Cloud benefits for your business are manifold and we’ve even delved into them in previous articles. As a company, Xpand IT has a strong partnership with Microsoft, and as such, our modernisation proposals powered by these technologies are based on Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform.
Regardless of the type of cloud that best suits your needs – public, private or hybrid – it is undeniable that its adoption has a relevant impact on your business and tangible benefits in your company’s day-to-day operations. According to IDC, companies that have begun the cloud migration journey are growing 19.6% faster than companies that have not yet done so. Alongside migration, modernisation is one of the most exciting approaches to cloud adoption, and in the context of cloud computing, modernising is the act of upgrading organisational processes, systems and tools to newer technologies. The goal is to capitalise on the investment in Azure, achieve a decrease in the Time to Market of some solutions and create new experiences, for customers and collaborators. With a cloud-first approach, your business will gain greater agility, will be properly scaled and stay in line with improved security practices.
Application modernisation is not a recent theme, and there are many companies that already take advantage of the cloud, but only from an infrastructure perspective. That is, they have migrated part of their applications to Azure – in an approach called lift and shift – however, they are not taking advantage of their full potential.
4 benefits of application modernisation with Azure
- Security and reliability: Your business can ensure application security and identify problems in just a few seconds. You can keep databases up to date and automate tasks that ensure high availability, disaster recovery, backups and maintenance during peak performance.
- Scalability and flexibility: Application modernisation allows you to take advantage of cloud benefits in terms of scale and elasticity. You can set up autoscaling so that applications continue to run regardless of sudden increases or decreases in market demands, taking advantage of a virtually unlimited infrastructure.
- Efficiency: With the correct adoption of Azure, your company will be the model of efficiency, ensuring the use of the right resources at the right time and according to need.
- Innovative experiences at scale: When your business goes into the modernisation process with Azure you will be able to create richer, more personalised experiences, faster and continuously – at scale, making it possible to serve thousands of users individually.
Application modernisation strategies
To use Azure’s full potential, you need an analysis of your company’s application park, identifying the different applications, technologies used and their impact on your business. This phase should be followed by a clear definition of how to migrate applications into the cloud, making the necessary changes so that you can take advantage of platform services and not just infrastructure, realising the potential that technology enables, and accelerating the time to the marketing of new offerings.
Once planning has been completed, that is, once the modernisation strategy has been completed, you will need to implement it. Consider those strategies that, for us, are the main Azure modernisation strategies, remembering that they are potentially specific to each application of a company.
- Lift-and-shift: With no code changes required, companies move applications from their previous environment into the cloud, just as they are.
- Refactor: Applications only need minimal code changes to get in and get the most out of the Azure environment.
- Re-platform: Applications are moved into the cloud with minor code changes so that they can be used with Azure technologies.
- Replace: Reform the application and replace it with a new, cloud-native application.
The example of Sonae Financial Services
Sonae FS needed to receive data from Mastercard Payment Transaction Services and integrate it with other entities to manage credit, all in real-time. Until then, mass data and error processing had been too time-consuming and affected productivity and agility.
To respond to this challenge, Xpand IT used Microsoft Azure and implemented a back office so that Sonae FS could verify KPIs and manage possible integration errors. With this back office, it would be possible to access different dashboards to allow visualising KPIs in real-time and notify teams of possible deviations.
By restructuring the architecture and including new operational dashboards and back offices, Sonae FS was able to get the best out of Azure and can now audit the entire process and have access to more detailed information. The adoption of the Replace modernisation strategy allowed Sonae FS to reshape its entire architecture to be cloud-native, giving the company the ability to respond to 4 x more requests compared to the initial phase of the project, considering all initiatives that Xpand IT is still developing.
Thanks to the cloud – the backbone of digital transformation – Sonae FS now benefits from a data-driven culture. They can use data to discover inefficient processes, identify alternatives and even automate those that are recurring and rule-based. In addition, rich data is integrated to manage processes and operations on a day-to-day basis, meaning that teams can make more assertive predictions and better decisions, with flexibility and agility.
Microsoft’s Partner of the Year Portugal
Each journey in application modernisation for Microsoft Azure is unique and while there are best practices, your business needs to adapt and evolve as needed.
In this sense, having a partner specialist in application modernisation with Azure is fundamental. Xpand IT is, for the second consecutive year, Microsoft’s ‘Partner of the Year Portugal’. At Xpand IT we help our clients grow and become competitive, leveraging best practices and the latest services from Microsoft Azure.