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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Leaving A Legacy of Cloud

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Chandni U
Chandni U
Assistant Editor

Businesses embraced cloud migration of legacy applications, but several details are being overlooked.

Cloud migration is no longer a trend. Businesses have realized the critical necessity of transferring their applications to the cloud. A ResearchAndMarkets report predicts that the application transformation will grow over $16 billion globally by 2024. While several enterprises are successfully hosting cloud applications, some brands have been facing trouble amid the digital rush of the pandemic.

The most critical complication is legacy applications. A recent report by Lemongrass revealed that 77% of IT leaders believe the primary motivation for migrating legacy applications was to secure data, optimize storage resources, and accelerate digital transformation. Moreover, 78% of respondents stated that the IT management systems were responsible for the transformation.

While the core responsibility of the IT teams includes cloud security of the legacy applications that were earlier protected by on-premise, traditional security, experts recommend brands retire redundant applications. They believe some legacy platforms and applications no longer hold business value in the digital age; migration efforts greater than the ROI are not worth the upgrade. Careful consideration of compatibility and agility is critical. These decisions can save the organization money and give it more time to focus on migrating necessary legacy applications.

Most legacy systems, also called monoliths, are divided into single applications with a massive codebase and services that include storage, reverse proxy, and databases. These critical business functions that run on older technology might not have source codes or a skilled maintenance team. Many organizations want to migrate their legacy applications to the cloud for efficiency and management. However, experts warn not to rush into the process. There is a possibility that the cost and risks of the migration might not be worth the effort. Why?

Migrating legacy applications

There are legacy applications that consistently evolve with new features. Many brands do not change their legacy code during migration, leaving them unprotected when new features are added. Experts recommend adding cloud capabilities that will continuously enhance the application performance and productivity, including the new features. Another strategy is to depend on a separate serverless architecture. It can improve productivity and flexibility and reduce company expenditure if done methodically. 

Some companies try to force legacy applications to follow the rules of the cloud platform, which can cause complications quickly. Cloud specialists believe the first step should comprise a strategic plan with business goals. The long- and short-term migration goals could include scaling, better ROI, improved security, or reduced on-site access. 

The execution process demands multiple technical strategies and testing. Before the main upgrade, a testbed with behavior analysis of the application is also recommended. The complications do not end with the migration process. The Lemongrass study revealed that 34% of the legacy cloud platforms did not work as expected, and another 34% cited the lack of in-house skills.

Depending on the result, brands should decide if migrating a particular legacy application is viable and worth the effort and risk. An alternative is to look for a cloud-friendly replacement of the same.

A cloud-native system is an expensive but easy way out of the legacy application migration—many brands invested in the cloud-native industry since the advent of cloud computing. Last year, the industry saw the most strategic acquisitions. Cisco bought Banzai Cloud, which uses open-source tools to launch cloud-native applications, and VMware acquired Octarine, which works with containers and Kubernetes security. These acquisitions portray the irreversible shift into the cloud. It’s about time enterprise business strategy grows with technology, embraces cloud migration, and invests in cloud innovations.

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