The unseen part of our modern world, software, is continuously evolving and transforming. Miles ahead of its hardware counterpart, the complex algorithms and codes that make up every piece of software are the secret masterminds of human society. Nowadays, even the most common program can run millions of calculations per second, easing our tasks and making our lives easier.
The importance of software can be seen at both the personal and the business level. There is no field that has not been touched by the advancement of software technology, but corporations have to be aware of this reality more than anyone.
Here are four of the most important software modernization strategies for the upcoming year.
Safe, fast and cheap, cloud hosting is the example of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) by excellence. It has externalized data for companies, following the so-called “cloud migrations” – the process of moving data to the cloud.
This trend will continue to strengthen, with developers looking into hybrid clouds. A natural next step for the technology, hybrid clouds merge on-premises equipment, the servers, with a more complex cloud infrastructure, providing users with an entirely new environment.
This change is part of the evolution process of software. On the personal level, one example would be dating apps. The same way you, the private user, might at some point want to permanently delete your Plenty of Fish account and replace it with a newer application, so might companies want to switch to different cloud-type services. You both do so because the newer systems offer better calculation speeds, data analysis and processing capabilities, integrate better with other software and so on.
However, the built-in flexibility of the new cloud system means that data will become increasingly easy to manage. At the same time, it will grow in size exponentially thanks to the new data-mining programs and practices. The result is the need to update our own “software” – our minds – in order to be able to understand and operate the recent technologies to their fullest.
Many of the advanced software systems have either started as open source projects or have been turned into them. In this area, companies have still ways to go before reaching the creativity or output of individual users – something which might not even be possible in the end.
Combined with the prevalence of cloud systems as storage and operational mediums, IT technicians today can use state-of-the-art hardware, operating systems, data stores, development tools and management tools at will. This entails cost reductions and increases in productivity and flexibility for almost any company. Another perk of development tools is that they help store and transfer large information from one PC to another. This entitles the user to keep only the files needed at that time and save and deposit the ones which need to be kept.
As software became increasingly important, the quantity of data available increased manifold. In actuality, data represents the core bargaining chip and the reason of existence for the IT industry. AI, prediction simulations and other types of programs all work with the purpose of utilizing the immense amount of data toward reaching a goal faster of through other, better means.
Information and data management (IDM) is however not yet acknowledged as a critical aspect of any business. Data that is organized, coherent, understood and ready for use causes a rise in the quality of service in almost every field. As such, firstly data discovery and secondly data management should be top priorities. Innovative approaches to software have popularized this theme by creating tools and apps with the explicit purpose of data mining. In the coming years, this strategy will expand both vertically, by magnitude, and horizontally, by the number of companies that engage in it.
Now bearing the name “legacy systems”, the decade-old programs and systems that service the core of companies and have remained unchanged until now are the specific target of modernization. This process might be a real strategic imperative for corporations looking to stay competitive and highly productive. If a decade might not seem like a long time for a business, it is a lifetime for technology products, software especially.
The preferred strategy for integrating and updating legacy systems in the new array of software developments is defined by the “5 Rs” – replatform, revitalize, remediate, replace and retrench. Updating old software through virtualized environments, cloud platforms, appliance/engineered systems, in-memory databases, an increase on the analytical features or master data reconciliation provides a quick and cheap fix without total replacement. Well integrated, these systems will perform better overall.
The reality is that software modernization and transformation is hardly a choice nowadays. Darwinian and ruthless, the market requires constant evolution out of its composing parts that wish to be successful. The same reality may quickly come to visit people on an individual level, at which point learning and adapting to the ever-changing technologies will be essential. Although stressful and demanding, this process will undoubtedly bring advantages, many of which we cannot possibly foresee at the moment.
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