Discover How App Modernization on Azure Enables Intelligent App Innovation

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AI is accelerating the need for app modernization to drive innovation with AI-powered intelligent apps while simultaneously transforming the speed and process of modernization itself. All of this speaks to the value of Intelligent apps, enabling businesses to deliver differentiated customer experiences, product innovation and business process efficiencies.


At Microsoft we’re focused on helping every customer modernize their legacy applications as fast and easily as possible, rearchitecting them to a modern platform that enables rapid innovation and an environment that’s purpose built for the wave of AI innovation that is coming to the enterprise. To help with this, Azure offers a comprehensive set of services to build and modernize intelligent applications across Platform as a Service (PaaS), Serverless offerings, and managed Kubernetes, integrated with cloud scale databases, and a broad selection of foundational and open models for AI. At this year’s Microsoft Build conference—May 21-23 in Seattle and online—you’ll have the chance to learn more about exciting new product releases, capabilities and enhancements to help you seamlessly build and modernize intelligent applications.


Modernize your App estate for AI and continuous innovation

Legacy applications, built on outdated technologies, are increasingly becoming a roadblock for businesses in the fast-paced digital world. They struggle to manage growing data volumes and user traffic, posing scalability challenges that can lead to performance bottlenecks and system failures. Additionally, their reliance on unsupported technologies leaves them vulnerable to security threats and compliance issues, while cumbersome manual updates hinder AI innovation and agility.


Modernizing these applications is crucial for businesses to stay competitive and thrive in this era of AI. This involves transitioning to scalable architecture, embracing modern technologies like cloud application, data and AI services, and streamlining development processes. According to a recent survey by IDC Research, 43% of respondents said modernizing applications to a PaaS service improved IT Operations productivity, 36% said it helped with scalability to meet peak demand while reducing costs at low usage times, and 35% said it improved security. You can learn more about these findings in the whitepaper, Exploring the Benefits of Cloud Migration and Modernization for the Development of Intelligent Applications.


Product enhancements to accelerate your App modernization journey


GitHub Copilot skills for Azure Migrate Code assessment

Last November at Microsoft Ignite 2023, we launched a new capability within Azure Migrate to help you quickly assess applications and identify key code changes required before migrating these applications to Azure. At this year’s Build, we’re excited to launch and demo the integration of GitHub Copilot skills for Azure Migrate application and code assessment. With this integration of AI-assisted development, developers can ask questions like "Can I migrate this app to Azure?" or "What changes do I need to make to this code?" and get tailored answers and recommendations.

New Azure App Service features to simplify App Modernization

Azure App Service plays a crucial role in app modernization by offering a platform that simplifies and accelerates the process of modernizing legacy applications to cloud. By leveraging Azure App Service, you can quickly and efficiently modernize your legacy apps, making them more scalable, reliable, secure, and adaptable.


At this year’s Microsoft Build we’re happy to announce the public preview of some key Azure App Service features:

  • Sidecar will let customers add new features like logging, monitoring, or caching to their apps without changing the main code.
  • With Webjobs, customers can run any code and scripts in the language they prefer on different schedules. Now that WebJobs is part of Azure App Service, they use the same compute resources as the web app to help reduce costs and ensure reliable performance. Webjobs for both Azure App Service on Linux and Windows Containers on Azure App Service is widely available in public preview.

Other features that are now generally available include automatic scaling, which helps users manage growing site traffic without wasting resources. Automatic scaling improves the performance of any web app without requiring new code or code changes.

Another important update is that Azure App Service now offers 99.99% resiliency when your plan runs in an Availability Zone-based configuration. We encourage you to use four-nines resiliency to bring more complex and more critical workloads to Azure App Service.

Check out this blog for details on these and other exciting Azure App Service updates.

Simplify App Modernization to Kubernetes with AKS Automatic

Now available in public preview, AKS Automatic provides the easiest managed Kubernetes experience for developers, DevOps, and platform engineers. It’s ideal for modern and AI applications, automating AKS cluster setup and management, and embedding best practice configurations. This ensures users of any skill level have security, performance, and dependability for their applications. Check out this blog to learn more.


Modernizing Java applications on Azure

We continue to bring product innovations to the market to enable Java customers to modernize enterprise applications on Azure. Red Hat JBoss EAP is a popular Java application framework used by many enterprise customers. We are excited to share that a free tier and flexible pricing options for Red Hat JBoss EAP on Azure App Service are now generally available, providing customers a low-risk environment to evaluate the technology before committing to a paid subscription.


Azure Spring Apps Enterprise is a fully managed service for Java Spring applications jointly offered in partnership between Microsoft and VMWare Tanzu by Broadcom. We are announcing the public preview of Jobs in Azure Spring Apps to enable you to deploy and scale Spring Batch applications without worrying about job scalability, cost control, lifecycle, infrastructure, security, and monitoring. This makes it easier to handle large-scale data processing efficiently, leveraging the flexibility and scalability of the cloud.


Gain valuable insights into the potential impact of Azure Spring Apps Enterprise on your organization. Download the Azure Spring Apps Economic Validation Report to explore the quantified benefits in development speed, cost reduction, and security enhancement.


Customers see increased cost efficiency and enhanced security

There’s no better showcase for our deep roster of AI and app modernization tools than the success stories told by valued customers.


