Public cloud services have helped organizations subside earlier concerns surrounding data security, availability, performance, and loss of control. The public cloud services market has grown exponentially, and as per the latest reports from Gartner, Inc., it will grow by 20.4% in 2022, bringing in a total of $494.7 billion, up from $410.9 billion in 2021. It is also expected that end-user spending on public cloud services will reach $600 billion by 2023.
Rapid innovation, cost optimization, scalability, architecture and process standardization, and tech-based debt reduction are crucial factors behind rising cloud adoption worldwide. But mere cloud adoption cannot help companies maximize its benefits. As per studies, application migration and modernization in Cloud can help businesses regain control of their application environment, align it with their specific requirements and get value from the modernized portfolio while making applications safer and more secure.
5 Steps for a Successful App Migration and Modernization in Cloud
Application migration and modernization in Cloud, though being tech-driven initiatives, will enhance business benefits as per their present and future goals. So, it’s time for businesses to take stock of their apps and modernize them appropriately while avoiding potential pitfalls by following the steps below:
Step 1: Defining Business Objectives
This involves mapping different business objectives for application migration and modernization with IT constraints and capabilities, like compliance. The process should also involve all the stakeholders to identify business objectives better.
Step 2: Inventory All Apps to be Migrated and Modernized
Next is to discover, list, and choose all applications that need to be migrated and modernized. To determine the App migration to AWS Cloud, organizations should know what they have in the first place. For this, responsible employees should reach out to different departments, list all apps, and map their interdependencies with business services and other available applications.
In this same step, businesses need to determine the requirements and characteristics of their apps, like:
- How often are they used?
- What business requirements do they meet?
- Who uses them? How are they performing currently?
- Do you have any special performance requirements?
- Are they running behind firewalls?
- Are they mission-critical? Do they require scaling?
- What language they are written in? and so on
A clear and concise cloud assessment of the apps is also important. Some apps within a business might be better suited to Cloud than others and require little to no modernization to move there. Businesses should make a list of such apps, which will primarily include:
- Apps designed using SOA or Service-oriented architecture for microservices
- Apps used by mobile employees to maintain their activities and time
- Apps that offer limited information to the business’s broad management information databases
- Cloud-native apps
- Apps that do not run very often but require proper computing resources.
- Apps that operate in time zones differ from those where the IT personnel of a company are located
Step 3: Specifying Migration Type
Here businesses can use the 6R formula to determine where different apps fit within the Cloud migration and modernization strategy framework.
Different migration strategies can suit varied businesses as per their requirements. These include:
- Retiring an app that is no longer useful or is not being used. Removing this app can save money and time as a business no longer needs to devote resources to securing or maintaining it.
- Retaining an app for a short period due to compliance or data ownership issues. Certain apps might not be certified for use in the Cloud environment, or they are physically unable to run in one. Businesses should identify such apps and create the right plan to either phase them out or replace them later.
- Repurchasing or Rebuilding an app means moving the app from a perpetual license to a SaaS or software-as-a-service model. It offers benefits like easy-to-manage subscription charges, reduced hardware expenses, and low initial costs.
- Rehost an app by transferring it to the Cloud without changing its code. This method is also called “lift-and-shift” and is considered the fastest way to migrate an app to the Cloud without the need for resources and with minimum application disruption.
- Replatforming an app is changing its code to use base platform solutions.
- Refactoring an app is moving apps to the Cloud infrastructure and re-architecting them to best suit the Cloud environment.
All the procedures mentioned above for app migration and modernization in the Cloud increase the cost efficiency of a business operation.
Step 4: Gathering All Important Resources
Once businesses know the apps that need to be migrated and modernized and the strategy they need to use to prepare the apps for the process, it’s time for them to determine the staffing, budget, and tools required to complete the procedure.
Step 5: Migrating, Testing, Refining, and Observing
This is the final step of app migration and modernization in the Cloud, where once the apps have been migrated, they need to be compared based on cloud app and on-premise behavior. Here, it becomes critical for businesses to test the Cloud implementation of their application workload; observe everything minutely, and resolve any problems that arise. These steps also need to be repeated if required.
Businesses should always understand that even the best-formulated app migration and modernization projects in Cloud can face challenges. And then there’s this reality that all apps do not always run reliably when moved to the Cloud environment. Businesses should arrange for special personnel with the expertise to migrate and modernize data in the best way. And yes, the steps above can change as per the business, and certain migrations might require additional steps for successful modernization. To summarize, there certainly can be additional steps but not fewer than the ones mentioned above.