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Application Migration to Cloud

A Cloud application migration involves moving software from an on-premises server to a cloud provider's environment. The process of cloud migration involves the migration of databases, data applications, and IT (Information Technology) processes to the cloud.

In today's cloud era, application modernization, legacy application modernization, and application migration to the cloud are key business requirements for organizations to become resilient, remain agile, and plan a roadmap for sustainable growth. In 2019, the market for cloud migration services was valued at $88.46 billion, and by 2027, it is expected to reach $515.83 billion. This article attempts to summarize the most important aspects of cloud migration strategies.

Digital businesses focus on transforming their data assets into digital formats and automating business processes by leveraging incredible technologies that can utilize and deliver on those assets, such as cyber-physical systems, cloud computing, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and various software solutions. For example, by digitizing the entire product development process, a company can use digital twins to visualize, imitate, and evaluate nearly complex performance products, and then use the resulting data to see significant market improvements, cost savings, quality improvements, and performance.

Multiple cloud migrations of legacy applications have succeeded, but multiple orders fail too often because of non-compliance with the primary goal of migrating applications to the cloud.

Here are some key aspects that can be important to overcome the challenges of cloud migration:

Application Cloud Migration Objectives

The goal of cloud migration can be crucial in creating a cloud roadmap for applications that ideally should not be compromised to justify the investment benefits of business IT organizations adopting this journey.

There may be various and varied objectives for IT-enabled business organizations to embrace the application cloud migration path, some of which are listed below:


Operational simplification


Higher availability


Improved performance


Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) reduction


“Pay as you go” for cloud platform solutions/ecosystem.




Enabling the digital journey

Getting the most appropriate cloud application roadmap that meets the needs of an IT business organization and is optimized for its IT landscape requires careful consideration. This can be checked with a cloud migration or application migration checklist to assess the success of the journey.

IT Landscape of a Typical IT-Enabled Business Group

Though IT landscapes differ between firms, below is a typical mid-size IT-enabled business organization's landscape:

In most scenarios, there may be some concentration of COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf or Third-Party Products) applications in the first and second categories, with almost 50% of the second category and almost 90% of the third category ideally being non-COTS/Custom Applications

Cloud Application Migration Strategy

In most cases, the strategy for migrating cloud applications is different for each of the three categories, as described in the previous section. overall, successful cloud migration of all these heterogeneous applications present in your IT portfolio may require proper planning and consideration of several factors. Some of the key factors are:

Enterprise Cloud Strategy

A complete understanding of a company's cloud strategy, cloud presence, alignment of cloud service providers, etc., requires understanding of its cloud landscape.

Application Portfolio Assessment

Getting the right cloud application migration option requires a detailed understanding of the applications in the portfolio based on the following factors:


Target users (B2C/B2B/B2E)


Business criticality (Tier 0,1,2,3,4, etc.)


Availability/ permissible downtime


Application type (COTS/ custom)


Technology composition

IT-enabled Business Organization's Cloud Maturity

A detailed understanding of enterprise cloud maturity should be based on the key parameters described below:


Cloud adoption level


Business vision


Cloud strategy


Application build & deployment process


Test-driven Development (TDD)


DevOps readiness


Release management


Application management


Maintenance processes

Application Cloud Migration Roadmap & Approach

The following stages may be useful in developing an appropriate cloud migration roadmap:


A clear understanding of all factors (some of which are mentioned above) can lead to different decision trees where the node ends of each branch can lead to one of the following application cloud migration strategies suitable for a group of applications with similar features in an application portfolio.


Prioritizing groups for migration execution can be aided by mapping risk or consequence vs. probability or likelihood.


Application interdependency mapping can help achieve application migration waves and subgroups.


Mapping the critical path within the waves can help determine the wave speed.

Re-hosting Applications

These applications can be re-hosted in the cloud 'as is' (also known as the 'lift-and-shift' approach), where the risks of cloud migration are minimized to near zero with minimal changes (typically suitable for lifeblood/mission-critical applications, some of which may even be retained on-premises).

Re-platforming Applications

Re-platforming means running applications on the cloud infrastructure itself. In this case, some optimization of cloud services is necessary, but it does not require large investments because the basic structure of the application remains the same. In these cases, developers can use trusted sources such as development frameworks, legacy programming languages, and a company's code caches.

Application Refactoring/Rewrite

These applications (a percentage of companies that support custom applications and even utility applications) may not be ready to migrate to the cloud. If these applications are dependent on the applications to be migrated to the cloud, they will be modified (partly as API (Application Programming Interfaces) support) or rewritten or replaced with SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions to enable a seamless cloud migration of applications across the entire application portfolio.

Create Cloud-Native Applications

After most applications are migrated to the cloud and integrated with on-premises, on-cloud, SaaS, and related solutions, scenarios may arise in which new digital platforms are required to enable a new brand or market penetration to be part of some of the applications from which to integrate into the cloud or on-premises. Although digital services may see SaaS platforms/solutions, some new business support systems may be required to accept these cloud-native platforms and fully utilize the cloud.

Risk Vs Returns of Application Cloud Migration

From Rehost > Replatform > Refactor, the complexity of migrating applications to the cloud can increase, which can also higher the risk of failure. However, the benefit is also proportional to the complexity and the risk. Additionally, when businesses support applications are bulk, re-platforming/re-factoring options can become a time-consuming and risky endeavor if not carefully planned.

Measuring the ROI of Cloud Application Migration

While the ROI of cloud application migration depends on the cloud migration goals defined by IT business leaders, here are some tangible benefits of migrating applications to the cloud.


Some of the key benefits include:

Even an increase in revenue for some scenarios (such as the API economy for B2B)

Note: The reduced TCO of cloud migration can be attributed to reduced complexity and operational costs, including infrastructure and application platform licensing costs.


Migrating applications to the cloud requires careful planning and strategy for a successful implementation. The manual process can be too risky for the mass migration of large portfolios of large companies. Application re-platforming and refactoring are best accomplished by leveraging automation using any proven platform to minimize the risk of failure or the risk of inability to reap the true benefits of cloud migration. At EverestDX, our application migration to the cloud continuously analyzes market trends in application migration to the cloud.

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