Before we get into application modernization, let’s try to clarify what it entails – starting with what it is and how to achieve it.
In short, a modern application emulates one or more of the three fundamental principles of digital – design thinkingby keeping people at the center of all innovation; open thinking, ensuring stakeholder access to content and data within an open and well-architected platform; and reflection platform, making it easier for external and internal stakeholders to do business with the organization – leveraging modern technology constructs. Establishing clear guidelines around what and how you want to achieve helps people understand what their respective responsibilities are and paves the way for a successful business.
By the way, two of the three above – P&G and Nike, have revived their digitization initiative, but this time it started with what and how came second, and they did really well.
So the first learning is, “start with what you want to accomplish.” That doesn’t mean that the technology or the tools to achieve the goal aren’t important. They are important because they give legs to your idea.
Now that we’re clear on the definition, let’s explore breaking down ideas into executable plans. This is where the rubber touches the road. According to a recent McKinsey survey of business decision makers, 85% of technology leaders believe digital will be critical to their business strategy by 2023. And while the number of cited failures is all over the place, the most data puts the failure rate anywhere between 70% and 84%.
So, the second area of focus for us was to identify and document the guidelines and five key elements that we see again and again:
- It’s always about business results
- Learning is easy; unlearning is hard. Focus on development
- The cloud is an enabler, but its ability depends on many other factors such as IT strengths, ability to influence change, priorities, etc.
- It is not about applications or infra, but about applications and infra. One is useless without the other. So make sure both teams reinforce each other
- “Commitment systems“change, but few tinker with the”Recording systems” always
Finally, it is about making the technology speak. We believe that a “Successful modernization“The initiative can be broken down into 4 or 5 distinct stages – one can think of preparing and executing as one or separately:
Although it all starts with the customer defining their business priorities, here we will discuss the elements that fall under IT control.
It starts with the customer understanding the application and the infra landscape. Using smart tools, proprietary knowledge, and experience working with thousands of customers, VMware can create a detailed architectural overlay of different applications and infrastructures. By the end of the phase, the client will have a high-level understanding of applications that share common characteristics and have a similar layout. This could easily manifest in applications that are good candidates for a particular cloud, others where VMware Cloud would add more value, the third which could be retired, and the fourth which could be modified for better performance.
While the discovery phase is entirely technology-driven, planning overlays business priorities, internal strengths, and other guiding characteristics to refine the content of the final phase and achieve more granularity.
Once the IT strategy is finalized, close work should be done, detailed wave plans and associated resource ramp-up plans proposed, along with additional risk mitigation measures to ensure the BAU is maintained. VMware recommends that there is an overlap between the preparation and execution phases. As they say, test the waters before diving deep. This is when trained VMware resources assist the customer in their initial application modernization and is synonymous with “Train the trainerThis has a dual benefit: first, the client can further refine the transformation plan based on initial learnings, and second, it helps train the client’s team to learn by doing so they can build on initial success once the VMware team takes charge.
Execution involves moving workloads to a public cloud powered by VMware. We don’t want the customer to pay to the existing infrastructure provider and the cloud, because that’s an assumption-busting and expensive thing. Powered by VMware HCX, customers can migrate real-time workloads with a single click.
PS: What companies forget is that the cost involved has three elements – infrastructure, human (there is a huge bump because the person you are working with would usually do this for the entire environment, and it would require dual IT if the old and new environments are to co-exist), andopportunity cost (any move to the cloud involves a change that typically forces IT resources to focus on non-value adding activities and although this is intangible it is the one that most needs to be preserved)
The image above gives a rough comparison of VMware Cloud implementation cost structures versus any other CSP offering. The additional costs reverberate at different points in time, and to top it off; there is a definite improvement in time to market or timing of value realization. Time is money, and the VMware cloud allows you to achieve transformation much faster
Finally, a modern app is one that can adapt to changing customer needs. It is not just about using the principles of modern technology, but also the speed of application development. With the vRealize and Tanzu suite of products integrated with VMware Cloud, customers can try deploying things like DevSecOps, Chaos Monkey, Blue-Green deployment, and more. The best part is that customers can manage VMs and containers from the same console.
Now that we understand the high-level picture, let’s dive into Part 2 of this blog series.