A legacy application is an outdated or obsolete software program. A company or a business may instead not use a legacy app since it is unstable and has compatibility issues with operating systems and browsers, even though they had relied on them for years. However, businesses are still reluctant to migrate their data for different reasons, such as having the data operating without any problem, the cost of upgrading a legacy application, and disrupting the workflow of the employees and the company. 

Why should you migrate legacy applications to the cloud?

Cost management: The longer you have old hardware, the more it costs to maintain it. When you migrate to the cloud, you use the cloud’s infrastructure, reduce your maintenance costs, and pay only for what you need.  

Data protection: Legacy applications are not well-protected. They make your computers vulnerable to viruses, breaches, and identity theft. Additionally, legacy applications don’t have backups or data recovery plans in case of damage or data loss. 

Availability: Legacy applications are prolonged and take forever to load. Users and employees may need much time to learn how to use them, and storing much information on legacy apps while expecting them to function normally isn’t accessible. When you migrate the data to the cloud, you can access it when and wherever you want. 

Compatibility: Legacy applications are not compatible or familiar with any new modern IT infrastructures such as SaaS apps, updated operating systems, and smartphones. Migrating your data to the cloud updates your IT infrastructure to meet current business needs.

Mobility: Legacy applications only run on windows, while some businesses use Mac devices or mobile devices to check emails. The cloud would make your data available for you 24/7, accessing it from anywhere you might need it while having multiple employees use it.       

How to move your legacy applications to the cloud?

  1. Conduct a SWOT analysis: Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of migrating to the cloud. What does the cloud present of threats and opportunities? The SWOT analysis should always be a step ahead of your technical plan; always longer need to keep a big picture of what is happening. 
  2. Assess your environment: Before migrating, you should evaluate and check your current IT infrastructure. Microsoft provides several migration tools which could help you understand how are ready are physically and virtually to migrate.  
  3. Select your migration strategy: 
  • Lift and shift: It requires no code or architecture change, and it simply means putting the application into the cloud using hardware. This option is best for enterprises looking to move quickly, cheaply, and efficiently. However, there is a downside to the lift and shift approach. You should first test performance before separating data from WAN because without testing; you won’t know which data will cause malfunctioning to the migration. For example, it could be an email, and the damage won’t be significant, but it could be that you poorly lifted and shifted your sales platform into your cloud, which will cause a big hit.   
  • Refactor: It is the process of moving your application to a public cloud and rearchitecting it to adapt to native cloud technologies, which will require a change in the codes and long-term investment. It is the most sustainable approach, as it is available remotely and will meet all the needs of the business. However, the downside is that refactor costs much and is time-consuming. In addition, it means building the application in a completely new environment with new codes, which is a big project to handle.
  • Replatform: This approach means making “easy” changes to the application architecture, such as changing how the app interacts and takes advantage of the cloud services. It is faster than refactoring and comes in between it and lifting and shifting. Nonetheless, you may not catch everything while migrating. 
  • Repurchase: In this approach, you just get rid of the application and buy a SaaS one that you can customize. It is a tricky approach to consider, but you can contact office 365 of Googe Workspace. 
  • Retire: This involves knowing the assets and services you don’t need anymore and can get rid of while focusing on what is essential in the enterprise. Studies have shown that 10% of an enterprise IT portfolio is not of value. 
  • Retain: you may want to retain your IT portfolio, as there might be some data you want to keep on-premises instead of the cloud. In this case, you conduct a hybrid migration strategy.    

4. Run a pilot migration: Now, no longer need it is time to run a test migration. The goal is to see how your users will perform and interact with the cloud before the official launch. However time-consuming the pilot could be, it is a very beneficial tacit to use before launching to detect any issues in the migration. 

5. Migrate your legacy application: You should be ready now to migrate your legacy application. You better do it incrementally, ensuring no disruption in the operation. For example, you could start by migration by the system then by user groups, opening a possibility of testing in a life environment.  When you release it incrementally, you find issues and solve them better than a big launch. 

Migration challenges: 

  • Not having a clear strategy with clear objectives
  • Not having a clear understanding of the cloud environment 
  • Exceeding the budget
  • Lack of human skills to operate the infrastructure 

A cloud exit strategy

You can’t operate without a cloud exit strategy. It is a “reverse migration” where the strategy is as it sounds precise. It helps the business from recurring outages while it stays in line. Additionally, a cloud exit strategy can help the company respond to market changes by innovating and updating itself. For example, a provider may sunset a service, leaving a business looking for a solution. Finally, it may help you in finding better prices and discounts. Therefore, it is essential to keep a cloud exit strategy to stay a step ahead.

The three aspects of cloud exit strategy

  • Take inventory: keep an up-to-date cloud inventory 
  • Open-source infrastructure: This will help in moving between the clouds easily 
  • Multi-cloud from the beginning: Much easier than to change mid negotiations 

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