Making Legacy Modernization Fast, Affordable, and Predictable

September 10, 2020
Ramkumar Menon
Making Legacy Modernization Fast, Affordable, and Predictable

In unpredictable times, agility becomes even more important than ever. New opportunities arise, competitors appear out of nowhere, and old, stable supply chains and markets change in unprecedented ways. Businesses need to react — or even better, anticipate these changes and take action to gain advantage, meet customers’ evolving needs in the best possible way, and grow profits.

For businesses striving for agility and success, an enterprise architecture can serve as either the springboard for innovation or as the tarpit that keeps product development and operations stuck in a slow-motion struggle for survival.

If your business is being held back by its legacy IT investments and enterprise architecture, the obvious answer is legacy modernization: replacing old code running on old platforms with fast, efficient software that takes advantage of scalable, cloud-native technologies and modern integration techniques.

But few businesses can afford to stop operations, replace legacy applications with faster and more flexible cloud applications and services, and push the restart button on sales. Instead, most businesses today are looking for some way to adopt what Gartner calls a “bi-modal strategy.” In this approach, a business keeps profitable operations running in their traditional mode on legacy applications, while starting new projects and a few strategic modernization projects in a different mode — namely, running the latest cloud technology that offers all the advantages of faster time-to-market, reduced costs, and improved scalability.

Sounds smart. But businesses still face important questions about what to modernize, where to start, and how to make any modernization project as fast, efficient, and predictable as possible.

Boomi Brings Experience and Expertise to Legacy Modernization

Boomi can help. From our experience providing cloud-native integration, data management, and workflow automation to over 11,000 businesses around the world, we’ve had the opportunity to observe firsthand what works best when it comes to modernizing legacy applications and infrastructure.

The Boomi Platform’s low-code development environment, with its drag-and-drop interface, enables developers to build new integrations and business logic as much as 5X faster than with traditional legacy middleware platforms. Whether you’re replacing hand-coded integrations and business logic from a SOA implementation ten years ago, or rapidly building integrations to new cloud applications, Boomi has the tools, AI-powered guidance, and library of connectors and templates to accelerate your work.

Developers can get started using the Boomi Platform for free. They can also take advantage of free training and certification as well as access tips and documentation in the Boomiverse online community. They can learn how to build integrations and experience the speed and power of low-code development firsthand.

Want to experience the power of the Boomi Platform for free? Get started with a 30-day trial.

The Boomi Modernization Factory Blueprint

For CIOs and enterprise architects considering legacy modernization projects, we offer our Modernization Factory Blueprint: a collection of proven methodologies for discovering and assessing current integration capabilities, planning modernization work for specific use cases, engaging in the work of modernization, including data integration and data governance, and deploying new integrations at scale.

The Modernization Factory Blueprint organizes work into five phases, each guided by members of Boomi’s Professional Services team. At each phase, a business has full control of the modernization process and a clear plan and roadmap for what comes next. The Blueprint takes what could be a chaotic process and organizations for speed and efficiency, turning the modernization project into a virtual factory for integrations.

The Blueprint comprises these five phases:

Discovery
In this phase, we help IT leaders discover the number of integration platforms that are running in the organization, how often they are used, who uses them, when they were deployed, and what technologies they depend on. We establish an assessment framework and we audit integrations for their health and importance.

Assessment
Now that an integration assessment framework is in place, we help determine the approach modernization plan for each platform. We take into account critical factors such as security, scalability, business priorities, risks, and regulations. And we interview stakeholders across the organization to develop an Application Portfolio Optimization that documents our findings in detailed spider charts and other reports.

Planning
In our planning phase, we get tactical. We identify specific use cases for modernizing integrations, and we help the business develop detailed plans and roadmaps for building and deploying integrations, having identified the final integration architecture we’re striving for. In this phase, our progress is guided by the Boomi FastTrack™ methodology, which I’ll describe below.

Modernization and Testing
Next we apply Boomi’s Integration Modernization Factory processes and tools to meet the business’s specific requirements and objectives. These processes include development work, data governance frameworks, and operational models.

Deployment
Finally, it’s time to go live with modernized architecture. We’ve discovered the state of integrations in the business; assessed their strengths, weaknesses, and priorities; and developed detailed plans for migration and testing. Now we launch the new modernization integration platform, provide support as needed and help conduct a post-migration review. We also help the business decommission any older platforms or processes as needed.

Figure 1: As part of the Discovery phase of the Modernization Factory Blueprint, Boomi Professional Services helps businesses catalog and assess their existing integrations using tools like this Application Portfolio Optimization (APO) chart.

Building a Repeatable Process for Legacy Modernization

Few businesses can modernize all their legacy integrations in a single push. Businesses need a repeatable process for modernization – a process that lets them assess the current state of integrations, plan specific development and testing projects for specific use cases, build and deploy those integrations, and review their success.

Boomi FastTrack is an eight-week, Agile process for doing just this. Like other Agile processes, it begins with a backlog of specific coding projects — a prioritized list of all integrations for a single platform. Then, guided by daily meetings, the FastTrack team builds those integrations in two-week “sprints” or engagements. Over the course of eight weeks, an integration should move through all stages of planning and development and be deployed.

The work isn’t finished once an integration is deployed. The FastTrack team, including both IT leaders and line-of-business managers, demonstrates the working integration to stakeholders to demonstrate progress and collect feedback on improvements and next priorities. And the team itself reviews their own work for lessons learned and sets their next goals. Then the process repeats itself.

The FastTrack process proceeds in a series of FastTrack Laps. A single Lap comprises planning, implementations, reviews, and deployment, as shown in the diagram below.

Using the Boomi FastTrack methodology, Boomi customers quickly progress through multiple laps, moving from an initial lap devoted to discovery and project scoping, then a second lap to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that can be deployed at minimal scale, and then finally a third lap for building and deploying enterprise-grade integrations.

Legacy Modernization Opportunities for Developers and IT Organizations

In a time of shifting economies and rapid innovation, agility is more important than ever before. But businesses can only be as agile as their enterprise architectures allow. To move quickly and win market share, businesses need to modernize their legacy IT investments.

Boomi makes it easy for businesses to embark on legacy modernization either as a full-out engagement or as part of a bi-modal strategy focused on specific teams and integrations selected following a comprehensive integration assessment.

Individual developers and development teams can dive in with a free trial of the Boomi Platform, free training and certification, and free access to the knowledge and experience of the Boomiverse community.

For a more formal, strategic engagement, IT leaders can start a free, eight-week no-regrets trial of the Boomi Platform, applying the Boomi Modernization Factory Blueprint and the Boomi FastTrack process to gain an overall assessment of their integrations needing modernization and to deploy a strategic selection of integrations using the Boomi Platform. Contact us to learn how to get started.

Ready to take action on legacy modernization? Contact a Boomi integration specialist today.

About the Author

Ramkumar Menon is a product management leader at Boomi, responsible for driving the strategy and roadmap for Boomi's iPaaS portfolio.