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Place the Application Landscape at the Core of your Cloud Adoption Strategy

While a few large companies like Johnson & Johnson got the rid of all their Mainframe-based applications and expect to run more applications in the Cloud than they currently do on their own infrastructure, the great majority of the Forbes Global 2000 organizations are still stuck at the beginning of the journey. If these large shops have initiated their move to the Cloud to reduce infrastructure costs, they’ll soon be confronted with technological, cultural and psychological hurdles which may hinder them to take full advantage – cost reduction, but also business value – of the Cloud. In this blog post series, we detail how to “lift & extend” and the pragmatic keys to establish a virtuous circle in your Cloud adoption strategy.

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Like for any strategy building process, you’ll need to constitute a comprehensive, fact-based and systematic evaluation of your application landscape in order to know whether each application is a better candidate for IaaS, PaaS, SaaS or to eventually decide which application won’t be part of your future application landscape.

 

This application landscape assessment should address the following areas:

Business Impact
Target the applications with the current highest impact from a business perspective (alignment with the strategy, end-user audience, resiliency constraints, etc.)

Supported Business Capabilities
Identify the business capabilities (customer relationship, contracts, orders, sales & marketing, employees, financial management, etc.) that the applications currently support

Innovation Requirements
Measure the appetite for the applications to consume innovative Cloud services (performance scalability, high data availability and storage, IoT, Big Data, IA, etc.). In other words, the need to leverage Cloud services as a competitive advantage

Organizational & Technical state of applications
actual development and maintenance effort, team operational model, skills and resource allocation, software health KPIs

 

The output of this inventory results in a clear understanding of how to position the present application landscape, in regard of your business strategy, specificities and requirements, as pointed out by AWS with its 6 R’s of a Cloud Adoption Strategy:

Re-host
Lift & shift applications, virtualize the underlying infrastructure (IaaS)

Re-platform
Moving non business-centric components of an application to PaaS (e.g. PostgreSQL, Tomcat as a Service, Cloud-based middleware)

Repurchase
Replace the application by a COTS product (SaaS)

Refactor
Re-architect and modernize the application to make it run Cloud-native functionalities (transformation of business-centric components to PaaS)

Retire
Eliminate obsolete applications

Retain
Status quo, decide later

Other blog posts in this series…