The future of application delivery starts with modernization

IDC estimates that 750 million cloud native will be built by 2025. Where and how these applications are deployed will impact time to market and value realization. The reality is that application landscapes are complex, and they challenge enterprises to maintain and modernize existing infrastructure, while delivering new cloud-native features. Three in four executives reported disparate systems in their organizations and that a lack of skills, resources and common operational practices challenge business objectives.

Executives know they must modernize. In fact, 83% of IT executives feel that modernization is central to their organization’s strategy, but only 27% say their organizations have modernized the requisite workflows (including applications, data and underlying systems). But it’s clear that CIOs who prioritize modernization capture greater returns from business transformation.

CIOs can enable application modernization through several factors

1. Access to new software innovation:

Software has become the lifeline of all domains. The effect has increased exponentially with the advent of AI, ML, Hybrid Cloud, DevSecOps and there are more advances coming. Organizations must keep up with the technology of today so they can innovate and satisfy the ever-changing needs of the customers.

Each organization is trying to excel by adopting modern innovative software practices—not just to grow, but to survive. Many organizations have disappeared from the technology map because of failing to adapt and adopt innovation quickly.

2. Improved speed and agility:

The world is changing rapidly and technology is the biggest enabler for this change. Organizations need full flexibility to address important questions, including:

  1. How soon can you test your hypothesis (such as how many geographies or which user personas)?
  2. How quickly can features be introduced into the market (from concept to production) and beat the competition?
  3. How can you pivot efficiently in response to the changing market conditions?
  4. How can you realise value from your innovation sooner?
  5. How can you keep innovating consistently while delivering value?
  6. How efficient is your release process?

If your responses are negative to the questions above, then, you are losing ground to your competitors. Adopt developer tooling and agile processes to increase your velocity and help you address these issues.

3. Value delivery and reduced business cost

Decreasing production costs helps drive agility by realigning with new business goals sooner. It is imperative that you save costs in everything: automation will help drive faster feature go-lives, faster feedback loops, less waiting and coordination times, high quality test frameworks, resilient platforms, easy and fast upgrades, zero downtimes among others.

Beyond traditional cost reduction methods, addressing sustainability has emerged as an essential part of modern cost reduction approaches. By 2027, 25% of CIOs will have compensation linked to their sustainable technology impact.

Modernization can substantially address sustainability goals. Decreasing your dependence on hardware, increasing your usage of auto-provisioned infrastructure and leveraging reusable components and modules are concrete ways to improve your impact on the environment.

4. Reduced risk and technical debt:

All legacy releases are inherently risky due to a longer release cycle. The risks of not modernizing your applications include increased downtime, combined with a limited and slow response time to rapidly changing customer needs. Downtimes and slow releases can have a huge impact on an organization’s economics and impair customer relationships. Your existing applications also form a large part of your organization’s technical debt, with monolithic architectures and development processes. And in many cases, there is a lack of knowledgeable developers that know how to update and build them.

In a survey, 41% of the respondents selected ‘Reducing Tech debt/Upgrading Legacy Systems’ as the top priority. Technical debt is also very expensive and incurs with time. For example, the cost of the technical debt in US was $1.52 trillion in 2022. 

The glossy features take the limelight, while technical debt is pushed to the bottom of the backlogs. Gradually, the technical debt impedes the new feature development, thus increasing the risk and the cost to fix the former.

Runtime modernization is a big step to curb such issues. It needs minimal setup. It supports futureproofing by allowing an easy progression to containers and microservices.

5. Developer Experience:

A truism is emerging in the software industry: good developer experience leads to great customer experience.

By 2026, approximately 80% of software engineering organizations will establish platform teams as internal providers of reusable services, components and tools for application delivery. Many organizations are focusing their efforts to improve the developer experience to become more agile and responsive.

This also cuts down the cognitive load and connects the developers’ morale with the business value. The few areas which yield great results are breaking up complex architectures, increasing the use of modern development tooling and processes, and creating internal platforms with reusable configurable components.

Adopt the right technology and tooling for success

IBM Cloud Pak for Applications (CP4Apps) delivers a set of end-to-end hybrid cloud application services providing the ultimate flexibility for deployments, building new cloud-native applications, refactoring and re-platforming existing applications. It helps you on your application modernization journey by providing the following benefits:

IBM Cloud Pak® for Applications (CP4Apps) delivers a comprehensive set of integrated products and features that help organizations continuously modernize their existing application and innovate with new cloud-native microservices:

  • All-inclusive runtimes supporting VMs and containers for Java applications
  • AI powered tools to refactor apps: Transformation Advisor, Mono2Micro, Migration Toolkit
  • Kubernetes based platform (OpenShift) supporting on-prem and cloud

Let’s have a look at the fine print:

  • Application runtimes of your choice such as IBM WebSphere® Application Server (WAS), IBM WAS ND, IBM WebSphere Liberty, Open Liberty®, Red Hat JBoss® EAP, Quarkus, Tomcat and more
  • Frameworks and technologies like Red Hat Data Grid, Node.js, OpenJDK, Spring Boot and more
  • Application modernization tools including IBM Transformation Advisor, IBM Mono2Micro, IBM WebSphere Migration Tool Kit and Red Hat Migration Tool Kit for Applications
  • Open-source Kubernetes container platform Red Hat OpenShift

Now, let’s take a look at IBM WebSphere Liberty, one of the runtimes available in CP4Apps. It is a lightweight, fast Java runtime. Key benefits of Liberty include:

  • Get faster start time with scale on-demand: featuring ‘InstantOn’ delivering launch times for applications that are 10X faster than standard Java. Liberty InstantOn is also ideal for serverless, event-driven application architectures, enabling rapid scaling up and down—based on demand.
  • Take out technical debt and decrease ‘Mean time to Recovery’ with Zero Migration: Liberty is the only Java runtime that allows you to maintain the latest version without the new code or config and without the cost of migration or unplanned downtime. It helps in minimizing the technical debt, too.
  • Plug anywhere: Liberty is compatible with diverse applications/architectures: monoliths, macroservices, or microservices
  • Increase productivity and save costs

Average annual benefits per organization:

CategoryPer Organization
Developer benefits$11,795,139
Staff benefits$2,435,714
Business productivity benefits$630,070
IT cost savings$630,070
Total Cost Savings$15,573,597
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Cloud Pak for Applications customers are excited by the benefits they are seeing with Liberty for their modernization efforts:

Work with us to deliver an application landscape that transforms with your business.

Start your continuous modernization effort now with Cloud Pak for Applications

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