Application Architectures are Rapidly Evolving

Digital transformation initiatives across industries are accelerating. Based on ESG research, nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents described their organization’s digital transformation initiatives as mature (having implemented and optimized several initiatives) or in process (currently implementing and executing initiatives), up from 58% just a year ago. What’s more, it’s important to remember that digital transformation includes people, processes and technology, and organizations are rapidly deploying new technologies to help ensure alignment with new processes. It is also interesting to note that the most commonly reported goal of these digital transformation initiatives is to enable organizations to become more operationally efficient (56%) in order to overcome the inherent complexity in highly distributed IT environments.

One example of deploying new technology is the effort to modernize application environments, a transformation that also incorporates people and processes. In the past, crafting a new monolithic architecture-based application might require years to build using a waterfall process, would typically reside on physical servers located in corporate data centers, and would only offer one major release and perhaps one or two minor releases per year. And the developers were typically segmented from the operations teams.

Today, growing numbers of organizations are evolving their application architectures. These highly distributed modern application environments typically leverage microservices-based architectures, container and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platforms that can be hosted in either or both on-premises data centers or public clouds, and utilize DevOps methodologies, allowing companies to swiftly bring new applications and services to market. This has also driven closer alignment between application developers and operations, as well as given rise to new roles such as site reliability engineers or SREs.

In fact, ESG research confirms the need to accelerate time to market, with a majority (86%) of organizations reporting that they are under pressure to deliver new products and services faster.

Moreover, there is a direct relationship between digital transformation maturity and the use of modern application architectures and methodologies. ESG research indicates that organizations with mature digital transformation initiatives are more than twice as likely (50% versus 22%) to prefer to use microservices architectures and more than four times as likely (66% versus 14%) to use DevOps extensively than those just beginning. That said, it’s important to bear in mind that many organizations are still in the starting stages of their digital transformations.

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