Del Monte Foods, a global leader in packaged foods, leveraged Azure Migrate to streamline their cloud migration journey. By using Azure Migrate's discovery and assessment tools, Del Monte gained insights into their on-premises environment, identifying optimal migration paths and dependencies. This streamlined approach enabled them to reduce the complexity and risks associated with moving their workloads to Azure, ensuring a smooth and efficient transition.

"We reduced certain infrastructure costs by 57%, increased system availability by 99.99%, and improved system performance by 40%,” said Hari Ramakrishnan, Del Monte Foods’ VP of Information Technology.


Nexi Group, a major European PayTech company, partnered with us to revolutionize their digital payments platform, eventually building a solution capable of handling billions of transactions annually. Azure App Service and Azure Kubernetes Service provided the scalability and performance needed to meet fluctuating demands, while our robust security features ensured the protection of sensitive financial data. Azure's cost-effective model also allowed Nexi to optimize their IT spending, freeing up resources for further investment in strategic initiatives.


Jens Barnow, Nexi Group’s Senior VP of Group Technology, said that by using Microsoft technology the company “achieved faster time to market with new customer propositions, empowered our developer teams to do more, time for provisioning in new location, and cost efficiency."


Scandinavian Airlines wanted to improve its tech infrastructure to better serve over 30 million fliers it serves each year. The airline chose to move from an IaaS solution to PaaS and elected to migrate critical databases and applications first, using Microsoft Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Managed Instance, Azure App Service, and Defender for Cloud. With support from Microsoft Customer Success Migration Factory, they completed the complex migration quickly, immediately enhancing their security posture and creating an environment for more streamlined DevOps workflows.


“We are now operating in an environment that fosters innovation,” said Daniel Engberg, Head of AI, Data, and Platforms at Scandinavian Airlines. “The capabilities of Azure empower SAS to develop new applications faster and focus on what really matters: simplifying travelers’ lives and enhancing their overall experience.”


Check out our full line-up of modernization sessions at Build 2024

Building a connected vehicle and app experience with BMW and Azure: BMW utilizes Azure Kubernetes Service, GitHub, and other Azure services to power their MyBMW app, which serves over 13 million active users worldwide. In this session, BMW will share their insights on scaling cloud architecture for increased performance and adopting DevOps practices for global deployment. Tuesday, May 21, 11:30 am PDT. In person and online.


App innovation in the AI era: cost, benefits, and challenges: Modernizing existing apps to leverage AI capabilities can be a daunting task due to cost constraints, technical complexities, and compatibility challenges. This session will explore strategies and best practices for overcoming these obstacles, drawing on the real-world experiences of organizations that have successfully navigatedapp migration projects. Tuesday, May 21, 4:45 pm PDT. In person and online.


Conversational app and code assessment in Azure Migrate: Discover how Azure Migrate's latest AI-powered assistant, Azure Copilot, can help simplify your cloud migration process. It evaluates your applications for cloud readiness, identifies potential issues, offers optimization recommendations, and helps reduce costs. Wednesday, May 22, 10:30 am PDT. In person only.


Leverage AKS for your enterprise platform: H&M’s journey: This session focuses on strategies and best practices for building scalable, reliable, and developer-friendly platforms on Azure Kubernetes Service. H&M will share their own experience and insights, and the session will also cover the latest AKS features designed to enhance reliability, performance, security, and ease of use. Thursday, May 23, 9:45 am. In person and online.


Using AI with App Service to deploy differentiated web apps and APIs: Explore how to utilize AI-powered Azure App Service capabilities to modernize your web applications, optimize their performance and reliability, and troubleshoot issues more efficiently. You will see real-world examples of integrating generative AI, as well as how Dynatrace and Datadog simplify observability using AI. Thursday, May 23, 12:30 pm PDT. In person and online.


Vision to value—SAS accelerates modernization at scale with Azure: While recovering from COVID-19 travel restrictions, Scandinavian Airlines chose Azure app and database services as the foundation for modernizing their critical operational applications. This session will cover their modernization journey and explore the latest features in Azure App Service and Azure SQL. Thursday, May 23, 1:45 pm PDT. In person and online.


Scaling Spring Batch in the Cloud: This session focuses on Spring Batch, a framework for large-scale data processing, and how it's used in Azure Spring Apps Enterprise for cloud-based batch jobs. You'll learn about essential Spring Batch features and how to effectively leverage them in the cloud. Online only.


Spring Unlocks the Power of AI Platform—End-to-End: Discover how AI can elevate your Spring projects, making them more interactive, intelligent, and innovative. Learn how to seamlessly integrate AI into your Spring applications, adding AI-powered features to improve self-service and customer support in existing apps and discover techniques to create AI-driven user interfaces that provide more natural and intuitive interactions with your users. Online only.


Join us at Build and bring your app development into the future

Are you ready to unlock new opportunities for innovation and empower your business with cutting-edge AI? Join us in person or online at this year’s Microsoft Build to discover how modernizing your applications can make them more scalable, reliable, and efficient to better handle increasing user demands while reducing operational costs and be AI ready.


Finally, don’t forget about the full suite of robust tools Azure offers to enable your app modernization journey, including Azure Migrate and Modernize, Azure Innovate, Azure Solution Assessments, Azure Landing Zone Accelerators, Reliable Web App Patterns and more!


By embracing app modernization on Azure, your organization can stay competitive, agile, and prepared for the future of Intelligent Apps.

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