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Cloud adoption is now critical to meeting immediate business needs for over 90% of organisations. Migration to cloud provides a myriad of benefits that include affordability, scalability and flexibility for starters, and in a world where accelerated digital transformation is key to not only thrive but also survive as a business, it’s no wonder it’s now a critical service for nearly all organisations.  

But when it comes to implementing cloud, the migration of applications and workloads is often a significant barrier for many organisations considering cloud migration projects. For organisations that have heavily invested in on-premises infrastructure, many applications will be custom-built to support their specific business requirements, and to comply with rigorous industry standards. As such, migrating legacy IT and business applications are not always easy to rearchitect to the cloud, raising concerns around the impact of data sovereignty, operational efficiency, secure cloud-based applications and more.  

Concerns like these often delay cloud projects resulting in lost time and money, so how can your organisation ensure a successful move to the cloud? 

Make sure you’re considering these three factors as part of your cloud migration strategy for successful application migration…

1. Evaluate the cloud readiness of your applications  

As part of its cloud migration strategy your organisation will need to evaluate its existing applications to review if and how each application will be migrated to cloud. Established organisations will have a wide array of applications that are used to run business processes and store important data. However, these legacy applications are also often fully embedded into the organisation’s existing infrastructure so will require careful evaluation for any planned migration. It’s important that any planned migration will not negatively impact or break any of your existing systems or processes. 

Firstly, evaluate where and how each application is used. This will help you to determine the relevancy of the application for migration to cloud. Liaise with any stakeholders that are responsible for, or reliant on, the application to decide whether a replacement to your updated systems or software will be required, or if it is even required at all. 

From here, if the application is still in use, ensure you understand from the vendor whether support is provided for migration to cloud, and whether the application is supported once migrated. For applications no longer in use, you might want to consider retiring them to save the organisation time, effort and costs.  

2. Prioritise business-critical applications  

With a number of applications in use, once you have evaluated cloud readiness it may then be necessary to identify and categorise higher priority applications. As part of your overall cloud migration strategy, an application portfolio is a useful way of compiling detailed information about each application. Include information like the costs of building and maintaining the application as well as its business value to help you prioritise your business-critical applications.  

Identifying priority applications for cloud migration: 

  1. Is it business-critical or non-critical? 
  2. What impact does it have on the organisation? 
  3. Can it fulfil critical and strategic business requirements?

If you’re undertaking an application migration project for the first time, it may be worth starting with low-risk applications and easier workloads. This approach will allow you to carefully outline the steps for migration, drive quick wins without revenue impact and business risk, and learn from potential mistakes without breaking any business-critical applications. 

3. Review the complexity of your applications

Migration is more than a ‘lift and shift’ process, and it can become increasingly complex if your applications are not supported once migrated to the cloud. You want your migration to be architected for optimal performance, efficiency and value and therefore it’s critical to review the complexity of your applications to determine whether the hardware or operating systems used can be supported by your chosen cloud infrastructure. 

If the legacy application’s hardware and operating systems can run on your chosen cloud platform, it can be fairly straightforward to rehost without the need to make any changes to important components like application code and database. Re-platforming can also ease the complexity of migrating applications to the cloud, and is suitable for applications requiring software version upgrades or configuration changes for adapting to the new architecture platform. Fortunately, at least 70% of enterprise applications can be rehosted or re-platformed according to AWS. 

*Tip: review AWS’s 7Rs for common migration strategies for moving applications to the cloud.  

Start your journey to cloud  

Developing and honing cloud implementation for the best results can be incredibly costly and time-consuming for many organisations. Working with a MSP like Brightsolid can provide valuable support in defining your cloud strategy and cloud readiness, and implementing your cloud migration. Brightsolid can help ensure your migration choices result in the best technical solution and ROI, so your journey to the cloud takes you to the destination of optimal business benefit.

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