CLOUD APP MANAGEMENT

Cloud Migration or Modernization: Which is the Best?

Sayantani Bhattacharya | October 14, 2021

Cloud Migration or Modernization
The enormous growth of modern technology and its rapid adoption worldwide has driven enterprises to dedicate their efforts to upgrade the business platform. Implementing a cloud or “cloud-first” initiative is one such step actualized by several small, mid, and large enterprises globally to stay competitive in the market. As a result, CIOs and CTOs across the globe are considering cloud migration and modernization as practical strategies to achieve respective business goals. However, there are other factors too to consider that drive enterprises to initiate cloud migration. A survey conducted by Deloitte reveals that out of more than 500 IT executives, 58 percent of respondents rank security as one of the primary concerns.

“With this rush to get everything on the cloud, all teams need to perform judicious due diligence for the critical company upgrades to ensure the shift to future-ready systems.” 

-Ben Haynes, CEO at Monospace Inc and Project Lead at Directus (Interview with Media 7)

This article examines the key factors that propel cloud migration and modernization worldwide. Further, it also explains some enterprise instances, which you can refer to while understanding why the “cloud-first” strategy is crucial for the business to outgrow. However, before we delve into the primary drivers for adopting the cloud through migration or modernization, let us quickly look into the basics of both methods.


Migration Vs. Modernization: The Elementary Decisive Factors


Gartner projects that by 2022 the market size and growth of the cloud services industry will reach almost three times the growth of the overall IT industry. This growth is mainly driven by the urge for cloud adoption and tapping new technology to fortify business growth.
Cloud migration is the method to transfer the workloads, data, and other applications from an on-premise server to the cloud server. Some organizations also rely on the "lift and shift" method of migration. It allows the movement of specific workloads and applications to the cloud server to utilize the privilege of cloud features like automatic scaling, higher efficiency, and agile performance, security, storage, fast computation, and networking. On the other hand, modernization is the method of enhancing or changing the platform, architecture, and features of the existing applications to meet the business requirements. It simply means revamping your applications and making them cloud-native. As a result, your modernized applications get complete support of the cloud architecture. However, before choosing the cloud adoption models, you should analyze the scope to avoid any pitfalls associated with both.

Migration and cloud application modernization are effective in their ways. They are the different routes to achieve the same destination. Yet, most enterprises could not figure out the ideal choice for their business. So, what are the primary decision drivers to consider selecting a cloud environment?

Here are some of the fundamental factors that influence enterprises to implement cloud migration or modernization to achieve a rapid transformation journey.

 
Implementing a New Cloud Environment


"Moving to the cloud" or "cloud-first" initiative is one of the vital necessities in today’s market to stay ahead of the competition because organizations demand quick results to qualify the race. As a result, to obtain a faster business result, enterprises need an agile platform that provides data-driven insights to make informed decisions without any hindrance. Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report on the State of Cloud-Driven Transformation says that 83% of survey respondents emphasize the importance of cloud to boost their organizations’ future strategy and growth. Whereas, 69% say that, within two years, more than 60% of their organizations’ infrastructure and applications will be hosted in the cloud. If your company plans to adopt a ‘cloud-first’ strategy, then complete cloud application migration is the ideal option.


Scaling up From Legacy Infrastructure


Most enterprises agree that the traditional legacy infrastructure has reservations to meet the spiked business demand. It is rigid and can’t accommodate the changes as and when expected. As a result, you can opt for data modernization or cloud migration to make your data effective. According to Cybercrime Magazine, the data stored in the cloud servers will exceed 100 zettabytes (1 zettabyte=1 billion terabytes) by 2025.


Automating Processes to Save Time


Ever since cloud technology has grabbed the market, enterprises have been keen to fast-track their operations in the interest of time. But the traditional ecosystem has been a hindrance to achieving quick and efficient transactions. As a result, the urgency to adopt cloud arises, which allows enterprises to automate their processes. Further, automated processes maintain the timeline and help to meet the business demand. For example, if you emphasize a section of your business process to be automated, you can go with a lift-and-shift mechanism and cloud app modernization as and when required. Otherwise, you can migrate the entire datacenter to the cloud server to make your entire ecosystem cloud-native.


Data Center Upgradations and Reduction in Capital Cost


Enterprises are aware of the difficulties in accessing data center facilities. It has an expensive set-up, and the upgrades are equally costly. If your data center license upgrades are anytime around the corner, it is high time to plan your organizational movement to the cloud. You can apply a lift-and-shift cloud migration strategy where you can move faster to the cloud. It will help you elevate your ecosystem and make it responsive. Additionally, it will cut down the expenses on regular maintenance and updates.


