Migrating applications to the cloud was a turning point for many businesses – allowing them to improve access, flexibility, delivery, and more. Without widespread cloud adoption over the course of the previous five to ten years, it would have been impossible to efficiently shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Worldwide cloud spending is expected to reach nearly $600 billion in 2023. (Gartner)
But cloud migration was just the start. Optimizing cloud usage ensures that businesses continue to get the benefits afforded by cloud adoption. But optimizing the cloud requires. To keep everything in working order, control costs, and make the most of cloud investment, companies need to invest in cloud application modernization.
Making the most of your cloud environment isn’t as easy as it sounds. It requires knowledgeable, skilled, experienced talent that can focus on process optimization, application modernization, and cloud infrastructure in a highly strategic manner. This is why a partner like e-Core can add value to the process. At e-Core, we have access to top talent and the commitment to your values and objectives: helping you improve outcomes across the entire organization. Control costs, improve efficiency, and scale for growth with cloud application modernization partner e-Core.
What is Cloud App Modernization?
Cloud app modernization is the ongoing process of taking legacy applications and updating their features, architecture, or infrastructure to ensure that they are optimized for operating in cloud environments. In the initial cloud migration, perhaps a legacy application was lifted and shifted, and adjusted to operate in a virtual environment. But that doesn’t mean that it works as well, as efficiently, or with all the features that it could have if it was written for the cloud.
App modernization also involves writing new, cloud-native applications and processes to optimize cloud computing for the business. Like cloud migration, however, cloud app modernization is not a one-and-done activity. Instead, it is an ongoing commitment to continuous improvement, monitoring, and optimization of cloud environments to ensure that the business achieves the benefits of the cloud as it evolves and as technologies advance.
Why is Cloud App Modernization Important?
With a set-it-and-forget-it approach to cloud adoption, a business runs the risk of losing out on the very benefits that sparked cloud adoption in the first place.
Many companies sell a cloud migration to their internal stakeholders as an opportunity for major cost savings. After all, the cloud environment alleviates the need for a company to purchase, maintain, and replace hardware. However, without constant monitoring and optimization, cloud costs can easily run out of control.
Cloud waste – generally resulting from over-provisioned infrastructure that is under utilized – happens in the majority of companies, as little thought or resources are dedicated to optimizations. Some industry analysts believe that up to 30% of total cloud spend is wasted, while others put that number closer to 40%. This amounted to $17.6 billion USD wasted in 2020, even by conservative estimates.
Cloud app modernization helps businesses eliminate resources wasted on inefficient, legacy, unoptimized processes.
One of the main pitfalls of legacy applications – no matter if they are running on-premise or in the cloud – is that they are difficult to integrate with new technologies. And if your applications aren’t ready to work with each other, or with outside applications that can add features and improve the user experience, your business loses out on the opportunity to create a competitive advantage.
Without modernization, applications can be unwieldy and difficult to work with. This extends the software delivery lifecycle because it is more difficult and complicated to work with legacy applications. Once a cloud application is modernized, however, it becomes flexible so that new features and functions can be added easily, thus speeding the velocity of software delivery.
Cloud application modernization makes it possible for businesses to scale for growth, adding new users and additional capacity with ease. An application that has been replatformed to the cloud without modernization needs extra attention and resources to add capacity, whereas a cloud application can scale with ease.
Read more: Cloud App Modernization Data Sheet
7R’s: Strategies for Cloud App Modernization
Cloud app modernization is a complicated undertaking – and unfortunately, there is no single, uniform approach that can be used in all cases. Instead, every cloud app modernization project requires a unique evaluation and a custom approach. Some common strategies that businesses consider for cloud app modernization include:
An application that no longer provides value – for example, one that enables an outmoded form of communication – can be retired completely, provided that retiring the app will have no impact on business operations.
A custom-built application may have answered the business needs of yesterday, but often these are challenging to maintain and difficult to integrate with other applications. In some situations, replacing an existing application with a pre-built app from a third-party vendor is the right move, from a cost, features, or integration standpoint.
Also known as ‘lift-and-shift’, relocating applications from an on-premise data center to the cloud, or between public, private, or hybrid cloud may answer some needs for better flexibility, security, and cloud management.
Replatforming is much like relocating, involving moving legacy applications to the cloud. However, with replatforming, some changes are made to the application prior to the move, to make better use of cloud capabilities.
The ‘use’ part of reuse refers to the back end. If the back-end functionality is good, it can still be used, but cloud app modernization would involve restructuring the user experience.
Improving functionality and reducing technical debt are priorities for some applications. This would be categorized as ‘rebuilding’ the application.
Restructuring the existing code, but leaving the front end (user interface) as-is can help to improve application performance and functionality.
Does My Business Need Cloud App Modernization?
How can you be certain that your business needs cloud app modernization? It requires both short-term and long-term strategy and commitment of resources, and shouldn’t be undertaken lightly. However, if your business is experiencing the following, you may consider them red flags for cloud application modernization:
- Slow application development and delivery
- More resources devoted to maintenance
- Difficulty staffing for legacy applications
- Increasing security issues
- Creeping cloud cost
Get the checklist: Cloud App Modernization Red Flags
Get Started: Build a Business Case
If your business might benefit from cloud app modernization, there are a few things you can do to get started. These include:
Dig into performance indicators and have your data ready. Data is one of the best ways to get alignment across different stakeholders, and build the support needed for a large-scale transformation project.
Total Cost of Ownership
Getting a complete TOC for cloud environments can be complicated, particularly for a hybrid cloud environment that incorporates services from more than one provider.
Total Value of Solution
How reliable is the current cloud environment? Have there been any unplanned outages or issues resulting in downtime? It is important to note areas where the existing cloud setup have failed, and how those failures can be addressed with an optimized cloud environment.
Learn more: Building a Cloud App Modernization Business Case
Cloud adoption is a long-term strategy and a long-term investment. It requires the ongoing commitment of resources to ensure that cloud applications are optimized, maximizing the benefits of cloud adoption for businesses. Without cloud application modernization, companies run the risk of wasting resources and losing the possibility of competitive advantage.
e-Core is a technology services company that has deep experience in cloud technologies, partnering with global businesses to optimize their operations and maximize their investments. At e-Core, we believe in the positive impact of digital evolution: to connect people and technology and build a better future with our partners.
If you are interested in learning more about cloud application modernization, and how a third-party partner can support your evolution, contact e-Core today.