For enterprise-level businesses, moving legacy applications to the cloud is seen as a critical step towards digital transformation. The benefits can’t be overstated: migrating legacy apps to the cloud enables choice and reduces computing resources, ultimately saving considerable money in the end.
Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. Today, despite the fact that as many as 87% of enterprises run some of their applications in the cloud, only about 20% of large businesses have successfully completed their full application migration projects. Enterprises, when creating their migration strategies, risk falling victim to a host of pitfalls that can significantly set the process back – to the extent that in 2016 Gartner projected a nearly 100% failure rate of ERP cloud migration projects.
When considering a plan to migrate enterprise applications to the cloud, avoid these commonly overlooked problems.
Typical Problems Enterprises Face When Moving Legacy Applications to the Cloud
1. Application Architectures Aren’t Completely Understood
Migrating legacy apps to a cloud platform can be an extremely complex process. To be successful, you’ll need to have a thorough picture of how various apps communicate with each other and map out the web of critical dependencies that need to be accounted for. Failing to do so means you could run into serious performance issues post-migration.
In terms of performance, remember that as applications need to talk to one another to exchange information and/or call a service for example, it has to travel over the WAN network to do so. If some apps are cloud-based and some are not, it may drive a very different performance experience. Certain legacy apps are written where there is a fair bit of chatter between the client software and the server software which now also has to go over the WAN.
To prevent this scenario, ensure that your team has gained a complete understanding of your existing application infrastructure. This process should include reviewing previous integration efforts and using this data to simulate the migration process so that you can predict application conflicts beforehand.
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2. Lack of Post-Migration Application Performance Visibility
Despite your best efforts, you’re still likely to run into application performance issues after the migration has been completed. But because cloud platforms inherently reduce your IT team’s level of direct application control – instead putting it in the hands of your cloud provider – you’ll need to ensure you have the right network and application monitoring tools in place before migration.
Otherwise, you’ll be reliant on your provider to troubleshoot these problems for you – resulting in an increase of tickets and a loss of productivity from lagging support response times.
3. Failure to Capture User Adoption and Productivity Metrics
While putting appropriate application monitoring tools in place is essential, focusing solely on application health and performance without tracking adoption and usage rates means you’re not getting the full picture. Stakeholders will want insight into these patterns, which can be difficult to glean from performance monitoring tools alone.
Before migration, it’s important to both establish the intelligence analytics metrics you’ll need to capture, and implement monitoring tools designed to track them. Determine any monitoring gaps your planned setup may reveal, and evaluate which solutions will provide insight into all aspects of application usage on your cloud platform.
4. Not Allocating Sufficient Migration Time
Depending on your approach, migrating enterprise applications is time-consuming. But whether you’re using a lift and shift, refactor or rebuild path, you are still likely facing a weeks-long process. If it takes longer than planned, you may find yourself suddenly short on computing capability.
Even with your teams working in parallel, many organizations dramatically underestimate the length of time it takes to move copious amounts of data. Not only do transfers use up significant bandwidth, the application configuration processes will eat up limited network resources.
Before starting, make sure your IT teams carefully analyze the data and bandwidth constraints so that they can make an accurate prediction of the length of time it will take to complete the migration.
5. Lack of Communication Between Teams
It’s natural for this type of a project to have specific areas of responsibility handled by separate teams. Those overseeing the application considerations will have different areas of focus than the network specialists, for example. However, it’s critically important that individual teams aren’t too heavily siloed, and that there is enough coordination in place to make sure tasks and issues don’t fall through the cracks.
Do I Still Need Application Management Services if I’m Using a Cloud-based Application Within the App Suite?
Even though you’ve chosen a cloud-based application, there is still a certain level of application support required. Given that the cloud provider completes the patching, upgrading, and monitoring, the role of application support shifts to other focus areas.
The reality is that even with a cloud solution there are still a number of ways AMS can provide value. Without someone managing your cloud apps either in-house or from a separate provider, you really won’t be making the most of your apps functionality.
Benefits of AMS for Cloud Apps
- Managing Integrations: every integration between your new cloud apps and your other systems will still have to be maintained. That includes whenever the cloud app provider releases an update or new version to their app. You have to have a proven process in place to verify that any custom integrations aren’t lost or incompatible.
- New Feature Management: When new features are rolled out, you want to be able to take advantage of them if they are the right fit for your business. An app specialist can research whether new features are worth implementing and the best way to do it.
- User Training: When new users are brought on, its best to have someone in charge of giving them the quick run through of how to use the program correctly.
- Productivity Enhancements: Ongoing productivity enhancements can save your business a lot of time and effort that may otherwise be wasted on replication issues or less valuable activities.
- Reporting Optimizations: To ensure you’re on the right track, you need the data to be able to prove it and in a format that is useful to your business. Cloud apps don’t always offer this right out of the box and it requires a certain level of technical knowledge as well as familiarity with the business to be able to put this together.
- Business Intelligence and Insights: With this enhanced reporting, your app management expert can make business recommendations based on the insights uncovered in general usage.
To keep their applications working efficiently, more and more organizations are outsourcing these tasks to application management services (AMS) providers.
If your organization is planning to move legacy apps to a cloud platform, having an AMS team to monitor and manage your cloud applications will ensure that they operate effectively and safely, while freeing up your valuable IT resources for other critical projects.
Resolute Technology Solutions’ complete Application Management Services ensure that your mission critical business applications are improving your business functions, not hampering them. Contact us today to learn how we can facilitate the growth of your business with AMS.