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article imageQ&A: 2020 will be about modernization of legacy applications Special

By Tim Sandle     Dec 31, 2019 in Business
How will enterprises make greater use of the cloud in 2020? What will happen with legacy equipment? And can we expect IT growth? Expert Ned Gnichtel provides analysis.
To gain a greater insight into the key business technology innovations for 2020, Digital Journal spoke with Crosscode's Director - Technical Strategy, Ned Gnichtel. This is a follow-up interview to Gnitechl's comments on 'enterprise architecture'.
Digital Journal: Do you have any predictions for 2020?
Ned Gnichtel:I think what we're going to see in 2020 is essentially a continuation of the same patterns that we've been seeing for the last decade. We will see a bigger towards modernization of legacy applications as all the easy forklift cloud-migrations are ending. Now the hard stuff is just really beginning; this is about getting applications to a state where the can move forward, where innovation is possible, again.
DJ: How about the cloud?
Gnichtel: We may not see as much cloud uptake. It's hard to say what the big providers are doing from a predictive standpoint around their forecasting and such, but if I had to guess, things aren't moving as quickly as all of them would like (especially the big two). There's been some big noise about government contracts and such, but the amount of time it's going to take to unwind, modernize and re-architect the applications that haven’t been forklifted to IaaS, is going to take a lot longer, and be a lot harder than people realize. I don't think we're going to see huge, exponential cloud growth numbers this year, because I don't think the developers are out there; there aren’t enough qualified people!
The big discussion now is about “de-monolithing”. How many developers out there really understand how to take a legacy application, or a traditional client/server application, such as one implementing monolithic middle-tier business logic, and break that down into independent services. Keep in mind, to do this type of work, you need to understand both the legacy approach, especially as it pertains to logic, rules, data, etc., and the new pattern. I think there's a shortage of skills and talent out there to support these scenarios, and I think, as a result, it's going to be slow going.
DJ: What will happen in terms of growth?
Gnichtel: As a result of that, if I want to make a bold prediction, I think the tech industry is going to see significant slowdown in growth, if not recessionary in nature, by the time we get to fourth quarter next year. From a tech industry standpoint, I'm very skeptical of where the resources are going to come from to support massive, application development centric initiatives.
DJ: What else can businesses expect?
Gnichtel: Even more problematic is we’re starting to hear rumblings that customers aren’t seeing the benefits of cloud, which is understandable because, as I mentioned earlier, rehoming a Windows Server 2008 VM running SQL in Microsoft’s datacenter isn’t cloud. I think it’s very possible that you're going to see some organizations very publicly “leave the cloud”. They're going to conclude, because their applications are not properly architected and optimized to allow for granular dynamic scalability, that it's costing too much money. The cloud is not a cost-saving measure if your applications aren’t able to take advantage of dynamic provisioning, instancing with detailed performance instrumentation; organizations must be especially careful with data usage.
To read our companion interview with Gnitechl, see: "Q&A: What's the next development for enterprise architecture?"
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