Five steps to migrating applications to the cloud

Posted on 18/06/2019

After years of debate, the consensus is clear: cloud infrastructure, apps and services are here to stay. Enterprises understand that cloud computing is the enabler of digitisation. According to a recent study by the Taneja Group, over 65 percent of enterprises surveyed were at least running some business-critical workloads in a public cloud.

It’s no longer a case of if, or even when, an organization should migrate to the cloud.

Now, it’s about how.

How you move a legacy

That said, it isn’t simply a case of being able to lift and shift everything. Established enterprises will have years of legacy systems and applications, each intricately linked. Amongst those will be business and mission critical elements which have to be maintained.

Yet so often, the decision to migrate is taken without due consideration for the complexity and enormity of the migration. It’s only when faced with what they’re trying to undertake that some enterprises can be put off, passing up the opportunities in the face of such a significant task.

This plays out in the fact that, according to the same Taneja Group study, only 19 percent of organisations interested in hybrid cloud had progressed past research and planning due to concerns surrounding data security, risk of extended downtime and inconsistent user experience.

There is a way, however, for enterprises to successfully transform their operations.

Maximising success in five steps

In order to migrate their applications successfully, and realise the potential impact of cloud on their business objectives, enterprises need to follow five steps:

  1. Rationalize and justify the move to the cloud: There is a need to assess the business value of the migration for each enterprise workload, and weigh up the pros of having it in the cloud versus the cons of moving it at the current time. It may be that actually, a mission-critical application cannot be disrupted, and that the risks outweigh the potential gains at that moment (without negating the possibility that it will make sense to migrate in the future).
  2. Research migration strategies: Every organisation is different, which means finding the right strategy is vital. There are a variety to consider when deciding how to effectively migrate to the cloud: moving without conversion (or lift and shift), choosing a software-as-a-service (SaaS) replacement, chasing a platform as a service (PaaS) replacement, re-architecting, and retiring. What you choose will depend on the needs of the organisation and how that shapes the requirements of the application.
  3. Test, learn and adapt your approach: It’s best practice to choose several different non-critical workloads and use them as forerunners to the primary migration. Learnings from test cases will inform how to execute the migration and ensure that mission-critical workloads transfer smoothly.
  4. Plan effectively to mitigate risk: Additional resources will be required, whether that’s upskilling your existing teams or bringing in specialists, whether as individual contractors or as a partner service provider. If, in all likelihood, this is your first migration, investing in external expertise can help a more efficient transition than doing it all yourself.
  5. Seamlessly migrate to the cloud with VMware Cloud on AWS: VMware Cloud on AWS has been designed to aid the movement of applications to public from private or on-premise environments, and vice versa, by combining the leader in private with the industry-standard in public cloud. It’s all delivered via technology many organisations are familiar with, minimising the chance of silos springing up between teams and delivering a seamless, consistent experience.

Your path to a straight-forward migration

In this post we’ve briefly covered the five key steps that will help enterprises migrate their applications to the right cloud environments for their needs. For further details on what each of the stages entails, download ‘Migrating Apps to the Cloud in 5 Steps’, our whitepaper on cloud migration.


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