Application Modernization with iPaaS: 6 Considerations

For many organizations, legacy systems running on-premises pose a “can’t live with them, can’t live without them” situation. They often can’t be moved to the cloud because of security requirements, data privacy regulations, or mission-critical status—but the business can’t run without them.

The answer: Application modernization, the process of updating existing applications with modern features and functionality so they better align with and reflect current business needs. It may include consolidating, adding automation, or optimizing for new environments.

You’re not the only one contemplating (or committing to) application modernization: Nearly 80% of decision-makers in an IDG Research survey acknowledged an urgent need to modernize their legacy apps. Respondents cited better user experience, increased data security, and improved productivity as top drivers for app upgrades.

iPaaS supports an integrated approach to application modernization

Why iPaaS is critical for application modernization

So how should businesses re-purpose and consolidate applications to closely align with current business needs? An integrated approach is essential—and integration platform as a service (iPaaS) is a key enabler thanks to its ability to connect multiple systems and data sources without sacrificing agility or driving your costs sky-high. Here are six things to think about when modernizing your applications, and how iPaaS plays a critical role in each. 

  1. Lift and shift applications from on-premises to cloud. When you want to migrate data and applications to the cloud, it’s a good chance to make improvements. Maybe you want to get rid of a vestigial piece of code; maybe you want to cleanse data that has become duplicated and error-prone due to prolonged use. In any case, during migration (and even after it’s complete), you will need to integrate these applications and data with your SaaS applications and cloud data repositories. iPaaS can facilitate such integrations for your application developers and data stewards.
  2. Migrate data (and sometimes very large amounts of data, very quickly) from on-premises to cloud. Modernizing applications may mean moving around data for optimal access. For example, customers can transfer enterprise data assets in a flat file format from on-premises systems to Amazon S3 data stores. iPaaS is the choice tool for data developers to move large amounts of data, quickly and securely, from your on-premises data repositories to the cloud. In addition, your next-gen iPaaS should offer a data hub on the cloud so that you can cache frequently accessed on-premises/cloud data.
  3. Transform data from legacy formats such as EDI to SOAP/XML. A next-gen iPaaS can handle these kinds of data transformations without excessive time or manual effort. Once you’ve set up the mappings using a few clicks with simple drag-and-drop tools, the data transformation can happen automatically during run-time. Your iPaaS may even offer prebuilt and preconfigured out-of-the-box mappings for EDI and other messages, which simplify and expedite your transformations.
  4. Replicate data as needed (perhaps temporarily) during migration. Examples of this includes replicating your on-premises database data in the cloud. Again, make sure your iPaaS has next-gen data transformation and replication tools to enable such critical data management functions and maintain fidelity.
  5. Use APIs to allow legacy code and data to extract value from existing assets. APIs can enable you to easily and effectively interact with legacy services and apps, while keeping your code sleek, flexible, simple, and loosely coupled. Please ensure your iPaaS provides API management support for your API administrators, but also allows your API producers and consumer developers to easily create and consume APIs.
  6. Composing several fine-grained legacy components into a single higher-order composite service. Consider a telecom order, which goes through a series of applications like order management, customer relationship management, inventory management, etc. Now envision exposing these legacy services via APIs and developing a composite service leveraging the legacy services that runs on the cloud. With your next-gen iPaaS, your business analysts should be able to define, deploy, and edit business processes with zero code—no programming required—to connect applications and data that reside on-premises and on multiple clouds.

nCino: An application modernization and integration success story

To help ground this process in reality, here’s how one bank tackled enterprise application modernization to get maximum value from its data.

nCino provides a single, end-to-end, cloud-based Bank Operating System that enables banks to increase transparency, efficiency, and profitability while ensuring regulatory compliance. Processing over 200 million transactions a day for its customers, nCino serves many financial institutions and must therefore pull data from a wide variety of core banking and transactional legacy systems—including FIS, Jack Henry, and Fiserv—all running on-premises and on different IT platforms. The data comes in many different formats and structures: spreadsheets, databases, XML files, and unstructured data extracts. This data is critical to driving business. Banks, for example, will not be able to operate without leveraging their on-premises customer data, even when their customer-facing application may be SaaS-based. nCino needed to modernize its applications by integrating legacy, on-premises data sources with its new cloud apps and data.

To bring customer data, files, and images into the Bank Operating System quickly and securely, nCino uses Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services (IICS) for cloud data integration. According to Mark Wood, Executive Director of Integration Services at nCino, “Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services help us integrate customer data faster and improve our customer banks’ operational efficiency, enabling them to reduce their loan origination and closing times by an average of 34 percent.” Read more about nCino’s success story.

Take an integration-centric approach to application modernization: Leverage the power of iPaaS

Ultimately, application modernization is so important to your business that you don’t want to tie it to a limited, traditional iPaaS. You need a next-gen enterprise iPaaS to anchor your app modernization—one that can support fast, accurate, high-volume data migration; handle data transformations without issues; replicate data as needed while retaining quality; and use APIs for integrating any app and any data.

Download our eBook to understand what that a next-gen iPaaS can do to modernize your on-premises applications and data, and how it ultimately benefits your business.

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