Calendar Icon - Dark X Webflow Template
October 13, 2022
Clock Icon - Dark X Webflow Template
 min read

Cloud Migration & Transformation

AppFactor, a pioneering technology company using AI to optimize application modernization, announced the successful closure of its oversubscribed pre-seed funding round

Cloud Migration & Transformation

What is Cloud Migration & Transformation

Cloud computing isn’t anything new. Centralised computing as a concept dates back decades but few heard of it until 2010, when a big tech company - Amazon started their own cloud services. It wasn’t long before the likes of Microsoft and then Google joined the market and companies saw the benefits of moving their software and databases from in-house servers to remote cloud datacenters.

Still, by 2019, roughly 90 percent of senior business leaders named cloud migration as a company priority, yet less than a quarter of companies had made significant progress on their cloud transformation journey. On average, those organizations had from 20 to 40 percent of their data on the cloud.

In the same vein, the adoption of microservices architecture has become more popular in the last few years for newly developed applications. In fact, according to a 2018 survey, 63 percent of companies are opting to transition from monolithic to microservices architecture for scalability, agility, and cost-saving.

More recently we have seen how COVID accelerated this transition to microservices and the drive to attempt to move more complex applications to the cloud.

How COVID accelerated transition from legacy to modern timelines

In 2020, COVID-19 impacted everything, including the way we do business. Overnight, online shopping turned from a convenience to a necessity. The deadly virus forced companies to send most of their employees home, where they work remotely.

At the same time, cyberattacks increased in numbers and the nature of their approach changed and adapted to more people being at home more often. During the pandemic, ransomware, phishing, and other scams rose 400 percent as people were forced to use their own devices on their insecure home networks.

Suddenly, cloud migration went from near the top of enterprise wish lists to an outright priority, surpassing any other agenda. Post-pandemic, around 86 percent of companies, about double the pre-pandemic numbers, plan to move more than three-quarters of their apps and workloads to the cloud.

What is cloud computing

Simply put, cloud computing is the on-demand delivery and availability of computing services – including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and intelligence – over the Internet (“the cloud”) offers faster innovation, flexible resources and economies of scale. Typically, you only pay for cloud services you use, helping you lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently and scale as your business needs change in a more time and cost efficient manner.

Why transition from legacy to modern cloud-native technology is critical and advantages of running apps in the cloud

The vast majority of business are stuck in a rut with their technology, they need it to support their business, but they also need to take advantage of new technologies such as cloud, as and when appropriate. They are constrained by hardware and software because all of them are constantly progressing and moving forward all the time. Business cannot afford to play catchup all the time, but they get to the point where either they accept extremely high costs of maintenance to support their business needs, whilst running the risk of poor performance, instability or security issues or taking the equally risky and greater risk of a rewrite which as an option, doesn’t scale to all of their apps with cost and actually ages again once it’s been deployed .

Over time, applications and their supporting infrastructure reach limitations that could be performance, scale, connectivity and compatibility. Versions and specific builds of software age and fall out of support and compliance but the challenge manifests itself as organizations constantly fail to maintain and prevent this aging over time which inevitably leads to legacy. As net new business services have emerged and new technology that supports them, it's created a significant difference for IT to handle and operate, where older, existing apps that still reflect business process have to be managed, deployed, updated and operated completely differently, using different processes and tools than those that are new. The need to retain valid business process within an application, but realign the software to adopt newer technology and methodologies of app delivery and development such as micro-services creates a drive to address existing applications and move the IT estate forwards, ideally standardising on the latest approaches and technologies.

Monolithic architectures worked a decade or two ago, but the exponential growth of data, supportability and security implications of allowing them to age has rendered monoliths expensive, insecure and obsolete. Experts predict that we’ll generate more data over the next three years than we had in the three decades before. In short, monolithic architecture wasn’t designed to keep up with the exponential data explosion, but that isn’t the only benefit to a migration.

Reduction in cost

Because cloud platforms aren’t tied to hardware, there’s no need to buy additional equipment as an enterprise grows, you can use the elasticity of the cloud to scale for you. The cloud frees up time for DevOps specialists and system administrators to focus on their daily demands instead of maintenance and updates. There’s no need to pay for the power that companies have no use for since clients pay as they go with cloud vendors. Organizations even save on significant electricity bills.

Container and micro-service adopters save upwards a minimum of $300,000 – $500,000 for even the most basic application and much more for complex monoliths. For a typical project, that’s a savings of over $10M. This level up in terms of cloud maturity and optimisation provides significant return on investment and is a common driving force for change.

