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How to Modernize Applications with Microsoft Azure?

Application modernization, an integral part of digital transformation, has become essential for companies wanting to expand their business growth. Many organizations are already embracing the trend of modernizing applications to improve operational efficiency and agility, align to IT investments, and stay ahead in their business initiatives by delivering an unmatched customer experience. According to Market and Markets, the global application modernization services market is projected to expand to USD 24.8 billion by 2025 from USD 11.4 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 16.8% during the forecast period. Market disruptions and macroeconomic factors have sped up enterprise application modernization programs to support remote working, increase employee productivity, and deliver sustainable customer experiences.

Why Modernize Legacy Applications?

Most legacy applications are monolithic, making them expensive to scale and difficult to update. By embracing modern architectures, components can be deployed and scaled independently. With this, businesses get the freedom and flexibility to tailor the application modernization processes to meet their unique business needs and challenges.

Application modernization is a multi-layered and intricate process with many challenges, including knowledge and skill gap, cost constraints, performance and stability, and legacy processes. Investing in the appropriate tools and platforms is essential to transition from legacy to digital applications successfully.

A top medical laboratory was seeking a technology upgrade, as it was facing the following challenges:

  • The existing user interface was not responsive, making it challenging to use on a mobile device.
  • The interface didn't accommodate users with disabilities.
  • Security was not in compliance with current IT standards and was not up to date.
  • Java EE (Java 7) was used to create the current application. IT staff was also not skilled in the current technology and couldn't support and enhance the existing application.

The application has been in use for a long time and wasn't working well for the customers. Softura overcame these challenges by modernizing these  legacy applications:

  • The application was rewritten, addressing all the technical issues.
  • The user interface could now support users with disabilities based on WCAG 2.1 specification
  • Google Lighthouse was used to evaluate compliance.
  • Active Directory and Okta were used to implement authentication.
  • Updated user interface with the current branding standards.

Microsoft Azure – A Modern Toolkit for Streamlining Legacy Applications

In a recent report from Gartner, for the ninth consecutive year, Microsoft is distinguished as a leader in the magic quadrant for platform services and cloud infrastructure. The position is a testament to Microsoft’s thorough understanding of customer requirements, strong customer adoption, ongoing investments in building a unique platform, and positive feedback.

Businesses can use Microsoft's Azure Cloud Services to escalate their digital transformation initiatives and take advantage of new technologies for business benefits. The Azure Platform is particularly suited to organizations centered around Microsoft. Microsoft's Azure platform is undergoing architectural and security improvements, focusing on hybrid cloud and multi-cloud. Its operations have a geographical diversity, and it tends to serve midsized and large companies as clients.

Azure Platform Strengths

Cloud Security Center

With Azure Security Center, you can ensure a solid security posture for your data centers and provide advanced threat protection both on-premises and in the cloud across your hybrid workloads.

Integrated Delivery Pipeline

Azure DevOps provides CI/CD pipeline services, including Git repositories, where it's easy to manage application source code and infrastructure code and release management systems for deploying changes between development, test, and production.

Analytical Services

Azure analytic services help leverage a complete set of data assets to build secure, transformative analytical solutions for an enterprise.

Scalable Websites

As a web application scales, it adapts to the changes in workload or traffic. A great feature of Azure scalability is its ability to scale automatically as the demand for an application in/creases.

Did You Know?
More than 95% of Fortune 500 companies trust their business on Microsoft Azure and are moving their mission-critical workloads to see the advantage of their hybrid capabilities for excellent business outcomes and to fuel innovation.

Popular Use Cases to Understand the Demand for Microsoft Azure

Food Processing Company

Smithfield Foods reduced its data center expenses by 60 percent, sped up the application delivery process, and significantly enhanced network security by running its $15 billion business on the Azure Platform, using a hybrid cloud approach.

Trucking Company

By implementing a hybrid cloud infrastructure powered by Azure, J.B. Hunt could conduct business on-premises while moving its workloads to the cloud.

Healthcare Solution Company

To achieve significant time-to-market improvements, AllScripts selectively migrated acquired programs, including Linux-based apps, to Azure. Additionally, AllScripts used the Azure Hybrid Benefit to save money when moving applications to Azure.

Airline Company

American Airlines chose Microsoft Azure to run its critical operational workloads, including its data warehouse. This partnering between American Airlines and Microsoft was to empower team members, streamline operations, and improve customer experiences utilizing the Microsoft Cloud.

How to Modernize Applications Using Microsoft Azure

Although organizations may find endless possibilities to strike the correct balance between time and money and increase agility, the Azure cloud platform ensures that all applications will continue to run and that resources can be scaled up and down as needed. Another undeniable reason why several organizations choose Microsoft Azure over other platforms is its ability to provide solutions for every possible app modernization scenario.

