Moving to the Cloud: Deciding Which Applications to Move

Lesson #5 – Deciding Which Applications to Move

 

Deciding which applications to move into a cloud environment can be especially challenging if your organization has hundreds of applications. How do you know what to move first or last? What applications should move together? What can move by itself? Is your cloud environment architected to accept the application? These are questions you’ll need to answer as your prepare to migrate into the cloud. Here are three steps to help answer these questions:

  1. Compile one master list  – This may sound obvious, however, as your organization grows and you start to implement hundreds of applications to support various business needs, it’s easy to get lost in what applications exist across the organization. Different teams and departments may have their own lists based on what’s important to them. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy or complex. Don’t get caught up trying to utilize a tool or implement something such as a CMDB to keep this info.  Keep it simple and get it done. One  spreadsheet listing the applications is a great start.
  2. Make the list ownership and maintenance a priority – One way to make this priority is to assign a team who will own and maintain this list. Organizations get busy with delivering projects, production support and day to day operations. Owning and maintaining your master list of applications is easy to push off for later. Then, before you know it, years go by and you’ve got a pile of hundreds of applications being used with minimal knowledge across the organization. Develop a process to frequently collect and communicate the information so it stays fresh and people know where to go to contribute to and/or receive this information.
  3. Know your applications – Decide what is important for your organization to know about each app and use this for things such as driving decisions, providing better support and building better security. Here are ideas for attributes to collect on each application:
    • What does it do?
    • Who are the Business and Technical Owners?
    • Who are the users?
    • How many users?
    • What type of application is it? Web, Desktop…?
    • What type of Database and/or Server?
    • What are the dependencies?
    • How old is the app?
    • What language is it coded in?
    • Is this a custom or COTS application?
    • How much does the application cost?

Implementing these three steps can add tremendous value to an organization migrating a large numbers of applications to the cloud. This will help prioritize which apps to move, which are dependent on others and what you need to do to get your cloud environment ready.  

There is much to consider for a cloud migration especially for complex organizations. Taking the time to organize and plan your move is vital and can help you take full advantage of cloud benefits.

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