The journey towards an effective modernization strategy

Strategies, challenges, and AI-powered solutions for a seamless transition to modernized applications.

Mastering app modernization: a strategic imperative

In the realm of software development, application modernization is not merely a trend, but a vital necessity. Its essence lies in the transformation of aging, intricate monolithic codebases into agile, microservices-based architectures. As codebases inevitably expand, their complexity can become a significant impediment to engineering productivity. Consequently, numerous companies recognize the pressing need for modernization efforts. This urgency has been further underscored by the pervasive shift toward cloud platforms, compelling organizations to prioritize cloud migration as part of their modernization journey. However, the initial steps in this transformation can be daunting for development teams, leading many to grapple with the question of where to begin. This uncertainty often results in intricate, time-consuming, and inefficient modernization projects that struggle to untangle monolithic code. Remarkably, a significant 79% of such projects ultimately meet with failure. To navigate this challenging landscape successfully, a well-structured modernization strategy is paramount.

The challenges of application modernization

Navigating application modernization projects comes with its share of challenges. One big hurdle is the choice of tools. Many organizations turn to Cloud Migration Tools and Application Performance Management (APM) tools, but these aren't really designed for the heavy lifting of refactoring or rearchitecting applications. Then there's the issue of time and complexity. Refactoring involves lots of manual work, like analyzing heaps of code and classes, which can take months. It's not just analysis; it includes designing, extensive testing, and deploying microservices. While business leaders want things to move quickly, IT architects often get stuck dealing with countless dependencies and trying to fix poorly written code that's adding to technical debt. Finally, there's the challenge of securing the necessary budget and resources. Almost half of executives and IT architects agree that this is the toughest part of a modernization project. Overcoming these challenges requires a thoughtful approach, considering the right tools, time management, and resource allocation to ensure successful modernization efforts.

Streamlining modernization efforts with AI

Liquid Reply tested the AI-powered platform vFunction on real-world cases, examining its impact on various stages of application modernization. During the understanding phase, AI can conduct static code analysis to assess the application's technical debt and calculate a refactor effort score, helping IT architects identify potential challenges in the modernization process. Additionally, AI can automatically generate regression tests to support developers, ensuring end-to-end integrity throughout the modernization process. In the rearchitect phase, AI tools like vFunction streamline architectural analysis, making it easier for IT architects to make low-code modifications. IT architects can assess resource usage in each application to determine if microservices need consolidation or creation. With each architectural adjustment, vFunction recalculates technical debt and highlights new dependencies resulting from the updated architecture. Furthermore, vFunction generates reports to evaluate the implications of framework upgrades than can be used in synergy with code transformation tools to automate these upgrades, even across different applications. Collectively, these capabilities lead to significant savings in terms of effort.

How to tackle an application modernization process

Liquid Reply has crafted a methodical three-phase approach for efficiently tackling the application modernization process.

  • Modernization assessment: in this initial step, organizations rigorously evaluate their existing application landscape. The primary objective is to pinpoint critical applications and determine which ones necessitate modernization. Prioritization plays a pivotal role, ensuring that the most urgent modernization needs take precedence.

  • Monolith transformation: here, the focus shifts to the transformation of the original monolithic system. This transformation is conducted encompassing vital steps like refactoring and rearchitecting. The process is characterized by deliberate, selective, and iterative modernization of microservices and functions, facilitating a controlled and gradual evolution.

  • Continuous modernization: in this enduring stage, we underscore the importance of maintaining constant vigilance over the application architecture. This entails continuous monitoring of both pre and post-modernization states, identifying any architectural deviations, and promptly addressing emerging issues. The concept of continuous modernization serves as a vigilant safeguard, protecting against the resurgence of monolithic systems in the future.

Together, these three well-defined phases form a strategic and sustainable approach to application modernization, harmoniously aligning with an organization's long-term technology objectives.


Liquid Reply is the Reply Group company specialising in the definition of hybrid and multicloud strategies and architectures and the development of cloud native platforms. We focus on infrastructure automation, the development of microservices platforms and containerised solutions, the application of security to cloud solutions and the adoption of observability. Liquid Reply is a technology partner for the implementation of secure, high-performance, reliable and cloud provider agnostic environments.

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