The negative impact of legacy networks can be substantial: increased operational costs, restricted potential for digital transformation and difficulty responding to the demands of the business. NTT’s research finds that two in three organizations confirm their technical debt has accumulated, with 71% saying that low network maturity levels are negatively impacting their operational delivery and ability to meet business goals.

Legacy networks are under unprecedented pressure. Upgrades and patches often run behind schedule. Points of vulnerability are multiplying. The shift to hybrid working requires more openings in firewalls, which in turn places a premium on frequent upgrades to firewall protections. Managers face a crisis of visibility, which is destined to get worse as more devices connect to enterprise networks. Research findings show that 93% of organization see the convergence of security and networking as a key focus of how future network characteristics will be changing.

Amit Dhingra, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Networks at NTT, identifies a raft of available protections, including the combination of identity-based security policies and zero trust network access (ZTNA).

Dhingra points out that ZTNA means remote users no longer have to tolerate reduced performance while VPNs “throttle everything down in order to inspect all the packets to ensure the right security protocols are in place. You can actually achieve the same benefit with ZTNA features that are readily available.”

In addition, Dhingra points to NTT’s anomaly detection services across multiple domains, and automated vulnerability assessments, both driven by AIOps. “In the past, this has been a very manual process,” he says. “Now, it happens instantaneously.”

The good news is that decision-makers are universally aware of the security risks that proliferate in the absence of these solutions. NTT’s research found that 90% of organizations say they need AIOps, automation & improved analytics to further optimize their network operations.  Overall, respondents identified inconsistent security policies and increased security risk as the leading consequences of underinvestment in the network.

The threats involved are familiar: 93% of organizations have no doubt that new vulnerabilities will drive increased security demands and 91% plan to move to an identity-based security architecture. Moreover, when NTT’s researchers asked what is driving network modernization, the number one answer was the ability to implement a cybersecurity mesh – the distributed architecture that enables a zero trust approach to network security.

One of the intriguing aspects of the research is the way it examines the network strategies of organizations that generate above-average financial returns. (NTT’s survey defines top-performing companies as those whose year-on-year operating margins were more than 15% and revenue growth was 10% or more in the last financial year).

Top performers are more likely to invest in cybersecurity (87% do so, compared with 41% of organizations not in the top-performing ranks). Notably, they are also more likely to involve their cybersecurity teams in network-vendor selection decisions. More broadly, top-performing organizations score highly in terms of the sophistication of their network strategy. For example, 79% told researchers their security strategy is fully aligned with business strategy. Only 48% of organizations performing at a lower level of commercial success said that this was the case.

Organizations that decide to upgrade their security posture face a wide array of choices and a need for new skills. Respondents to NTT’s survey identify a series of challenges arising from managing multiple vendors, ranging from SLA complexity to lack of interoperability and the difficulty of finding employees with the skills required to manage vendors.

As a result, nine out of 10 respondents agreed strongly that their organizations prefer paying for outcomes and buying from a catalog, with the ability to scale resources as necessary. This suggests a shift away from traditional in-house network management toward network-as-a-service offerings provided by specialist managed service providers (MSPs).

“Actually, this was a part of the report that surprised us,” says Dhingra. “We didn’t expect to hear that so many enterprises are looking to partner with managed service providers. But we do know that access to technologies and skills has become very challenging everywhere, in every part of the world. The answer for many enterprises will be to partner with MSPs who can provide those skills, and that access.”

Download the 2022–23 Global Network Report from NTT now. 

Networking

By Milan Shetti, CEO Rocket Software

In today’s digital world, technology can make or break a company’s outcomes for its customers. As a result, all companies that use technology to meet or solve customer needs should consider themselves a tech company. In order to meet ever-changing customer demands, it’s critical that companies understand why and how to successfully modernize their tech stacks in order to provide a top-notch customer experience.

Too often, businesses make the mistake of blindly following tech trends and jumping from one platform to another without sufficient planning, disrupting operations and struggling to deliver outcomes and revenue. Instead, companies should look to modernize existing infrastructure — including mainframes. While these undertakings are complex, leaders can ensure a seamless experience by keeping in mind a few key points. 

1. Mainframes are still the backbone of many organizations

Mainframes have been the backbone of IT infrastructure for mission-critical companies for decades because of their resilience, security, and data governance. A report from Rocket Software, The State of the Mainframe, showed that these technologies are still the cornerstone of most large enterprises, with 80% of IT professionals agreeing that the mainframe is still critical to business operations. As cloud-based solutions continue to gain popularity, companies that can achieve selective and in-place modernization that combines both cloud and mainframe technology will be ahead of the curve.

2. Modernizing in place ensures a seamless experience

As new innovative technologies enter the market, many organizations are looking to “rip and replace” mainframe systems for cloud technologies. But while the impulse is strong, rip and replace approaches to modernization introduce significant risk, requiring a substantial time, cost, and energy investment with no guarantee of a successful outcome. Organizations must remember that ripping and replacing requires organizations to replace all of their IT infrastructure while maintaining the same level of security, data governance, and resiliency as the mainframe — a nearly impossible task.

