Legacy applications are slow, expensive and there is a lack of flexibility. Many companies are now moving their legacy applications to the cloud.

Legacy applications are not easy to migrate to the cloud. Legacy applications are usually written in a language that is not supported in the cloud.

Migrating legacy applications to the cloud is a long and difficult process. It requires a lot of expertise and resources in order to get it done right without any hiccups.

Some key benefits of migrating legacy applications to the cloud include:

  • Increased productivity by enabling better collaboration between teams across geographies and time zones.
  • Reduced costs by shifting from on-premise infrastructure to public cloud infrastructure.
  • Flexibility by allowing for faster deployment and delivery.

This article will give you a 10-step process for migrating legacy applications to the cloud.

Identify your legacy application and business objectives

It is often said that one size does not fit all, and this rings true when it comes to business goals and objectives. There are a lot of factors to consider, such as budget, ROI, performance and scalability which can all be determined in advance by gathering information ahead of time.

To ensure maximum success with your migration project, it’s important that you start here:

  • Identify business goals and objectives
  • Gather requirements
  • Perform market research

Evaluate the current infrastructure and determine if it is suitable for the cloud

The cloud is often touted as a solution for hardware and software vendors looking to reinvent the way their products run by cutting costs and improving performance. But what does this mean for those who currently rely on the servers, storage units, and other systems that are currently in place? If your business needs a new system, make sure to evaluate if your current infrastructure is suitable for adoption of the cloud before planning on making any changes.

To be able to pursue cloud computing as an option, you first need to determine how compatible your current infrastructure is with it. If you have data centers and servers that require regular maintenance or even special attention because they are so old or antiquated, then it might not be prudent of moving them into the Cloud.

Identify the key people in your organization that can help you with this transition

Before you can get any meaningful insights into our legacy application migration, it is important to identify the key stakeholders involved. This includes the business unit, IT organization, and user experience teams.

A small number of people are responsible for managing these three groups of people. They are typically known as ’application champions’ or ‘champions for change.’ Their job is to manage the day-to-day activities in order to make sure that all parties involved are communicating with each other effectively and efficiently in order to achieve a successful and meaningful migration.

Understand how your legacy application works and what its architecture is like

Successful legacy application migration involves understanding the software architecture and identifying challenges. While you may have an idea of where to start, getting an understanding of the existing system is needed before you can make any progress.

Create a migration strategy 

There are three main components in creating a migration strategy: what tools do you need, how long will it take to migrate, and what resources are available?

Tools: What kind of software applications you will use for your new platform? How much time do you anticipate migrating within those applications? Will you use any web-based software or will it be strictly online applications?

Time Frames: How long does it typically take for an individual company to migrate? Is there an official timeline from the company on how long they expect their migration to last? Does your company have plans for rolling out updates with each new feature release that could potentially lengthen migration times? What are the timelines for technology updates within your current platform in order to ensure compatibility with the new platform?

Resources: What resources are available in-house or will you need to hire/contract out for? What expertise is your company not already utilizing and what would need to be hired/contracted out for? Are there any resources that you may already have access to that can help with this project, such as industry associations, third-party vendors, or other companies within the same industry as yours?

Get budgeting right, resource allocation right

Legacy application migration is a process that can cause disruption to business processes and staffing. In order to avoid blunders, it's important to plan and develop resources for budgeting, staffing, and resource allocation before going through the process.

Set up a communications plan with stakeholders involved in this project

Communications plan is often the key to success. Stakeholders should be made aware of the tasks involved in a project and should be well-informed on how things will change after it is completed. This will ensure that they are ready to adapt in case changes are required in any area of their business as a result of migration.

Prepare for any potential risks of migrating to the cloud

One of the most common risks is migrating a legacy application - one that was originally built on-premise and doesn't rely on a cloud platform. Such applications typically have an older version of the code and don't use many standard APIs or services. Migrating these applications can often lead to a loss of functionality or data due to obstacles in the migration process.

When migrating such an application, it is important for businesses to follow several best practices: 

  1. Get support from the team who originally developed it.
  2. Choose a cloud provider that has extensive experience with migrations.
  3. Test for compatibility issues before moving all service components. 
  4. Make sure adequate backups are maintained before moving any data.
  5. Monitor post-migration performance closely for any outages or slowdowns.

Prepare for downtime with disaster recovery plans

As organizations are moving towards the cloud, an essential step for their success is to develop disaster recovery plans.

These plans can help organizations recover in the event of a disaster. They also help them to maintain uptime and productivity during times of downtime.

Set up your infrastructure in the cloud & conducting a legacy migration incrementally

There are three steps for setting up cloud infrastructure. You need to:

  • Evaluate what you want from your cloud infrastructure
  • Determine how much you can spend on this
  • Select a cloud provider

Considering the potential and complexity of a legacy migration, conducting it incrementally can help enterprises address challenges and avoid costly mistakes.

Final words

Some doubts may arise in the mind of one who is trying to migrate an existing legacy application to a new platform in the cloud. But, this is a process that needs to be taken in order to embrace the future and gain more productivity.

For these reasons, we should not shy away from adapting this technology as it gives us far more advantages than disadvantages.