How to Achieve a Successful Legacy System Migration to the Cloud for your Applications

May 10, 2018
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With the current state of marketing, a legacy system migration for your application sounds almost like a simple task, something akin to drag and drop. Upload everything to the Cloud and voilà – time to cut out early for the day.

Guess again. According to Nextgov, 44 percent of organizations have experienced migration failure when it comes to their applications. Even if you’re successful in the preliminary move, it’s almost a guarantee that you’re going to encounter issues post-migration costing your organization time and money. So, what makes it so difficult? And why exactly do you need to perform a cloud migration of your applications in the first place?

Moving to the Cloud Isn’t Just a Nice-to-Have Option

While your applications may not have been built for Cloud, they are in use and valued by your customers, partners, and employees.  Regardless if this is standard VoIP phone service, Contact Center VoIP, or Cloud Compute – you need to have a plan to get your gear out of the building. This may be the very reason for delaying your move to the Cloud. Yet, changing technology demands create burdens on your IT infrastructure. Aging infrastructure, new security risks, exhaustion of resources, performance issues, maintenance costs, and corrupted data – the risks grow exponentially as your legacy infrastructure continues to age. However, these aren’t necessarily the biggest issues.

When your legacy applications aren’t built on a next-gen platform, compliance, security, privacy, and regulatory issues start to become major challenges. In addition to the rising costs of trying to keep your old infrastructure compliant, your legacy infrastructure will eventually become obsolete, and a change will have to be made in order to stay in compliance with the law.  Think of this in terms that anybody who ever owned a PC in the last 17 years can relate to – Windows XP.

Windows XP made its debut in 2001 and quickly became a favorite, so much so that when Vista appeared in 2007, many Windows users stuck with XP. In fact, even though Microsoft ended support for XP in 2014, people still continued to use it, as they trusted the software and were experienced with it. Your legacy infrastructure is basically XP, and if you continue to rely on it, you’ll face the same problems as those who are hanging onto XP.

Vista was developed primarily to improve security in the operating system. While it did that, it, unfortunately, lacked compatibility with some pre-existing hardware and software. The technology which your applications rely upon is generally obsolete the day after you install it.  New security issues come to the forefront daily and it takes continual investment in infrastructure and continuous operations to keep your data secure and your platforms complaint. Just like Vista, when migrating to the Cloud, there are many compatibility issues that creep up.

The Challenges of Cloud Compute Migration

The Cloud computing migration doesn’t magically make applications perform better, or become secure and compliant. Whether it’s to a private cloud or AWS, for a successful migration, find a hosting partner that has the technology, people, processes, and continuous monitoring capabilities in place to proactively handle any challenges along the way. They must be experienced in architecture and deployment, have superior engineering skills, and most importantly, possess the application expertise and consulting capabilities to be a trusted partner in decisions for the benefit of your company.

The first item on the list of migration is a full-scale tune-up of your existing legacy applications. This will make your application more amenable to the Cloud. We liken this to a broken engine or at least one in need of major maintenance. If you take an old engine out of one car and put it in a new car, that new car isn’t going to run any better. It often takes just a bit of fine-tuning, and in a few cases, a rebuild of the underlying engine, to drive desired customer outcomes.

Part of our process is understanding customer pain points, finding broken elements and blind spots, and using time-tested design patterns to tweak and tune the engine during your transformation and migration process. As part of our process, we also surround your applications with hardened secure infrastructure and implement high availability strategies to eliminate noise and problems.

The desired end state should be “boring.”  A proactive and consultative approach to your migration with a deep understanding of your applications and dependencies will ensure that your infrastructure is never the source of excitement; the goal should be enough resilience that your applications are considered a utility.

Considering AWS?

If you are migrating to AWS, there are often problems that arise from vertically-scaled legacy applications. Quite simply, these applications can go against the grain of AWS. Sometimes, the answer may be Hybrid Cloud, using a hardware-based load balancer rather than a pure cloud solution, or deploying an SQL server into a Windows instance. PaaS offerings may be the proper solution. You may even need to change the structure of the cloud environment to fit your specific applications.

Also, when using AWS, customers may not be familiar with their shared responsibility model, which dictates who is responsible for the maintenance of specific parts of the security of your applications. It can be easy for customers to forget about what they need to do on an on-going basis. By partnering with a managed service provider, they take on the responsibility of continuous monitoring and operations, so you don’t have to worry. That enables you the freedom to focus on your business and build impactful solutions.

Additionally, if you choose to perform your cloud migration on your own, or with a vendor inexperienced in your technology, chances are the migration process will be inefficient and greatly escalate your project’s cost. The right hosting partner will perform all the troubleshooting and optimize your workload to ensure a successful and cost-efficient migration.

The Benefits of Cloud Migration of your Legacy Applications

With a successful migration, you can achieve peace of mind while eliminating CAPEX and reducing overall OPEX, there may be a cost-saving as well but that is not guaranteed.  At CTG, we will work through a total cost of ownership model with you to see where you can leverage your existing assets and where you can easily migrate to an “as a service” model.  The other most important factor is that cloud adoption enables you to achieve security and regulatory compliance.  By simply engaging some cloud organizations you can become 90% to compliance by working through their assessment. Consider these attributes pull-through value items for your customers. If you’re selling licenses to your application, you can tout the strength, security, and cost value, building more trust in your application throughout the marketplace.

Corporate Technologies Group Can Ensure Successful Cloud Migration

Corporate Technologies Group is vendor-agnostic. We have strategic partnerships with over 140 different Cloud, Security, VoIP, and WAN network service providers. We support clients from network design to implementation, post-installation support, and remediation. We can ensure your infrastructure is built to suit your business needs now and into the future.

At Corporate Technologies Group, we provide our clients with white-glove service in evaluating, selecting, implementing, and post-install support of their technology that runs their business. Our goal is to provide expertise to help clients figure out how to stay out of harm’s way and allow clients the ability to have one point of support along with taking away the pain points associated with technology.