Fortunately, with the right tools and technology, any innovative application can be developed in the cloud and then safely and securely connected to the mainframe with little adoption. These hybrid infrastructure models allow businesses to continue leveraging the reliability and security of their mainframe infrastructure while also taking advantage of the latest tools to provide teams with the flexibility and user experience they crave.

3. Hybrid cloud is the future

With 10 of the top-10 companies in the defense, space, banking, and healthcare industries continuing to leverage mainframe technology through hybrid cloud models, it’s clear that hybrid infrastructures are the future. By enabling core infrastructure to continue living in mainframe environments while leveraging APIs that provide teams and customers with access to cloud solutions and web and mobile applications, businesses are providing a modern experience for employees and end-users without taking on additional risk. 

4. Customers are at the core of modernization 

Companies that take the time to understand what their customers really want from their business can take a more strategic approach to modernization. By identifying customer needs and then working backward, teams can more clearly determine where modernization is necessary in order to deliver the desired outcomes. By making customers the central point of modernization efforts, companies not only mitigate disruptions and save time and resources, but also ensure efforts are aligned with what their customers truly want.

As we dive deeper into an age of modernization, Rocket is looking forward to the challenges ahead as we continue our mission to simplify mainframe modernization. To learn how Rocket Software can simplify your mainframe modernization project, visit our modernization page.

Digital Transformation

By Milan Shetti, CEO Rocket Software

In today’s digital world, technology can make or break a company’s outcomes for its customers. As a result, all companies that use technology to meet or solve customer needs should consider themselves a tech company. In order to meet ever-changing customer demands, it’s critical that companies understand why and how to successfully modernize their tech stacks in order to provide a top-notch customer experience.

Too often, businesses make the mistake of blindly following tech trends and jumping from one platform to another without sufficient planning, disrupting operations and struggling to deliver outcomes and revenue. Instead, companies should look to modernize existing infrastructure — including mainframes. While these undertakings are complex, leaders can ensure a seamless experience by keeping in mind a few key points. 

1. Mainframes are still the backbone of many organizations

Mainframes have been the backbone of IT infrastructure for mission-critical companies for decades because of their resilience, security, and data governance. A report from Rocket Software, The State of the Mainframe, showed that these technologies are still the cornerstone of most large enterprises, with 80% of IT professionals agreeing that the mainframe is still critical to business operations. As cloud-based solutions continue to gain popularity, companies that can achieve selective and in-place modernization that combines both cloud and mainframe technology will be ahead of the curve.

2. Modernizing in place ensures a seamless experience

As new innovative technologies enter the market, many organizations are looking to “rip and replace” mainframe systems for cloud technologies. But while the impulse is strong, rip and replace approaches to modernization introduce significant risk, requiring a substantial time, cost, and energy investment with no guarantee of a successful outcome. Organizations must remember that ripping and replacing requires organizations to replace all of their IT infrastructure while maintaining the same level of security, data governance, and resiliency as the mainframe — a nearly impossible task.

Fortunately, with the right tools and technology, any innovative application can be developed in the cloud and then safely and securely connected to the mainframe with little adoption. These hybrid infrastructure models allow businesses to continue leveraging the reliability and security of their mainframe infrastructure while also taking advantage of the latest tools to provide teams with the flexibility and user experience they crave.

3. Hybrid cloud is the future

With 10 of the top-10 companies in the defense, space, banking, and healthcare industries continuing to leverage mainframe technology through hybrid cloud models, it’s clear that hybrid infrastructures are the future. By enabling core infrastructure to continue living in mainframe environments while leveraging APIs that provide teams and customers with access to cloud solutions and web and mobile applications, businesses are providing a modern experience for employees and end-users without taking on additional risk. 

4. Customers are at the core of modernization 

Companies that take the time to understand what their customers really want from their business can take a more strategic approach to modernization. By identifying customer needs and then working backward, teams can more clearly determine where modernization is necessary in order to deliver the desired outcomes. By making customers the central point of modernization efforts, companies not only mitigate disruptions and save time and resources, but also ensure efforts are aligned with what their customers truly want.

As we dive deeper into an age of modernization, Rocket is looking forward to the challenges ahead as we continue our mission to simplify mainframe modernization. To learn how Rocket Software can simplify your mainframe modernization project, visit our modernization page.

Digital Transformation

By Milan Shetti, CEO Rocket Software

Modernization has become a hot-button topic across the tech and business landscape. With ongoing advancements in cloud technology and the seemingly unlimited potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies, many organizations are eager to digitally transform and modernize their operations and software applications. In fact, 80% of IT decision-makers say their companies plan to have modernized more than half of their custom applications before the end of 2022.

