In a fast-paced business environment, more enterprises are migrating their processes to a cloud infrastructure. Unless you’re operating a new startup business, however, there’s likely to be a number of legacy systems and platforms to audit, prior to upgrading to cloud applications.

To help organisations craft a successful cloud computing strategy, we’ve published a three-part series on cloud migration, addressing the necessary stages. This is the second in the series, outlining five principal tips for upgrading a legacy environment:

1. Consider security

When moving any application out of an on-premise data centre to a third-party environment, there must be security considerations. To identify the level of security necessary, consider the sensitivity of the data within the application.

For those apps processing highly sensitive information, ensure the necessary compliance requirements are met. For additional protection, consider using role-based access, authentication and end-to-end encryption.

2. Retire redundant applications

After auditing your legacy applications and deciding which to migrate to cloud applications, you’re likely to uncover a number of platforms or applications that no longer hold any business value.

Check which business unit or corporate function owns these apps, and turn them off if they are no longer required. This process can save your business money, direct attention to the applications that are still in use, and reduce the number of platforms that require security.

3. Stage your migration

Almost all applications can be upgraded to the cloud, but it’s sensible to carry out a staged migration to ensure business continuity and minimal disruption to operations. A better approach is to start by moving one application — preferably with a high chance of success or one that doesn’t deal with highly sensitive data — to the cloud. Assess and communicate the positive business impact and return on investment before addressing the next stage.

What’s more, not all applications are worth upgrading; in some cases, the effort of migrating is greater than the output value. Consider the compatibility of each system, how critical they are to your business, and how agile it needs to be in the cloud environment.

4. Assess the costs

There are tangible budgetary benefits to migrating to a cloud infrastructure — a predictable and fixed cost reduced capital expenditure and minimised operational expenditure on physical servers.

Assessing the cost of cloud computing on an application-by-application basis will determine if each app upgrade is viable from a cost standpoint. What’s more, analysing the bandwidth each application may require will help paint a more realistic picture of the full deployment value.

5. Consider your cloud provider

The nature of your industry and the type of services you offer to customers will likely determine the most appropriate cloud service provider. Industries with rigorous regulatory complexity like financial services or medicine, operating under strict compliance mandates, should select a provider with proven expertise and knowledge of their sector.

Before migrating any sensitive personal information or corporate data to cloud applications, evaluate each provider for their respective certifications in each area. Providers like Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud each have their individual benefits and limitations; consider which offering is most fit for purpose within the scope and objectives of your organisation.

The bottom line? The majority of business applications and processes will eventually incorporate some degree of cloud computing, but legacy migration can generate complexity. Considering the above points will ensure a smoother process.

Technology experts like Genisys can streamline and optimise your cloud migration strategy, manage the end-to-end process, and ensure your cloud infrastructure is deployed with the most trusted industry partners.