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The 6-Step Process to Migrating Legacy Applications to the Cloud Faster
May 9, 2023

The 6-Step Process to Migrating Legacy Applications to the Cloud Faster

The rise of cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses operate and store their data. As more and more companies adopt cloud platforms and migrate their IT systems to the Cloud, they can enjoy the benefits of speed, agility, scalability, and cost savings.

According to Gartner, 75% of enterprise data will be created and processed outside traditional data centers or cloud environments by 2025. This means that cloud migration services will continue to play a critical role in the success of businesses in the years to come.

However, cloud migration is not without its challenges. The process can be complex and expensive, and success depends on various factors such as planning, communication, and risk management.

In this blog post, we’ll look closer at cloud migration’s benefits, the associated costs, and the key factors that can impact its success. We’ll also provide valuable tips and insights on overcoming cloud migration challenges and ensuring a successful transition to the Cloud.

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is the process of transferring digital assets, such as applications, data, and other business components, from an on-premises infrastructure to a cloud-based platform. This involves relocating a portion or all of an organization’s IT infrastructure and applications to a cloud service provider such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Moreover, it also includes implementing a hybrid cloud system.

To migrate to the Cloud, an organization must evaluate its current IT infrastructure and applications to determine which resources can be transferred and how the migration will affect business operations, performance, and security. After completing the analysis, organizations typically follow a step-by-step approach to plan and execute the migration, which includes:

  • Choosing an appropriate cloud service provider for cloud consulting.
  • Selecting the suitable cloud deployment model.
  • Setting up the cloud environment leveraging cloud platform engineering best practices.
  • Testing the migration process.
  • Deploying applications and data to the Cloud.
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Benefits of Cloud Migration

Cloud migration offers several benefits for organizations, including scalability, cost savings, flexibility, improved security, and agility

By choosing the right cloud migration services, organizations can quickly scale their IT resources based on their changing needs, respond to business growth without investing in additional hardware, and pay only for the resources they use. Cloud migration also provides employees with greater mobility, which can result in increased productivity, and offers robust security features and protocols to protect against cyber threats and data breaches. 

Furthermore, migrating to the Cloud enables enterprises to become more agile and responsive to changing market conditions by quickly spinning up new applications and services and scaling their resources up or down as needed. 

Cloud migration can help organizations become more efficient, flexible, and competitive while providing access to various advanced technologies and services.

Measuring Cloud Migration Success: Security KPIs to Consider

When migrating to the Cloud, monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your business objectives is essential. These KPIs may include cost and time savings, financial metrics, performance, and user experience. However, security-specific measurements are also crucial.

Here are some security KPIs to consider:

  • Can you innovate autonomously while following security requirements?
  • Are you compliant with applicable laws and regulations?
  • Can you automatically detect and respond to misconfigurations?
  • Are there measures in place to prevent misconfigurations from happening in the first place?
  • Do you have a data classification scheme and know which data resides in the Cloud?

By measuring these security KPIs, you can ensure a successful cloud migration that achieves your business objectives and prioritizes security.

Identifying the Top Security Concerns Associated with Cloud Migration

As organizations move their operations to the Cloud, they face a range of security risks that can threaten the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their data and applications. Here are some of the most common security concerns that arise during cloud migration:

Data Breaches: Cloud environments can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks compromising sensitive information, such as financial data or personally identifiable information (PII). Implementing encryption and access controls can help prevent data breaches.

Insider Threats: Organizations must guard against the risk of malicious or unintentional insider activity, such as data theft or loss. Identity and access management (IAM) controls can help prevent unauthorized access and monitor user activity.

Compliance Challenges: Moving to the Cloud can complicate compliance with regulations and standards such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS. Organizations must ensure they have the appropriate controls to meet these requirements.

Cloud Provider Security: Cloud providers may have vulnerabilities in their own infrastructure or face legal and regulatory challenges that could impact the security of their customer’s data. Selecting a reputable cloud provider and understanding their security measures is essential.

