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Less than a quarter of workloads are running on cloud, but why?

By Milan Bhatt, EVP, Hexaware Technologies

There’s no doubt that cloud is the future for enterprises, and, while more than 90% of organisations are using at least one cloud service, just 23% of workloads are running on cloud. There could be many reasons for this. However, it is entirely possible that it is because many businesses haven’t fully unlocked the value that the cloud holds, particularly when dealing with legacy applications.

When used in the correct way, the cloud enables forward-thinking organisations to leapfrog competitors by transforming into digital leaders – something that no business wants to miss out on. But how do they embrace the opportunity it presents?

Moving to the cloud is no longer optional

The cloud is the future. Whether organisations are ready or not, their competitors are already making the most of its storage and delivery potential due to the increased capabilities available. For those who choose to disregard cloud, they may see a widening gap between them and the rest of their industry, leaving them looking as if they are stuck in the past, rather than a leader in the field.

To reap the benefits of cloud, organisations should look to adopt a holistic view of their commitment to cloud and a strategy of funding critical infrastructure investments, including but not limited to people, processes and technology. By doing so, organizations can ensure continual expansion and improvements.

Without modernizing, processes will quickly become outdated, leading to frustrations within the organization and, in the long run, will mean spending more time on tasks that could have been shortened considerably thanks to prudent decision-making made years earlier.

What’s stopping businesses embracing its potential? 

In short, the biggest challenges faced are the length of time and the potential complexities, particularly when it comes to migrating legacy applications. These are often hard to assess because they could be decades old, sit on outdated architectures, and rely on obsolete technologies. They’ve grown in size and are difficult to manage due to numerous additions and enhancements, and the original owners may not be around to answer questions.

In addition to this, most legacy applications will likely require some degree of restructuring and optimising of their existing code to take better advantage of cloud attributes without changing their behaviour. This is also time-consuming and expensive.

These challenges are not to be disregarded as the assessment phase alone could take a year or more, not the best news for an organisation that is looking to modernize its approach quickly. While some will find a way around the issue by adopting a cloud-native strategy, that means only applications specifically written to take advantage of modern development practices, technologies, and cloud infrastructure are hosted on cloud – meaning that organisations can be limited by working in this way.

Problem-solving and speedy solutions

One of the most crucial aspects of a successful cloud migration is choosing the right strategy. Currently, the three most common approaches are rehost, rewrite/refactor, and replatform. However, when applied to legacy applications, all have limitations.

Rehosting has proven to be a risky method as it takes legacy applications and their associated data from on-site servers and placing them on cloud servers. Without modification it is unlikely that the process will allow users to take advantage of cloud attributes.

Rewriting is not only risky but also time-consuming. As the name suggests, it involves potentially millions of lines of code that need rewriting and can take months or even years to complete – increasing cost along the way.

Replatforming can also take time, as well as needing specialist resources and skills if done manually, as it involves restructuring the code of legacy applications to optimize them for cloud without changing their functional logic. That said, it is possible to produce a better outcome when using an automated platform.

By using technology in this way, many of the potential issues, including time limitations and the need for often expensive and complex programming, can be negated and get more legacy applications running on cloud. In doing so, businesses will benefit from the capabilities of cloud working.

The move to getting all workloads running on cloud will be a game-changer for many organizations. Not only that, but it will also enable them to futureproof their processes and effectively futureproof their business. With all that potential in front of you, why would you wait?