Cloud-first, API-first, or legacy modernization: Finding the right roadmap

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Whether you call it a truism or a cliché, one of the maxims of travel is that the journey is every bit as important as the destination.

Frequently it’s down to preference; some relish the control that comes from driving, others might choose to sit back on the plane and trust in the pilot and crew. But the destination also plays a factor in the chosen route. Crossing the Alps is a lot easier on a 767 than in a car, and few people would attempt the journey by boat.

The same applies to firms that want to get to hybrid integration today. Capgemini understands that the digital transformation adventure will be different for every company – there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Vive la différence

No two businesses are alike. Even close rivals in the same sector are discreet, unique, and different. When it comes to digital transformation, there is one major distinction that greatly divides businesses, and it’s one that will be the determining factor in whether the transformation is ultimately successful.

Businesses find themselves in one of two camps: Integrators or Deliberators. Integrators are the companies that progress further and benefit more from modernizing their approach to integration. Deliberators are those that don’t have a hybrid integration strategy.

For the Integrators, there are different approaches to hybrid integration success. The one that a company takes will hinge on a number of circumstances, such as the company’s remaining legacy infrastructure, or the nature of an existing API portfolio.

Taking all of these factors into consideration, Capgemini has identified three approaches to transformation, each of which has an associated transformation action plan.

Cloud-first strategy adoption

The journey to the cloud is underway for many organizations, whether it be rehosting legacy applications or refactoring
and rewriting applications for the new cloud environment.
Some organizations are also replacing existing core legacy applications with SaaS applications.

Whichever the approach, the first step is to ensure that an optimal, cloud-first strategy is in place; assessing which applications are on-site or in public or private clouds, and where they’ll reside post-migration.

This means understanding how they’re accessed and where their data resides, and how data flows to and from the application. It’s also important to ensure that the data retention and use meets the compliance scrutiny of regulators.

Modeling the integration features needed to support the business needs is also key. A robust capability assessment framework such as Capgemini’s Hybrid Cloud Integration Framework can greatly help with this effort, putting the company in a better place to choose the right enterprise-class hybrid integration platform.

API-first strategy

Some organizations are creating a portfolio of APIs from a consumption standpoint, such as for mobile apps and self-service portals. Others are integrating cloud-based and cloud-native apps, along with existing legacy enterprise apps for seamless connectivity between back-end and front-end systems. A strategic intent to expand the business ecosystem and/or create new business opportunities and channels to reach new markets is seeing other organizations looking to discover, create, and deploy APIs.

Defining business goals is crucial. A firm may wish to build new revenue channels, or to improve the customer and employee experience. At the same time, it is vital to evaluate the organization’s readiness to transform, and to understand what steps are needed to put that readiness in place.

The assessment can be streamlined by leveraging a comprehensive API assessment and adoption framework, such as Capgemini’s API-fication Framework to assess how an API-led integration approach can address the integration flows required to satisfy the business use case. This also allows for the unlocking of siloed data and services, opening them for broader consumption by internal and external customers, as well as covering reusability, security, and governance requirements.

This in turn leads to the creation of reusable services, connected with purpose- built APIs, as a foundation for an agile, flexible technology infrastructure.

Legacy modernization

A different approach is needed where a there is reliance on monolithic legacy infrastructure and applications. Many organizations are entirely refactoring their legacy systems and moving forward with a microservices and API-based architecture. This isn’t always practical – others might need to implement an integration layer to integrate services and APIs with modern technologies.

Identifying these legacy systems is the first step to transformation; the next is to build a business case for modernization. This will involve identifying the core data residing on the legacy systems, and then working out the time and effort needed to extract it.

The task of moving forward can then begin. It’s essential to use the right tools to keep the legacy transformation on track, such as Capgemini’s Application Modernization Framework. This can assist with identifying the most appropriate legacy modernization strategy, whether it’s service modernization, application refactoring, or application re-architecturing.

Getting there from here

You can spot savvy travelers from a distance. They’re the ones who are at the airport on time with minimal luggage, or the ones who check the traffic forecast before they hit the motorway. So it is with companies – the Integrators are the ones who seek out the right approach to digital transformation

Capgemini is best equipped to help organizations on their hybrid integration journey – whether they’ve hit a bump in the road or are looking to move out of the Deliberator line and move into the Integrator fast track.

For more information, download our white paper, Unlocking the hybrid integration dividend

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