AWS Application Modernization: Unlocking the Power of Cloud Innovation

7 min read Mar 06, 2024

Given the fact that we live in an era where technology rapidly evolves, we also must recognize the need for businesses to update their legacy systems to stay competitive. Application modernization, especially through cloud computing, has emerged to be a rather significant way of enhancing efficiency, scalability & agility, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) stands out as a powerful ally in this journey. It is known for offering over 200 services that are designed to streamline the transition to modern, cloud-based solutions. 

Modernizing applications on AWS is more than just transferring existing software to the cloud, it also involves re-engineering applications to fully exploit cloud capabilities to gain significant improvements in performance along with cost savings. It is safe to admit that this push towards AWS modernization is driven by the limitations of outdated systems which are often too expensive to maintain and lack the flexibility required for today's dynamic business environment. 

Join us on this journey as we get ready to explore the significance of AWS application modernization, outlining the application services involved, strategies for effective modernization, best practices, & future trends in cloud innovation. If you are one of those organizations looking to modernize your applications, understanding AWS's role in this process will enable you to leverage the cloud's full potential. 

AWS Services for Modernization – A Primer 

A comprehensive suite of over 200 services that support the modernization of applications is the USP of AWS. These services, designed to enhance almost every aspect of an application right from computing power and storage to databases and analytics, are what is encouraging businesses globally to go ahead with the transition. Below, we explore some of the key AWS development services pivotal to the modernization process: 

Amazon EC2 

Amazon EC2, also known as Elastic Compute Cloud, offers scalable computing capacity in the AWS cloud. It allows users to develop and deploy applications quickly without the need for hardware. This service is fundamental for businesses looking to scale their operations on demand without upfront investments in physical servers.  

AWS Lambda 

By using AWS Lambda, you can run code for virtually any type of application or backend service with zero administration. It automatically manages the computing resources, allowing you to focus on the code. AWS Lambda is ideal for applications that need to respond rapidly to new information or events.  

Amazon S3 

Amazon Simple Storage Service, or Amazon S3, provides object storage with a simple web interface to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere on the web. It's designed to deliver 99.999999999% durability & provide comprehensive security and compliance capabilities. 

AWS Elastic Beanstalk 

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is an easy-to-use service for deploying and scaling web applications and services developed with Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Go, & Docker on familiar servers such as Apache, Nginx, Passenger, and IIS. It automates all the steps of the deployment process, including capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and even application health monitoring.  

Amazon RDS  

Amazon DynamoDB is a key-value and document database that delivers single-digit millisecond performance at any scale. It's a fully managed, multi-region, durable database with built-in security, backup and restore, and in-memory caching for internet-scale applications. 

Amazon DynamoDB 

Amazon DynamoDB is a key-value and document database that delivers single-digit millisecond performance at any scale. It's a fully managed, multi-region, durable database with built-in security, backup and restore, and in-memory caching for internet-scale applications. 

AWS Amplify 

AWS Amplify makes it easy to create, configure, and implement scalable mobile and web apps powered by AWS. It seamlessly integrates with Artificial intelligence, database, and storage services and helps enhance developer productivity and app performance.  

These services can be leveraged by organizations to address various app modernization needs, from migrating legacy applications to the cloud to building new cloud-native applications. Each service offers specific features and benefits that makes it essential to understand their potential impact on your modernization strategy. 

Now that you are familiar with various AWS services, let’s delve into the strategies businesses can employ to effectively modernize their applications using these services for a smooth transition to the cloud. 

Strategies for Effective AWS Application Modernization 

Modernizing applications with AWS requires a strategic approach that not only considers the technological shift but also aligns with business goals and operational efficiencies. App modernization using AWS is typically divided into three phases – assessing, modernizing, and managing. Here is the strategy we follow at Seasia to ensure an effective application modernization journey on AWS: 

Source : AWS Partner Support

Assess and Plan 

  • We begin by evaluating your existing application portfolio to identify which applications are suitable for modernization. Next, we use AWS's Application Discovery Service to gather detailed information about your on-premises data centers, which makes it easier for us to plan migrations and estimate costs. 
  • We also take the time to clearly define your business objectives, such as cost reduction, scalability, and security, for modernization. This will guide your decision-making process throughout the modernization journey. 

Choose the Right Modernization Path 

Our app modernization experts will help you determine the most suitable modernization approach for your application. 

