Blog post #4: Know the modernization market

You are probably not an expert in the modernization space but you have to understand the basics and pay attention to a few important points. In this blog post, we will highlight the big picture of the modernization market and share with you some links to interesting readings (none is ours, although we have nice articles).

Main actors

If you dive into the software modernization ecosystem you will be impressed with the dozens of articles explaining how to achieve successful projects. They usually promote tools, methodologies, techniques while highlighting the advantages and drawbacks of each of them and giving estimation of budget (per lines of code) and time (from months to years). Most of these articles are obsolete and do not fit the current market. Only a very few of them are worth your time and focus. This obsolescence is the result of rapid and substantial changes of the modernization landscape during the last three years. Actually, a few years ago, the market was not sufficiently mature and was crowded with companies (of all sizes) proposing professional services and/or migration tools for modernization projects. Today, most of these companies have merged or do not exist anymore and only few actors have demonstrated the effectiveness of their offers. The best way to have the list of serious companies is to look at recent market analysis reports (e.g www.360quadrants.com/software/application-modernization-services).

How to start?

Multiple options can be explored to start gathering information for your modernization project:

  • You can try to find a modernization specialist by yourself using your favorite search engine, visit a few websites, check their references, look for the company profile (any active social media, people profiles on LinkedIn, etc.) and eventually contact them for more details if they look interesting. Of course, this is marketing and you will need to verify their claims
  • You can contact large IT companies such as Accenture, DXC, CapGemini… or professional services firms such as Deloitte, KPMG, EY… they will guide you in the market, this option can be made along the first one. However, this companies may have their own modernization agenda and you need to verify that it matches your needs.

Is there a unique approach?

The answer is no. Executives have to make sure they adopt the approach that will allow them to reach their KPIs.

A modernization project begins with an assessment phase (discovery, classification, and analysis of the legacy source code) and ends with acceptance phases before the deployment of the modernized application in the target architecture. Between these milestones, the transformation of the legacy application is always the most technical critical step for the project.

Several tactics and technics of transformation exist to achieve a modernization. Each of them can be differentiated with their respective efficiency ratio and risks. In a simplified way, we could list four main techniques: Rehost, Rewrite, Refactor, and Repurchase. We highly recommend you read this blog post from AWS on the different techniques.

aws.amazon.com/fr/blogs/apn/demystifying-legacy-migration-options-to-the-aws-cloud/

Some more good resources

AWS re:Invent 2018: Mainframe Modernization with AWS: Patterns and Best Practices:

Yes, You Should Modernize Your Mainframe with the Cloud:

aws.amazon.com/fr/blogs/enterprise-strategy/yes-you-should-modernize-your-mainframe-with-the-cloud

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