May 13, 2021 By Amanda Downie 3 min read

Choose when and how to modernize an application based on data-driven engagement with customers.

To find out how to get the most out of hybrid and distributed cloud and AI cloud services, watch the replay of IBM Think 2021.

Modernizing applications involves adopting the tools and practices of cloud-native development. It’s a powerful model that can deliver innovative user experiences with speed and run them reliably at scale. However, not every application needs to be fully cloud-native. Refactoring a monolith into cloud-native microservices can be time-consuming. To what degree is it needed for each of your applications? When is cloud-aware and cloud-ready enough?

As distinct from a fully cloud-native application, a cloud-aware application can run on cloud in a way that meets your business needs while making better economical and operational sense.

When to modernize with cloud-native development

When does application modernization make the most sense? If your traditional application needs to be flexible, scalable and adaptable based on rapidly changing needs, transforming it into containerized microservices will make sense. Your application will have the speed you want and the reliable, secure performance you need.

Not all applications need to be fully flexible and scalable, though; for many, cloud-aware or cloud-ready is more than adequate. These applications can run on cloud in a way that meets business needs while making better economical and operational sense.

Yes, app modernization is being fueled by the exciting creativity and relentless digital business competition enabled by cloud computing. To be most effective in their efforts, however, app development leaders should rely on a set of common and reusable patterns — including event-driven integration and agile integration — as they define and meet business goals.

How distributed cloud supports smart cloud-native development

The IBM Garage™ is a program in which expert teams help companies identify what parts of applications need modernizing and how best to do it. For example, knowing exactly which applications are calling APIs, where they are running and who is managing them will inform where modernization efforts can be most effective. Instead of moving everything to a centralized hub, IBM Garage teams work with clients using a distributed cloud model, bringing cloud services to locations where teams and their participating customers can follow an agile, data-driven approach to improving a particular application experience.

IBM Cloud Satellite™ is a distributed cloud as a service. With it, application development and operations teams gain the flexibility of consuming cloud services wherever they need them — on-premises, on different vendor platforms and at edge locations. They also gain the consistency of using the same software in the same way across environments. Because IBM Cloud developers actively help advance the open-source projects on which the platform is built, clients continuously benefit from the evolution of cloud technologies. More practically, because IBM manages the systems and software underlying IBM Cloud Satellite services, your team focuses more on delivering modernized and new application experiences their customers need and want.

Furthermore, IBM Cloud Satellite gives teams a consistent set of data and AI services to use across all environments. Bringing analytics tools to your data regardless of location addresses latency concerns and allows for data-driven decisions regarding cloud-native configurations. It also makes an even stronger case for allowing many applications to run as cloud-aware or cloud-ready.

IBM Cloud Satellite provides a single dashboard for centralized visibility and management, meaning teams can continuously watch, learn and iterate based on the outcomes they want to achieve. This is essential to ensuring that time and money are spent modernizing with cloud-native development where and when it matters most.

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