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Legacy Application Migration to Cloud Checklist

Marlon Davids Saturday, January 30, 2016

Moving Legacy Applications to the Cloud? Five Tips in Our Legacy Application Migration to Cloud Checklist Will Help You Get It Right.

Legacy Application Migration to Cloud Checklist

So, you are thinking about moving your legacy applications to the Cloud. The benefits are clear: reduced capital expenditure on the infrastructure required to support critical business applications; centralized management; reduced operational expenditure on maintaining applications; and predictable, subscription-based pricing are just a few. In addition, pressure from management to reduce the overall IT budget is mounting because IT can no longer be a drain on the business’s bottom line. Instead, it must be a strategic factor in today’s Cloud and mobile world in order to remain competitive. According to 451 Research, 34% of enterprises will have at least 60% of their applications running in the Cloud in the next year or so. The reality is that businesses can’t afford NOT to move their legacy applications to the Cloud.

The reasons for transitioning to the Cloud are clear enough, but legacy application migration to Cloud can be a harrowing journey that requires careful consideration. If it’s not done right, the move to the Cloud could produce negative — if not disastrous — results for the business as a whole.

Tips for Successful Legacy Application Migration to Cloud

You’ve decided on moving your legacy applications to the Cloud but, as mentioned above, are wary of the potentially harrowing journey ahead. Put your mind at ease by following the five tips in this legacy application migration to Cloud checklist.

1. Understand the Nature of Your Applications and Data

When considering legacy application migration, it is vital to understand the nature of your applications and data before moving them to the Cloud. Some older, complex legacy applications are simply not suited for the Cloud. Applications with custom coding and complex on-premises database dependencies might be more difficult to migrate. If those applications require a massive redevelopment effort in order to work in a multi-tenant Cloud environment, it might make sense to transition to a new SaaS-based application. If the available SaaS apps don’t have the full feature set that suits your unique business needs, you should work with a Cloud service provider that has the expertise and capabilities to “SaaS-ify” your legacy applications for you at an affordable rate. Since Cloud service providers use shared infrastructure, you should also have a solid idea of your application availability and scalability requirements, so that app performance is not hindered by “noisy neighbors.”

It is important to understand the nature of your applications before migrating them to the Cloud.

2. Choose Your Cloud Provider Carefully

We’ve already discussed the general benefits of legacy application migration to Cloud, but there is more to consider, particularly when choosing a service provider. Highly regulated industries, like health care and financial services, are under strict compliance mandates, and before moving sensitive corporate data to the Cloud, companies must evaluate each provider for their respective certifications in each area. In other words, if you are a retailer, can the Cloud service provider guarantee regulatory compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)? In addition, will the Cloud service provider be able to successfully keep your sensitive data separate from other customers’ data in a multi-tenant, shared infrastructure environment?

3. Remember Security and Governance Issues

Concerns about security are one of the biggest impediments to Cloud adoption, and with good reason. Reports of widespread hacks are all too common these days, and companies must make sure that their Cloud service provider is up-to-date on security technologies and certifications. Further, existing on-premises security and governance procedures will often not work in a multi-tenant Cloud environment, so companies must fully understand the security features the Cloud service provider offers and work with them to re-tool their existing strategy.

Concerns about security are one of the biggest impediments to Cloud adoption.

 4. Evaluate Costs

We already know the general cost benefits of moving to the Cloud: reduced CapEx spending; minimized OpEX; and predictable, subscription-based pricing models. However, different applications need different resources (network, storage, CPU, etc.), or have different scalability requirements. Mobile applications often work well and produce costs savings in a Cloud environment, but some legacy applications that rely upon legacy on-premises databases might actually cost more in the Cloud, which is why it is important to determine if the application migration is justified from a cost standpoint. In addition, businesses need to completely understand the network and bandwidth costs each individual application can create in the Cloud before migration, as they can vary and add up quickly once in production, negating the more general cost savings that were expected.

5. Negotiate Service-Level Agreements

Finally, businesses need to fully understand what they are getting into before signing a service-level agreement (SLAs). Inevitably, there will be downtime in the Cloud, just as with an on-premises deployment. Businesses must calculate how much money they will lose when an application goes down, and make sure that the SLA clearly states what the Cloud service provider will do to compensate in such an event.

In the end, the question businesses are faced with today is not ”if” they will undergo legacy application migration to Cloud, but ”when.” In conceptual terms, the benefits of migrating legacy applications to the Cloud are quite clear, however getting there is much more challenging. Successful migration requires a full understanding of your business and application requirements, as well as choosing a Cloud service provider that really understands how to ‘SaaS-ify” legacy applications, and how to actually produce the cost savings that the Cloud promises.

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

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