Key considerations when upgrading monolithic applications

The definition of monolithic applications depicts them as single-layer applications in which the user interface and data access code are combined into a single program from a single platform. Monolithic applications are self-sufficient and independent of other computer applications, but are severely limited by size and complexity. Working on scaling/modernizing a monolithic application is more complex. Such an application must be treated as a whole, approaches and strategies may be similar to those when creating a new application from scratch.

Why might a monolithic application need to be upgraded?

Firstly, new technology may emerge that improves or changes your app. It is also worth upgrading your app when the “old” technology that your app currently relies on is unpatched or no longer sufficient to support the features and/or scaling of your app. Today, application maintenance costs are increasing significantly, not least because your technology stack is becoming more divergent and complex. Each of the reasons why you should be scaling a monolithic app are extremely important and are not worth ignoring if you are committed to true growth. From user interaction to handling real technical changes, there are many useful strategies when upgrading a monolithic app.

What can you expect after scaling a monolithic app?

Assuming you’re already after upgrading you can expect the results you’ve been looking for, i.e. return on investment. Measurable ROI is your indicator of a successful upgrade.This usually manifests itself in financial return, and number of users, ratings compared to other apps, SLA performance is significantly better. Additionally, there is a social ROI that is less tangible and measurable, such as cultural impact or addressing an issue of broader social importance. Such impacts may seem a step removed from the purpose of the project, but they often align closely with the ‘corporate social responsibility’ goals of many thriving companies.  However, you must remember that it is the needs and wishes of your users that must be at the heart of the process to create the necessary app that your fans cannot do without. This means that the foundation of any upgrade should be Agile, ensuring continuous delivery and continuous learning and improvement along the way.

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