How to determine if your app is ready for cloud migration: checklist

6 Mins read
Cloud Migration

There’s no stopping cloud adoption. By 2026, according to Gartner, enterprises will allocate 45% of their IT spending to public cloud services. That’s two times more than the share of the enterprise public cloud spending in 2021 — 17%.

Migrating your software to the cloud has two main benefits: reduced costs and unlimited scalability. But not all apps are ready for cloud migration as-is.

How do you know if your application is ready for the cloud? Answer the following questions regarding your technology, processes, and resources.

Cloud Migration

Part 1: Technology

Compatibility issues and security requirements make a transition more challenging. This is especially the case for the apps that:

  • Can’t run in virtual environments
  • Rely on outdated technologies
  • Need to comply with strict regulations

For all other applications, cloud migration can be a smooth transition — provided the four aspects below are taken care of.

Is your app architecture ready for the cloud?

Moving your app to the cloud essentially means it’ll be running in a virtualized environment. To ensure its smooth performance in a new setting, assess:

  • Architecture type. Microservices architecture is more suitable for the cloud than a monolithic one. If your application uses the latter, consider rearchitecting it.
  • Software complexity. It depends on the length of your code and the number of infrastructure elements and servers required. If your code is longer than 100,000 lines or requires too many servers, it’s better to optimize it before cloud migration.
  • Storage requirements. How much storage space will you need? If you don’t want to pay for extra capacity you won’t use or underestimate your requirements.
  • Network specifics. What bandwidth does your application need at the moment? If you can’t achieve the same bandwidth in the cloud, your application’s performance will suffer.

If this assessment shows that your application’s architecture isn’t cloud-ready, rearchitecting it should be at the top of your to-do list. Otherwise, existing issues will continue to persist in the cloud, and new ones can arise.

What if your application’s architecture needs to be tweaked, and you don’t have the expertise for it in-house? Turning to a custom application development company will be your soundest choice.

Are there any regulations to comply with?

Your application probably handles sensitive data – and your jurisdiction has specific requirements for how it does that. In the European Union, for example, they’re laid out in GDPR. You have to comply with them if you collect and process any personal data of EU residents.

These jurisdictions- and industry-specific regulations can determine whether you’ll need particular firewalls, disaster recovery protocols, encryption methods, and more. Plus, make sure your prospective cloud service provider has the right compliance certifications.

What’s your legacy depth?

Legacy code refers to the codebase that is so old that it’s become difficult to maintain. The legacy depth, in turn, reflects how much legacy code you have in your software and the scope of potential reworks.

Having a great legacy depth translates into increased maintenance (and/or refactoring) costs and security issues. It can also make cloud migration more difficult due to compatibility issues.

Let’s say you have an iOS mobile application that you want to transfer to the cloud. However, it was developed years ago using Objective-C, an old programming language. In this case, cloud migration may be a difficult feat due to compatibility issues.

To evaluate potential challenges, you’ll need to check whether any cloud service providers support these technologies.

If there aren’t any, see how crucial the components written using legacy technologies are:

  • Small non-critical components can be rewritten at a relatively low cost.
  • For major legacy components or the whole legacy system, you’ll have to rebuild the application with the cloud in mind. If the costs of such a project outweigh the benefits, however, consider giving up on the migration.

How much technical debt do you have?

Technical debt is a set of inefficiencies and potential vulnerabilities you accumulate while opting for an easier but less optimal solution in case of cost/time-to-market reduction. But since quick fixes are not always sound solution from tech perspective, you may need to rework the code later to make further development less cumbersome.

In the case of cloud migration, substantial technical debt can be a problem. It may cause unpredictable behavior and compatibility or performance issues.

So, before you proceed with cloud migration, have your software’s technical debt evaluated and pinpoint which parts are critical to fix before migration – and mend them first.

Part 2: Processes

Cloud migration will impact your operations. So, before you make this move, ensure that your approach to development and maintenance is cloud-friendly. It’ll cost you less to do it before migration than after.

