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The importance of application modernization to organizations

July 27, 2022

The importance of application modernization to organizations
Legacy applications just weren’t built to handle the data of today. The result—an extremely time consuming and costly system that’s holding businesses back.
Luckily, application modernization is moving these legacy solutions to the forefront of technology—helping to support the needs of a modern business, all while increasing productivity and maintaining IT budgets. 
Shelby Skrhak speaks with Cheryl Rang, executive director, Advanced Solutions and Data Center at Ingram Micro, and Aviram Cohen, Strategy and Emerging Technologies at Ingram Micro, about:
  • What application modernization really is
  • The difference between modern and legacy applications
  • The future of legacy applications

What application modernization really is

When we look at the market, digital transformation has been the driving force behind what’s being seen today. And a big part of that transformation is adopting new cutting-edge technologies to serve businesses and provide more value to the customers.
The problem: legacy applications get in the way.
With the massive amount of data that organizations have to deal with today, technology of the past just can’t keep up. If we want automation, efficiency and cost savings, modernization is the only way forward.
“Applications in the old days were not necessarily built to deal with such a large amount of data that's fully distributed across these data centers in a timely fashion,” Cheryl explains.
Think of a television from the 1960s: Yes, you could probably still watch movies, but the cost of electricity and upkeep compared to a modern television is too substantial. The same can be said for legacy applications.
According to Cheryl, “In the IT-related federal budget for the U.S., over $80 billion is just going towards maintaining those legacy applications and legacy systems.”

The difference between modern and legacy applications

 While it would be easy to visualize legacy applications as simply an older version of the modern version, the two are strikingly different—the reason: cloud and containers.
For legacy applications, if something went wrong, a fix meant sending it back to the shop. “Legacy applications were monolithic in nature. Think of it as a huge piece of code,” Aviram says.
Modern applications, in contrast, are made up of what are called containers: independent hardware that has everything that allows it to freely run in any environment. So, if something were to go wrong, it would require a fix of the individual container—not the entire application.

The future of legacy applications

It makes sense why organizations have held onto their legacy applications as long as they have. According to Aviram, “They are the beating heart of the business and the livelihood of the business.”
But, as painful as it might be to make the switch, the change to modern applications is imminent.
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