Use the Force of an Assessment to Guide you through your Modernization Project

It’s 5 days, 6 hours, 59 minutes and 40 seconds until Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters nationwide. But really, who’s counting? As the big day nears, here at Modern Systems, we can’t help thinking about how so many of our customers view their legacy IT environments as analogous to the Death Star: Something to be feared, something potentially destructive and dangerous, and yet, nothing anyone really wants to take on alone.

However, there is hope if you choose an experienced partner skilled in the ways of the Force – the Modernization Force, that is. If you are considering modernizing your applications, and fear the unknowns surrounding your IT environment are something akin to leaving you vulnerable to the dark side, it’s important to work with a reputable technology partner to analyze and obtain a complete picture of your current environment.

Consider what your key drivers are for an application migration project. Are you concerned about security issues and diminishing skillsets related to aging systems; or, perhaps you fear being left behind in the rush to the cloud? Maybe those monolithic applications have got you in a Darth Vader-like strangle hold, forcing you to take a serious look at moving to a microservices architecture.

These are all valid reasons to make a change, but before you make the jump to hyperspace, take the time to understand your entire IT environment. Do you even know what you have? Do you have all of the proper application metrics, complexity statistics, dependencies on other applications, utilized third party utilities and products, and so on?

Prior to embarking on any modernization initiative, a robust assessment should be completed with automated tooling to identify, classify and analyze assets. This critical part of the process will help determine the modernization approach and roadmap best suited for individual or groups of applications.

You don’t have to be Yoda to understand that this kind of detailed asset understanding, classification and planning exercise should be the first step of any project; it’s key to making the critical long term decisions required by core business applications. It will help you make informed decisions about whether to pursue an application source code and database conversion project, replatform with limited change, or pursue an incremental reengineering transformation to a cloud-native environment.

A good assessment will include the following:

Automated application assessment
• Full analysis of all mainframe applications and databases using automated tooling
• Classification and cataloging of all components by language type, identifying missing components for resolution
• Scope reduction by documenting all unused, unreferenced, and duplicated components
• Project planning support facilitated via creation of meaningful application groups

Operational and infrastructure planning assessment
• Analysis of existing legacy solutions, standards, skills/resources and procedures for operating & administering the existing legacy environment
• Understanding of existing legacy hardware infrastructure and discovery of the target distributed environment viability
• Determination of the optimal target environment for the modernized application workloads, e.g. on-premises or cloud-based target infrastructure

Cloud assessment
When embarking on a migration journey to the cloud, it’s important not to assess everything as one group, but rather assess the individual components (or groupings of components) separately to determine each specific migration strategy and appropriate landing platform.

The established strategy is tailored to the specific asset composition, customer environment, standards and requirements of the individual or group components, taking into consideration both short term objectives (e.g. ability to leverage a cloud-based infrastructure) and long term objectives (e.g. decouple my monolith into a set of microservices). Using this as a basis, Modern Systems Cloud Assessment service ensures that the appropriate information is gathered to equip you with a strategic modernization approach.

So when you head to your local theater this week to watch Han and Chewie battle the bad guys, remember that you don’t have to make the Kessel run alone. Look for an experienced modernization partner with a proven track record who can handle not only the migration execution, but also help you be a hero for your organization, by giving you a fully fleshed out assessment in order to know how best to proceed.

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