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5 Steps for a Successful App Modernization & Cloud Migration Program

Accelerating innovation, optimizing performance, reducing infrastructure costs, leveraging scalability, and improving CX. These are the main benefits that can be realized by doing cloud migration. But then, unfortunately, many companies don’t realize that to get the cloud’s full benefit, they will have to do more than move their apps there. All apps are not designed to run in the cloud. Especially legacy apps are built by using monolithic architecture. By developing new cloud-native apps, we can circumvent the problem, which is quite expensive and takes time to develop. Furthermore, many legacy apps cannot be replaced for several reasons.

One reasonable option is to modernize the apps through a cloud migration project. You can take legacy apps and modernize their platform infrastructure, internal architecture, and features by undertaking app modernization. By doing this, apps continue doing their function and use the benefits of the cloud. However, a number of things have to take place as part of the overall cloud migration process. The following are some of the steps to ensure its success. 

1. Inventory your apps 

To determine which apps should move to the cloud, you will have to find out what you have, which means you will have to create an inventory of your apps. For that, compile a list of all apps that you have. Go & find out in each department, and account for all those apps you may need to be made aware of due to shadow IT. After that, you will have to map their interdependencies with your services and other apps. 

2. Note app characteristics  

In the next step, list the characteristics and requirements of your apps. For each app, you will have to note – How often it’s used, who its users are, and what business requirements it meets. You will also have to determine any specific performance requirements and how the app currently performs. Apart from these, you also need to document the:

  • If the app is critical & whether it’s running behind firewalls. 
  • Whether your app is up for a refresh or on the verge of retirement. 
  • How the app has been architected — monoliths (tightly coupled), microservices (decoupled), event-driven, service-oriented architecture (loosely coupled), or something else. 
  • The language in which it’s written. Also, whether the data it interacts with is bound by regulatory compliance and whether there are data sensitivity, privacy, or integrity issues. 
  • What resources (CPU, memory, network, and storage) are required to run the app? 
  • Whether the app experiences periodic or unpredictable traffic spikes. 
  • Whether it’s is scalable? And whether there’s a need for any specific monitoring or security agents. 

3. Assess cloud 

You may have apps better suited to the cloud, requiring little or no modification to move them to the cloud. You will have to compile a list of such apps. These apps may include: 

  • Apps built through a service-oriented architecture (SOA) or microservices. 
  • Mobile employees use cloud-native apps and apps to manage their activity, and that provides only limited information to the company’s information databases. 
  • Apps that don’t run frequently but require significant computing resources. 
  • Apps that run in a different time zone from where your IT personnel are. 

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4. Create your migration strategy 

As a next step, you will have to find out where your in-company apps fit in the cloud migration strategy framework. For that, various cloud services providers, analysts, and consultants have their frameworks, but a common framework on which the most focus is referred to as “R” strategies. They are: 

  • Retire apps:
    If you don’t need an app, or if it’s no longer helpful or being used, it’s a waste to keep it. Removing the app saves time and money, as you will no longer have to devote resources to maintain or secure it. 
  • Retain the apps: 
    There could be many reasons for keeping a legacy app on-premises — such as data ownership and compliance issues. Furthermore, some apps may not be certified for using them in the cloud environment, or they can’t physically run in one. Revisit any apps in this category, and create a plan to phase them out or replace them later eventually. 
  • Repurchasing or rebuilding the app:
    Repurchasing involves moving from a perpetual licensing model to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. Its benefits are lower initial costs, easier-to-manage-subscription fees, reduced hardware costs, faster deployment, no worry about installing physical hardware, and no worry about maintenance, hosting, and licensing because everything is included in the service itself. 

If the SaaS option is unavailable, the app can be built from scratch using cloud-native app development. There is undoubtedly time and money involved, but in the end, it gives you an app that does what has to be done. 

  • Rehosting the app involves moving it to the cloud without changing its code. This is also known as “lift-and-shift,” it is a fast option, needs fewer resources, and involves minimal application disruption. 
  • Replatforming the app: This entails modifying its code to use the base platform services. This is a slower process than rehosting. 
  • Refactoring or re-architecting the app involves moving applications to the cloud while re-architecting them. Re-architecting is often done to materially alter or decompose the app into services rather than a complete rebuild. But it requires significant changes to the app’s configuration and code to take advantage of cloud-native frameworks and functionality. 

4. Collect the required resources  

After you have determined which apps you want to migrate to the cloud and what strategy you need to follow to prepare them for the migration, you will have to determine the budget, staffing, and tools needed to make it happen.  

After considering the in-house resources and expertise, you may enlist a third-party company specializing in cloud migration. Fortunately, the leading cloud service providers maintain a network of vetted partners with the necessary knowledge, technical proficiency, and proven customer success experience. ISmile Technologies is one of them. Our cloud migration solutions help to reduce physical resource requirements and expenditures and increase productivity. We have proven methodologies and approaches to help you with the hassle-free transformation from on-premise to cloud and build suitable solutions for your business needs. Schedule a free assessment today.

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