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The Best Advice for CIO’s That Want to Migrate Legacy Applications to the Cloud

As a CIO, you are now running applications and data in the public cloud. Chances are you also have a private cloud in operation because you are reluctant to put your confidential data in the public cloud. You recognize the benefits of cloud computing and modernization of your applications and data. Your business partners are eager to reap these benefits and are willing to support and fund cloud migrations. You also have many concerns related to hardware and software currency risk, overlapping costs and complexity as you have a mixture of legacy applications coexisting with Cloud applications, and a dirth of skill sets to support your modern technology and to continue to support your aging applications and infrastructure. What do you do? What are your next steps? 


A valuable piece of advice for CIO’s is to have and maintain a cloud migration roadmap for your applications and data. This is really your long term plan, based on a healthy balance between mitigating technology risk and moving the business forward with modern technology. The business will be anxious to modernize, but may not be able to afford the increased upfront investment. As a CIO, your big advantage is the large cost of maintaining legacy infrastructure and future cost savings and leveraging this to fund migration to the cloud by retiring legacy applications. Your cloud migration roadmap is a living document and will be subject to change. It is strongly recommended your business product owners, take accountability for keeping the roadmap up to date and make sure it reflects the priority of the business. 

CIO’s should look for quick wins, ones exemplying the value of cloud technology without the risk of complex migrations. All new applications and data should be built in the cloud. This is a great way to invest in and build cloud infrastructure, training and resources and quickly deliver to the business. In addition, look for opportunities to ‘declutter’ your applications and prioritize those more easily migrated as opposed to highly integrated & complex application systems. Decluttering your legacy applications will enable you to lower your operating expenses, leveraging funds to be reinvested in the cloud and identifying opportunities to reduce legacy infrastructure costs.  

Finally, CIO’s should make every effort to make their Chief Financial Officer happy. The best place to start is helping them make the financial transition from capital expense-based budgets to operating expense. Traditionally, CFO’s rely on amortizing capital expense over years to reduce quarterly P&L impacts. While reducing current expense, amortization tends to have drag on future investment, while operating expense allows CFO’s and CIO’s to directly tie expense to revenue and to enable the business to focus on those priorities. From a cloud perspective, the offset to direct expense is the elimination of most technical debt via ongoing cloud process and reduction of operating risk by using dev ops process and the inherent security built in.   

CIO’s realize the movement of legacy applications to the cloud is a multi-year committment. By careful planning, prioritization and roadmapping, CIO’s may partner with their business partners to drive the benefits of intelligence, automation and velocity. Perhaps the most important piece of advise to CIO’s is to recognize moving legacy applications and data to the cloud is not a technology initiative. It is a business transformation program that includes changes to product, process, methodology, finance, human resources and skill sets; and finally change to the technology that supports the program. 

Checkout: Next Pathway's Cloud Migration Checklist 

About Next Pathway

Next Pathway is the Automated Cloud Migration company. Powered by the SHIFT™ Migration Suite, Next Pathway automates the end-to-end challenges companies experience when migrating applications to the cloud. For more information, please visit nextpathway.com.

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