With a significant push toward infrastructure modernization, many organizations have hired Chief Modernization Officers (CMOs) to help navigate the complexities of this undertaking. But many still question the need for a CMO when they already have a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in house. While most C-suite level positions are clearly defined, the CMO and CTO’s roles and responsibilities are uniquely intertwined and often confused as being the same — but this is not the case. For companies looking to modernize their infrastructure, it is important to recognize the differences between a CTO and CMO and understand what each position brings to the table and why both are essential to achieve true modernization.

Defining the roles of CTOs and CMOs Starts with defining modernization 

The CTO and CMO positions are often confused because the word modernization has different meanings for different people. To many business leaders, modernization is about driving evolution and the creation of new business models by implementing innovative technologies and methodologies to improve operations. This, however, is a better definition for the process of digital transformation and is chiefly what CTOs work to achieve. 

The CTO’s role is to stay at the forefront of emerging technologies and practices and understand how processes can be changed and improved through their implementation. A CTO is focused on creating great experiences and offerings for customers, clients, and partners of an organization, taking a pragmatic approach to improve business outcomes, often leading with a “rip and replace” mentality for underutilized or underperforming technology.

Modernization, on the other hand, is a more internal and holistic process that focuses on understanding and preparing a company’s infrastructure, technology, and products to succeed in a fast-changing, digital world without upending a company’s current operating model. A successful modernization operation is a continuum and CMOs have the expertise and attention to detail to constantly analyze operations, uncover opportunities to optimize, and ensure modernization projects align with business and customer goals. CMOs consider the company’s business operations as a whole, not only evaluating the time and resources needed to achieve a particular modernization project but also how it will affect operations along all departments and whether it is worth the effort. 

Balancing the two to create true modernization

Often, large-scale transformation projects are unsuccessful because organizations fail to recognize that true modernization requires continuous transformation and a wholly pragmatic approach to modernizing tools and processes. While CTOs bring exciting and innovative techniques and tools to the table, CMOs bring the rationality and necessity required for projects to succeed.

In the end, businesses that are successful in their modernization ventures understand that it is not a matter of one or the other when it comes to CMOs and CTOs — but, rather, a balancing of the two. By fusing the creativity and forward-thinking mindset of a CTO together with the pragmatic, strategic approaches of a CMO, companies can stay on the cutting edge of innovation while bringing true modernization to their operations.

To learn how Rocket Software’s suite of technologies can help simplify and streamline your organization’s modernization efforts, visit the Rocket Software modernization page.

Digital Transformation

Modernization journeys are complex and typically highly custom, dependent on an enterprise’s core business challenges and overall competitive goals. Yet one way to simplify transformation and accelerate the process is using an industry-specific approach. Any vertical modernization approach should balance in-depth, vertical sector expertise with a solutions-based methodology that caters to specific business needs.

As part of their partnership, IBM and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are pursuing a variety of industry-specific blueprints and solutions designed to help customers modernize apps for a hybrid IT environment, which includes AWS Cloud.

The solutions, some in pilot stage and others in early development, transcend a variety of core industries, including manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, and transportation.

These industry solutions bring to bear both IBM and AWS’ deep-seated expertise in the specific security, interoperability, and data governance requirements impacting vertical sectors. Such an approach ensures that app modernization efforts meet any relevant certification requirements and solve business-specific problems.

“A general modernization path brings the technical assets together whereas an industry-focused initiative is more of a problem-solving, solutions-oriented design,” says Praveena Varadarajan, modernization offering leader and strategist for IBM’s Hybrid Cloud Migration Group.

With the right industry solution and implementation partner in place, organizations can steer towards effective modernization. Along with the proper technologies and tools, the right consulting partners can help accelerate transformation, specifically if they can together demonstrate deep and diverse expertise, modernization patterns, and industry-specific blueprints.

Consider the critical area of security controls, for example. Companies across industries have core requirements related to data security and governance controls, yet different industries have uniquely focused considerations.

In healthcare, securing personal health data is key, governed by national standards laid out by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).The financial services industry must adhere to a different set of security requirements, from protecting Personal Identifiable Information (PII) to safeguards that meet Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, meant to protect credit card holder’s information.

“Industry verticals have different compliance and regulatory issues that have to be taken into consideration when doing any type of refactoring or app modernization,” notes Hilton Howard, global migration and modernization lead at AWS. “Healthcare and life sciences companies have different governance and compliance concerns along with issues on how data is managed compared to technology companies or those in energy and financial services.”

AWS/IBM’s Industry Edge

IBM and AWS have put several mechanisms and programs in place to codify their rich vertical industry expertise and make it easily accessible to customers in critical sectors. IBM and AWS experts collaborate to identify potential joint offerings and solution blueprints designed to provide a modernization roadmap that is a level up from a general technical guide. Much of the guidance and deliverables is codified from joint initiatives conducted with large customers to provide an accelerated problem-solving path to a wider audience. The deliverables could be reference architectures or an industry-specific proof of concept—the goal is to offer institutional knowledge and near-turn-key solutions meant to streamline modernization and accelerate time-to-value.

