Migrating enterprise applications to the cloud is now mandatory for companies that wish to lead in this digital world.

Enterprise applications now support more users than ever — an increase driven by opening them up to support customer interaction with the enterprise. Doing so enables customer-facing applications and processes to have all of the data and business logic they need to deliver enhanced experiences to customers and other stakeholders. This expanded use may also massively increase compute, storage and network infrastructure requirements.

For most organizations, that means migrating those applications to the cloud, as the traditional data center deployments were not sized nor built for such expansion and variable workloads.

Migration is not difficult — if planning is executed properly. The right platform choices can also increase speed and reduce risk. Below are three basic steps every enterprise should take in advance of cloud migration.

Step one: Carefully assess your application inventory

Many enterprises with some history in business have an application portfolio inventory that looks something like this:

  • Modern apps, including microservices, cloud native, mobile — 10 %
  • Legacy apps, including client-server, mainframe, UNIX/C — 30 %
  • Everything else, including Java, Java Enterprise Edition-based, .NET, web applications — 60 %

A proper assessment will categorize each app with an assessment of the “ecosystem” around it, which means understanding physical and virtual server configurations, network topology, security and compliance requirements, and existing support and data dependencies.

Once that’s done, enterprises will understand where to begin for maximum results. In our experience, the greatest opportunity lies in the third category. Moving these applications to the right public or private cloud can result in enhanced agility, ability to support customer-facing processes and their variable workloads, and serious savings.

Step two: Build a list and create a plan

The goal is to migrate and modernize that third app category, while minimizing complexity, addressing challenges and optimizing economics.

First, decide which cloud makes sense for which app. For example, more cloud-native applications without dependencies outside of the immediate application stack, are good candidates for managed public cloud. Others, with more complex relationships in the data center ecosystem, are better suited and can be moved faster and with less risk to managed private cloud as a service.

Step three: Migrate quickly to cover costs and realize savings

While being conservative might seem the most cost-effective path to the cloud, too often that approach ends up costing more in the long run. That’s because during a migration, organizations are running two infrastructures, incurring costs on both sides. A speedy migration with mitigated risks is the fastest path to cover costs, find savings and improve business results.

And while, with rigorous planning, migrating without assistance is possible, more enterprises find that enlisting a partner with deep expertise in public, private and hybrid cloud options offers the most guaranteed and fastest path to success.

Bluewave partners with leading providers such as Rackspace to help guide companies through successful migrations. They offer professional services that allow experts to deliver customized and optimized outcomes based on a customer’s specific application inventory and dependencies. Their customers deliver superior experiences, see significant agility improvements, and gain operational cost savings of up to 60 percent after migrating their applications. These benefits are driven in large part from hardware utilization efficiencies, better administration tools and self-service use.

With the right strategic partner, low risk and speedy migrations that yield these kinds of savings can self-fund your transformation and drive continuous modernization.