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Building a house or moving apps to the cloud: Start with a good foundation

I’m frequently asked “What’s the best first step?” when clients want to build a plan to bring their applications to the cloud. It’s a tricky question to answer because it depends on their starting point or how advanced their organization is regarding apps readiness for the cloud. However, regardless of starting point, what we usually agree upon is that it’s like the architecture of a house - you need to build a good plan, a good foundation, if you want to be successful in moving apps to the cloud (or building a house to survive the storms through the years!).


AT2C house framework with cloud.jpg

In an earlier post titled Application Transformation to the Cloud – four modernization alternatives, I discussed with Alison Watterson this ‘solid foundation’ approach. We discussed modernization options we apply to an applications portfolio when planning for the adoption of cloud services and talked about how they fall into 4 categories: Re-Host, Replace, Integrate, and Rearchitect/Refactor.  And just like building a foundation for a house, the framework needed to bring your applications to the cloud needs to be just as solid. 


To help illustrate, I’m posting a graphic that represents our Applications Transformation to Cloud framework.  It serves as a high level view of the major elements of our approach for building a plan to bring applications to the cloud.  Let’s walk through some of the major elements. 


Applications Transformation to Cloud Framework.pngWe start with our Applications Suitability Mapping for Cloud process where each application is given a suitability designation.   There are four major designations for the apps:


  1. Suitable for SaaS – This refers to apps where there is a replacement for your application from a SaaS provider.  For commodity type applications, why continue the expense of maintaining such applications when they can be consumed as a service?
  2. Suitable for Cloud - These applications have technical and business characteristics that align with the characteristics of the target cloud platform.  These apps are usually written in a modern programming language.
  3. Need Modernization Analysis – Some applications will need a more thorough analysis to determine their suitability and determine a modernization approach.  Where possible, we recommend dropping into an applications rationalization process.  If we can rationalize and reduce the number of applications, we simplify the process.  We may also conduct a cloud-specific workload analysis which will aide us in determining the target platform.  A risk analysis may be warranted depending upon requirements like those in the security domain.  And finally, business process analysis may be needed to ensure the new environment and solution can be seamlessly integrated into your business processes while conforming to the agreed SLA’s.
  4. Not Cloud Suitable - I realize this may seem like an obvious statement, but not all applications belong in the cloud.  For those deemed not suitable, at least three options should be considered:  1.) retire the application,   2.) leave it alone – in other words, keep it where it is, and 3.) migrate to a traditional infrastructure.

For those ‘Suitable for Cloud and/or SaaS’, we drop into our level 1 transformation strategy – what we call application of our Re’s.  For details on this step, please see the previous post.


In the level 2 transformation strategy, we evaluate and recommend the cloud delivery model (IaaS, Paas, SaaS), and then the deployment model – public, private, or ‘virtual private’ cloud.  For virtual private cloud, we host and manage the platform and applications for you, which could be on multi-tenant or single tenant platform.


I hope you’ve gained some insight into our approach which spawns some thoughts on how this might be applied in your environment.  Whether you build a house yourself or contract the work, you want to use a blueprint to ensure a high quality outcome in a timely fashion. 


For more information on this topic, check out this video recorded at HP Discover where I discuss Applications Transformation to Cloud.


Follow us on future blogs as part of the Knowledge Matters program for cloud. We will talk about key cloud topics such as the relationship between SOA and cloud, avoiding vendor lock-in, measuring your cloud applications maturity… and many others.

Nadhan | ‎07-28-2012 07:47 PM

Great post, Tom!  Nice picture.  Like the manner in which you draw a parallel with the need for a strong foundation whether you are moving apps to the cloud or building a house.  I would take it a step further and suggest some parallels with moving houses as well:  Moving the House that IT built to Cloud Computing.


