Is Your Cloud Modernization Strategy Actually Modern?
Shared By Jerry Kent, Andersen Alumnus and currently Chairman and CEO of Tierpoint.
Copyright 2023 Tierpoint. This article originally appeared in Tierpoint’s Digital Breakaway, original copy can be found here. Reprinted with permission. No further reproduction is permitted without permission from Tierpoint.
Modernizing your workloads and
moving to the cloud can provide many benefits to your business by improving
your agility, bottom line, and ability to scale. However, organizations run the
risk of losing out if they aren’t aware of the wide array of modernization
projects and strategies available. For a cloud application
modernization strategy to be truly modern, it should take into
account the projects that will have the greatest impact on your business and
your ability to compete in an increasingly competitive marketplace. We’ll cover
cloud modernization, its importance to businesses, and key elements to include
in your modernization projects.
What is Cloud Modernization?
Cloud modernization is a process where an organization moves
its legacy, on-premises applications to cloud-native solutions. Doing this may
require one or more different migration strategies and may be accompanied by
other modernization efforts, such as modernizing databases, adding new
applications, and automating various processes. Cloud computing can bring
needed flexibility, scalability, and reliability to a business, and is often a
more cost-effective option than maintaining legacy frameworks.
Understanding Why Cloud Modernization is Important
transformation projects can be complex and costly, it’s easy to push
them down on the list of priorities, but modernizing your infrastructure,
applications, and workloads can be incredibly important. Businesses that
adapt to meet new technological advancements stand a better chance of competing
in a crowded marketplace. IT modernization
projects also open the door to providing greater value as a business to end
users. Compliance standards are also changing at the pace of technology.
Organizations need to understand how to mitigate risk and meet requirements,
which can be accomplished, in part, by taking on cloud modernization projects.
What are Examples of Different Cloud Modernization Projects?
Cloud modernization projects can include revisions to
infrastructure, processes, applications, and features:
Infrastructure as Code
For organizations focused on modernizing infrastructure, IaC
(infrastructure as code) plays a critical role in a cloud modernization
project. With IaC, the infrastructure of the cloud is provisioned and managed
using code-based configurations. This means that the infrastructure can be
edited, deployed, and versioned the same way other code can.
Infrastructure that is built with IaC tends to have greater
consistency because the environment can be provisioned the same way each time.
The code also allows for automated deployment and version control. IaC makes
compliance and auditing easier, as well as scaling. It can also play a key role
in infrastructure lifecycle management – the coordination of an IT
Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)
As an integral part of a DevOps-focused
modernization project, CI/CD is focused on modernizing the delivery of software
development and deployment. In a CI/CD pipeline, the steps that are taken to
deliver software are automated, ranging from code commits to full production
deployments. This reduces the number of human errors, decreasing the risk of
downtime and speeding up software delivery.
Additionally, CI/CD pipelines in the cloud allow for
seamless integration with cloud services. This enables organizations to:
infrastructure as code
advantage of cloud-native benefits to amplify software delivery processes
Cloud modernization typically involves leveraging
cloud-based services and pay-as-you-go models to optimize cloud costs.
It can include activities such as:
cost management tools to optimize cloud spending
Security and Compliance
As threats become more sophisticated and regulatory
guidelines become more strict, modernization projects are likely to include
security and compliance measures. These might entail identity and access
management (IAM), monitoring and incident response, data security controls,
vulnerability management, cloud provider security controls, and abiding by
When it comes to resilience, modernization projects should
be focused on how well applications and systems can withstand and recover from failures
and disruptions. These projects might include working on backup and recovery,
automated recovery, high availability, incident response, and mitigation.
Key Elements of a Strong Cloud Modernization Strategy
A cloud modernization
strategy should provide a comprehensive roadmap for how an
organization will move its data, applications, and workloads to the cloud, as well
as how these resources will be managed and optimized after they’re migrated. In
this strategy, a business needs to consider how processes, applications, and
databases will be affected.
Businesses can use the cloud to modernize their processes in
many different ways. The following are some examples of areas where processes
can be improved.
architecture: Transitioning from monolithic
apps to microservices or cloud-native architectures. A monolithic app is
independent and self-contained, whereas microservices are more loosely connected
and can communicate with each other using APIs. The shift in architecture
can improve scalability, maintenance, and agility.
and deployment: By automating and
streamlining the deployment and provision of IT resources, organizations
can improve the accuracy, efficiency, and security of their processes.
