A survey of 5,000 business decision-makers, IT decision-makers and app developers published suggests organizations are taking advantage of the crisis created by the global COVID-19 pandemic to accelerate the modernizing of apps using DevOps practices.
Conducted by the market research firm Vanson Bourne, the survey finds 80% of respondents said organizations must modernize the technologies they use to develop and deploy software to be more successful. Nearly as many (79%) said their organization will not be able to deliver a best-in-class end user experience without successfully modernizing software development processes.
In addition, 80% of respondents said embracing developer processes such as test and learn would enable organizations to work more effectively and efficiently.
The survey also finds some organizations are not letting a proverbial good crisis go to waste. A total of 70% said they have good or excellent alignment between application development and IT teams, up from 64% prior to the pandemic. Alignment between business teams and application development (67%) and IT teams (67%) increased by 10% and 12% respectively since the start of the pandemic, according to the survey results.
Sumit Dhawan, senior vice president and chief customer experience officer for VMware, said the need to make applications more accessible and reliable is accelerating a transition to the cloud. The survey finds the primary benefits of modernizing apps are enabling remote workforces (54%); pushing quick updates in response to changing landscape (42%); and maintaining reliable uptime (41%).
The scope of application modernization initiatives varies widely. Some organizations are simply lifting and shifting existing application workloads along with the virtual machines they run on into the cloud. Others are refactoring applications to run natively on a different virtual machine platform provider by a cloud service provider. Others are wrapping existing applications in containers so they don’t have to be refactored when deployed on another virtual machine. Still others are employing containers and Kubernetes to develop entirely new microservices-based applications that tend to be more flexible and reliable than existing monolithic applications.
Regardless of the path forward, the inability to physically access local data centers during the pandemic has accelerated a shift to the cloud that was occurring even before the pandemic hit. There still will be many applications that for performance, security and compliance reasons may need to remain in on-premises IT environments. However, it might not be long before IT organizations also modernize those applications to make them both more accessible, flexible and resilient.
Most IT teams will find themselves managing microservices-based applications alongside modernized monolithic applications for years to come. Over time, however, many of those monolithic applications will be deconstructed into a core set of microservices.
At the core of all those initiatives will be a set of best DevOps processes that each IT team defines for itself based on the nature of the application portfolio that needs to be developed, deployed, secured and maintained. The challenge now is determining which applications should be modernized versus simply replaced by either a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application or a custom cloud-native application that is a better fit for the purpose.