CIOs have tried for years to modernize legacy systems and embrace microservices. Not every project has been successful, with challenges including knowledge gaps or lack of SME support. Companies that have succeeded tend to share three key characteristics: they’ve holistically assessed people, process, and technology; they’ve clearly understood and mitigated potential risks; and they’ve met early deployment milestones to deliver quick value and pave the way for continued deployment.

 

New technologies have driven much of this success, particularly the application of machine-learning algorithms. How can companies that are still on their modernization journey adopt a similar approach to finally evolve from a monolith to microservices architecture?

 

Apply Transcoding, Machine Learning and Low-Code Technologies

Many niche modernization players have tried to solve key modernization pain points but inadvertently made the process more complex or introduced new challenges.

 

Tools like CAST and Intellysis reverse-engineer the existing application and ensure that every aspect of the service is accounted for, but they carry forward technical debt in terms of unused code or complex algorithms. Our work with Uniquesoft, BluAge and others can simplify things by transcoding monolith and procedural COBOL (and other legacy languages on mainframes and AS/400) to monolith procedural Java, but they require constant refactoring.

 

A new modular automation approach may hold the solution. By including runtime analysis, UI upgrades, and database modernization, this approach addresses the transformation holistically and provides incremental capabilities that greatly reduce modernization risks while meeting key business objectives.

 

 

vFunction analyzes the application run-time execution path and applies machine-learning algorithms to recommend optimal service components with bounded context. This makes the service truly domain aligned and helps the business incrementally adopt microservices with 10x the velocity of existing methodologies.

 

Wipro’s UI Builder, meanwhile, helps modernize the associated legacy user-interface (UI) scripts and gives CIOs the flexibility to reimagine the existing UI and integrate with REST services to help separate business logic and UI layers. This has been shown to increase development agility 3x while still producing a business-aligned and modern UI.

 

Finally, a SQL converter virtually handles any legacy RDBMS so the business can migrate from expensive database technologies to more-nimble and autonomous cloud-native databases like PostGres Aurora, Yugabyte, or MongoDB Atlas. This simplifies the application by separating the data-access layer, and it also helps realize significant cost savings.

 

The migration from monolith to microservices has been challenging for many organizations, even as they’ve allocated additional resources to transformation. By adopting a practical and business-aligned approach with modular automation, companies can incrementally break down their monolith to a services-based architecture on mainframes or Java-based applications. Embracing hybrid-automation in this way also gives flexibility for enough human intervention to produce a truly modernized state that’s highly scalable, agile, and meets the velocity demands of modern businesses.

Ashok Kumar Saravanan

Ashok Kumar Saravanan

General Manager & Head - Application Modernization

@WiproDigital

Ashok is General Manager and Head of Wipro's Application Modernization unit. He has worked in applications, modernization and delivery, with a particular focus on the banking and financial-services sector, for more than 23 years.

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