There are very few companies that don’t have digital transformation on their priority agenda. But while companies know why they need to undergo the process (a stake in the digital economy) and what they want to achieve (better customer experiences and more efficient operations), deciding how to go about achieving these goals is always a matter of debate.
Addressing this dilemma, theCUBE and database-as-a-service provider Couchbase Inc. recently brought together industry experts for an event focused on trends in application modernization. (* Disclosure below.)
During the event, best practices for successful transformation strategies were discussed in detail at sessions on accelerating modernization across the enterprise. In addition, business support systems provider Amdocs Ltd. gave an inside view into the company’s own modernization journey in a customer panel. Overall, the event gave attendees a host of practical tips for the advent of 5G, smart applications, and other emerging technologies.
In case you missed the “Application Modernization” event, here are theCUBE’s top three takeaways:
1) The problem with legacy apps…
Information technology spending is on the rise, but companies are wasting millions on poorly planned digital initiatives, according to the just-released Couchbase’s “Digital Transformation – Lessons Learned and Strategic Setbacks” report. This report formed the backdrop of the event, as speakers discussed reasons why 82% of the respondents surveyed were prevented from undertaking badly needed digital transformation projects and addressed the issues creating the failures, delays and scale-backs experienced by those who did manage to get projects off the ground.
“What’s very clear is that you can’t transform or modernize by lifting and shifting the legacy mess into the cloud. That doesn’t give you the seamless processes, that doesn’t give you data-driven personalization, [and] it doesn’t give you a connected and consistent customer experience,” said Doug Henschen, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research Inc., who spoke with theCUBE as part of an expert panel on “Modernization Across the Enterprise. “It’s only going to pave the cow path if the underlying app process is clunky. You have to modernize and take advantage of serverless, scalability, autonomous optimization, advanced data science.”
Watch theCUBE’s complete video interview of the Modernization Across the Enterprise expert panel below:
2) Application modernization is a prerequisite for successful digital transformation.
Pinning down what digital transformation actually means is extremely hard, if not impossible, according to Tony Baer, principal at dbInsight LLC, who joined Henschen, Sanjeev Mohan, principal at SanjMo, and theCUBE industry analyst Dave Vellante for an exclusive panel discussion. Lamenting the buzzword status of the term, Baer analyzed how companies can establish the first step they need to take when they say, “We want to digitally transform.”
Many times the answer lies in application modernization, which is specifically defined as the process of updating legacy application architecture.
“Legacy technologies were built for a different generation of applications. So it’s a generational shift that we are undergoing,” said Ravi Mayuram (pictured), chief technology officer of Couchbase, during his session with Vellante.
Even though older infrastructures aren’t nimble or flexible enough to handle the speed and scalability of cloud-native applications, many companies had to build on top of them in the panic response to pandemic shutdowns. This was equivalent to jumping to the “run” phase of a project, skipping essential processes required, according to Mohan.
“In the pandemic, they were under the gun to quickly deploy into the cloud. So now they’re kind of coming back down to crawl-walk-run,” he said. “They’re starting to resolve some of the very, very important issues — for example, security, data privacy, governance, observability.”
Watch theCUBE’s complete video interview with Ravi Mayuram below:
3) Setting transformation strategy isn’t the IT department’s job.
Another holdover from the pandemic is shown in the statistic that only 36% of digital transformation strategies are overseen by the C-suite. This leaves the IT department in charge of making decisions that are critical to the core goals of the company, when they may not have a holistic vision of what these goals are.
“We see today’s most successful companies building cross-functional teams, [including] the C-suite, the line of business, the operations, the data and analytics teams, the IT,” Henschen said. “Everybody has a seat at the table to lead innovation and modernization initiatives.”
Amdocs Ltd. is an example of a successful, collaborative modernization journey. The company spent the past six years working with Couchbase to build a modern architecture that meets the demands of its communication services customers. Ninety-five percent of Amdocs’ portfolio now lives in the cloud, and the company is confident it is ready to handle the future complications of 5G.
“We live in a world where our customers need to be able to test a new feature quickly. They need to be able to scale the system in a matter of hours,” Gégout said. “And the only way to achieve these business requirements is to be cloud-native.”
Watch theCUBE’s complete video interview with Cédric Gégout below:
If you’re interested in learning more about application modernization strategy and success stories, sign up for the Couchbase roadshow as it tours the U.S. this summer. You can check dates and locations here.
And make sure you watch theCUBE’s full event video below:
(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the “Application Modernization” event. Neither Couchbase Inc., the sponsor of theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)