“Sometimes it’s best practices or a solution design or some combination,” Varadarajan says. “It’s about bringing internal or external tools to bear to solve specific business issues.”

In addition, AWS and IBM are working on complex transformation aimed at large-scale transformation and modernization efforts. This will help enterprise customers adopt new digital operating models structurally and prescriptively, and transform with AWS to deliver strategic business outcomes. The program builds a meaningful partnership between AWS, IBM, and the client, and delivers an integrated program underpinned by a tailored playbook that delivers the clients’ prioritized initiatives enabled by AWS, while developing sustainable organizational capabilities for continuous transformation.

“Applying an industry lens keeps solutions grounded to the guiding principles of the business,” Varadarajan says. “The goal of transformation is not just to become more modern, but to change the way companies adapt to the new norms of running a business in the digital world.”

United’s Revenue Management Modernization Takes Flight

United Airlines took to the cloud to modernize its Revenue Management system to reduce costs, but also to land on a platform that didn’t limit its ability to apply modern revenue management processes. The airline also sought to provide analysts with finer data access controls so they could be more analytical and creative when driving revenue management decisions.

Working with AWS and IBM, United created and scaled a data warehouse using Amazon Redshift, an off-the-shelf service that manages terabytes of data with ease. Critical success factors included embracing DevOps practices, emphasis on disaster recovery, and system stability, and continuous review of design and migration decisions. Next stop: Migrating a complex forecasting module planned for later in 2022.

To learn more visit https://www.ibm.com/consulting/aws

Application Management

Data represents a store of value and a strategic opportunity for enterprises across all industries. From edge to cloud to core, businesses are producing data in vast quantities, at an unprecedented pace. And they’re now rapidly evolving their data management strategies to efficiently cope with data at scale and seize the advantage. … Or are they?

Well, some are. Those are the data-first organizations, the industry leaders who understand that, amid a flood of data, navigating via data-first principles to radically simplify data management is not only critical to surviving and thriving in the long run, but also essential right now, when advantages in data management can determine a company’s future success.

Let’s look at some real numbers. According to the results of a recent survey of 750 IT professionals from analyst firm ESG, 93% of IT decision-makers see storage and data management complexity impeding digital transformation. However, only 13% of surveyed organizations could be considered data-first leaders. In other words, everyone knows that data management is a major challenge, but very few have been able to turn obstacles into opportunities.

That’s why simplifying data management now is a crucial initiative: There’s plenty of running room to establish future competitiveness and market position. To go deeper, let’s break down the pressing need for a data-first approach in three ways:

1. A data-first strategy is the rocket ship to innovation

Hidden in your data is a new world of possibilities, new customer experiences, and the next wave of applications that will drive tomorrow’s business outcomes. We see evidence of this from numerous perspectives. But right now, that data likely spans edge, cloud, and core, and a good portion of it may be difficult to access and manage due to silos and complexity.

How much complexity? ESG found that, on average, surveyed organizations relied on 23 different data management tools. Picture all that hardware and software, the silos they represent, and the difficulty of using all those tools to manage the lifecycle of data and data infrastructure — including access, protection, governance, and analysis — across an edge-to-cloud environment. It’s overwhelming.

ESG also found that 74% of respondents acknowledged that their data management capabilities can’t keep up with business requirements. That means slow deployments, lots of tuning and maintenance, delays from manual provisioning, and ultimately missed SLAs that affect the entire organization. Without efficiently serving data at speed to your stakeholders, you’re missing opportunities and losing time.

This bears repeating: There’s a real cost to standing pat and doing nothing about data management complexity. Fortunately, there’s also a simple solution: go data-first.

2. To achieve digital transformation, you need simplified data management

Digital transformation is what every modern enterprise seeks, but it’s difficult to imagine successful digital transformation without first solving for data management, which is a core competency of any data-driven organization. The key to simplifying data management is to deliver the cloud operational experience wherever your data lives. In the real world, data and apps are needed everywhere — which is why organizations are moving away from a cloud-first strategy and going data-first. Delivering cloud operations on-premises, at the edge, and in off-premises locations is truly transformational and precisely what a data-first strategy seeks to harness.

In a previous article, we discussed the pathways to simplify data management from edge to cloud and the substantial business benefits to going data-first. To truly power digital transformation, you need to deliver a cloud operational experience for your apps and data wherever they live via these key steps:

Transform faster with infrastructure as-a-service. Leverage a new generation of as-a-service storage and infrastructure offerings for self-service agility and cloud operations across hybrid cloud.Make your apps and infrastructure autonomous with AI. Harness an AIOps engine to streamline IT operations across your environment, enabling delivery of elastically scalable apps and services with the click of a button and without disruptions.Modernize data protection. Move to end-to-end, resilient data protection, including as-a-service hybrid cloud backup and disaster recovery, for flexibility, rapid recovery, and ransomware protection.

