From Monolith to Microservices: A Leadership Perspective on Legacy Application Modernization
April 2015 • Presentation
This talk shares leadership challenges of modernizing legacy systems, illustrated by a 20-year-old custom-made client/server application with 3.5 million lines of code.
Software Engineering Institute
From an architectural perspective, the aim is twofold. First, consolidate on fewer but more up-to-date technologies. Second, create a more loosely coupled architecture by introducing functional separation through horizontal and vertical slicing, in many ways moving toward what today is called "microservices," and do this in line with the principles in our management system, adhering to natural business process boundaries.
From a leadership perspective, the challenge is to effect the cultural and organizational changes needed to create architecture in line with modern principles, seizing the opportunities offered by new technology. We need to break the mindset incurred by the relational database—that everything has to be interconnected in a global model—and replace this by a mindset and technology that support deployment of smaller but cohesive functional services or modules. A major challenge here is technologically outdated domain experts, key stakeholders who are stuck in the possibilities of yesterday's technology.