A Roadmap for Building Modern Applications

Nov 7 2019

Working plan roadmap
Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

No matter what industry you’re in, your application modernization strategy matters. Overlooking or downplaying its importance is a quick way for customers to sour and competitors to gain an edge. It’s why 91% of executives believe their revenues will take a hit without successful digital transformation.

The good news is modern applications offer a clear path forward. Creating a roadmap for your modern application strategy is a critical step toward a more agile and continuous model of software development and delivery – one that’s centered on delivering perpetually expanding value and new experiences to customers. 

This is the first of a series of blogs where we will look at industry viewpoints, different approaches, underlying platforms and real-world stories that are foundational to successful modern application development in order to provide a roadmap for application modernization.

What’s in Your Environment? 

The technology inventory at companies today is as diverse, distributed and complex as ever. It includes a variety of technology stacks, application frameworks, services and languages. During a modernization process, new Open Source technologies are often integrated with legacy solutions. Existing applications need to be maintained and enhanced, modern applications need to be developed and on-ramped, and some applications need to take the gentle off-ramp to retirement. To top that off, applications today can span on-premises, public and hybrid cloud and the edge. 

This is why we view applications as a spectrum. They are built on a variety of services – from multiple cloud resources, managed services and SaaS offerings to containers, configuration formats (Helm charts, Kubernetes YAML and Docker Compose files) and functions. Sure, they can be born in the cloud, but they don’t have to be. No matter the configuration or environment, it’s important to be able to build and manage these applications in a consistent and unified manner. 

Can You Support App Modernization?

While you need to continue supporting existing applications that rely on legacy processes, you also need to ramp up on new application platforms, languages and processes. The more different technologies there are in your environment, the harder it gets to support and maintain everything — particularly without consistent processes and a common underlying platform.

You have a modernization and digital transformation strategy, but are there sufficient resources to support it? Do you have the right talent and skill sets already in place? Is platform and process inconsistency harming your modernization efforts? 

What’s Driving Your Modernization?

Companies of all shapes and sizes have their eyes set on the cloud. It’s no longer an if, but when. In a recent report, Forrester states that nearly half of survey respondents are migrating existing workloads into cloud environments and then improving these applications as part of their current cloud strategy. This helps them prove business value quickly to then expand upon without taking an overwhelming first step. Forrester recommends identifying the compelling events to modernize now (i.e. deliver new customer experiences faster or a directive to move 50% of apps to the cloud) and then setting priorities for the modernization, tackling the highest priority “core” applications first. 

Small steps in the right direction can lead to large scale innovation within your organization. We see this across our customer base at companies including Nationwide, Carnival Corporation and Liberty Mutual.

In future posts of this blog series, we’ll take a closer look at the elements that go into spurring this innovation and bringing about positive results right away and well into the future. In the coming weeks, keep an eye out for new posts on why modern applications are at the heart of digital transformation and industry trends on the state of application development, as well as best practices and real-world customer stories that help to guide modernization strategies. We hope you will follow along!

In the meantime, to learn more about modern application development:

  • Check out our new eBook on real-world customer stories 
  • Read the full report from Forrester, “Modernize Core Applications With Cloud” 


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