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4 Considerations for Legacy Application Modernization

Marlon Davids Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Facing a Shrinking IT Budget? Harness the Cloud for Legacy Application Modernization.

Four Considerations for Legacy Application Modernization


An IT manager walks into a conference room for an annual budget meeting. Seated at the table are the CEO and CFO with the inevitable news that the budget for IT has been reduced. IT has been causing too much of a drain on the company’s bottom line. Inquiries into how IT can do more for less money start flying. Chances are the IT team has already virtualized much of their on-premises infrastructure, or even outsourced some of it to the Cloud, so questions remain:

  • What about applications, particularly critical legacy business applications?
  • Why can’t you lower the operating costs on those like you did with server consolidation?

These days, this is a familiar scenario for anyone in IT.

Even though the business depends on those legacy applications, the fact is that those are challenging to maintain, don’t scale to Cloud proportions, and are often difficult to deliver to a new mobile workforce using multiple devices with different operating systems. IT could try to transition to SaaS and mobile apps, however, many of those don’t have the full feature set that the legacy business applications do.

IT could also attempt to implement application and desktop virtualization technologies on-premises, but that can be difficult and expensive to do. To make matters worse, many legacy applications are extremely difficult to virtualize since they weren’t designed to work on shared servers or Cloud server farms, or be delivered to the mobile devices workers are increasingly using. This is why many businesses are turning to legacy application modernization through Cloud service providers.

There are several reasons why your business should move its legacy applications to the Cloud.

Reasons for Moving Legacy Applications to the Cloud

By moving legacy applications to the Cloud, businesses can reduce capital expenditure on the infrastructure required to support those, as well as reducing operational expenditures to deploy, maintain, and upgrade software. Many legacy business applications were not designed to be accessible from multiple devices and various places on the network, even though the mobility and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trends are a reality that businesses must adopt to remain competitive. Businesses can attempt legacy application modernization to make them work in a more distributed way, but the effort often costs more money than the IT budget allows for, and the overall process is a complicated and tedious one that is prone to human error and costly application downtime. In addition, businesses need to be able to scale applications up and down to meet customer demands in today’s Cloudy, hyper-connected world. That can be very expensive and time-consuming if the IT team is trying to do it all in-house.

Considerations for Legacy Application Modernization and Moving to the Cloud

Before actually making the move to the Cloud, businesses must plan accordingly.

  • First, application administrators must fully understand the complexities of their legacy applications, including dependencies on other systems, as well as what features are required or need to be tweaked to work in a Cloud environment.
  • Secondly, businesses must approach a Cloud service provider with a clear understanding of their respective needs when it comes to legacy application modernization so they can negotiate a service-level agreement (SLA) that meets the unique needs of their operations.
  • Businesses must also be able to provide a Cloud service provider with details about user access rights and permissions, as well as any network-related and security restrictions.
  • Finally, it is crucial that businesses have a solid testing plan in place before moving applications into production in the Cloud. There are bound to be hiccups throughout the process, and depending on how complex the applications are, multiple testing cycles may be required before legacy application modernization can actually take place.

It is crucial that businesses have a solid testing plan in place before moving applications into production in the Cloud.

Bloated On-Premise Legacy Applications Will Retain Unwanted Weight in the Cloud

Businesses that have been in operation for a long time have been using the same legacy applications for just as long. Some of these applications are custom-built, while others are off-the-shelf products with customizations that were added over the years. These unruly applications make it more difficult for IT teams to virtualize applications in the Cloud. When choosing a Cloud service provider, businesses must be assured that the service provider understands how to virtualize the most complex or customized applications. At Umbee, we specialise in Cloud Hosting solutions, and work with both ISVs and customers to understand the particular requirements, architectures, and complexities of a wide variety of industry applications so that we can “SaaS-ify” virtually any app, even in the most complex situations.

In the end, businesses need to upgrade their legacy applications and service delivery methods to meet the demands of today’s Cloud-centric, mobile world. With ever-shrinking IT budgets, turning to a Cloud service provider can enable them to achieve this. With proper planning and a complete understanding of business and technology requirements, companies can work together with a Cloud service provider to make that happen at a fraction of the cost of doing it in-house. In addition, by outsourcing the tedious tasks of IT and application administration to a Cloud specialist, IT teams can focus on more strategic initiatives that don’t drain the IT budget, thereby boosting the overall bottom line.

Contact us if your organization could use a helping hand to move your legacy applications to the Cloud!

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