App Modernization and the March to Digitization

F5 Miniatura
Published May 15, 2019

Right now, DevOps is the topic for developers and network experts. Last year I explored just how prepared enterprises are for it in my blog. The next step in understanding the state of the market was our recent webinar series, Why Application Modernization Matters to Digitalization, in collaboration with Tye Davis from GitLab Inc., an expert in this topic, and F5's own Lori MacVittie and Scott van Kalken. What did they have to say? Here are my top insights from the discussion:

expert collaboration

  1. Defining Application Modernization
    According to Lori, this means in part that organizations are trying to participate in the digital economy either by building net new apps in the cloud, using new tools, or bringing legacy apps to cloud with changes such as building API. To Tye, the key is to explore and implement using the modernized toolset in management processes. For me, either the app changes are triggered by digital business initiative or they are not, simply because that indeed determines how and for what will the app will be deployed, and for whom.

  2. The state of the CI/CD pipeline
    According to Tye, many customers start with Continuous Delivery by moving to Agile and, in order to speed up release cycles, they also move to Continuous Integration. “In this CI part, in some cases you may find it becomes a longer road since there are too many siloed teams in the organization," he said. He added that he sees customers saying: “Yeah, we do CI already” but in truth, the teams supposed to do the work aren't talking to each other. The crucial thing here is communication based on the CI process.

  3. Key approaches/solutions for those considering DevOps
    Tye pointed to the ideas of “shift left” and “ecosystem thinking” here. “You need buy in from the leadership, top-down business buy-in, to take this DevOps approach, and also ensure the organization takes the Agile approach," he said. "And the key here is 'shift left'." An example: in moving from manual testing, shifting left means giving the developer more responsibility for testing, and validating earlier, so that changes can be made earlier. That avoids a customer rejection after three months of development effort. “Ecosystem thinking” is all about not isolating yourself but, instead, leveraging community knowledge and joining events.

  4. What's different about Asia Pacific?
    The webinar panel agreed that we should expect a more positive chaotic mix. This is not country-specific; it means countries influence each other within developer communities. Asia Pacific is a collection of very different nations, each with its own trends and priorities. But as more countries go digital, the more trends and market environments will converge. And more and more we will see trends in one market influence others. The takeaway here; yes, every country is different, but the struggles developers across the region have may become more consistent, and collaboration between them will become more important.


What is your take?