At our recent FutureStack19 event in New York City, Dave McCann, vice president at Amazon Web Services (AWS), informed the audience that the typical portfolio for an enterprise is approximately 1,000 (mostly monolithic) applications. This includes a combination of custom-developed and off-the-shelf software.
McCann also pointed out, however, that he has seen companies with bigger—sometimes much bigger—portfolios. In one case, he said, he encountered an enterprise with 11,000 applications in its portfolio.
What’s even more astonishing is the fact that up to 80% of those applications will soon move to the cloud. To keep the math simple, McCann estimated that among the largest 10,000 AWS customers alone, between 5 and 6 million applications will move to the cloud.
Watch McCann's full FutureStack presentation below:
Millions of apps—and millions of modernization choices
Along the way, these companies will have to make millions of choices about the best approach to modernize each application—from deciding whether or not to make code or architectural changes, to prioritizing opportunities to improve performance. Whether your own organization manages hundreds of applications or thousands, the choices you face may seem overwhelming.
We’re here to help! This article assembles the collective wisdom we’ve gathered at New Relic helping customers and partners during their application modernization journeys. Consider this a modernization mini-playbook: a six-step guide to mapping out your modernization journey and to making the right choices along the way.
Step 1: Learn why modernization is critical
In our ebook, The Enterprise Guide to Continuous Application Modernization, we describe how “lifting and shifting” legacy applications to AWS often limits their ability to leverage the cloud’s superior elasticity, resiliency, ease of deployment, and flexibility. To achieve the full promise of the cloud, you need a “modernization mindset”—in other words, a full appreciation of how the cloud can benefit your business, and a commitment to move beyond “lift and shift” by transforming your applications and organization to capture those benefits.
Modernizing your applications as you move them to AWS transforms them to reduce technical debt, improves the value and performance of each application to the business, and supports the shift to DevOps in your organization.
Step 2: Understand your modernization options
As we describe in more detail in the ebook, when you’re moving your application portfolio to the cloud, there are six options available to you—although only three of these actually involve modernizing an application:
- Retire: Choose this option when the application no longer provides value to the business.
- Retain: Keep the existing application and infrastructure, based on a decision that the application won’t create enough business value to justify modernizing it.
- Repurchase: Replace the current, undifferentiated application with a new, off-the-shelf product.
- Rehost: Migrate the application to a modern cloud infrastructure to gain modest benefits such as cost or performance improvements. Learn more in our white paper, Modernizing with AWS: Rehosting.>
- Replatform: Generate additional benefits by moving all or part of the application onto a new platform or swap out an existing component for a managed service on AWS. Learn more in our white paper, Modernizing with AWS: Replatforming.>
- Refactor: Perform significant rework of an application’s code or architecture to take advantage of new technology or to meet new business opportunities or requirements. Learn more in our white paper, Modernizing with AWS: Refactoring.