Connect with Nadhan on: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin


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About the Author
Tom is the Global Product Marketing lead for HP's Cloud Applications Services. Tom has over 20 years of experience in information technolog...
About the Author(s)
  • Business Development leader for HP’s Testing Practice in Americas and TaaS Global Capability Leader
  • Anthony works in the ES Apps Enterprise APJ . He is a self-motivated and well-disposed individual. He is a certified SAP FICO consultant. He has over twenty years industry experience in business transformation and Information Technology consulting (SAP). With excellent, interpersonal and communication skills, Anthony is able to influence and motivate at all levels. An empathic team player, He derives fulfilment in contributing towards others' development. Anthony possesses good analytical and problem-solving skills. He is a quick thinker, remains calm under pressure, handles multiple tasks, and accomplishes objectives with excellent time management. He is flexible and accustomed to meeting high standards and deadlines. Anthony possesses practical knowledge of business processes and concepts and has a keen eye for detail. He is aware of the importance of an effective system and quality management.
  • Bryan Coapstick is the Director of Mobile Innovation at HP. In this role, he is responsible for driving strategic mobility initiatives and key industry partnerships to enable clients the ability to leverage the mobile channel to effectively reach their customers. Bryan’s expertise lies with several Fortune 200 companies in both public and private sectors that focus on business technology and emerging strategies. Bryan demonstrates innovative leadership though public speaking, panel discussions and blogging on the various ways mobility is changing our daily lives.
  • Benjamin Romberg has over twenty five years experience in the IT industry, the last twelve of which have been as a testing professional. He has experience as a test analyst, performance tester, automation specialist, test lead, test manager, test consultant and test executive. He has worked on all types of testing engagements ranging from small web based applications through to core system upgrades. Benjamin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Genetics, a Post Graduate Degree in Software Engineering and an Executive Masters in Business Administration. Benjamin now leads HP’s Testing and Quality Assurance Practice in Asia Pacific and Japan.
  • Over the past 5 years, I have participated in the different stages of delivering Microsoft Enterprise Applications to customers as large as 40.000 concurrent users across Europe with a focus on the public and call center sector. During this period, I worked in numerous technical (lead) and business consultant roles. Using this experience, I am currently a certified Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 expert which specializes in guiding enterprise customers and implementation teams through the process of implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
  • Craig has been with HP for 10 years working on the solutioning side as a Solution Architect. Primarily works with Microsoft technologies and has for the better part of 16 years. This past year Craig has worked mostly with Windows AZURE and the mobility side of Windows Phone 7/8 and Android.
  • Master Business Consultant and Distinguished SE with 35+ years of IT experience, specializing in SOA and Integration.
  • Daniel Amor (EMEA, AMOD, Cloud, Portals, Web Apps and SOA domain expert): Daniel has designed, won, led and delivered large-scale, complex applications-related projects by acting as a trusted advisor to clients. Daniel conducts regular training and client-facing sessions, and he has authored six books and numerous articles in European and US-based magazines and newspapers on IT change. He is a regular lecturer and he speaks on Portals, E-Business and Cloud.
  • Global HP Microsoft Business Applications Practice. Microsoft Dynamics CRM subject matter expert. Based in Manchester, United Kingdom. @DarrenCRM on Twitter
  • Solutions Architect working at HP since 2002 with focus on Applications Modernization, located at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Managing Consulting specialising in Business Transformation and Value Management for Defence, Healthcare, Public Sector, Criminal Justice and Telecommunications.
  • Guido Arndt is since May 1997 business consultant and project manager @ Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services. Main focus is strategic and organizational alignment of logistics, sales and production processes in the automotive and manufacturing industry as well as business performance projects in finance and telecommunication industry. Guido has experience as change agent and transformation manager in people-driven merger & aquisition projects focusing government, consulting firms, manufacturing plants and consumer brands.
  • Horia Slușanschi serves as an Agile Coach leading the HP Agile Mentoring Office and the HP Software Engineering Profession. He is passionate about helping teams and leaders to find joy in work in the pursuit of customer delight.
