March 5, 2020 By James Belton 2 min read

Stating that a computer system is “finished” is an anti-pattern when it comes to cloud. (And a surprisingly common one!)

One of the fundamentals of cloud enabled or cloud native systems is that they are built using cloud services. The cloud provider invests in those services to improve and add functionality to them over time. They also introduce new services, which eventually supersede others that are deprecated and retired.

Think of a cloud enabled or native application as a system made up of a collection of components in constant flux. If your cloud enabled or native application is more than 18 months old, it could be missing out on some great functionality if it has not yet been modernized.

Cloud is a democratiser of IT. In addition to making it simpler to try out services, cloud also makes it more affordable—or even free—because there is little need for upfront investment, which dramatically lowers the risk of trying new services.

Application modernization: An example

Let’s look at an example of an application that has been lifted and shifted to the cloud or was built in the cloud. This example application uses a fairly traditional architecture of virtual server instances running an application that includes a database.

How can this be modernized?

First, consider re-hosting using IBM Cloud’s new Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). This all-virtual environment makes it easier and more cost effective to host highly available applications across multiple zones, using VSIs that are among the fastest to provision and have the best bandwidth capabilities available in the market today. 

Next, think about storage. Cloud Object Storage is ideal for storing the documents that the application creates for users as well as those documents users upload. It’s also highly resilient and far more affordable than file or block storage. Why not use it to store system backups too?

The application’s database is currently a one-size-fits-all affair. By using different types of databases—relational, noSQL, key-value pair, or warehouses for example—data storage and manipulation becomes far more efficient, based on use case. A database as a service (DBaaS) also takes away the headache of high availability, failover, monitoring, and backups.

The application can be expanded through analytics and AI. Analytics services can help identify trends to move the business to the next level, especially when integrated with machine learning. While other Watson AI services can be used to extend the capabilities and usability of the application. For example, watsonx Assistant allows users to interact with the application using natural language—the application could even go hands-free through Watson Speech to Text and Text to Speech.

Best of all, the cloud provides the ability to quickly spin up and tear down environments and to experiment with services without a high investment. So, once you’ve imagined the features that will take your application to the next level, you can actually try them out, fast and with low risk.

Get started with IBM Cloud

Does some of this resonate for your application on the cloud? Don’t fall into the anti-pattern of a “finished” app—log into IBM Cloud today to start your journey to application modernization!

Register now for the webcast “Leverage new technologies to modernize your existing applications,” occurring Wednesday, March 11, 2020.

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