Cloud Migration

Is your development approach compatible with the cloud?

Agility is the ultimate benefit of cloud computing. But if you want to make the most out of it, your development process should be agile as well. It’ll allow you to introduce changes and resolve issues promptly. That, in turn, will help you leverage the agility of the cloud to its maximum.

You should also assess your level of automation. Introducing continuous integration and delivery/deployment (CI/CD) will speed up your app’s cloud migration. Without the right automation processes, it’ll demand much more time and resources.

If you’re unsure whether your development approach is cloud-friendly, it’s a good idea to turn to an external provider for DevOps consulting services. A fresh pair of expert eyes will help you prepare your operations for cloud migration in a timely and well-thought-out manner.

How will you test your migrated application?

Testing is the key to guaranteeing your application will run equally well – or even better – in the cloud. Here’s what you should pay attention to:

  • Software performance in a new environment
  • Migrated application’s behavior
  • Integration with third-party services and apps
  • The user interface’s correct display and behavior
  • Software’s security and stability

Create a test plan that covers all these aspects. This plan should also outline your objectives, methods, testing timeline, deliverables, and resources required.

Part 3: Resources

Cloud migration, like any other major project, requires certain resources: specialists with the right expertise, time, and financing. So, it’s vital to secure these resources for the migration to go smoothly and with as few disruptions to your business operations as possible.

Cloud Migration

Does your team possess the right skills?

Your team should have the necessary expertise to execute the migration itself and maintain the migrated software later on. That includes:

  • Experience with processes required for migration (agile development, automation, testing)
  • Deep knowledge of relevant tools and technologies (e.g., AWS Migration Services, Azure Migration Tools)
  • Real-world experience in migrating similar products to the cloud and maintaining them
  • Skills to estimate and improve app cloud readiness from the technical viewpoint

What if you don’t have this expertise in-house? You have several options:

  • Bring one or several cloud specialists on board
  • Train your existing staff
  • Outsource the whole cloud readiness assessment and migration

What are your budget expectations?

According to Gartner, 77% of enterprises have already been taken aback by cloud-related surprise bills. These bills turn out to be a surprise due to:

  • Miscalculations in the initial total cost of ownership (TCO) estimates
  • Insufficient spending control for running cloud infrastructure costs

To avoid the budget getting out of hand, make sure to include the following in your TCO estimate:

  • Future running cloud infrastructure costs
  • Extra licensing costs for virtualized environment software
  • Labor costs (hiring new staff, training your existing workers, etc.)
  • Software testing before, during, and after migration
  • Extra security costs (if the level provided by the cloud service isn’t sufficient)
  • Software optimization before or after the migration (if needed)

As for running cloud infrastructure costs, they vary a lot and depend on the amount and specifics of computing resources allocated to your application (computing power, storage space, bandwidth, etc.). Most cloud providers offer an online calculator you can find on their websites to forecast these costs.

Final Thoughts

Cloud migration isn’t something to be done overnight. It requires a great deal of preparation and optimization from the technological, processual, and resource standpoints.

Assessing your app’s cloud readiness is a vital step in preparing it for cloud migration. It allows you to estimate the scope of work ahead and optimize the existing solutions. This translates into not just a more smooth transition – but a less costly one, too.

What if you don’t possess the right in-house expertise to conduct a deep and high-quality app cloud readiness assessment and, potentially, the migration itself? Turning to external cloud migration specialists is your best option.

In this case, the assessment will be a great pilot project. It will help you understand if the service provider delivers on its promises and has the required expertise. Based on the assessment results, you’ll be able to decide if you’re ready to entrust these specialists with the migration itself.

About Author
Sigma Software is one of the companies that can help you with every step of the process. Its Cloud Team has already made cloud migration a reality for 100+ projects. The result? Clients are happy with the smooth transition, reduced costs, improved performance, and excellent support.

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