3. Start now, and data-first is a race you can win

A data-first strategy means you can move faster than your competition. Data-first yields faster time-to-market, happier stakeholders, and more satisfied consumers. Ultimately, it leads to accelerated business success and — since data-first entails simplified data management and a modern approach to data protection — lower risk.

To illustrate how data-first organizations tend to pull away from the pack, consider this: ESG found that data-first organizations were 20x more likely to beat competitors to market by multiple quarters. At the same time, they were 2x more likely to recover from ransomware attacks within minutes.

With numbers like these, the gap between data-first organizations and everyone else is set to grow substantially, and the sooner you join the first group, the better.

Choose the right technology partner to get you there

The good news? You’re not alone in your journey. HPE GreenLake delivers cloud operations across hybrid cloud through a unified and secure edge-to-cloud platform. With industry-leading infrastructure services, cloud data protection, and data management services, HPE GreenLake helps you jumpstart your journey to data-first modernization.

About Shilpi Srivastava

Shilpi is the Head of Data Services and Storage Marketing at HPE. With experience spanning cloud services, data storage and cyber security, Shilpi is passionate about technologies that help business innovate and succeed. Shilpi previously led cloud and container solutions marketing at Pure Storage and has held Product Marketing and Technical lead positions at Micro Focus and JP Morgan Chase. She has an Bachelor of Engineering degree from India and an MBA from University of Texas at Austin.

Data Management, Digital Transformation, IT Leadership

A majority of companies are confident in a future built around hybrid cloud, according to a recent poll conducted by The Harris Poll and IBM. What they are less decisive about is how to map the right cloud modernization journey, one that is efficient and secure while delivering business agility and competitive advantage.

Modernizing the application estate through cloud migration is a key part of any digital transformation strategy. More than just generic tweaks to the application stack or a simple lift-and-shift initiative, true app modernization involves holistic process improvements and optimizing the application mix for quantifiable business outcomes.

But enterprise application portfolio and ecosystem complexity, coupled with diverse business requirements, means there is no one-size-fits-all. Typically, this journey requires strategically coordinating many overlapping objectives in line with clearly defined business outcomes and orchestrated without disrupting business continuity.

As part of an application portfolio rationalization, organizations must understand what each application does, how it could benefit from transformation, and what path is right for cloud migration. Given the variety of factors and business outcomes, it’s a complex exercise to determine what applications should be rewritten for native cloud, refactored to better leverage cloud’s benefits, or alternatively, rehosted or relocated to gain essential advantages.

Naturally, companies are drawn to AWS Cloud to reduce operating expenses. But they may overlook the required strategic planning and lack the development expertise to leverage AWS services and create fully optimized cloud-native apps that deliver actual cost advantages. 

“Business priorities always come with constraints like people, budget, and timeline,” notes Praveena Varadarajan, modernization offering leader and strategist for IBM’s Hybrid Cloud Migration Group. “When you take all those things into consideration, it’s not always feasible to rewrite an application completely and redesign it.”

Navigating Modernization

Based on institutional knowledge gleaned from scores of modernization engagements, IBM can help organizations navigate the journey while leveraging tools and expertise from its AWS partnership. IBM guides organizations through the assessment stage, garnering a thorough understanding of the state of the application portfolio through rationalization of existing systems and tailoring app modernization strategies that add value in phases.

IBM establishes a detailed understanding of operations, identifying bottlenecks and pain points, to establish a modernization roadmap that drives the most business value. With IBM as a guide, organizations can significantly reduce the business risk of modernization and accelerate the time to benefit from migration to hybrid cloud.

Key to IBM’s approach is IBM Consulting Cloud Accelerator (ICCA), a revolutionary platform designed to map out the best path to hybrid cloud modernization. Powered by the expertise IBM has gained leading over 100,000 successful hybrid cloud migrations, ICCA delivers a step-by-step path to modernizing business functions, tailored for individual business requirements and preferred outcomes based on automated analysis and a set of complex rules.

Through ICCA, IBM operationalizes its institutional knowledge while delivering a variety of resources such as expert rules, tools, technical assets, and industry solution starter kits. This helps practitioners decide, for example, what applications would benefit from a complete rewrite to be cloud-native versus which should be refactored through use of containerization, APIs, and microservices. The result: A packaged guide to different hybrid cloud pathways, helping to accelerate planning, ensure low-touch execution, and deliver predicable outcomes.

“Think of ICCA as a GPS for app modernization,” Varadarajan says. “All the work that is typically done manually is automated and there’s this basket of goodies put in front of the practitioner to say here are the tools you should be using to accomplish your goals.”

