There are several approaches for application migration to the Cloud, and each has its own merit. Depending on the current state of your application, you might choose to simply “lift and shift” it to the Cloud or, you may recognize the need to refactor, revise, or rebuild it to capitalize on the benefits Cloud technology provides. Here are two questions that every Cloud migration strategy should answer to help guide and define your implementation plan in a way that adds maximum value to the business.
1. What will the Cloud Migration Accomplish for your Business?
The business case is the driving force behind the entire application migration project. It keeps the team focused on priorities that drive real results for the organization. Some common reasons for moving an application to the Cloud include:
- Save money on hosting
- Quickly increase the amount of traffic your application can handle
- Expansion to a global audience
- Simplify server management
- Enhance application functionality and usability by taking advantage of Cloud services such as monitoring tools, extra compute power, specialty data stores, or serverless architecture
- Optimize development time and increase reliability
Clearly identifying the business value of the project will help you determine whether it makes sense to lift-and-shift your application as-is with the option to optimize down the road or invest some time up front to make your application more Cloud-ready.
2. What Changes are Needed to Fulfill these Goals?
After you have identified the end-goal for the application migration to the Cloud, the next step is to determine how the application needs to change to support that goal. Coordinate with someone who knows the application architecture to answer the following questions:
- Which new features do you want to support that aren't possible on your current server architecture or without Cloud technology?
- How can the application be re-structured to take advantage of cost-saving processes like serverless architecture or Cloud computing?
- Can the entire application or pieces of it be broken into smaller pieces (microservices) that will increase reliability?
- If moving only part of your application into the Cloud, how will your Cloud architecture fit in with your current architecture? Some considerations are security and speed of connection.
The most important consideration for your application migration (that’s too often neglected) is your ultimate business goal(s). Identifying what needs to be accomplished for your business to be efficient, competitive, and responsive to a rapidly changing landscape will help guide your Cloud strategy and implementation plan. Ultimately, your outline will determine the steps required to build your stairway to the Cloud.