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Multiple Paths to Cloud: Migrating Legacy Applications

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In our previous blog post, Multiple Paths to Cloud: Taking a Cloud Native Approach, we discussed the importance of a unified plan for cloud adoption as well as the benefits of cloud native to build apps. In part two, we examine options for migrating legacy applications to the cloud. This path to cloud adoption has several micro intricacies and considerations to determine the best choice for your organization. We take you through some of the nuances and provide key insights to help you on your journey.

Current Options for Migrating Legacy Applications

Legacy applications and systems are like a time capsule. They represent your business model and state of business rules at a particular point in time. This embedded view is invariably outdated and likely a barrier to innovation. Legacy systems typically have dated and undesirable architecture, a cumbersome user experience, and procedural code that doesn’t work well with modern application platforms.

What are your options if you want to develop, deploy, and manage new applications on cloud but continue using your existing data center?

Hybrid cloud is a popular choice. It allows you to keep some of your data and applications on a cloud platform while other information (e.g., complex legacy apps and core business apps) remains on an on-premises server. Migration with hybrid cloud is gradual, which many companies prefer because they aren’t prepared to move everything at once.

“More than 75% of midsize and large organizations will have adopted either a multicloud or hybrid IT strategy by 2021.” (Gartner)

Other options for migrating applications to the cloud include a “lift-and-shift” approach (containerizing) with minor changes. There’s also refactoring applications to adhere to twelve-factor app (native cloud) guidelines. And finally, application rewrites to best leverage cloud and DevOps.

With lift-and-shift, you can move legacy applications to the cloud without redesigning them. Additionally, this approach represents a low-cost migration option. Specific cloud characteristics, such as elastic scalability, is often desirable for redesigning and rewriting customer-facing and business-critical applications.

How are other companies tackling application modernization? Complete this brief survey to find out.

The Next Wave: Modernizing Core Applications

Another big unknown for well-established enterprises is modernizing core business applications – ERP, CRM, and others – that support backend operations. Forrester predicts that this scenario will prompt a second wave of cloud adoption for enterprises. These businesses will need help with designing and modernizing complex, core legacy applications that have run for decades. In fact, many of these applications will eventually move to a SaaS model and require a specific integration and migration strategy.

Companies seek “innovative development services for enterprise apps, which will drive adoption (and spending) as companies start tearing apart core business apps and modernize them with innovative analytics, machine learning, IoT, messaging, and database services created in the cloud” (Forrester)

Considering the variety of cloud migration options, a holistic migration plan is often needed. Large-scale migrations will require taking inventory of applications, categorizing and prioritizing them, and developing a prescribed migration plan.

To learn more, you can download our entire guide here or below.

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Ben Shattuck

Jack of all trades, master of none. Ben is a lifetime learner who enjoys the outdoors, photography, Fùtbol, and spending time with his wife and son. He's a digital associate on Perficient's Corporate Marketing team.

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