Modernisation and Integration of Apps from Prashant Sharma of IBM

Prashant Sharma, Country Manager, Hybrid Cloud Integration, IBM India/South Asia talks to us about modernisation and integration of applications.

What are the challenges faced by enterprises in the process of application modernisation & integration?

Application modernisation is the process of modernising the platform infrastructure, internal architecture and features of existing legacy apps. The challenges typically boil down to cost and complexity. Moving an application from on-premises to cloud with no thought to the ROI is moving applications just to move them. Contrarily, other applications may benefit from re-platforming or  rearchitecting but they could become heavily coupled to the existing systems and infrastructure.

Thus the key to success in application modernization, like most things, ultimately comes down to strategy and picking application modernization projects where the benefits of cloud, speed, performance, scale, new feature development etc. are ones that offer the given application a clear path to improved customer experience and ROI.

Which are the sectors who have embarked on this journey? Share a few use cases

The journey to the cloud has been across multiple sectors. The key ones who have made significant investments and have started reaping benefits are banking for payments transactions and trade finance, insurance to onboard agency, Automotive industry for IoT bolt on existing systems of engagement, Retail for order management and building mass scale context-specific client relationships & large conglomerates having divested businesses have multiple use cases to modernize their core and legacy applications.

What are the key things to keep in mind while organisations wanting to modernise and integrate their various applications?

Organisations need to look at the following aspects while planning their journey to cloud and app modernisation. The first step is the purpose. If the outcome helps the organization save cost and build operational efficiency and agility in their engagement, then it should be prioritized. The second aspect is about the technology assessment of the existing applications. If the assessment suggests the applications can be easily repurposed and modernised into microservices architecture and achieve a higher level of elasticity and scalability, companies should prioritize these applications to demonstrate business benefits and get larger organisations mindshare.

What is IBM’s offering in the space?

We have recently launched IBM Cloud Paks, pre-integrated sets of containerized IBM software that sit on Red Hat OpenShift and provide a common operating model and common set of services – including identity management, security, monitoring and logging.This is the same software that keeps the world’s largest systems moving – from ATMs to flight control instruments to in-car systems. Cloud Paks make it easier clients to consume mission-critical software and middleware capabilities. We have:

  • Cloud Pak for Applications to help businesses modernize, build, deploy and run applications. It is designed to reduce development time by up to 84 percent. Further, they are optimised set of frameworks and runtimes for cloud native and traditional work environments, accelerate development cycle with an organization with governance, supported by IBM enterprise expertise and offers investment protection as organisations embark on modernizing their application at their own pace.
  • Cloud Pak for Integration to help integrate apps, data, cloud services and APIs. It integrates data and applications 3 times faster at one third less cost. We offer broadest integration capabilities across Cloud and SaaS integration, customers can deploy and consume across multi-cloud and on-premises and lastly, and enterprise-grade: certified container platform, secure, cloud scale
  • Cloud Pak for Automation to help clients automate their business processes and build customized modular enterprise systems of engagements . The solution helps Reduce manual processes by up to 80 percent when automating work (automating tasks and mundane work, ensuring consistent client experience, and visualising operations data and optimizing processes).

What are the benefits of application modernisation & integration?

Application modernisation is a necessary part of cloud-centric business transformation. Business pressures demand a faster time to market. The success of a digital transformation depends on the ability of applications to build innovative capabilities and deliver them quickly and to accelerate developer productivity and the adoption of new cloud-native technologies. Containers, Kubernetes, and micro-services deliver speed and simplicity and are being adopted rapidly. Enterprises’ current estate should determine their modernization strategy. Rewriting their entire application estate is a pipe dream, so modernisation is inevitable. 

Modernising applications provides a few immediate benefits:

  • Accelerating digital transformation. Application modernization is driven by the need to transform the business to build capabilities and deliver them quickly
  • Improving developer productivity. Adopting cloud-native and containerisation technology enables self-service for developers
  • Improving operational efficiency and standardisation. DevOps powers a culture of automation and leads to the transformation of operations

How does Red Hat enhance IBM’s offering in this space?

With new Cloud Paks and IBM software optimized for Red Hat OpenShift, enterprises can now build mission-critical applications once and run them anywhere — on all private and public clouds, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Alibaba and IBM Cloud. With Cloud Paks, we’ve brought the best of what Red Hat has been doing with OpenShift, Kubernetes and open source with the credibility, security, and reliability of IBM’s vast software portfolio.

How has been the response from your channel partners for these offerings?

Business partners are excited to see the market potential and opportunity. The application and integration modernization opportunity helps them expand their service opportunities with existing clients and also allows them to open dialogues with the new clients. Every cost of Licenses Sales offers an incremental 4-5 times revenue services opportunity.

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