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Application Modernization Pillar #4: Application Migration

Web API Using Azure

In this blog post, we’ll explore application migration and its role in application modernization. Read about the first, second, and third pillars of application modernization.

Historically, enterprises wanted to move applications to the cloud because they wanted flexibility, scalability, or the predictable pay-as-you-go cost structure that cloud providers offer. Now, they want environments that enable innovation.

Bottom line: the cloud makes it possible to experiment, test new ideas, and “fail faster.”


What is Application Migration?

Application migration is the process of moving software applications from one computing environment to another. This can include migrating applications from one data center to another, such as from a public to a private cloud, or from a company’s on-premises server to a cloud provider’s environment.

Applications are typically built to run on certain operating systems in specific environments or are developed for a single cloud platform. This means that moving an application to a new environment can be challenging.

Different applications will need different paths to the cloud, even if they’re within the same environment.


Benefits of Application Migration

Just like the different types of application migrations, success will look different from enterprise to enterprise. “Success” is determined by your business goals:

  • Improved and modernized solutions
  • Less time spent training new employees
  • Wider access to distributed applications
  • Decreased complexity and costs
  • Application consolidation
  • Better security and management
  • Increased productivity
  • Extended value of IT investments

There are a number of challenges associated with application migrations – for example, there are always differences between the original environment and the target environment, which means you might need to change the functions of the architecture of the application itself.

Without a defined strategy, your application migration project will not be successful.


Six Common Application Migration Strategies

As stated in our previous post, there is no “one size fits all” approach to application modernization – the same is true about application migration. The following six strategies serve different purposes and based on your business needs, you might use a combination of them during your modernization journey:

Rehosting. “Lift and shift approach,” or redeploying an existing application to an IaaS environment. Most commonly used for legacy migrations where you need to scale quickly.

Replatforming. Upgrading an application from its existing platform to run on the cloud while preserving its existing functionality. Replatforming enables you to utilize the cloud provider’s infrastructure rather than changing the application’s infrastructure. This is ideal for applications that are valuable to your business but not critical.

Repurchasing. Moving to a SaaS platform. Applications run outside of your infrastructure and are maintained by a third party. Repurchasing involves upgrading to a newer version or different solution, and typically requires a different pricing model.

Refactoring/Re-architecting. Moving from a monolithic to a serverless architecture. Improves scalability, agility, and overall performance.

Retiring. Evaluating applications that are no longer valuable or even utilized and determining if they’re still necessary for your business needs.

Retaining. Migrating only what makes sense for your business. You might find applications that aren’t suitable for cloud migration yet, but you keep them because they might be migrated in the future.


Application Migration Best Practices

Once you’ve determined which migration strategy (or strategies) best fits your needs, keep the below best practices in mind:

  • Assess the application and environment. Successful application migration requires an evaluation of your application portfolio, including infrastructure, legacy applications and systems, and dependencies that might affect migration. Prepare the destination environment by considering requirements for compliance, scalability, and business practices.
  • Create a deployment document. Streamline the process and save time with thorough documentation.
  • Prepare for data migration. Configure original and new environments to be as similar as possible.
  • Restore and reconfigure. Find files related to application configuration and update paths and connections as needed.
  • Automate when possible. Minimize disruption or potential downtime and increase efficiency by automating repeated patterns.
  • Create a test plan. A testing strategy is the key to a successful migration.


Perficient’s Application Modernization Expertise

The world’s leading brands partner with Perficient because we have the resources to scale major cloud projects and focused expertise for specific areas of your business. We partner with leading technology companies to help Fortune 1000 clients across all industries, and we’ve been recognized by analysts as a top service provider for application modernization and migration.

Contact us today to get started on your application modernization journey.


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Caitlin Koenig

Caitlin is the Marketing Manager for Perficient's Emerging Solutions portfolio and Salesforce. She lives in St. Louis and is a proud St. Louis Blues fan.

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