In addition to ICCA, IBM’s mature Garage methodology helps organizations navigate app modernization. Garage is an end-to-end iterative framework that guides organizations through the ideation, build, and scaling stages of app modernization. This process helps ensure successful, predicable delivery of projects on schedule and with the highest levels of quality. IBM works with customers in a collaborative partnership, applying agile principles and using an outcome-first, data-driven methodology that according to Forrester, delivers 67% faster speed to outcomes. Customers can engage with IBM and the Garage framework through three pathways: Co-create, co-execute, and co-operate, depending on their needs.

For its part, AWS brings best-of-breed offerings and accelerators to the IBM/AWS partnership to steer organizations on their modernization pathway, whether it’s to rewrite or refactor applications.

When refactoring applications, it’s critical to decompose a monolith application into microservices that can fetch data for different business transaction. However, if microservices are incorrectly integrated, this undermines the cost and scalability benefits of the architecture and may cause data loss or latency and integrity issues, says Hilton Howard, global migration and modernization lead at AWS.

AWS helps organizations integrate microservices through services like AWS Lambda, an event-driven, serverless computing platform used to refactor applications by allowing code to run on high-availability compute infrastructure without provisioning or managing services, Howard explained. In addition, AWS API Gateway can be used to design and build complex or large microservices-based applications with multiple client applications. In addition to its sweeping portfolio of tools and services, the AWS Well-Architected program and coterie of SMEs help organization leverage mature design principles to deliver cloud native AWS services.

The mandate for modernization is clear, but the pathway is still ill-defined. With help from the AWS/IBM Alliance team, organizations can gain access to best-of-breed resources and accelerators designed to simplify and optimize app modernization while helping navigate the twists and turns of the transformation journey.

For more information, visit https://www.ibm.com/consulting/aws

Cloud Computing, Cloud Management

As companies fast-track IT modernization to accelerate digital transformation and gain business advantage, there is an opportunity to rearchitect a greener IT environment and application portfolio that will drive cost efficiencies and contribute to broader corporate sustainability goals.

Across industries, companies are modernizing IT infrastructure and wielding digital tools to increase organizational flexibility, agility, and resiliency in their efforts to stay abreast of the competition. Through cloud migration and application modernization, companies are creating new customer experiences and services to drive revenue growth while reimaging business processes to optimize operations, reduce costs, and empower new ways of working. IDC data shows that 71% of organizations view application modernization as a top priority today, surging to 84% over the next three years.

Moreover, many are moving beyond application modernization as a one-time initiative and making it a continuous part of their on-going IT operations.

As businesses move forward on their modernization journey, it’s important to factor green IT considerations into the roadmap given the impact choices can have on overall enterprise sustainability goals. “As businesses and enterprises expand horizontally or vertically, they add to their IT estate whether that is through cloud or private data centers,” notes Nalini Manuru, Business Development Manager at IBM. “As the backbone for expansion, IT has a huge impact on energy consumption so it’s critical to take notice and make IT more carbon efficient for the good of the planet, to meet current and future regulatory requirements, and for cost benefits as well.”

In fact, self-owned data centers and IT equipment are a major source of energy usage and carbon emissions for enterprises. According to the International Energy Agency, worldwide data centers collectively consume 200 to 250 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity, accounting for 1% of all global electricity demand and about 0.3% of all global carbon emissions.

In comparison, a modernization strategy that shifts workloads from on-premises data centers to cloud can reduce energy consumption and associated carbon emissions by nearly 80% and is up to five times more efficient than the typical on-premises data center, a 451 Research/AWS report found. Part of the reason is enterprises tend to run underutilized or idle servers—the Uptime Institute estimates that roughly 20% of enterprise servers are completed unused or abandoned due to insufficient infrastructure monitoring and the lack of a rigorous decommissioning process. There are also opportunities to improve application code and architecture post a lift-and-shift migration to public hyperscaler platforms like AWS.

AWS cloud infrastructure, in particular, has significant energy efficiency advantages. An AWS/451 Research report shows that AWS public cloud infrastructure is 3.6 times more energy efficient than the average U.S. enterprise data center, primarily due to more energy efficient servers and higher server utilization, more efficient data center facilities and cooling, and reduced electricity consumption and renewable energy usage.

“Reducing IT operations costs and carbon reduction is a complex factor today and it shouldn’t be a separate exercise from IT modernization,” says Diptiman Dasgupta, associate partner & executive IT architect – Sustainability, for IBM Consulting. “It’s more effective to make carbon reduction goals and green IT a non-functional design dimension similar to security or reliability.”

A Framework for Success

At the core of the IBM/AWS partnership is a blueprint for sustainable application modernization and a full lifecycle approach to carbon accounting. Central to the partners’ strategy are the following capabilities:

Carbon Accounting & Assessment: The AWS Customer Carbon Footprint Tool provides easy-to-understand data visualizations and reporting on emissions from AWS usage, providing enterprises with a baseline accounting of their greenhouse gas emissions. The tool identifies carbon hotspots and analyzes changes in emissions over time as workloads are migrated and applications are rearchitected. It can also help plan for the future by forecasting how emissions will change as AWS moves forward with its mission to power operations through 100% renewable energy sources.

