Avoiding 4 Key Risks of Refreshing Applications for the Cloud

As we talked about in our checklist to get legacy applications ready for the cloud, it’s rarely enough to just move applications to the cloud as is. Instead, you need to refresh their architecture to really take advantage of the promises of the cloud—agility, scalability, resilience, and cost.


Domino Cloud Applications | Binary Tree 

That being said, getting applications to the cloud can take a huge amount of effort from your engineering team—and from your organization as a whole. It’s a resource-intensive and lengthy program that often stretches well beyond the boundaries of your typical IT project. But if you watch out for some of the pitfalls below, you can keep a better handle on your resources, time, and budget.

Risk #1: Don’t invest in cloud-native operations

To save time and money, it can be tempting to merely lift and shift legacy applications to the cloud as is. But if you don’t take the time to update your applications to work better in the cloud, you set yourself up for increased headaches down the road:

  • Manual build and deployment scripts, lack of test automation, and lack of monitoring will continue to require late nights and weekends
  • Failure to automate processes can continue to introduce human error
  • Operating your application still takes up most of the total cost of ownership 

How to avoid

  • Invest in change management to encourage your organization to follow DevOps principles
  • Align your operations team members with developers, and have them work together on creating new availability and operational policies
  • Build in developer workflows to environment configuration, builds, and scripts
  • Automate how you deploy the application
  • Prepare for worst-case scenarios by introducing failure injection testing early in the application lifecycle

Risk #2: Introduce application complexity

As you re-architect your applications for the cloud, you’ll likely end up with a more distributed model where your application is chunked into smaller services. This leads to more application components and dependencies to manage across the board, which can make deploying and managing these applications more complex.

How to mitigate

To keep things simple, make sure to use the tools available to better manage distributed applications. Examples:

  • Tagging
  • Template configuration
  • Version control
  • Deployment automation
  • Test automation
  • Monitoring tools

Risk #3: Treat it as a “project”

Many organizations fall into the pitfall of treating cloud-native modernization as a standalone project, by application. They might assign specific people and resources to the project, which then leads to only a few people being in the loop. The challenge here is that application modernization projects often span many different teams and can touch many people in the organization. And often, the lessons learned by developers working on a particular application should really be lessons learned by all.

How to avoid

Position these types of projects more as an overall organizational shift. You’ll need to invest heavily in change management across your organization to make cloud-native modernization an ongoing part of your workflows. And you also need to learn to stay more nimble. Cloud workflows tend to change often, which means your organization needs to get used to changing along with them.

Risk #4: Use the same approach for every application

Not every application is a good candidate to go cloud-native. Many of your legacy applications might not need the scale and elasticity offered by the cloud.

How to avoid

Look at each of the applications in your portfolio and do your due diligence. Create a set of criteria that help your team decide which applications make the cut for the cloud. For example, you might ask these types of questions:

  • “Will the user base of this application grow exponentially in the near term?”
  • “Do I need to expand this application out to global markets?”
  • “Are there innovation scenarios around IoT and machine learning that my application needs to take advantage of?”

How Binary Tree can help

To get their applications to the cloud faster, many organizations choose to partner with a migration expert. We at Binary Tree are experts at modernizing Domino applications to the Microsoft cloud. Specifically, we can help you:

  • Assess your software and systems and get them ready to migrate
  • Take care of the migration for you—or train you how to do it yourself
  • Be on hand to fix any issues that come up during the migration
  • Drive user adoption through training and onboarding
  • Train your IT team to manage email and applications in the cloud

We’d be happy to talk more with you about what you need and how we can help. To get started, get in touch.


Source: Gartner. How to Assess Your Applications to Adopt Cloud-Native Architecture. October 2017