​Locked in by legacy? How to move key applications to the Cloud

“Companies that still have legacy applications need to look at the risks and benefits of moving to the cloud."

Many organisations still rely on legacy systems, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM), in their business.

With a growing trend towards cloud-based service and applications, these companies must review whether to transition their legacy applications.

“Companies that still have legacy applications need to look at the risks and benefits of moving to the cloud,” says Darren Christopherson, General Manager of Operations, Empired.

“They should plan their future IT state carefully, taking into account the business strategy, and immediate and future needs.”

Christopherson has identified seven key considerations for companies looking to move legacy applications to the cloud:

1. Business drivers

Before deciding to move a legacy application into the cloud, Christopherson believes it’s important to understand the business drivers of doing so.

“If it’s about price, then the organisation should carefully investigate the real costs of moving to cloud versus staying on-premise: in some cases it may be cheaper to remain on-premise,” he says.

“If the purpose of transitioning is a strategic plan to move away from physical infrastructure or provide better access to applications from multiple locations, then it’s important to understand the technical capabilities, challenges, and limitations of the cloud provider.”

2. Infrastructure availability

Some legacy applications rely on specific platforms and infrastructures, Christopherson adds.

“If those aren’t available in the cloud then it will be impossible to transition the application effectively,” he says.

“Older ERP systems rely on database versions, clustered solutions, or network speeds. Once the ERP solution is in the cloud, the business may no longer have control, making it problematic.”

3. The pricing model

Christopherson adds that the pricing model for the cloud may not align with how the application works.

For example, if the application is constantly uploading from a data centre, this can create extra costs and/or the need for extra computing, making the transition potentially more expensive than not transitioning.”

4. Policy requirements

Some legacy applications require authentication from inside the infrastructure. But as Christopherson explains, cloud may not meet these policies.

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