Migrating your applications from legacy to the Cloud – Complete guide

Moving your business applications to the cloud give plenty of benefits, like improved scalability and greater agility. However, legacy apps lack enough documentation and relevant staff resources to understand them in the right way.

Moreover, a few of them are too old that businesses and app developers both deal with a significant challenge to move such apps to make them cloud ready ones. In this situation, one has to follow a few essential steps to make the legacy apps ready to operate in the cloud platform.

1. Assess the architecture of legacy apps

To start the process, you should check the design of your app, as to operate in the cloud, each of the apps should run differently. Moreover, apps should work with ephemeral systems in an environment while required to manage when there is a lack of dedicated storage. Besides, apps should possess horizontal scalability instead of the vertical one.

According to experts, you have to check the following things to make sure your app architecture is cloud-ready:

  • Monolithic design and deployment, which cannot support the cloud agility
  • Runtimes or languages, which the cloud provider cannot support
  • Inappropriate state management, where one has to rely on the clusters of complex servers to replicate
  • Direct relations of code to runtime, which cannot perform the job of cloud translation
  • Single failure points, where the complete application fails in the case of failure in one component

2. Identify the places where your applications integrate with others

Your applications should communicate with various other data sources, businesses, other applications, services, feeds, third parties, legacy systems, and back-end systems. While making your applications cloud ready, you cannot overlook the mentioned integration points, as they may cause failure or slow operation of your applications.

Hence, before you should move the application, you have to optimize a few crucial touchpoints. Accordingly, you have to check-

  • Network calls to any of the external apps.
  • Chatty interactions, which require multiple round trips to accomplish a single task
  • Third-party APIs and libraries, which are black boxes and are uncontrollable
  • Complex call graphics, where a specific service delivers messages to different consumers and the respective consumers forward the same messages to more numbers of consumers.

3. Find the scope of automation

Along with the integration of apps, you have to find the ways or scope to improve orchestration and automation to migrate the legacy apps to the cloud. You have to focus on improving your apps to achieve enhanced performance and productivity for the IT teams.

However, you may automate the development process by containerizing its coding along with the deployment. When you automate tedious operational and development tasks, your team may work faster. Accordingly, automation gives a compounded effect on the resources and speed for your upcoming cloud migration projects.

You should check the tools, which provide you the building blocks for your applications’ success in the cloud. Such building blocks deliver proven operations by limiting your tests and the speed of our app release cycles.

4. Design your applications as services collections

You may deploy cloud applications as a collection of APIs or cloud services. You have to create apps from the services data and combine the services into composite apps/services. In simple words, you have to follow a service-oriented or service-based architecture. However, a few developers tend to design tightly coupled apps, which focus on user interface instead of exposing the underlying functions as their services to leverage independently.

Whenever you develop cloud application architecture, you deal with various complicated distribution systems, which take advantage of loosely coupled apps designed on services to decouple from the data. In this situation, you may manually separate the app services to execute the right API or service managers and governance technology to deliver service directories. In this way, you may track different services, which constitute your application.

You may even get benefits as reusing services from other apps or coarse-grained types of services. Besides, you may break the applications into different underlying services, which possess value while using other apps. Therefore, you do not have to reinvent the wheel each time while creating an application.

5. Decouple the data to handle public and private cloud

Both public cloud and private cloud are the two complex distributed systems, which work well with application architectures breaking out the data and processing into different components. You have to decouple the available data to create the application out of its service in this situation.

Once you decouple, you may store and process the data on either of the private or public cloud instances. You should essentially consider the data performance, as the database writes and reads across an open internet may cause latency. Moreover, database communications determine your data’s closeness to the applications and services, which you have to leverage.

Other than this, you should use the caching systems, as they give additional database performance by storing frequently accessed data locally. Caching systems thus reduce the read requests of databases back to the respective physical database. However, you have to test the best in-built applications by using application data for determining the efficiency of caches. Systems, which read new data constantly, cannot get benefits from database caches.

6. Engage your business to evaluate the apps for a sound decision process

You should strictly avoid the mistake of focusing only on technological aspects when evaluating the legacy apps to move to the cloud platform. Instead, you have to involve your business and employees in the decision-making process. Accordingly, you should query your business teams, which usually interact with any specific type of application. Moreover, if you move any application to the cloud, you have to evaluate the additional requirements of your business’s respective application to meet the requirements during the procedure.

7. Train your business teams to adopt a collaborative cloud culture

If your team is not prepared to develop and collaborate with cloud-based apps, you cannot leverage the cloud’s value to speed up the release cycles and develop apps quickly. Hence, you have to train your teams to drive a collaborative cloud culture for your business’s success.

8. Adopt systemic security in your application

When you host cloud applications, you should keep security at the top priority. Your existing cloud architecture should adopt security systemic to your existing application. In other words, you have to build it within the application architecture.

Cloud-based apps should essentially leverage IAM, i.e., Identity and Access Management. Enterprises, which develop IAM abilities in matured form may reduce their security costs and become agile to configure security for cloud-operated applications. IAM thus constitutes approximately 50percent of the existing apps, which move easily to the public cloud. On the other side, it has 90percent of new applications designed on clouds.

IAM also acts as an effective service for any business enterprise. The concept based on cloud-delivered IAM quickly develops the concept of a centralized form of identity management. As you start developing cloud-based apps with the help of IAM, each of your applications becomes secure and cost-effective.


Building cloud-ready legacy apps architecture needs that you pay attention to a few of the important things with basic concepts, like design, learning, and testing. Suppose you are a developer deploying applications on either public or private cloud platforms. In that case, you have to recognize the important aspects and find the most effective path to create cloud-based applications.

Particularly, you have to focus on service orientation even when you need relatively long application development life cycles at the initial stage and handle a big amount as your cloud migration budget. You should keep in mind that services orientation gives you a huge payment, and hence, it constitutes a smart investment.

About the author: Martin Moyers is a business analyst and an avid tech blogger who is associated with Zymr, Inc. He is obsessed with AI-ML, cloud technologies, and the universe of social media. In his leisure time, he enjoys rafting, sailing, and hiking.