resources are needed, and how the migration will be completed
  • Completing a skills assessment
  • Evaluating the application’s landing zone
  • Identifying the application scope, such as dependency mapping, performance analysis, data discovery, and maintenance 
  • Addressing security & compliance within the anticipated landing zone

2. Plan

In this next step, the Business Analyst will assess the future requirement of each application and create a strategic path forward.

3. Design

In the third phase, the Solution Architect will determine how the migration will take place, depending on the specific app. There are various ways in which this process can be mapped out.

The app may be:

  • Rehosted (Lift & Shift)
  • Replatformed (Lift & Reshape)
  • Repurchased (Drop & Shop)
  • Refactored (Rearchitect)
  • Retained
  • Retired

This process should assess the future requirement of each application before creating a strategic path forward.

4. Pilot

Once the migration path has been mapped out, the pilot phase will test out the existing plan in a phased approach:

  • Define your success criteria with set objectives and build requirements documentation
  • Document business processes, create use cases based on business processes, and build a team of test users
  • Conduct agile sprints for quick release of functionality
  • Deploy the app and release code into production
  • Allow users to execute testing scripts, evaluate their function, and provide feedback

5. Deploy

Once the application has been deployed and is live, it’s time to remediate issues from the pilot’s deployment, identify a new scope of users and use cases, and perform UAT for those new use cases using automated pipelines.

Finally, the team will complete any fixes related to bugs marked in the backlog and use auto-deploy scripts to push out changes.

6. Normalize

Once the application has been fully deployed, there will always be the need for continual process improvements and problem resolution.

7. Maintain

Throughout the application’s lifespan, consistent monitoring will ensure that any incidents are reported and resolved quickly, and service levels remain high. This maintenance process will involve:

  • Using integrated monitoring tools, logs, and telemetry to identify any issues
  • Leveraging backlogs and branch management to identify root causes of any user issues
  • Updating support documentation with information from bugs and backlogs
  • Updating IaC scripts as necessary to account for unintentional changes to service performance

Most commonly, these projects fail due to lack of defined requirements and poor communication. Setting appropriate objectives and defining your strategy at the start of the project will ensure your business can appropriately track the modernization progress and perform troubleshooting for any bumps along the way.

Next Steps: Plan for the Future of Your IT Environment

Leveraging modern application technology allows businesses to build apps that are more flexible, extensible, and easier to administer.

If you’re still waiting to begin the application modernization process, you’re missing out on reduced development time, automated deployments, and normalized troubleshooting, in addition to significant cost savings.

To learn more about the application modernization process, check out Arraya’s 5-part Application Modernization virtual series on-demand. These sessions outline the steps and strategy for a successful app modernization journey – one that will allow your organization to truly realize the benefits of digital transformation.

Visit https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to connect with our team now. 

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