Every company adopting public cloud computing as part of its IT service delivery strategy is faced with the decision of which applications to migrate to the cloud and how. Some common cloud migration options we discuss with customers include:
- Migrating to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider
- Rebuilding an existing application in the cloud
- Migrating an existing application “as is” to the cloud
Determining the right option depends on your business objectives and the application itself. Each option has benefits and drawbacks, but a business will often decide on an approach without adequately researching a comprehensive migration strategy. And without ample planning and consideration, the cost and complexity of migrating these applications can lead to delayed cloud projects that are over budget.
Migrating to SaaS
For a new business looking for application services at a low up-front cost, a SaaS application is often a “no brainer.” However, when a business decides to migrate from an existing on-premise application to a new SaaS application, things get more complicated. There are data migrations to consider, transition time and labor, lost customizations, training, and “sunk costs” that can’t be recovered to factor in. Many SaaS vendors offer tools and services to help customers migrate data from legacy applications to the new SaaS application, but it’s important to research the migration process thoroughly before making a purchasing decision, especially if you’ve invested a lot of time in customizations or IT service integration.
Depending on the application and the availability of migration tools to assist in the migration, these factors can offset some of the gains of SaaS. Plus, the business risks additional time and expense if unforeseen migration challenges arise along the way. Businesses considering moving to SaaS should also consider what I call “SaaS in a box” or “SaaS-lite” applications. These applications are typically offered by vendors as part of a partner program or ecosystem like the GoGrid Exchange and deliver some SaaS benefits with more customer control. These templates can also be used to simplify the migration of an existing on-premise application to the cloud. (more…) «Cloud Migration: Whatever You Do, Have a Plan»