Why RPA Matters in Dev/Ops Application Modernization

IT Dev/Ops needs more automation, not less. In a post Pandemic and Work from Home (WFH) world, there is mounting pressure to increase efficiencies and reduce operational costs. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can help. 

RPA is generating a buzz, being called “a revolution in business process automation.” Research from Gartner Inc. indicated that RPA software spending is on pace to total $2.4 billion in 2022.

RPA technology automates high-volume, low-value, manual tasks. RPA solutions automate business processes that are rules-based, structured, and repetitive. 

Adopters of RPA include banks, insurance companies, utilities, and telecommunications companies. These organizations “are turning to RPA solutions to automate an existing manual task or process, or automate the functionality of legacy systems,” says Cathy Tornbohm, VP at Gartner.

Benefits of the RPA Revolution

Robotic Process Automation can “provide the spark that moves people up the value chain, providing opportunities for higher value and higher reward employment.” RPA can bring about reshoring – bringing outsourced jobs back under the corporate roof. In IT, employees can identify new tasks ripe for automation, and develop new, complementary applications and interfaces. “By reducing, or even eliminating outsourcing, Robotic Process Automation has the potential to promote new job creation, and put companies firmly in control of their activities and resources.”

Process automation reduces effort, labour costs, and human error in repetition. It can increase human productivity by a factor of 10 times or more. 

The next phase of RPA technology will combine artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. AI adds intelligence to the RPA robot. Over time, AI gets more intelligent by assessing RPA data. Instead of simply executing a programmed action, RPA will determine, with AI’s help, what action to take based on data.

Examples of RPA in Dev/Ops for Legacy Migration

Applied to app modernization, an RPA “robot” uses AI to automate repetitive processes like discovering applications, moving applications, testing applications, and cutover to production. 

Robotic Process Automation can help select which apps to monitor on a legacy source system. It can automate the mundane task of configuring destination VMs or Cloud instances. It can automate moving legacy applications over a network. It can precheck the moved app on the destination and automatically notify team members that the app is ready for testing. Once the app is verified, RPA can also automate the process of rollover into production. 

This is exactly how VirtaMove helps Dev/Ops teams today with app modernization. Our Migration Intelligence tools already use AI and machine learning to learn apps and determine when they’re candidates for migration. We’re excited about extending our RPA functionality even more to help modernize thousands of legacy apps running in production.

The Best First Step in Application Modernization 

Automating migration means that people can focus on high-value tasks instead, such as prioritizing new development and adding new functionality to applications.

While you plan for full re-architecture, you can use RPA to move existing apps in their current state to modern servers. Moving legacy apps to modern servers and planning for full re-architecture can be done at the same time. It’s called a stateful re-install of legacy Windows Server apps. Modern servers extend the useful life of legacy apps by years, giving you time to properly plan for and budget a big re-architecture project.  

Benefits of Moving Old Apps to Modern Servers

Using RPA to move old apps to new servers gives you immediate, tangible benefits:

  1. A new operating system closes known security exposures on WS2000, WS2003, and WS2008 servers and compliance issues raised from running on an unsupported OS.
  2. Modern hardware improves system performance and lets users do more work.
  3. Stack components such as IIS and SQL Server can be modernized during the move to a new OS.
  4. A modern OS opens the opportunity of moving apps to the Cloud, where apps can be managed with Cloud management tools and easily scaled to meet demand.
  5. The life cycle of apps can be extended, and normal modernization projects can occur to address new functional requirements, such as security, privacy, multi-tenancy, or Azure SQL on the modern OS.

If you’d like to learn more about how VirtaMove’s Robotic Process Automation tools can help you buy time to properly plan for re-architecture, give us a call, register for a free demo, or send us an e-mail. We’re always delighted to show you what we can do.

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