As you finalize your plans to travel to Container World next month, I can't stress enough the importance of these two words as they pertain to containers: Modernize and extend.
This phrase (and its underlying concept) should be so ingrained in you at this point that it has become almost a mantra. But what does it mean exactly, and how is it done? As we know, every organization will find itself at a different point in its unique journey to a container model. While the challenges these organizations face tend to differ as well, IBM's summer 2017 online survey of 206 developers, executives, and IT leaders shows the most common issues in adopting containers are:
- 67 percent: Insufficient internal expertise in container development and management
- 63 percent: Uncertainty regarding the time and costs involved in container projects
- 56 percent: Skepticism among senior and influential business leaders
The key to addressing these issues ... you got it: Modernize and extend.
First, let's talk about modernizing traditional applications. Docker has built an entire program around this concept, called Modernize Traditional Apps (MTA). IBM joined the MTA program last year, working with industry partners to make this transition easier.
We did this because we saw that while some organizations are miles ahead of the pack in their efforts to bring their existing workloads (traditional apps) to containers and microservices, others are just getting started. I believe that all workloads can benefit from going cloud native. That's why we work with our clients to understand how to use containers and microservices to modernize their traditional apps.
We've seen clients achieve success when they address their needs by bringing in the right personnel—someone who understands container technology and the exciting opportunity it presents. We tell our clients to start with the workloads that are low-impact and will be easiest to bring to containers. Once you get some wins under your belt, expand from there. That will help address the challenge of skepticism among senior and influential business leaders.
You should immediately start to realize some of the benefits that containers offer. That same IBM study identified these as the top three:
- 59 percent: Improved app quality and reduced defects
- 54 percent: Improved employee productivity
- 52 percent: Faster response to changes in the market
So, you've modernized your traditional application and you've begun to see results. In short, you've gone cloud native. Now it's time for the second part of our mantra: extend.
A cloud native application can benefit from cutting edge services. You can bring in big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain, Internet of Things, and the advanced cloud services that are revolutionizing the way business is done.
As I mentioned, we all find ourselves at different steps in our container journey. As you evaluate where you are in the process, remember that what you build is just as important as the partners with whom you choose to build.
My suggestion: Use your time at Container World to understand who those potential partners are, what they offer, and how they can help you modernize and extend your applications.