Improved Security, Efficiency, and Quick Computation


The legacy infrastructure faces challenges in terms of security, proficiency, and promptness during any computation. As a result, your entire network security can be at stake. Additionally, rigidity and sluggish operations might affect your business goals. A "cloud-first" initiative is a primary requisite to avoid such hindrances. To stay at a competitive edge, enterprises demand faster business outcomes. As a result, they require quick access to data for insightful decisions, efficient business processees that can run without interruption.

Should You Select Migration, Modernization, or both?


To implement cloud technology in your business environment, you need to review its current landscape and how it supports the cloud infrastructure. Along with the type of cloud migration, you should also consider business objectives and use cases when reviewing and updating your environment.

Here are some examples of how the leading enterprises planned their shift to the cloud. These instances will help you to resonate and make a fair choice about the cloud adoption strategy.


How Capital One Used AWS to Migrate their Data Centres?


Capital One is one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the US. It helps the customers get intelligent banking services. Capital One has successfully migrated from Data Centers to AWS and has become the first US Bank to completely implement a "cloud-first" strategy.

With the growing demand from banking customers to deliver tailored experiences in real-time, Capital One realized they would need a robust customer engagement platform. To accomplish it, they needed a modern technology stack using the power of big data and machine learning. The leaders understood that moving their entire infrastructure from the data center to the cloud was the only way to accomplish it.  Capital One leveraged AWS as their cloud service provider to focus on delivering customer-centric innovation without worrying about infrastructure management.

“We have successfully withdrawn all of our data centers and implemented all-out data on AWS. We can manage data efficiently at a larger scale and utilize the power of machine learning to deliver improved customer experiences. With AWS, our technology teams are free to focus on their core competency that is creating amazing software and delivering innovation to our customers."

- Rob Alexander, Chief Information Officer, Capital One.


How Bank of New Zealand Modernized their Internal Applications Using Microsoft Azure?


Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) aims to equip its customers with quick financial services. As per their aim, BNZ needed a quick response mechanism to ensure the customers get the services instantaneously.BNZ was using several traditional software at their branches and back-office, with the help of human-intervened .NET applications, running on an aging platform of Windows 2008 software. BNZ wanted to shift this legacy on-premise service to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to scale its technological capabilities. In addition, the bank wanted to upgrade its customer service application in terms of rapidity, security, reliability, back-up, disaster recovery, and cost-efficiency. As a result, it leveraged the cloud app modernization technique. Additionally, BNZ could also consolidate different tools and platforms for documentation using the cloud platform. As a result, it helped in saving time and effort.

“By leveraging present workload, we could establish the infrastructure for another project seamlessly. Earlier, setting up and configuring an infrastructure would take two to four weeks for a complete software development life cycle.”

- Yogesh Shetty, Azure Team Lead, BNZ.


How Twitter Leveraged GCP to Migrate and Modernize their Platform?


Twitter is a social platform that serves billions of ad engagement events. It aimed to have an ad engagement analytics platform to enable its advertisers to measure user management to monitor ad campaign efficiency. With analytics tools, APIs, and dashboards, the platform is supposed to collect and compute massive data spontaneously in real-time.

Initially, Twitter has developed vital data transformation infrastructures to deal with the traffic of its growing user base across the world. The early deployments for those infrastructures were running on their own data centers. However, with Twitters' ever-increasing user engagement workloads, its data center started to reach its limitations to cope with the scale. Further, the traditional system was expensive and couldn’t support massive data inflow. So, to accommodate the estimated rise in user management, Twitter chose to elevate its ad analytics platform to the flexible and scalable Google Cloud.The complete transition to Google Cloud has been advantageous for Twitter. Its IT team became more agile because they could easily configure the platform and build new features faster. As a result, Twitters' ad analytics platform has come up to be immensely reliable and accurate.


Final Thoughts


Cloud adoption strategy is entirely based on your business goal. If your business demands a new cloud platfrom, you can opt for cloud migration. Otherwise, if you only wish to upgrade a section of your workload, applications, and platform to make it cloud-ready, modernization is your tactic. You could also opt for a "Modernization after Migration" model to get the best of both. These solutions help to upgrade your on-premise infrastructure faster and then continuously modernize your workloads on the cloud.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cloud Migration and Modernization?

Cloud migration is the process of totally moving from an on-premise server to a cloud server. Further, the “lift and shift” method of migration allows the movement of particular workloads and applications to the cloud server. At the same time, modernization is upgrading the traditional applications and platforms and making them cloud-native.

What are the Cloud Migration Strategies?

A cloud migration strategy is an approach to move the data and applications of an enterprise from its on-premises infrastructure to the cloud. It is implemented based on the priority and requirements of the business.

What is application modernization in the cloud?

Application modernization is the method of upgrading the platform and features of the existing legacy applications. The benefits of application modernization are to improve the scalability and performance of the data center to meet business requirements.
 

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