  • Rehosting (Lift and Shift): For quick wins with minimal disruption, we suggest considering rehosting your applications on AWS. This involves moving existing applications to AWS without changes. While it’s the fastest path, it might not fully leverage cloud-native features. 
  • Refactoring/Re-architecting: This approach involves making changes to the application design to fully utilize AWS cloud-native capabilities. It is important to note that even though it's more time-consuming, it results in greater agility, scalability, and cost-efficiency. 
  • Replatforming: Adjusting the application to fit into the cloud environment with minimal changes, such as using AWS RDS for databases, can yield significant benefits without the complexity of a full refactor. 

Leverage AWS Tools and Services 

  • Utilizing tools like AWS Migration Hub provides a centralized location to monitor and manage migrations from on-premises to the cloud, simplifying the process. 
  • Using AWS managed services, such as Amazon RDS or Amazon DynamoDB, we can help reduce the operational burden of managing databases, allowing your team to focus on innovation. 
  • We can also implement AWS DevOps tools like AWS CodeBuild, CodeDeploy, and CodePipeline to automate the software development lifecycle to enhance the overall efficiency of deploying and managing applications. 

Focus on Security and Compliance 

In addition to utilizing AWS’s comprehensive security tools and features to ensure that your modernized application adheres to the highest security standards, we also leverage their compliance programs to meet regulatory requirements relevant to your industry. AWS provides extensive resources to help navigate compliance considerations during the modernization process. 

Modernization is an ongoing process. We continuously assess the performance, cost, and security of your applications, by leveraging AWS’s flexibility to optimize resources and improve efficiency over time. 

Success Stories of AWS App Modernization from the Tech World 

The journey towards application modernization on AWS has been transformative for many organizations, spanning various industries including banking, travel & hospitality, retail, and healthcare among others. Here, we have compiled some of the success stories highlighting the tangible benefits and strategic advantages gained through app modernization efforts. 

Capital One Embraced AWS for a Smooth Transition to Cloud-Native Banking 

Capital One is a notable example of a financial institution that successfully migrated to the cloud, leveraging AWS to modernize its application infrastructure. This move enabled Capital One to enhance its security posture, improve operational efficiency, and innovate faster, ultimately providing a better customer experience with new digital banking solutions. 

Airbnb Used AWS to Scale for Global Band 

Airbnb’s migration to AWS helped the company scale its operations to meet the demands of its growing user base. By adopting AWS services, Airbnb was able to handle over 50,000 bookings a day, demonstrating the scalability and flexibility of AWS in supporting rapid growth and global expansion. 

AWS Helped Pfizer Accelerate Drug Development with Cloud Computing 

In the pharmaceutical industry, Pfizer utilized AWS to enhance its drug development process. By leveraging AWS’s computational power and data analytics capabilities, Pfizer accelerated the analysis of complex data sets, leading to faster drug discovery and development timelines. 

These success stories underscore the transformative potential of AWS application modernization across different sectors. Do you want to achieve enhanced performance, scalability, and innovation similarly to position your business for future growth and competitiveness? Explore our AWS services right away. 

AWS Application Modernization – The Way Forward 

As we look towards the future, there are several trends that might influence the landscape of AWS app modernization. These include serverless computing, AI and machine learning integration, edge computing, containerization, and sustainability in cloud computing. If utilized efficiently, AWS app modernization can transform your business for the better.  

When you choose us for your transition to the AWS cloud, we will help you unlock the full potential of cloud innovation to make sure your business is propelling into a future of endless possibilities and sustained growth. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the phases of AWS cloud migration? 

AWS cloud migration consists of four phases – prepare, plan, migrate, and optimize. 

What are the benefits of modernizing applications on AWS? 

Modernizing applications using AWS can significantly help you in reducing costs, gaining efficiency, and enable you to make the most out of your existing investments. 

How does cloud enable innovation? 

Cloud is known to drive unparalleled speed and agility in software applications. 

What is the power of AWS? 

AWS is one of the most comprehensive cloud computing platforms, offering more than 200 fully featured services. It makes building, deploying, and managing all kinds of applications and processes a breeze. 


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Anil Rana

Anil is a dynamic professional who primarily focuses on digital asset management and business analysis. With over 14 years of experience, Anil works closely with requirement gathering, analysis, estimation, design, development, testing, and production support while supporting business solution software and analyzing business operations for top global enterprises. He possesses multiple certifications that include Certified Scrum Master and Certified Product Owner.