How to Conduct a Technology Application Assessment for Cloud Migration

How to Conduct a Technology Application Assessment for Cloud Migration
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At Growth Acceleration Partners, we understand the critical nature of a comprehensive technology application assessment for cloud migration. As a trusted migration partner, we’ve helped numerous businesses successfully shift their applications to the cloud. To ensure a seamless experience for every business’s unique needs, we’ve developed our own set of proven application assessment methodologies.

With all the benefits cloud technology offers, it’s no surprise an increasing number of businesses are migrating their information systems. Cloud technology improves workflows and offers improved cost-efficiency, scalability and agility. However, to ensure a smooth transition, the migration requires careful planning and execution. This can only be achieved through a detailed technology application assessment.

A technology application assessment identifies which applications are most suitable for migration. This ensures compatibility with the cloud environment and is key to mitigating security and data loss risks.

In this guide, we’ll offer expert advice for conducting an application assessment to eliminate data loss, minimize downtime and maximize benefits.

Why Should You Conduct a Technology Application Assessment?

Before migrating to the cloud, you need to assess your current application ecosystem to determine which applications suit cloud architectures best and which should stay in the legacy environment. By running a data-driven, analytical application assessment, you can determine cost benefits and potential migration challenges. You’ll be able to assess the business value of the move and lay the groundwork to ensure automated and efficient transformation, minimizing the impact on your operations.

In addition, an application assessment evaluates infrastructure and integration with other data sources or applications. Preparing this in advance assists in migration sequencing, helping you see what will happen if you migrate certain applications to the cloud while keeping other interconnected applications in-house.

Other benefits of performing a pre-migration application assessment include:

  • Identifying gaps and challenges in current infrastructure and applications
  • Identifying the best-fit cloud provider and services for your needs
  • Planning for the scalability and flexibility of the cloud environment
  • Providing a clear ROI analysis for the migration process
  • Ensuring compliance and security requirements are met in the cloud environment

Overall, a cloud migration assessment provides a comprehensive analysis of your organization’s current IT infrastructure and helps to create a roadmap for a successful migration.

Let’s look at how to successfully conduct your cloud migration application assessment.

1. Define Scope And Objectives

Before starting the cloud migration process, you need clarify why you want to make the transition. Setting out clear objectives will help you decide which applications you need to migrate, as well as choose the most suitable cloud service provider to achieve these goals. Often cited business objectives for cloud migration include:

  • Minimizing data storage and maintenance costs of in-house data centers
  • Improving compliance
  • Accelerating business agility
  • Improving scalability
  • Enhancing system failover (or recovery) capacity for improved app resilience
  • Optimizing remote collaboration

Once you have defined why you are moving to the cloud and what you want to achieve, consider the following questions to help you formulate an effective strategy.

  • What is the scope of the assessment?
  • How are you going to perform the migration?
  • Will you require third-party assistance?
  • What are the cost implications?

2. Identify Applications Based on Importance

In general, the older an application, the more challenging it is to migrate to the cloud. Outdated software is expensive to maintain, can raise security concerns, and may perform poorly in current computing environments.

When assessing application eligibility and priority for cloud migration, consider the following:

  • Was the application developed in-house? If yes, does the developer still work at the company?
  • Is the documentation for the application readily available?
  • How many users use the application daily and weekly?
  • How much downtime can users tolerate before business operations are affected?
  • Who manages the application (in-house or external vendor)?
  • Do you use the application in production, development and/or testing?
  • Are other processes synchronized with the application and will they be affected by application downtime?
  • What are the application’s regulatory requirements?
  • Is the application subject to specified SLA uptime standards?

3. Analyze and Evaluate Each Application

Applications generally need to be rearchitected to function smoothly in the cloud due to its open hosting and hardware-free environment. Legacy applications rely on RAID systems (a redundant array of independent drives) to manage failure, while cloud-native applications are designed with software and virtual machines for resiliency.

In addition, on-premise applications are often integrated with other applications, which makes them difficult to migrate without a major redesign. To make the most of the cloud, your team will need to redesign applications to take advantage of its built-in features like auto-scaling, elasticity and redundancy.

Another important consideration is the vulnerability of data breaches and security threats during migration. It’s essential to secure applications with layers of protection during and after migration.

4. Develop a Cloud Migration Strategy

The great thing about the complex and time-consuming task of cloud migration is that it doesn’t have to happen in one go. You can move applications bit by bit—one component at a time if needed. However, this approach will require you to organize and prioritize each element of your application.

Your application assessment and cloud migration strategy should take application component inter-dependencies into account. Prioritize elements with the least dependencies, since they are the most straightforward to migrate.

You also need to consider refactoring. This is the process of adapting your on-site applications for cloud conditions. When refactoring an application, prioritize functionality to ensure the application runs in your chosen cloud setting. Once you achieve this, start optimizing.

5. Test, Optimize and Refine

To measure migration success, set and check testing and review benchmarks during migration and after.

During migration, you want to ensure all data is present and moves to the correct locations. You’ll also want to maintain data integrity during migration.

Once application migration is complete, you then must determine whether the transition was correctly executed with follow-up tests. This includes:

  • Analyzing application performance
  • Looking for potential disruptions
  • Reviewing database security and ensuring security controls remain in place
  • Performing stress tests under intense loads to find memory leaks
  • Ensuring systems can withstand data demand during peak conditions
  • Review system speeds
  • Address potential security issues

Simplify Application Assessment With GAP

Not running an application assessment before migrating to the cloud can have disastrous outcomes. Not only do you risk data loss and security breaches, but you also risk financial losses due to incompatible and inefficient process execution.

At GAP, we offer a comprehensive technology application assessment for cloud migration customized to your unique needs.

GAP’s professional service offers tailored recommendations and solutions based on workloads, performance, cost, and your team’s skill set to streamline your cloud migration and maximize benefits. Our application assessment empowers tech teams to build robust applications and improve scalability, even with limited resources and expertise.

Reach out to our experts today to drive digital transformation that improves your workflows, enhances cost efficiency and bolsters business growth.