How to level up your applications at speed

When people think of the cloud, they normally dream up visions of SaaS-enabled technologies born straight out of Silicon Valley. The sorts of organisations where bean bags and ping pong tables aren’t in short supply.

And they’re not wrong.

The cloud should always be the first port of call for new digital services. Most organisations would rather go down the SaaS route than having to stand up new hardware for an externally developed application. So whilst these “sexier” use cases for cloud might grab all the headlines, with IT departments responsible for hundreds – if not thousands – of enterprise applications, cloud-native applications are only really the start.

So, if you’re one of the many IT specialists who has MTTR themed nightmares or shudders at the thought of application downtime – read on to find out how the cloud can level up your applications without burning a hole in your pocket.

 

Legacy doesn’t need to be a dirty word ❌

It’s common knowledge that the bulk of IT spend is set aside to help keep the lights on – with Gartner predicting that roughly 80% of IT budgets are consumed by legacy applications. A stat which immediately evokes images of rusty servers and cobweb strewn data centres.

But it’s important to note that these budgetary issues relate to application hardware; maintenance, support and evergreening – there’s nothing wrong with the underlying code. You spent a lot of time, effort, and expertise developing your application ecosystem – so let’s not throw the baby out of the bathwater here.

Take your mobile as an example. Every two years or so we swap our ageing phones for a newer, fresher model. Not because we want to delete all our contacts and start again. But because the battery wouldn’t make it past lunchtime or because every time you tried to download a new app those pesky memory warnings intercepted your screen.

Nowadays, when we get a new mobile, we simply download our existing profile – from the cloud (of course) – and pow, just like that all our old apps and contacts magically reappear. So, think of a data centre modernisation project like getting a new phone. No one thinks you should hover over your apps and delete them all one by one. Instead, think of this exercise as a technology refresh. A new home for your legacy applications to live.

But how…? 🤔

 

A lift and shift approach IS a viable option 🙌

Type “lift and shift” into your search engine of choice and you’ll be greeted by an army of articles warning you of the dangers of moving legacy applications to the cloud – that and various removal companies with a digital marketing whizz at the helm.

But read carefully and you’ll soon find that that the majority of these horror stories could have been avoided if legacy applications weren’t dumped into cloud-native environments. Don’t do that. It’s bad.

Most, if not all, of your legacy applications weren’t designed to natively run in the cloud – so moving these into a cloud-native estate will mean you too will fall victim of runaway cloud, technology incompatibilities and commercial limitations. However,  this can be avoided by choosing the right type of cloud technology from the start. With 80% of your IT budget set aside to help keep the lights on, the IT team at your disposal will reflect those needs. And without wanting to go all Liam Neeson:

You’ve assembled an IT team with a very specific set of skills – skills they’ve acquired over a long period of time, skills that have made very specific hardware issues a walk in the park. Skills which won’t translate so well in cloud-native architectures.

 

 

Fortunately, companies like UKCloud have an array of technology stacks available that mirror existing IT environments – technology stacks like UKCloud for VMware and UKCloud for Oracle. These familiar technologies help retain existing skillsets and are ideal for those traditional applications and databases. Better still, the fact UKCloud was created with the public sector in mind means our platform has been built with native access to government networks, including Janet, HSCN, PSN and RLI.

For applications that rely on traditional hosting technologies, this really is the easiest way to level up your applications at speed by benefiting from PAYG cost efficiencies and increased digital resilience.

 

But it isn’t the only way… 💻

Whilst there will be numerous cost and efficiency benefits from this lift and shift approach – particularly for applications that keep falling over due to their outdated hardware. It’s important to consider that other options are still available. Sure, using a specialist cloud vendor to refresh failing applications is a great place to start – commonly referred to as rehosting – but cloud benefits could be multiplied if you follow other common cloud migration strategies.

It’s widely accepted that there are six cloud migration strategies available – Rehost, Refactor, Revise or Rearchitect, Rebuild, Replace and Retire – of which, we run through the various benefits of each in the following webinar:

 

 

However, in an attempt to tie this all together and answer the question we had at the start – the quickest and simplest way to level-up your applications is through dedicated cloud-hosting technologies. It’s as simple as that.

That’s how you kick-start your journey to the cloud. That’s how you can realise the benefits of the cloud, today.

Not sure if that’s the right application strategy for you? Take our application strategy quiz to find out more.