Today, everywhere you look there is someone talking about cloud computing. But when it comes to applications, not all of them belong in the cloud. Only those applications that will truly yield benefits to your business should be transformed to the cloud. So how do you determine which applications are candidates for the cloud? I sat down with Tom Hall, Global Product Marketing Manager for Cloud Application Services. We discussed how to assess which applications should be transformed to the cloud, and four alternatives for application transformation.
What is your role in Enterprise Services?
I am the marketing manager for Application Transformation to the Cloud. I am working on our strategy for how we bring cloud application services to our clients. This involves looking at markets, client needs, and figuring out how to help our clients transform their applications to the cloud.
How would I get started with application transformation?
It all starts with an assessment – a rationalization of what you have today and which applications are best suited for a migration or modernization over to cloud infrastructure. This assessment will be done from both a technology and a business standpoint. Some applications can be migrated as is. In other cases, such as legacy applications, we will use modernization techniques to modernize those applications onto a more current applications architecture. Sometimes we will keep applications where they are, and sometimes they will be retired.
What would the next steps be once my assessment is complete?
Once your assessment is completed, we would assist you in developing your modernization plan. This consists of four main alternatives:
- Re-host – Some applications could be migrated over to a new cloud infrastructure, This is the most non-invasive option from a coding perspective and is basically a “lift and shift.”
- Replace – Some applications would be replaced. For example, a custom-built CRM system that was built years ago might be a candidate for replacement with Microsoft Dynamic CRM cloud services.
- Integrate – One of the common barriers to cloud adoption is how to seamlessly integrate applications that are cloud-based with on-premise applications. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and integration services can help – We develop an integration strategy and utilize best practices to enable seamless integration.
- Rearchitect/refactor – Although this is the most intrusive option, it is sometimes necessary when the application is written in a legacy language such as COBOL or IMS. These applications need to be rewritten into languages that are optimized for cloud infrastructure. With this option, we will rewrite the code to make it more efficient so it can stand up to the performance requirements of cloud.
Read more about Applications Transformation for Cloud Computing.