Green IT Transformation: IBM experts work with organizations to determine the best modernization opportunities while creating a roadmap and target application architecture that will deliver sustainability benefits throughout the entire lifecycle. More than just a “rip and replace” approach, IBM’s application modernization strategy starts with garnering a solid understanding of business needs and the existing application landscape.

IBM experts employ both manual and automated tools to rationalize existing systems to get a detailed understanding of the landscape and operations, including the precise number and function of apps as well as interdependencies. Enterprises are guided through the process of selecting the most opportune business outcomes, creating an implementation roadmap, designing a target architecture, identifying and measuring sustainability targets and outcomes, and aligning employee skillsets and business operating models to meet the new requirements.

Green IT operations: Using tools like the AWS Customer Carbon Footprint Tool, IBM and AWS deliver continuous monitoring and measurement of sustainability KPIs, ensuring organizations have complete visibility into their progress. In addition, the partners deliver on-going “what-if” analysis to monitor the potential carbon and cost savings of application optimization options, ensuring sustainability becomes an on-going benchmark for the success of IT operations.

The AWS cloud platform itself presents inherent sustainability advantages for IT and application modernization. Sustainability is one of six pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework, meaning there are core design principles, operational guidance, best practices, and improvement plans offered up to help organizations meet sustainability targets for their AWS workloads. AWS also delivers a broad set of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), and data analytics capabilities to help organizations achieve their sustainability goals.

“Modernizing applications on AWS compounds the benefits of sustainability because AWS is inherently a sustainable platform,” Manuru says.

For more information on the IBM/AWS modernization and sustainability partnership, visit https://www.ibm.com/consulting/aws

Green IT

As companies fast-track IT modernization to accelerate digital transformation and gain business advantage, there is an opportunity to rearchitect a greener IT environment and application portfolio that will drive cost efficiencies and contribute to broader corporate sustainability goals.

Across industries, companies are modernizing IT infrastructure and wielding digital tools to increase organizational flexibility, agility, and resiliency in their efforts to stay abreast of the competition. Through cloud migration and application modernization, companies are creating new customer experiences and services to drive revenue growth while reimaging business processes to optimize operations, reduce costs, and empower new ways of working. IDC data shows that 71% of organizations view application modernization as a top priority today, surging to 84% over the next three years[BRC1] .

Moreover, many are moving beyond application modernization as a one-time initiative and making it a continuous part of their on-going IT operations.

As businesses move forward on their modernization journey, it’s important to factor green IT considerations into the roadmap given the impact choices can have on overall enterprise sustainability goals. “As businesses and enterprises expand horizontally or vertically, they add to their IT estate whether that is through cloud or private data centers,” notes Nalini Manuru, Business Development Manager[BRC2]  at IBM. “As the backbone for expansion, IT has a huge impact on energy consumption so it’s critical to take notice and make IT more carbon efficient for the good of the planet, to meet current and future regulatory requirements, and for cost benefits as well.”

In fact, self-owned data centers and IT equipment are a major source of energy usage and carbon emissions for enterprises. According to the International Energy Agency, worldwide data centers collectively consume 200 to 250 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity, accounting for 1% of all global electricity demand and about 0.3% of all global carbon emissions.

In comparison, a modernization strategy that shifts workloads from on-premises data centers to cloud can reduce energy consumption and associated carbon emissions by nearly 80% and is up to five times more efficient than the typical on-premises data center, a 451 Research/AWS report found. Part of the reason is enterprises tend to run underutilized or idle servers—the Uptime Institute estimates that roughly 20% of enterprise servers are completed unused or abandoned due to insufficient infrastructure monitoring and the lack of a rigorous decommissioning process. There are also opportunities to improve application code and architecture post a lift-and-shift migration to public hyperscaler platforms like AWS.

AWS cloud infrastructure, in particular, has significant energy efficiency advantages. An AWS/451 Research report shows that AWS public cloud infrastructure is 3.6 times more energy efficient than the average U.S. enterprise data center, primarily due to more energy efficient servers and higher server utilization, more efficient data center facilities and cooling, and reduced electricity consumption and renewable energy usage.

“Reducing IT operations costs and carbon reduction is a complex factor today and it shouldn’t be a separate exercise from IT modernization,” says Diptiman Dasgupta, associate partner & executive IT architect – Sustainability, for IBM Consulting. “It’s more effective to make carbon reduction goals and green IT a non-functional design dimension similar to security or reliability.”

A Framework for Success

At the core of the IBM/AWS partnership is a blueprint for sustainable application modernization and a full lifecycle approach to carbon accounting. Central to the partners’ strategy are the following capabilities:

Carbon Accounting & Assessment: The AWS Customer Carbon Footprint Tool provides easy-to-understand data visualizations and reporting on emissions from AWS usage, providing enterprises with a baseline accounting of their greenhouse gas emissions. The tool identifies carbon hotspots and analyzes changes in emissions over time as workloads are migrated and applications are rearchitected. It can also help plan for the future by forecasting how emissions will change as AWS moves forward with its mission to power operations through 100% renewable energy sources.

