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Accelerating Enterprise Application Modernization

Modernizing existing applications rather than replacing them is a time-tested approach to competitive advantage in the financial-services industry.

Modernizing existing applications rather than replacing them is a time-tested approach to competitive advantage in the financial-services industry.

Today's financial institutions have millions of lines of application code that are a source of competitive advantage. Those same lines of code can also hinder innovation. Over decades existing systems have evolved into large sets of complex, interrelated combinations of purchased software, homegrown applications and terabytes of data - compounded by numerous mergers and acquisitions. This makes it difficult for financial services institutions to achieve the flexibility needed in today's competitive environment - whether it's enhancing online account access or offering new financial products in the branch office.

Modernizing applications to regain competitive advantage begins with understanding what's currently in place. However, existing development silos, a lack of updated, complete application documentation and cross-application dependencies make this challenging. Replacing core applications with new applications is prohibitively expensive. Reusing capabilities of existing application assets in new ways such as services isn't only considerably less expensive than rewriting, it also leverages the benefits of a service-oriented architecture (SOA) (see Figure 1).

The IBM* Software Delivery Platform (SDP) enables differentiation by defining, automating and integrating the business process of global development and delivery. Institutions that embrace software development as strategic to their business can deliver software and software-based systems with the power to transform, create new revenue sources and drive business results. The SDP comprises products in four lifecycle categories:

  • Architecture management: Model, design and rapidly build resilient architectures for SOA, systems and applications
  • Change and release management: Improve software delivery and lifecycle traceability, from requirements through deployment
  • Process and portfolio management: Align business goals, best practices and projects for improved productivity and predictability
  • Quality management: Ensure software functionality, reliability and performance throughout development and production

The common focus is on flexibility and simplification in a services-based infrastructure such as SOA. This article will address one aspect of architecture management: understanding the as-is state of the business and identifying those assets that can be leveraged before beginning the design of a modernization effort. The first step is to utilize the power of WebSphere* Studio Asset Analyzer (WSAA) and the Asset Transformation Workbench (ATW).

Michelle Cordes has been working with IBM for more than 20 years. She can be reached at mcordes@us.ibm.com.


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Accelerating Enterprise Application Modernization

Modernizing existing applications rather than replacing them is a time-tested approach to competitive advantage in the financial-services industry.

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