A consistent issue in how businesses approach integrating cloud, legacy applications require some serious thought.
There are different classes of legacy apps to think about. On the one hand, organizations have legacy apps that are internal facing which require a certain kind of approach. Meanwhile businesses also have external, revenue facing applications. The external facing apps are typically ecommerce, point of sales platforms, customer service portal, HR portals, etc.
When approaching legacy app integration with the cloud, the internal versus external dynamic will frame much of the decision making. Internal legacy apps are already set up and going; a change to them is measured more as a cost impact versus solving any other problem associated with them than just moving it. Unless there is a large impetus to move large internal legacy apps, it just won’t be done.
With external facing legacy apps there are big challenges to overcome. Many organizations look at it purely form a cost/benefit perspective: “What does it cost me to run this internally? To move it? What are the cost saving s associated post move.”
Many organizations today will find that because they don’t have the expertise in-house or the historical data to prove out the idea of moving it, they cannot properly project the savings and will hesitate in moving a legacy application to the cloud. For many enterprise organizations with these same concerns, choosing a lower impacting application seems to be the path of least resistance, usually one with a smaller customer base/audience. However, this typically means that app has even fewer technical employees, which in turn correlates to an even more severe knowledge gap where cloud integration is concerned.
Maybe the long term goal is not to have all things outsourced to a cloud hosting provider, but it can be a smart move to engage cloud hosting services organizations that have vast experience migrating legacy apps to the cloud so a company can gain the institutional knowledge to effectively migrate others in the future.
Cloud can allow an organization to interweave disparate applications and processes into a more cohesive patchwork, allowing an organization to better align legacy costs with more modern cloud-enabled economics. Once a business builds that confidence in the cloud, they can target their larger preexisting apps, and ultimately shift focus from infrastructure maintenance to new development of the application. Many companies have successfully migrated legacy application over to the cloud and have subsequently stood up new apps beside them to improve and augment functionality all because they have the resources to do so (in large part thanks to the cloud!).
By Jake Gardner