Enhancing business through app modernization

Nastassia Haux et Laura Heil I 2:13 pm, 8th July

With technology evolving at a breathtaking pace, and digitization now affecting every aspect of society, how can companies address the imperative of modernizing applications? How can they maintain a competitive edge and ensure their long-term viability? We recently sat down with Cédric Jadoul, Managing Director Luxembourg & Head of Digital Consulting Benelux, and Daniel Sahler, Head of Multi-Cloud Services and Work Life BeLux, to delve into Fujitsu’s applications modernization strategy and their tailor-made solutions designed to match their clients needs. 

1 - How can modernizing applications enhance business competitiveness? 


Modernizing applications can make a business more competitive by enhancing agility, improving performance, and ensuring adherence to current security standards. It allows businesses to leverage cloud computing, leading to cost savings, scalability, and quick adaptation to market changes. Additionally, it offers a better user experience, which is crucial for customer and employee satisfaction and retention, stated Daniel Sahler. 


Moreover, it provides greater flexibility. By integrating microservices, applications can be split into smaller, more manageable pieces, enabling quicker improvements and adaptations to business demands, added Cédric Jadoul. With monolithic applications, making a change requires retesting the entire application, which can take months due to the risk of regression. Modernizing by splitting a monolithic architecture into microservices helps you adapt portions quickly and efficiently. For instance, companies like Meta deliver many updates daily, whereas a bank might only deliver updates once a quarter. This approach not only reduces maintenance costs but also ensures the business stays aligned with its day-to-day needs, enhancing agility and enabling swift adaptation to market and business changes.” 

2 - What are some common concerns businesses have about updating their apps and how do you address them? 


Businesses often worry about potential disruption during the transition, the significant costs of modernization, and the risk of encountering technical challenges or compatibility issues”, explained Daniel. “Additionally, the technical complexity arising from a shortage of talent in the market can compound these concerns. To address these challenges, developing a clear modernization strategy using incremental updates to minimize disruption is crucial. Leveraging cloud services can help reduce costs and provide a more flexible and scalable infrastructure.” 


Updating applications, particularly with cloud and new technologies, will bring forth new possibilities for businesses that were previously unavailable, stressed Cédric. “For example, the recent Artificial Intelligence revolution has enabled easier access to these services compared to traditional methods, making modern applications more agile and aligned with market trends.” 

3 - What is containerization, and why is it important for businesses? 


Containerization involves packaging software code along with all its dependencies, enabling the software to run uniformly and consistently on any infrastructure. Businesses should prioritize containerization as it enables efficient, lightweight, and secure deployment of applications, detailed Daniel Sahler. This approach supports DevOps practices, enhancing scalability and simplifying the daily management of applications, updates and rollbacks. It facilitates quicker delivery to production, allowing organizations to align applications more effectively with their needs."


Moreover, containerization streamlines the go-to-market and go-to-production processes by addressing technical issues and questions more efficiently, highlighted Cédric Jadoul. Additionally, splitting old monolithic applications into sub-services allows the use of small containers to hold services shared between different applications. Consequently, updates to a service are automatically applied to every application relying on it, ensuring consistency and efficiency. 

4 - How does modernizing apps impact day-to-day business operations? Could you provide an example of successful app modernization for one of your clients? 


Modernizing apps streamlines day-to-day operations by automating tasks, reducing manual work and improving data flow between systems. This leads to more efficient processes, better decision-making through real-time data analytics and enhanced collaboration among employees“, stated Daniel.For example, one client had to change their internal processes. We split their old monolithic application into parts and converted some to cloud-native technology, increasing agility and significantly reducing operational costs. 


In contrast, a traditional lift and shift approach, where applications are moved to the cloud without modification, often leads to higher cloud costs compared to on-premises solutions”, noted Cédric. By reshaping the application, you can activate services only when needed, reducing expenses and aligning with FinOps practices. In today's world, sustainability and carbon footprint are critical considerations. While modernizing applications won't instantly transform everything, updating your entire infrastructure with micro-containers can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and CO2 emissions. 

5 - How does your company uniquely assist clients in modernizing their applications? 


At Fujitsu, we adopt a holistic approach, focusing on understanding each client's unique needs. We prioritize user experience and integrate advanced analytics for better insights, ensuring our efforts align with the clients’ business strategy and maximizing the impact of the transformation”, explained Daniel. 


“Our approach starts with a thorough understanding of the client's application landscape. Often, clients have applications running without a clear understanding of their operations. To address this, we conduct a comprehensive mapping of the existing application landscape. Following this assessment, we collaborate with clients to develop a strategy to migrate applications to the cloud, optimizing planning, reducing costs, and minimizing the carbon footprint.”, outlined Cedric. 


Additionally”, continued Daniel, “we incorporate AI wherever it adds value. Being cloud-agnostic allows us to recommend the best tools and technologies for each client’s needs rather than fitting applications to pre-selected tools.” 

6 - How does your team guarantee a return on investment for businesses modernizing their applications? 


“To ensure that app modernization pays off, it's important to set clear objectives and measure them progressively against key performance indicators (KPIs), helping maintain focus on business outcomes. Ongoing support is also essential to optimize services and ensure sustained value from modernized applications, explained Daniel. 


Clear objectives and long-term success measurement are vital. Often, services are activated to bridge gaps without monitoring usage, leading to increased costs. Defining financial performance, sustainability, and cost reduction as key factors, and continuously monitoring them, ensures desired outcomes. Applications will evolve daily, increasing complexity with new services and technologies,” emphasized Cedric. 


"Creating a Cloud Center of Excellence can play a vital role in a way to consolidate expertise and ensure that the KPIs, technology, and architecture set up are sustainable in the long run. Modern applications make continuous improvement easier than traditional monolithic ones. Furthermore, Fujitsu prioritizes training and upskilling in every customer engagement. Knowledge transfer is essential, and we aim to work as a team, reflecting our attitude and culture," Daniel said. 

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