Lack of Visibility: Cloud environments can be complex and difficult to monitor, which can make it challenging to detect and respond to security incidents. Security monitoring and incident response capabilities can help improve visibility and response times.

Misconfiguration: When assets are built or updated incorrectly, it can result in public exposure, deletion, unauthorized use of resources, or unintended modification. Misconfiguration of cloud assets remains the most common cloud vulnerability

By addressing these and other security concerns during the migration process, organizations can establish a strong security posture in the Cloud and leverage the benefits of cloud computing while mitigating risks.

Adopting best security practices during a cloud migration can significantly reduce the likelihood of security incidents. In fact, an AWS whitepaper revealed a 45% reduction in such incidents on average after a well-planned and properly executed migration to AWS.

Breaking Down the Costs Related to Cloud Migration

Organizations may face considerable expenses during cloud migration, such as cloud consulting, data transfer, staff training, migration services, and integration and testing. Cloud migration expenses vary based on factors such as the company’s IT infrastructure size, the selected cloud service provider, and the migration scope and timeline. Here are some necessary expenses that companies should expect during a cloud migration:

Cloud Consulting Costs: Cloud providers charge for using their computing resources, such as storage, virtual machines, and network bandwidth. The pricing model can be based on different pricing models, including pay-as-you-go or reserved instances.

Data Transfer Fees: When migrating to the Cloud, organizations need to transfer a considerable amount of data, and data transfer fees may apply based on the cloud service provider and the amount of data transferred.

Staff Training and Certification: Companies may need to train and certify their IT staff in cloud computing technologies like AWS or Azure. Staff training may involve costs for training materials, certification exams, and courses.

Migration Tools and Services: Organizations may need to purchase tools or services to simplify and automate the migration process. These tools and services may include migration planning tools, cloud migration assessment tools, and data migration services.

Integration and Testing: After migrating to the Cloud, businesses may need to integrate cloud-based systems with existing on-premises systems and perform testing to ensure everything works correctly. It can involve additional costs for testing services and integration tools.

Despite the expenses, organizations can save money by migrating to the Cloud in the long run. With proper planning, budgeting, and leveraging cost management tools and cloud consulting services, businesses can minimize cloud migration expenses.

The 6-Step Process to Successfully Migrating Legacy Applications to the Cloud

Moving your business applications to the Cloud requires careful consideration of your organization’s priorities, needs, and the application itself. This is especially true for legacy applications with unique attributes requiring specialized planning.

To ensure a successful migration, it’s important to follow these application migration steps that address everything from data requirements to security, compliance, and integration needs.

1. Set Clear Business Goals

Achieving a smooth migration to a cloud environment requires a thorough understanding of your organization’s applications and their requirements. Here are some steps to ensure a successful migration:

  • Analyze your current applications: Begin by assessing your existing architecture, dependencies, and limitations.
  • Evaluate performance and scalability: Look at the performance, scalability, security, and cost implications of migrating to the Cloud.
  • Define migration objectives: Define clear goals for your migration, such as improving scalability, enabling easier updates, or reducing costs. This will help guide the migration process and ensure it meets your organization’s needs.

2. Select the Cloud Platform & Service Model

Choosing the right cloud platform and service model ensures a successful migration. Choosing AWS as the cloud platform and combining IaaS and PaaS service models strikes the perfect balance between control and convenience.

By leveraging IaaS, we can have greater control over the infrastructure, enabling us to tailor it to our needs. This includes using Amazon EC2 instances and other AWS resources to build customized infrastructure that meets our requirements.

PaaS provides a platform for deploying applications with minimal infrastructure management. AWS Elastic Beanstalk is an example of PaaS that allows us to quickly deploy and manage applications without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. 

3. Create a Well-Planned Migration Strategy

There are three primary approaches to consider: lift and shift, application evolution, and application re-architecting.

