Provide a set of tools that aid companies in the decision of whether to face a migration or not, by firstly, characterising its maturity; secondly, analysing its architecture, suggesting convenient migration strategies as well as providing an effort estimation based on its complexity (maintainability); thirdly, simulating the potential application business model and its enterprise context, providing an economic analysis on costs and benefits and the implications of selecting one pricing strategy versus another.
The Modernization Assessment Toolbox is composed of three tools:
1) The Maturity Assessment Tool (MAT) focuses on the characterization of non-cloud applications from three points of view: technical, business and processes. The MAT in ARTIST is based on standards widely adopted in the industry, such as ISO 17789, OASIS TOSCA, ITIL, EFQM, CMMI-SVC, and so on. These standards propose best practices in all three dimensions and rank the possible solutions in terms of the most suitable alternatives for cloud-based solutions. The aim is therefore to analyse how compliant the application is now and in the future (e.g. once the migration has occurred) with respect to the interpretation of these industry-widely adopted standards. MAT is the first step in the overall ARTIST approach. Its main audience is managers for the business side and software architects for the technical side and thus, it must provide reports understandable for both profiles. MAT creates several reports: 1) End user report, which shows the questions and answers to the different questions presented to the user; 2) a Recommendations report, which advices the user on issues that need to be considered when modernizing the application; 3) several reports needed to trigger the ARTIST toolchain. One of these reports is the MPT report, which collects the users’ needs and has as main purpose to serve as input for the customization of the methodology. The second report is the Migration Goals report (MAT GML report), holding a set of high level of non-functional requirements that are refined throughout the ARTIST Toolchain; 4) an integrated Report or iReport that summarizes the results of the three tools that compose the Modernization Assessment Toolbox.
2) The Technical Feasibility Tool (TFT) has as main objective the offering of as much technical information as possible about the non-cloud application itself and about the technical tasks that need to be undertaken to migrate its components, as well as the associated complexity and the relevant non-functional requirements. TFT manages different inputs: i) the MAT GML report (i.e. the migration goals model and the suggested Cloud target environment) and ii) a high level PIM (i.e. component model) of the existing application obtained through the Model Understanding Toolbox. Inputs are selected by the user (i.e. the MAT report, the PIM representing the existing application). The TFT aims to provide this information in a user friendly way, but not only, as its results serve as input also for other ARTIST tools. TFT provides several GUI-based reports: 1) Inventory view, which presents a list of components that are present in the non-cloud application’s component model along with their owned classes and the migration strategies suggestions for each of them. These strategies are instantiated as migration tasks for each component marked for a migration, aiming at fulfilling the overall migration goals and the specific component migration requirements, addressing the Cloud target selection as well; 2) Migration goals view: migration goals are a set of constraints that should be accomplished during the migration phase and that can be related to the infrastructure preferred by the application owner (if the decision is already taken), the business model of the migrated application, or non-functional requirements (e.g. quality and performance characteristics). The main objective of the migration goals is to establish in a formal and shareable manner (representing formally the concepts and their relationships) the main constraints exposed from the application (or its owner) for the migration. The requirements for the migration that cannot be extracted from the non-cloud software itself are established by the migration goals and circulated over the other ARTIST tools (both at pre-migration phase and in through the other phases). A new language has been defined in the context of ARTIST for the modelling of non-functional properties. This language has been named GML (Goal Modelling Language); 3) Migration efforts, which presents information regarding the complexity and effort estimated for the migration of the whole application. Concretely, the data presented to the user are the component complexity, calculated by means of the maintainability metric, the overall migration complexity (how complex it would be to perform all the suggested migration strategies for that specific component) and the overall migration effort for each component considering the selected target platform. The TFT relies on several approaches such as the novel Cloud Migration Points, or the already established, MDRE. Both approaches have been extended, improved and customized for the problem domain of ARTIST and the TFT. In addition to that, several analysis of the quality of the source code and the models have been performed so as to discover its maintainability and potential code reusability considering both the origin and target platform. Finally, the tool has been supplied with intelligence by means of DSL-based heuristics, DROOLS rules and expert judgment.
3) The Business feasibility tool (BFT) offers means to estimate costs, benefits and operational risks of the migration to a cloud deployment scheme, based on an economic, strategic and analytic approach for evaluating and justifying Cloud migration projects. It uses simulation technologies to obtain estimations of the future value of the key variables describing the business models and the impact on the business processes. To achieve this, a Cost-Benefit Analysis is provided, where KPIs such as ROI and Payback are presented. Furthermore, the selection of a certain pricing strategy over another, affects the Profit and Loss account of a certain enterprise. Thus, with this aim, a simulation model of three SaaS pricing strategies (pay as you go, freemium, tiered) has been created. BFT also manages different inputs: i) the MAT report, ii) the TFT report (i.e. effort breakdown) and iii) business scenarios stored in the ARTIST repository. ARTIST BFT aims both at cloud service providers and cloud service consumers. For the first, it supports the decision maker in the objective to decide about costs, benefits and operational risks using a cloud deployment scheme (e.g. supporting self-servicing). For the latter, it supports the decision makers to decide about costs, benefits and operational risks of relying on cloud-based services (e.g. cloud storage services).
The modernization assessment toolset supports decision makers in the decision of migrating to the cloud against other possibilities. To achieve that, it is necessary to understand both the technological constraints of the application to be migrated as well as the implications that a new business model and a new pricing strategy have in the context of an enterprise. The holistic modernization assessment performed in ARTIST serves as a unique entry point to understand the requirements that a migration imply. The information provided with this toolkit ranges from high level (end user report, iReport) to low level (all TFT reports, BFT reports), covering thus the decision value chain of most companies, in both the technical and business dimension, supplying them with enough information to take the most convenient decision for the sustainability of the company.
The main innovations of the modernization assessment process are:
- Proposing a holistic pre-migration approach providing a complete approximation to the modernization problem, considering the technical, the business and the process dimensions of the problem and defining the “cloud compliant” term (as the collection of cloud good practices supported by several standards such as ISO 17789, TOSCA, ITIL or EFQM) as the basis for determining the maturity of software product and the company selling it, as well as the starting point of the feasibility analysis (both technical and business).
- Providing a set of modernization decision support tools to facilitate the decision about Cloud migration, providing added value information about the required migration strategies and the effort needed to perform them (based on the complexity of the migration tasks and the complexity of the source code to be migrated) as well as simulation of the potential business models, pricing models and their KPIs.