What’s the Best Way to Lift and Shift Your Legacy Applications to the Cloud?

For several years now, the cloud has been at the center of business strategy. Companies that have delayed making the switch to the cloud now find themselves struggling to compete in a ruthless marketplace where simple missteps have huge business implications. Given the cost-effectiveness of the public cloud, many businesses have made the switch, moving incredible workloads to the cloud. The migration process is often quite challenging as companies try to figure out how to lift and shift their legacy applications to the cloud in the most seamless and least-disruptive way possible.

To achieve a seamless transition, your company will need an IT framework capable of handling a wide range of technologies. The lift-and-shift approach is seen as one of the most aggressive models when moving to the public cloud. By the end of the process, all the data will be housed in a scalable infrastructure, essentially eliminating ever needing to do a refreshing of business infrastructure.

The goal of the Lift & Shift model is to move every business legacy application “as-is,” making little or no change to all the functions that each of the applications perform. A common scenario when taking the Lift & Shift approach involves the migration of those business applications that were not designed for use via a cloud environment, yet, if successfully moved can benefit from the virtues of the cloud that include reduced costs and improved availability.

The Lift & Shift approach has two major challenges that you should consider:

* Whether your IT staff has the necessary skills to undertake the migration and whether they know how to operate in the new cloud infrastructure

* How much time and resources it will take to untangle the complex matrix of legacy applications and hardware that you have assembled over the years

‘Failure to adequately address these two often leads to problems and unending failure points. Left unaddressed, these problems will most certainly extend to your legacy code which may be so outdated that all who would have understood it are no longer part of your organization’ says IT Effectiveness specialist from Bedrock IT.

Preparing For The Lift
Every new technological tool presents its own set of benefits and challenges. In recent years, Lift & Shift has made a case for itself as the go-to option for migrating legacy applications despite the above challenges. While some businesses still use more traditional migration options, the Lift & Shift model is seen as a faster cloud migration path for the enterprise. The model brings lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and increased operational agility. It also allows IT to take a more central and strategic role in the enterprise. Preparing for the lift involves the following:

* Building an effective migration plan – It is important to create a plan for application migration to the cloud that is comprehensive, capturing the complete roadmap including schedules and timeless.

* Define entry and exit gates – having these gates is one step towards ascertaining that business operations suffer the least disruption

* Expect surprises in the migration process – Without a doubt, there will be some technical surprises that you will encounter and that you could not have possibly seen coming.

Preparing for those unanticipated events involves including protocols for handling these risks in your migration plan.

Executing The Shift
In executing the Lift & Shift model in a way that all but guarantees reduced risk, you should consider moving the legacy applications to the cloud one at a time. This approach allows you to monitor and observe the challenges in the migration process and find ways to mitigate them when moving the next application. What’s more, in the event that the shift takes place without a hitch, you can replicate the exact process with the rest of the applications.

The one-by-one legacy application migration will also allow you to begin the process of unraveling the legacy applications mess and complexity and restructuring them to become cloud-ready. Indeed, this approach will help you move your data correctly from the very beginning, thereby reducing the risk of delaying the completion of the project. Ultimately, a successful Lift & Shift approach will boost your company’s ROI by bringing flexibility, agility and scalability to your operational business environment.

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