Updating and migrating legacy applications is daunting, with many IT departments at a loss of where to begin. Increasingly, cloud-based tools offer valuable solutions for companies that wish to modernize. More than ever, CIOs and IT teams across sectors have mobilized to generate cloud transformation strategies for their companies.
A recent survey from IDG reports that 90% of IT leaders noted that “digital transformation has accelerated over the past 18 months” and expect “IT modernization to impact long-term growth.”
IT leaders are waking up to the fact that cloud technology is not just about storage. In fact, the Cloud enables various tools to address networking, security, communications, call center operations, and disaster recovery. Businesses must create a sound cloud transformation strategy as a part of core operations. IT modernization can no longer stay on the back burner for companies seeking to remain relevant and profitable in the years ahead.
Why digital transformation is critical for long-term success
At the onset of cloud technology, many experts believed that the Cloud would be restricted to improving network traffic speeds and boosting software development rates. But the functionality of cloud computing continues to adapt and expand. In fact, you could argue that the very nature of IT is changing. IT is no longer bound to onsite data centers or devices. Today, IT managers can optimize network flow and other tasks from anywhere in the world while maintaining an unprecedented level of security.
Moreover, applications no longer simply live on a hard drive on one computer. Apps are now available on demand via a secure Internet connection. And thanks to revolutionary Internet of Things (IoT) devices, applications work with smart devices integrated into wearables, homes, or workplaces. As such, the explosion of data from numerous applications and sources makes it extremely difficult for legacy applications, network systems, and digital infrastructure to keep up. As applications grow in scope and complexity, so must the support systems that keep those apps running.
The IT landscape is rapidly evolving, and the sooner organizations transition to the Cloud, the better they will be able to outperform competitors. Developing a cloud transformation strategy helps ensure a smooth transition for your organization’s IT infrastructure.
Learn more: Cloud-enabled security from OnX enhances your critical business applications
Benefits of digital transformation
In the IDG survey previously mentioned, CIOs and IT leaders said that modernizing applications and systems via the Cloud led to enhancements such as:
- Improved service.
- UX and customer satisfaction.
- Business continuity.
- Cost savings.
- Agility and strategy.
- Overall uptime and availability.
Approaches to a successful cloud transformation strategy
Cloud transformation is a company’s process or strategy to migrate applications, systems, and network functions to a cloud environment. The Cloud perpetually reinvents itself, with new technologies becoming available regularly, such as multi-cloud architectures. Businesses must change their legacy hardware and software to interact with new cloud tools to keep up with the rapid pace.
Sixty-five percent of the IDG survey respondents “place high importance on accelerating application development and modernization.” But among those survey-takers, many record issues with the implementation of said acceleration, especially regarding disaster recovery and cyber security.
There are multiple paths that businesses can take to embrace the Cloud fully. DevOps methodology is one such route. DevOps involves the synthesis of software development best practices with IT operations. Also, DevOps utilizes automation to speed up both processes.
Containers and microservices
Several other technologies are emerging to support cloud tech:
Containers are portable digital environments that allow developers to migrate applications between digital development spaces. Applications developed this way can easily be ported to one or multiple clouds. In addition, containers are simple to scale and are a great option when developers need a lot of processing power.
Microservices, on the other hand, rely on “serverless computing.” The serverless approach uses cloud servers (rather than on-site data centers or servers) to execute single-use automation or software orchestrations. Microservices are ideal when you have specific tasks that do not require a lot of processing power.
AI, ML, and IoT
Nearly 50% of respondents are interested in optimizing data and insights through artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and IoT devices. Within a cloud transformation strategy, AI creates greater efficiency in almost every area of business operations. AI and ML can be deployed to develop automation, generate analytical insights in business intelligence, and bolster cybersecurity.
Challenges of implementing cloud transformation
rvey, keeping systems and applications up to date is a significant challenge. Respondents also reported that other obstacles to cloud transformation strategies included:
- Gaps in employee knowledge.
- Slow and aging digital infrastructure.
- Inadequate data analysis for decision-making.
Also read: Make the most of your cloud infrastructure with a data lake solution
Categories of IT modernization
The process of cloud transformation has several strategies for implementation. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. These processes include:
- Lift and shift (aka rehosting). Move an existing legacy application into a new cloud-based environment (low code approach).
- Re-factoring. Rewrite or restructure legacy coding so that it functions as “cloud-native” (high code).
- Re-platforming. A hybrid of lift and shift and refactoring, re-platforming modernizes legacy apps via their backend without changing core code (medium code).
Learn More: Embracing the next generation of application and infrastructure modernization
Infrastructure modernization with an eye to the future
As we have seen, business leaders increasingly understand the importance of cloud transformation. But internal challenges such as skill gaps, slowing legacy systems, and lack of business intelligence insights can make moving to the Cloud arduous. Choosing the right partner for digital transformation is vital to a company’s success.
OnX is deeply experienced in helping clients develop cloud transformation strategies. Over many years our team has created a vetted system of IT modernization. OnX project managers and engineers start with an assessment to determine which applications, processes, and operations to migrate to the Cloud or implement as cloud native. Fully hosted services offload burdens from overtaxed IT departments and free up resources to devote to innovation and mission-critical operations. Following modernization best practices, OnX can help your company stay ahead of the competition and optimize your operations well into the future.
Get in touch to learn more about how OnX can guide your company through the cloud transformation journey.