  • CISSP, Open CA Master Architect Technical Consultant with 28+ years of IT experience specializing in Application Security, Solution Architecture, Portals, Social Business, and Integration
  • Jim has been with HP for 33 years and currently leads a global Strategic Capabilities Management team, with a specific focus on Business Analysis and Configuration Management. Jim also manages a team within the US State, Local, and Education division of HP. He was a member of the IIBA committee that created a Business Analyst Competency Model and he participated in the development of IEEE standards. Jim graduated from Harvard University, the University of British Columbia, and Ottawa Theological Hall. He currently lives in Toronto, Canada.
  • SAP Technologist from APPS GD SAP Practice - Manila covering SAP NetWeaver EP, SAP Mobility and general SAP solutions.
  • WW product marketing manager for HP Applications Modernization and Transformation Consulting Services. 35+ years of IT technology and services experience.
  • Laurence has over 35 years experience in the IT industry and has spent 27 years delivering knowledge management (and before that became fashionable, Artificial Intelligence and knowledge-based systems) transformation projects to clients in Government, Industry, Manufacturing and Telecomms industries. He has developed and implemented knowledge management (KM) strategies for HP's clients and for business areas in HP (for BPO and for our Consulting business) and believes that KM strategy is essential for an effective KM practice.
  • . . Service Systems . .
  • Lori Lewis leads Global Digital and Integrated Marketing for the Applications and Business Services division in HP’s Enterprise Services. The organization is focused on providing clients with enterprise applications services and solutions to solve some of their most pressing business problems. For over 2 decades, she has championed innovative communication approaches to drive and grow market share and build motivated, empowered teams. She is a compelling, passionate ambassador of the art and science of marketing and the amazing results it can achieve when done with integrity and passion. Ms. Lewis’ credentials, track record, and enthusiasm are essential ingredients her team relies on as they work together to establish HP as the undisputed leader in information management and analytics services.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution architect, C# developer, MBA, husband, father, Auburn man. Follow me on Twitter @lucas_is.
  • CRM enthusiast, avid techie
  • More than 10 years of experience in developing effective and innovative marketing and communication strategies. Recently I have studied the effects of social media and disruptive technology on business, marketing, and culture. Follow me on Twitter: @micaelaraimondi
  • Agile Champion and coach. Passion in software development using lean and agile techniques. Software is a people business!!
  • Have 11 years of experience in SAP Consulting, Solutioning and Account management.
  • I have over 20 years of I.T. experience predominantely in applications development. In addition to my I.T. experience I spent 7 years as the Director of Store Services at Canada's third largest grocery retailer.
  • Shafraz Nasser is the Lead Microsoft CRM Architect with HP Enterprise Services in the South Pacific Microsoft Dynamics Practice. His focus is on selling, architecting and overseeing delivery of Microsoft Dynamics CRM based implementations within New Zealand.
  • Shefali Dua is leading Worldwide BPaaS Strategy & Solution Innovation team at HP Enterprise Services as the Solution Innovation Manager. Her focus is currently assisting in planning and delivery of industry solutions for verticals like social media, big data, mobility and security on the HP Enterprise Cloud offerings for CRM Technologies.
  • Steve Petruno is a Product Manager for HP’s Global Oracle Services with over 24 years experience in the Information Technology industry, project Management, Human Resources, Payroll and Benefits, ERP implementations, upgrades, acquisitions and divestitures.
  • I have worked for HP as a business consultant for seven years, providing process, strategy and business transformation advice in the Financial Services and UK Government sectors. As part of this I have used Lean and Continuous Improvement techniques to assess and improve business performance, ensure regulatory compliance and improve environmental sustainability.
  • Tom is the Global Product Marketing lead for HP's Cloud Applications Services. Tom has over 20 years of experience in information technology and a proven track record for implementing innovative client solutions in several industries including government, healthcare, and telecommunications. He thrives on developing services and solutions which result in business process improvement through greater systems efficiency.
  • Vijay Seetharaman is an Enterprise Architect within HP Enterprise Services - Industry Transformation Consulting practice, focusing on Cloud and Mobility

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