Green IT Transformation: IBM experts work with organizations to determine the best modernization opportunities while creating a roadmap and target application architecture that will deliver sustainability benefits throughout the entire lifecycle. More than just a “rip and replace” approach, IBM’s application modernization strategy starts with garnering a solid understanding of business needs and the existing application landscape.

IBM experts employ both manual and automated tools to rationalize existing systems to get a detailed understanding of the landscape and operations, including the precise number and function of apps as well as interdependencies. Enterprises are guided through the process of selecting the most opportune business outcomes, creating an implementation roadmap, designing a target architecture, identifying and measuring sustainability targets and outcomes, and aligning employee skillsets and business operating models to meet the new requirements.

Green IT operations: Using tools like the AWS Customer Carbon Footprint Tool, IBM and AWS deliver continuous monitoring and measurement of sustainability KPIs, ensuring organizations have complete visibility into their progress. In addition, the partners deliver on-going “what-if” analysis to monitor the potential carbon and cost savings of application optimization options, ensuring sustainability becomes an on-going benchmark for the success of IT operations.

The AWS cloud platform itself presents inherent sustainability advantages for IT and application modernization. Sustainability is one of six pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework, meaning there are core design principles, operational guidance, best practices, and improvement plans offered up to help organizations meet sustainability targets for their AWS workloads. AWS also delivers a broad set of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), and data analytics capabilities to help organizations achieve their sustainability goals.

“Modernizing applications on AWS compounds the benefits of sustainability because AWS is inherently a sustainable platform,” Manuru says.

For more information on the IBM/AWS modernization and sustainability partnership, visit https://www.ibm.com/consulting/aws

 

Green IT

Modernization is on the minds of IT decision makers, and with good reason — legacy systems cannot keep up with the realities of today’s business environment. Additionally,      many organizations are discovering their modernization advantage: their developer teams, and the databases that underpin  their applications.

“Legacy modernization is really a strategic initiative that enables you to apply the latest innovations in development methodologies and technology to refresh your portfolio of applications,” says Frederic Favelin, EMEA Technical Director, Partner Presales at MongoDB.

His remarks came during an episode of  Google Cloud’s podcast series “The Principles of a Cloud Data Strategy.”

This is much more than just lift and shift,” Favelin continues. “Moving your existing application and databases to faster hardware or onto the cloud may get you slightly higher performances and marginally reduce cost, but you will fail to realize the transformational business agility and scale, or development freedom without modernizing the whole infrastructure.”      

The ‘Innovation Tax’

For many organizations, databases have proliferated, leading to a complex ecosystem of resources — cloud, on-premise, NoSQL, non-relational, traditional. The problem, Favelin says, is organizations have deployed non-relational or no-SQL databases as “band aids to compensate for the shortcomings of legacy databases.”

“So they quickly find that most non-relational databases  excel at just a few specific things — niche things — and they have really limited capabilities otherwise, such as limited queries, capabilities, or lack of data consistency,” says Favelin.

“So it’s at this point that organizations start to really feel the burden of learning, maintaining and trying to figure out how to integrate the data between a growing set of technologies. This often means that separate search technologies are added to the data infrastructure, which require teams to move and transform data from database to dedicated search engine.”

Add the need to integrate increasingly strategic mobile capabilities, and the environment  gets even more complex, quickly. In addition, as organizations are striving to deliver a richer application experience through analytics, they sometimes need to use complex extract, transform, and load (ETL) operations to move the operational data to a separate analytical database.

This adds even more time, people and money to the day-to-day operations. “So at MongoDB, we give this a name: innovation tax,” Favelin says.

Toward a modern ecosystem

Favelin says a modern database solution must address three critical needs:

It should address the fastest way to innovate, with flexibility and a       consistent developer experience. It must be highly secure, have database encryption, and be fully auditable.Next is the freedom and the flexibility to be deployed on any infrastructure– starting from laptops, moving to the cloud, and integrating with Kubernetes. It must be scalable, resilient, and mission critical with auto scaling.Finally, to offer a unified modern application experience means that the developer data platform needs to include full text search capabilities, must be operational between transactional workloads and analytical workloads, while bringing the freshness of the transactional data to the analytical data in order to be as efficient as possible to serve the best experience for the users.

“The MongoDB developer data platform helps ensure a unified developer experience,” Favelin says, “not just across different operational database workloads, but across data workloads, including search mobile data, real time analytics and more.”

Check out “The Principles of a Cloud Data Strategy”  podcast series from Google Cloud on Google podcasts, Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.Get started today with MongoDB Atlas on Google Cloud on Google Marketplace.

Cloud Architecture, Databases