Knowledge

What is Cloud Modernization?

When we talk of digital transformation, what comes to mind – consolidation of disparate systems? Increasing efficiency and saving costs? Improving security and compliance? Well, you’d be spot on. However, many businesses simply associate digital transformation with cloud migration only – and yet it is so much more. At the heart of transforming businesses on their cloud journey is modernization – the key element of the process that unlocks the full potential of advanced cloud technology and services.

What is Cloud Modernization?

Cloud modernization can be defined as the process of progressively transforming applications, workloads, and infrastructure to extend into higher-value cloud-native services, such as serverless environments and containerization. The ability to implement additional operational models more efficiently frees up valuable resources, unlocks new business capabilities, accelerates innovation, and reduces technical debt.

Unlike migration, modernization should not be thought of as an end-goal but as a continuous process of improvement. A strategic and phased approach, including a proof of concept study, will ensure business benefits are realized long into the future, and manage the expectation that modernization brings immediate, overnight improvements. Every organization has different needs and priorities, so there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.

cloud modernization

Why Companies are Modernizing for the Cloud

Today the cloud is where the action is—where the leading edge of technological innovation is taking place, and where there is an established ecosystem that software can tap into to make use of infrastructure hosting, scaling, and security capabilities that don’t have to be programmed into the application itself.

It’s that ability to leverage a wide-ranging and technically sophisticated ecosystem that makes the cloud the perfect avenue for modernizing a company’s legacy applications.

Gartner estimates that by 2025, 90% of current monolithic applications will still be in use and that compounded technical debt will consume more than 40% of the current IT budget.

Because software that cannot interoperate in that environment will lose much of its utility, modernizing legacy applications is an urgent imperative for most companies today.

When legacy applications are moved to the cloud and modernized so that they become cloud-enabled, they gain improvements in scalability, flexibility, security, reliability, and availability. What’s more, they also gain the ability to tap into a multitude of already existing cloud-based services, so that developers don’t have to continually reinvent the wheel.

Three Cloud Modernization Strategies

A successful cloud modernization strategy prioritizes business needs before focusing on technology. As the cloud gains traction, organizations are exploring multiple ways to accelerate cloud adoption.

Lift and Shift Migration
Lift-and-shift migrations require lifting an application or landscape from its current hosting environment and shifting it to another. An exact copy of the top three layers: the application, database, and Operating System (OS) layer, is performed in such migrations. This is also known as rehosting, and it entails shifting your stack to a new host with minimal changes. This allows for faster, more cost-effective migration, higher ROIs, and minimal disruption. Migration from on-premises to the cloud increases agility and simplifies future avenues. This makes it an excellent choice for businesses with a conservative culture and those unsure about long-term cloud modernization. Yet, failure to modify your system hinders businesses from reaping key cloud migration benefits in the short run.

Technical Migration
Technical migration, as a cloud modernization strategy, encompasses upgrading the Operating System (OS) and Database (DB) to meet specific transformational goals. This strategy is frequently carried out in stages to leverage cloud-native features. Migrating from on-premises SAP ECC to Suite on HANA on the public cloud, for example, enables enterprises to benefit from HANA’s real-time visibility and significantly enhances performance, in addition to providing the benefits of the public cloud. Furthermore, technical migration will assist organizations in minimizing disruption and gaining cloud experience.

Application Migration
Application migration involves the transformation of the application layer, the OS, and the database. While this can be challenging, businesses must guarantee that the new system and business process flow reproduce all features. Also, historical data must be audited. You will also need to retrain the team on a new suite of applications that may function quite differently than the previous application stack.

What are the benefits of the Cloud Modernization Strategy?

Cloud modernization strategy fosters improved efficiency, heightened security measures, and cost reduction. By modernizing applications and data, businesses can enjoy enhanced accessibility, scalability, and reliability. Cloud modernization can help you:

  • Relieve cost pressures: Modernizing with the cloud eliminates the need for maintaining on-premises hardware and infrastructure, resulting in cost savings. Pay-per-use basis allows businesses to pay only for the services they need, reducing unnecessary expenses associated with unused resources.
  • Agility: Cloud solutions facilitate market entry for new products and services. Businesses can rapidly use various pre-built tools and services to develop and deploy applications across multiple devices.
  • Robust Security: Cloud providers invest significantly in security, ensuring faster data and application protection. They offer various security services, including identity and access management, encryption, and network security. Some providers even support Multi-factor authentication for an extra layer of protection.
  • Elasticity: Cloud infrastructure can automatically adjust resources based on workload demands. This elasticity allows organizations to handle sudden spikes in traffic without service degradation.
  • Innovation and Access to New Services: Cloud providers continuously introduce new services and features. Organizations can use these innovations without extensive re-architecting by modernizing their infrastructure.
  • Collaboration and Remote Work: Cloud-based applications and services facilitate collaboration among teams, regardless of their physical location. This is especially valuable in a remote work environment.
  • Data Analytics and Insights: Cloud platforms provide robust data analytics tools, enabling organizations to gain valuable insights from their data, leading to better decision-making and improved business strategies.
  • DevOps Enablement: Cloud modernization often goes hand-in-hand with DevOps practices, fostering a culture of collaboration between development and operations teams, resulting in more efficient and reliable application delivery.

cloud modernization

Things you need to consider for Cloud Modernization

Although cloud modernization offers numerous benefits, it does not come without any challenges. You would have to deal with them to be successful with your cloud modernization efforts. The challenges that you might come across during cloud monetization may vary from business to business.

But there are a few common ones that you need to take care of. For instance, the biggest challenge that you might come across is legacy data migration.

Transferring data from legacy systems to the cloud can be complex and risky. Furthermore, you might also find it difficult to integrate cloud-based applications with existing systems.

Above all, the security concerns are something that you simply cannot ignore. Security in the cloud requires careful consideration and robust measures to protect sensitive data. Plus, there can be organizational resistance as well since employees and leadership may resist change

Conclusion

It takes careful planning, identifying the right resources, and adopting best practices to modernize application infrastructure properly. One can optimize our business processes and reduce costs using cloud modernization services. Modernization has many benefits, financial as well as technical. There has been a 40-50 percent cost reduction reported by most companies that are using cloud modernization for managing their infrastructure. Deployment cycles have been brought down from 90-120 days to almost a week because cloud modernization uses automation tools to increase productivity. It has been possible to increase application response time by up to 10 times with the application of cloud modernization. It has been identified that code deployment for infrastructure provisioning has increased 100 times because of cloud-based techniques.

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