Scalability and agility

A cloud-based microservices architecture enables instant response time if there are fluctuations in demand. Unlike with monolithic platforms, there’s no need for additional hardware or increased IT staffing during busy times and no need to cut back during slower times. It’s all automatic.

Cloud microservices provide accelerated adaptation. Companies can adopt new and expanding technology as needed with little to no disruption. Quite the polar opposite of legacy monolithic and even a considerable amount of Service-Oritented-Applications (SOA). These applications take considerable amount of time and effort for every release, patch and update.


According to Gartner, the average cost of network downtime is $5,600 per minute. A single hour of downtime, especially during a busy period, can easily cost a company more than $330,000. Instead of relying on monolithic architecture, cloud-based cloud-native architecture offers built-in redundancy. That means if there’s a weather occurrence or other natural disaster, an unexpected surge in traffic, human error, or a security breach, a network with built-in redundancy will automatically switch to other devices within the same network. Modern application infrastructure and architecture is simply smarter by design and features capabilities that support more available and resilient systems.


With a smart cloud migration strategy, the cloud can be much safer than legacy network systems. Cloud systems have a “shared responsibility” model, which means that both the client and the cloud provider are responsible for their respective areas of security. Most cloud providers, such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, have built their systems from the ground up, with security at the top of their priorities. Software defined and malleable controls and industry topping standards often surpass enterprise data-centers and 3rd party hosted sites.

Better customer experience

Perhaps one of the least mentioned benefits to cloud computing is an improved customer experience. Customers can retrieve their records online, and even remote call center employees can access customer data. Because downtime is rare with cloud-based architecture, companies experience better customer satisfaction and retention.


With cloud networks, companies and systems can adapt almost immediately to the changing regulatory landscape.

A significant blocker of cloud adoption across an application portfolio is incompatibility. This can reside at a server level with the Operating System being old and unsupported in the cloud, the application components being unsupported and old and the way the application works itself, with dependencies that are fixed and hard-coded that tie it to it's original environment and eco-system. When applications age and fall out of support, the level of risk from a cyber security prospective elevates to incomprehensible levels, as does the risk to the operation and viability of the business processes it supports.


Regardless of geographical location or even timezone, cloud architecture lets both employees and customers log on at any time. Often with the same experience and fast loading times for resources and data service.

Disaster recovery

Applications and data are stored in offsite cloud servers, usually in areas not prone to disaster. Even if something were to happen to a company’s physical equipment, data and applications would be safe. By design, cloud environments offer 99.999% availability and so applications moved to these environments are able inherit advantages that are often unattainable through their own IT infrastructure.

Cloud migration strategies

Depending on budget and needs, cloud-ready organisations have several transformation strategies to choose from. In 2010, Gartner coined the “5 Rs” or the five ways to migrate to the cloud: rehost, refactor, revise, rebuild and retire. Today’s experts, depending upon whom you ask, add either one or two to that list.

No alt text provided for this image
6R methodology for migration highlighting where AppFactor's product operates

AppFactor provides recommendations against business applications and their underlying infrastructure from a scan and discovery of an organizations estate.

Classifying and determining insight from technical data points:

● Rehost – Rehost, otherwise known as “lift and shift,” refers to the process of “lifting” applications and servers from their current hosting environments and “shifting” them to the cloud or a rehosting infrastructure.

Current cloud migration tools and discovery products are bound to this approach as they are server centric and lack the modernization capabilities to offer more. This migration approach has often led to a number of simpler apps move, that didn't need modernization work for cloud compatibility to take place.

● Replatform – A modified lift and shift is called a replatform. A replatform requires some modifications to the platform but not an entire transfer shift.

● Repurchase – Repurchasing is also called “drop and shop.” A repurchase cloud migration strategy refers to dropping part or all of the existing architecture and moving to new systems.

● Refactor – Refactoring refers to re-architecting one or more services or applications. Refactoring manually has been resource-intensive; using automated tools solves that problem.

● Retain – With a typical hybrid approach, the organisation retains the parts of the architecture that works for them.

● Rewrite – A monolithic application can become cloud-ready with rewriting, rebuilding, or re-architecting the current system. While these options save hardware costs, they require coding and are labor-intensive.

● Retire – Some companies choose to shut down the services and assets that no longer work for the organization. Shutting down applications requires constant supervision to ensure that the system doesn’t lose functionality.

Latest articles

Browse all