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Don’t Migrate to the Cloud Until You’re Ready

As 2017 comes to a close, everyone is familiar with the benefits of public cloud infrastructure. Unlimited scalability, unprecedented collaboration capabilities, and decimated Cap/Ex await those savvy enough to take their applications to the cloud.

But migrating all your data and applications to the cloud doesn’t always yield the benefits cloud evangelists would have you believe. When performed poorly, a cloud migration can actually be of significant detriment to your organization. This is best illustrated by the compliance issues that can arise when companies don’t revamp their governance strategies for the cloud: according to Forbes, failure to meet upcoming GDPR regulatory compliance laws could result in a total of $6.4 billion in fines.

The solution? Assessing your level of cloud readiness for each application. Armed with an understanding of the current state of an application, you can make an informed decision on how to migrate it to the public cloud—or in some cases, to keep it on-premises for the time being.

When assessing an application’s level of cloud readiness, consider the following:

Where is the application at now?

What is the lifecycle stage of the application you are looking to migrate? Code written within the last one-to-two years is more likely to be easily modified for cloud migration, while older code may prove more challenging. This is because most legacy applications have business process workflows which are hardcoded and closely coupled with other aspects of legacy code. Tightly coupled systems are problematic, as the cloud relies on decoupled workloads that can be utilized by multiple applications.

Sometimes, a web interface can be placed in front of a legacy application so as to function as part of a cloud ecosystem. However, older on-premises applications usually need to be either rewritten in-whole or in-part to integrate into a cloud infrastructure. Given this, you will need to perform a cost analysis to determine whether modernizing a particular application will be worth the investment. You will also want to take into account how new workloads will interface with current cloud applications and how this affects regulatory compliance.

Is the application mission-critical?

The importance of an application to your day-to-day business processes will factor into its suitability for the cloud. For example, moving a point-of-sale system to the cloud requires careful planning to ensure downtime is mitigated, sensitive data is handled correctly, and backup systems are in place so that any initial bugs don’t negatively impact your business.

Conversely, systems such as backup and disaster recovery, while important, don’t generally impact day-to-day operations. Backup processes are an example of applications that are both a good fit for the cloud, as well as low-risk migrations.

Does this application need to scale?

Scalability is one of—if not the—primary benefit of the cloud. At their best, cloud applications let you handle a vastly fluctuating number of users in a manner that is both simple and cost-effective.

However, if an application is expected to have a steady number of users, you should question why you’re moving it to the cloud. This is particularly true if the application is mission-critical and therefore risky to migrate, or if it is a legacy application that would prove costly to modernize.

If you don’t know the answer to these questions, that’s alright. Whether you’re looking for some quick advice, or need cloud migration help from start to finish, the team at Hanu is here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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