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The business case for moving end-of-life workloads to AWS, part II

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Ian HutchinsonAlliance Leader - AWS
The road is curvy.

If you’ve decided to move to the cloud rather than update on-premises enterprise software that has reached end of life (EOL), you’ll need to determine what kind of migration strategy is right for your organization. In this part two blog about cloud migration, we’ll look at considerations to help you choose the best route – in particular, how to decide between two options: refactoring or replatforming.

If you’re still weighing up a move to the cloud, check out part one.

Refactoring and replatforming are two of seven so-called R strategies for migrating to the cloud. Amazon Web Services (AWS) describes these as follows: refactor, replatform, repurchase, rehost, relocate, retain and retire.

That’s already a lot of options. But the decision can become far more difficult when you’re looking at migrating multiple applications. Here at SoftwareOne, we have a proven methodology to help you chart a path forward onto the AWS Cloud, no matter how complex your IT estate. And it starts with an Application Modernization Advisory (AMA). This helps you to understand what your as-is infrastructure looks like so you can then map your path to a more modern, cloud-based approach on AWS.

But first, let’s look at your different potential migration strategies for managing EOL software challenges.

Understanding your different R options

Despite all the talk about digital transformation and cloud migration, most organizations today still depend heavily on software and hardware in on-premises data centers. Recent data from Gartner shows that more than half of enterprise IT spending still goes toward traditional, on-premises infrastructure. But modernizing workloads and moving workloads to the cloud aren’t the same thing. Simply lifting and shifting an application as is to the cloud – rehosting – might be the easiest way to migrate, but it doesn’t let you make the most of the cloud’s many advanced capabilities. Worse, it might mean that you take all of your current software and application inefficiencies with you into the cloud.

You can reduce the risk of those types of inefficiencies by following a different R strategy: replatforming.

This involves modifying your applications before migration to take greater advantage of the cloud’s capabilities. For example, you might deploy a database into Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), a collection of cloud-based managed services delivered as Platform as a Service (PaaS). This eliminates the need for database patching, which saves time on operations and improves availability and performance. In this way, you can quickly start to reap benefits from a move to the cloud.

Replatforming can be easier and more cost-effective than some other R strategies.

Another option is refactoring, which requires more time and effort than rehosting or replatforming. By rearchitecting some of your existing software code, you can optimize the outcome of a migration and gain big benefits from cloud-native services. For instance, moving to services like AWS Lambda, a serverless compute service, or to a managed service like Amazon API Gateway, can significantly reduce your infrastructure costs and provide greater scalability and fault tolerance. Consider this approach only when the investment required makes sense, though: you’re not likely to want to take this route, for example, for an on-premises application that’s not mission critical and works effectively and cost efficiently as is.

Chart your way forward with the help of an Application Modernization Advisory

So how do you decide which option – rehosting, replatforming or refactoring – is right for you? It starts with getting a clear picture of what your current application environment looks like, where the cloud offers opportunities to reduce cost and complexity and which strategy is best for your business when EOL software deadlines loom. We can help you achieve this with AMA.

Our AMA methodology uses automated tools, stakeholder interviews and workshops to gain a deep understanding of your applications: code issues, dependencies, risks, licensing considerations, costs and more. This is critical before deciding on a migration strategy. Many organizations have seen their application environment grow increasingly opaque and complex over the years, with no single person or vendor having complete insight into how it all works. Too often, the environment becomes a black box.

Based on the AWS Well-Architected review, our month-long AMA process produces multiple roadmaps and best-practice guidance to help you get the most out of your move to the AWS Cloud. Whether you’re dealing with one application, several applications or hundreds, we’ll identify usage patterns to find efficient and cost-effective ways to modernize your environment.

After we’ve completed the AMA, we can sit down with you to help you decide on next steps. Maybe you’re looking to reduce capital expenditures by going to a model focused more on operating expenditures. Maybe you’re looking to increase innovation or efficiency. Or maybe you’re seeking to understand what a merger or acquisition means for the future of your organization.

Whatever your situation and whatever your starting point, our AMA can provide you with the information you need to choose the best way forward. Based on your goals, we’ll provide you with high-level guidance on how to modernize your applications – technology considerations, the work required, estimated costs and recommendations for next steps.

Ready to get started on modernizing your applications in the cloud? Let us know if you have any questions about our AMA process or contact us today to kick off your modernization journey.

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Publisher Adivsory Services

Onze software-experts optimaliseren contracten en software-uitgaven met strategische software-uitgevers.

Publisher Adivsory Services

Onze software-experts optimaliseren contracten en software-uitgaven met strategische software-uitgevers.


A man in a suit and tie smiling for the camera.

Ian Hutchinson
Alliance Leader - AWS

Cloud Services (AWS)