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The path to cloud application modernization

  • Posted on October 20, 2016

Cloud

Last time out we covered some of the issues with getting your application migration strategy wrong and how Avanade’s approach to the cloud journey, plus our toolsets, enable our clients to get the best value from their cloud transformation by focusing first on an application modernization strategy.

However you do it though, companies need to consider their business goals and how their applications will align to them, and what value the applications bring to the business. For example

  • If enterprises want to drive costs down, they should first target applications that are candidates to consume platform services so that enterprises only pay for the services they use as an applications use them. This approach allows a much better match of computing services supply with demand from application users. Web and mobile services within Azure such as API apps and logic apps can drive application modernization quickly and provide full leverage of cloud offerings for maximum value.
  • If enterprises want to gain new insights, improve operational efficiency or spur innovation, they might choose applications that can benefit from the cloud’s ability to provide analytical services such as machine learning, or consuming services within the Azure IoT suite. Consuming these services in new applications or revising existing applications to utilize these platform offerings allow enterprises to drive deeper views into the business and connect devices for improved operational efficiency.

All routes to the cloud are not alike

Nor is any single approach—retire, retain, rehost, revise, refactor, rebuild or replace—the right way to treat all of your applications. Lift-and-shift rehosting might be the right path for some legacy applications that need an improved, scalable infrastructure environment while the applications themselves continue to support the business and related processes without modification.

But you need to realize that lifting-and-shifting legacy applications to the cloud is like moving an old car to a new garage: it’s still the same old car, with all of the safety and gas-mileage issues you had before. The other consideration with a lift-and-shift approach is that you are unable to take advantage of higher-level cloud services, such as Platform-as-a-Service services, where the most valuable and cost-effective uses of the cloud will be found. If cost savings are your priority, consider which applications can take advantage of PaaS services of Azure.

A much better approach, particularly for enterprises looking to start leveraging cloud technologies, is to consider which applications, and paths for those applications, would deliver the greatest value in the shortest time. Consume services to create differentiation for the business and make optimal use of services already in the cloud whether infrastructure or platform based, and then drive a structured and repeatable application modernization effort quickly and incrementally using an agile development approach.

Not whether, but how

The question is no longer whether you should utilize the cloud to drive transformation for your business, but rather what to do and how you should do it. Targeting the right applications to be first-movers, and identifying the best migration or modernization path for each application, requires an analysis of workloads, business needs, and technical complexities. It’s not easy. But when done right, it can deliver all of the benefits of maximized efficiency, increased agility and greater freedom to innovate that you look for the cloud to deliver for your business.

Become one of the companies that’s satisfied with its move to the cloud. Start with a rationalization of your legacy applications portfolio to identify the right first-movers for you. Realize value quickly and understand how an overall cloud transformation approach supports your longer-term business and technology vision. We can help. Visit our Avanade Cloud Solutions site for more information.

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