  • Lift & Shift: Involves moving everything to the Cloud without making any significant changes. Operating can be more expensive since you’re not leveraging all the cloud-native features.
  • Application Evolution: This strategy involves transitioning specific pieces of an application to the Cloud in increments rather than migrating everything all at once.
  • Rearchitecting Strategy: It involves breaking down the legacy app into smaller, independently deployable microservices, enabling better flexibility, scalability, and maintainability.

However, remember that not all applications are suited for cloud migration. For instance, you may have desktop integrations that only function on-premises servers or performance-intensive apps that would be prohibitively expensive to operate in the Cloud. 

In these scenarios, a hybrid cloud migration that combines both on-premises and cloud infrastructure may be the most suitable option.

4. Deploy & Test a Pilot Migration

Before performing the actual migration, preparing by deploying a pilot or test migration is crucial. This allows you to test the application in a simulated environment similar to your regular operations. 

The goal is to iron out any issues and ensure smooth user interaction with the new environment. 

Although pilots can be time-consuming, they are low-risk and help identify potential problems ahead of the migration.

5. Migrate Your Legacy Application

To successfully migrate your legacy application to Azure, follow these best practices: 

First, back up all data before migrating to avoid any data loss. Post-migration testing is critical to ensure data is complete and accessible and security and compliance measures are in place. 

Migrating a legacy application can be complex, and having the right expertise is essential. Even in-house IT staff may not have the necessary expertise, and hiring a legacy migration expert may be a more viable option.

6. Test, Optimize, and Monitor Your Application

Once you’ve successfully migrated your application to the Cloud, it’s time for extensive testing and optimization:

  • Conduct end-to-end testing to assess app functionality, determine, and resolve issues.
  • Performance testing will ensure the app meets the required performance metrics.
  • Optimize your application for security.
  • Leverage cloud services to optimize cost and resource utilization.

Cloud Migration with TechBlocks

Working with a partner like TechBlocks will make everything easier no matter what application you’re moving.

We’ll handle the migration process for you, keeping downtime to a minimum and ensuring high productivity. Our team will also provide ongoing management services, ensuring you get the most value from your cloud investment.

For example, TechBlocks helped PenguinPickUp build a national last-mile delivery platform using cloud-native technology. PenguinPickUp is a last-mile delivery solution that provides consumers, retailers, and courier companies with secure and convenient package pickup and drop-off locations across Canada.  

When PenguinPickUp wanted to expand nationally, they continued to choose TechBlocks as their cloud technology partner.  PenguinPickUp’s new platform has enabled them to integrate with global partners like Purolator, DHL, Apple Express, IKEA, and Walmart and process over 1.5 million packages to more than 20 locations annually.

Learn how we helped PenguinPickUp reinvent themselves through technology consulting, Cloud platform development, and managed support solutions.

As an organization specializing in cloud-native engineering services and cloud-first consulting, TechBlocks helps businesses accelerate cloud migration and optimize this ecosystem to fit their unique goals and data needs.

Don’t let old, sluggish applications hold you back any longer. Contact one of our solution experts to explore how you can migrate your legacy application to the Cloud with confidence. Happy migration!  

About the Author

Dharnendra Shah

Dharnendra joined TechBlocks as a Sr. Technical Leader in June 2014 and has grown through the ranks to serve as Software Development Manager in the current capacity. At TechBlocks, he leads the software development team and oversees the design and deployment of complex software systems. Under his leadership, TechBlocks successfully deployed multiple software applications that helped drive the company's growth.

Throughout his career, Dharnendra has earned several certifications, including MCPD: SharePoint Developer 2010, MCTS: SharePoint 2010, Application Development, and MCTS: SharePoint 2012, Application Development. His cloud engineering and technical consulting expertise have helped him become a respected authority in the software engineering industry. He is committed to excellence and continually seeks opportunities to improve his skills and knowledge. He holds a Bachelor's in Information Technology from VVP Engineering College in Rajkot, Gujarat.

Dhanendra