President and CEO of Synchrony Systems Inc.,
Slavik Zorin is President and CEO of Synchrony Systems Inc., a company focused on modernization solutions to transform the growing IT application legacy to modern programming languages and platforms using DevOps principles. Under Slavik’s leadership, Synchrony has built and OEM-ed with IBM several migration products that modernize client/server and mainframe applications to Java, Web 2.0, Mobile and cloud platforms. He is also the visionary behind their Modernization Lifecycle Platform (MLP), which was a 2018 CODiE finalist for Best DevOps Tool, and he is a recognized thought leader in the legacy application modernization space.
Synchrony Systems Inc.
Synchrony Systems has been helping companies modernize their legacy, mission-critical applications for over 20 years. Their extensive experience, deep commitment to automation while maintaining agility backed by a relentless pursuit towards standardization and industrialization of a systematic way to modernize application software has resulted in the world’s first modernization platform of its kind - Modernization Lifecycle Platform (MLP) that modernizes legacy applications ten times faster and cheaper than traditional modernization approaches. To learn more about Synchrony Systems, please visit www.sync-sys.com
Jennifer Carl: Tell me about Synchrony Systems’ Mission
Slavik Zorin: The mission of Synchrony Systems is to eliminate the business challenge of software obsolescence. We live in a very agile world with rapid technological advances. The software and underlying technology used to build business-critical systems is aging quickly and can’t keep up with the pace of change. The technical debt and the shrinking technical talent to support legacy systems, not to mention digital transformation initiatives, are putting enormous drag on businesses.
We have been in the business of legacy application modernization for over 20-years, and we envision a future where there is no more legacy software. To enable this future, we’ve built MLP, the worlds’ first application modernization platform to manage the entire lifecycle of application modernization. Our vision for the platform is to allow IT professionals and developers to fully embrace DevOps principles and facilitate continuous modernization of their business-critical applications without disrupting business operations. We’ve coined this as ModOps, and we fully expect to see this play out in the next five years.
Jennifer Carl: Over the past twenty years what advances have you seen in the modernization of software?
Slavik Zorin: If I look back over 20 years and think about the trends, it has really all started with the mainframe or the “big iron”, where all application software was developed, maintained and run, all in one single place. Over time, this monolithic computing power has been supplemented by more granular and distributed computing power, namely the personal computers and network operating systems. This marked the beginning of an architectural revolution, away from large and monolithic systems, and towards highly distributed and scalable systems that are more flexible, and easier to develop and deploy – what is today’s microservices architecture.
As the rate of change in technological advances continues to accelerate, especially as we look at technologies such as Big Data and AI, we are beginning to approach the age when software will be able upgrade and modernize itself. This will not only become transformational, but also disruptive to the service-driven businesses and migration companies alike. As this future begins to unfold, Synchrony’s MLP platform must play an important role in managing a large number of application modernizations across diverse programming languages and platforms, incorporating the required knowledge and systematic process in order to achieve a frictionless and continuous modernization of application software.
Jennifer Carl: You are a technologist at heart. What is sparking your interested at the moment, and how does it apply to Synchrony?
Slavik Zorin: Lots of things interest me in the industry. IoT, for example, is extremely interesting and incredibly empowering evolution of technology in terms of the benefits it’s going to deliver to the world. We are going to be able to monitor everything—agriculture, logistics, automobiles, medicine, our homes, our health, you name it... But It’s not just about the monitoring; it’s the massive amount of real-time data collected from these miniature IoT devices, and the harnessing of this data that will foster progress, global prosperity, and change the way we interact with each other and the world.
But it is the intersection of machine learning (ML) or AI, if you prefer that term, accompanied by the big data analytics, where we see the possibilities for Synchrony Systems. As the MLP platform and its ecosystem expands to manage hundreds and even thousands of modernizations, the knowledge of how systems are built will grow geometrically making the perfect place to apply ML. Imagine taking a monolithic system and having a really powerful learning and inference engine intelligently extract business rules, APIs, and turn a monolithic application architecture into a scalable microservices architecture.
Blockchain is another disrupting technology that might have interesting applications in our business. A well understood measurement of software applications is lines of code (aka LOC). LOC is also the way we compute the underlying intrinsic value when transforming LOC from one programming environment to another. We can imagine a digital currency based on LOC that can emerge and be used to transact within our ecosystem. This is something we are keeping tabs on and might play a role in creating.
Jennifer Carl: What are your goals for the next five years? Where do you see yourself and Synchrony Systems?
Slavik Zorin: Our immediate and strategic goal is to build out our ecosystem of modernization service providers, solution providers, and IT customers. The network effect is what will spur an entire industry for all software application upgrade and modernization needs. In five years from now, MLP will be that self-service platform for managing the evolution of software applications.
Jennifer Carl: Give us your TechTip of the month.
Slavik Zorin: There are two pieces of advice that I would give a technology entrepreneur starting out:
First, figure out what you are really good at and then pair up with someone who is your complimentary partner. For example, while I love software development and pretty good at it, I’m a better evangelist for our company and can bring more value by promoting our vision and help with customer and strategic partners acquisition. Think how Apple became such a transformational company. They had two magical ingredients when they started: Steve Jobs, the ultimate visionary and evangelist, and his counterpart Steve Wozniack, the brilliant technologist.
Second, get your product into the hands of your end customer or user as fast as possible. As quickly as you can, validate that what you’re developing has a real need and a real customer. Iterate and innovate based on their feedback, following the motto of continuous improvement. Never let perfect stay in the way of progress.