Configuration management will manage and track changes to systems, while
resource provisioning can help determine the right allocation of resources
and elasticity: Through modernization,
businesses can redefine their capacity planning and resource allocation
processes. A common scalability project involves automating the scaling of
resources based on demand.
and alerting: Organizations can modernize
their monitoring and alerting processes by defining relevant metrics,
setting up automated monitoring, and configuring alerts and notifications
to cut down on the manual effort needed to survey their cloud environment.
optimization: Implementing processes and
governance mechanisms to track and monitor costs is one way that cost
optimization can be modernized. Businesses may also choose to establish
budgeting and forecasting processes or implement resource tagging.
management and governance: In the cloud, organizations
should establish processes for how data is ingested, stored, integrated,
management and disaster recovery: When workloads move to the
cloud, businesses need to redefine their incident and disaster recovery
processes. What do escalation paths look like? How can you implement
automated incident response mechanisms to ensure fewer problems go
Application Modernization and Migration
modernization can be done without migrating to a new cloud
environment, sometimes it’s necessary. The 7 R’s of cloud migration illustrate
the many strategies organizations can use to complete migration projects. They
include rehosting, relocating, replatforming, refactoring, repurchasing,
retaining, and retiring applications and data. The simplest strategy is
rehosting – moving everything to the cloud without making significant changes
to the architecture or code. The most involved strategy is refactoring, or
rearchitecting, which can mean a complete rewrite of an existing application
into a cloud-native language. What strategy you choose for application
modernization and migration will depend on the dependencies and
complexity of the original application, what’s considered mandatory versus
optional, and what your budget and timeline look like.
Serverless architecture allows developers to create and run
applications without the need to manage servers, and it’s a powerful apprach
for modernizing applications in the cloud. It can be used alongside different
cloud migration strategies, such as rehosting, replatforming, or refactoring
and regardless of the migration strategy chosen, organizations can leverage
serverless services provided by cloud providers to enhance the scalability,
flexibility, and cost-efficiency of their applications.
Containers can simplify the migration process by packaging
applications and dependencies into an easily deployed unit that can run on any
infrastructure. Containerized applications can be run on any infrastructure
that supports containers, making them portable, quick to deploy, and scalable.
A migration strategy that’s somewhere between rehosting and
refactoring is replatforming. When an application is replatformed, some changes
may be made to the code, and the application is moved to a new platform, but
the data remains the same. One common example of replatforming is when a legacy
application is moved to the cloud from an on-premises environment.
Database modernization leverages cloud-native databases and
contributes to modernization in a few different ways:
and elasticity: Scaling automatically based
on fluctuations in demand to ensure optimal performance and cost
availability: Leveraging the high
availability of the cloud by reconfiguring or redesigning databases. Some
benefits include data replication, failover, and multi-region deployments.
security and compliance: Adding at-rest/in-transit
encryption, implementing cloud security measures, ensuring compliance with
analytics: Data warehousing solutions, integrating
with analytics and business intelligence (BI) tools, faciliate drawing
insights from data which drives more informed decision-making.
replication and disaster recovery (DR):
Taking advantage of built-in replication and DR capabilities of cloud,
automating data replication across multiple regions ensures data
availablity and mitigates the risk of data loss.
optimization: Improving query performance,
optimizing data access patterns, and enhancing overall database
performance by leveraging cloud features.
lifecycle management: Redefining data management
processes to align with cloud-native capabilities such as data retention
policies, data archiving, and tiering strategies – organizing data by how
important it is and how often it’s accessed helps optimize storage costs
and improve organization and access.
Key Technologies and Platforms for Cloud Modernization
When an organization is ready for cloud modernization, it
can turn to these key technologies and platforms to provide the necessary
elements to adapt and thrive in a cloud environment.
Public Cloud Solutions
Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud
Platform (GCP) are all public cloud platforms that offer a wide range of
services that can aid in cloud modernization, including containers, serverless
computing, AI/ML services, and DevOps and deployment services.
Private Cloud Solutions
Private cloud can also be used for modernization projects if
an organization has very sensitive data to protect for highly specific
configurations to support certain workloads. A private cloud environment offers
more control and customization.
Hybrid Cloud and Multi-Cloud Solutions
Some businesses may benefit from a mix of private and public
clouds, or may even want to keep some of their workloads in on-premise
environments. A hybrid cloud solution describes any combination of cloud and
non-cloud environments where an organization’s workloads are hosted while multi-cloud
refers to instances of organizations using multiple cloud services from public
How a Managed Cloud Provider Can Help with Modernization
As you can see, cloud modernization projects can go off in
many different directions. Working with a managed cloud provider can help you
stay current, prioritize projects based on business impact, and get the most
out of your cloud environments.
Ready to improve your cloud strategy? Download the Journey to the Cloud eBook today to get started.