4 ways to move your custom legacy apps to the cloud

Change comes in all shapes and sizes. Some changes we welcome, and others we shy away from. The pandemic has placed a huge emphasis on the need to change business operations and many organizations have been put in “do or die” situations when it comes to going remote, virtualizing desktops, and — perhaps more significantly — deciding whether on-premises applications should stay, move to the cloud, or get replaced entirely.

Such decisions have been a long time coming. On-premises IT footprint has shrunk over the past 10 years with the emergence of the cloud, SaaS applications that are highly customizable, and composable business principles. We no longer live in an office with a server room, and our feet are no longer tangled in large spools of wire beneath our desks. We’re at home. We’re mobile. And we’re ushering in a new era of IT.

So it’s no longer a question of when you’ll move to cloud but how. Here are four different approaches to consider:

Approach 1: Lift and shift

The quickest and easiest of all four approaches, lift and shift requires no code or architecture changes and involves simply putting an application into the cloud using its current deployment architecture on new “hardware.” This popular option is available to enterprises following the emergence of infrastructure-as-a-service in both public and private clouds.

For those looking to move quickly, efficiently, and cheaply, it doesn’t get much better than this. This may not always be the most optimal migration strategy, and there are certainly some downsides to consider.

The largest drawback of this approach is managing the long-term scalability and manageability of the application. Born in an on-premises environment, a legacy application is accustomed to (and at times built for) a certain workload. Therefore, before you lift and shift it into the cloud, you should first thoroughly test performance and scalability, especially when separating the users from the application or the data by a WAN. Without proper testing, you’ll never know which straw will break the camel’s back, and you could find that an influx of customers, users, or even staff, tips an application over the edge and causes it to perform poorly. If this happens to just be an email server application, or a time entry system, the damage may not be too bad, but if you’ve unsuccessfully lifted and shifted your sales platform into the cloud, your bottom line could take a big hit. – Read more

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