Significant Technology Benefits of Modernization

Below are the approaches that are commonly preferred for modernizing applications using Azure.

Cloud-Optimized Applications

Cloud optimization is the process of carefully determining and assigning the appropriate resources to an application or a task. Efficiency is achieved by properly and continuously balancing workload performance, compliance, and cost against the best-fit infrastructure in real-time. Each application's and workload's infrastructure needs are unique and evolve over time. Domain knowledge is often used to choose resources for a workload to attain baseline performance. However, all workloads that have been matched manually to cloud resources can benefit from and be further improved by machine learning.

Cloud Infrastructure Ready Applications

Applications built for static computing environments, such as locally managed servers, are now prepared for the cloud. To be deemed "cloud-ready," legacy apps must be modified to function in cloud-hosted environments. Applications remain mostly unchanged, but now you deploy them to virtual machines hosted in the cloud (VMs). This type of migration is often referred to in the business as "Lift & Shift." The precise conversion procedure for a traditional application may vary depending on the application. Most modifications frequently focus on the application's delivery mechanisms rather than changing the code itself.

Cloud-Native Application

Cloud-native application development is a process for expediting the development of new apps, optimizing existing ones, and integrating all of them. Agile techniques, DevOps, cloud platforms, Kubernetes, and Docker, are all employed. Processes for deployment and development are expedited. The term "microservices" fits this situation. They can be used in any cloud environment due to their design.

The Journey to the Cloud

Cost Optimization

As we all know, data centers are costly. The costs of power, servers, storage, operations staff, and networks can affect an organization's bottom line. However, as customers migrate to Azure to modernize their workloads, they convert upfront capital expenditures to operating expenditures that can be paid over time. As a result, maintenance and hardware costs are reduced, as businesses only pay for what they use.

Resilience and Security

Resilience is a core ideology of Azure's trusted cloud commitments, combined with compliance, privacy, security, and transparency. Microsoft is dedicated to providing a reliable set of cloud services that gives businesses the confidence required to realize the full potential of the cloud.

Hybrid Flexibility

The deployment of hybrid setups to Azure offers flexibility in workload relocation or upgrading timing. Tailwind Traders is not forced to make all the transitions at once and might continue using its on-premises and Azure environments concurrently for some time. You can start migrating workloads to Azure and modernizing those workloads with the hybrid tools offered. Utilizing Azure's hybrid flexibility, you can improve the management and governance of your workloads running on-premises. This will put you in a stable position to manage workloads from both on-premises and Azure in a single, cutting-edge environment and keep updating workloads progressively over an extended period.

Scale Applications and Workloads as Required

Moving to the cloud also enables greater flexibility, scalability, and control over expanding or contracting resources to meet corporate demands effectively. Your servers are often underutilized when you use on-premises systems to plan for peak consumption since you require more capacity than usual to handle surges when they happen. You can adopt a scale-as-you-go strategy, which liberates you from this methodology. Customers can scale up or down with practically infinite scale by employing Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

Faster Innovation

Both current and future product development efforts can benefit greatly from innovation. Understanding what client wants is key to modernization for developing inventions depending on how they interact with your products. Continuous innovation is made possible by intelligent cloud services like Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, which can also help to unleash new technical skills and boost corporate capacities.

Customer Success Story – How We Transformed Legacy On-Premise Extranet into Modern Global Portal

Challenges

One of the world's leading Automotive Original Equipment​ Manufacturers (OEM) in the Mining and Construction Equipment Industry had their applications built and deployed using unsupported or obsolete technologies. ​Also, their internal and external applications were developed using different technology stacks, leading to inconsistent user experience, duplicate functions (email alerts, global settings), multiple user identities across apps​, and a lack of Centralized Navigation or App containers.​​​

Solutions

Softura offered a complete migration of Global Extranet Applications from Windows Server 2003 On-Premises to Azure cloud. We integrated and certified modern applications, implemented strategies, such as Lift and Shift apps, and Refactor or Rebuild apps/services based on different considerations such as technology stack and framework.​

Modernization Breeds Innovation – Streamline Your Legacy Application Now!

In a press release, Microsoft announced that a 22% growth in server revenue and a 28% increase in cloud services revenue were driven by Azure and other cloud services revenues growing at 35% and 42%, respectively. Enterprises can significantly benefit from Microsoft Azure when embarking on a digital transformation journey. However, organizations need to look for a reliable cloud partner with the requisite know-how and skills, can align themselves with the business vision and is futuristic. Employ Softura's wide range of Microsoft Azure application modernization solutions to redefine your outdated legacy system. Our extensive years of experience in application modernization services as a reputable Microsoft Gold Partner with nine gold competencies have assisted organizations in transforming legacy systems leveraging Azure solutions. From evaluating the current scenario to application re-engineering, our certified Azure professionals can support you in restructuring your application modernization journey.

Initiate your application modernization journey with Softura today!

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