How to ensure successful
legacy app migration
Keeping up with technological advances is as difficult as it is interesting. While it is a tedious, potentially costly exercise, keeping up to date with the latest device requirements can be highly rewarding as your reach-ability and client UX is overall improved. Having an app on different devices and multiple platforms will let you explore the immense business growth and opportunities. To meet this, we unpack the crucial steps to ensure successful mobile app migration before commencing the migration of your legacy app
What is a legacy app?
A legacy application (legacy app) is a software program that is outdated or obsolete. Although a legacy app still works, it may be unstable because of compatibility issues with current operating systems (OSes), browsers and information technology (IT) infrastructures.
Migrating an application requires a significant amount of work and resources; your organization will quickly discover that designing, developing, integrating, managing, and maintaining said applications remains a significant task. Unfortunately, creating new mobile applications that are properly integrated with your legacy systems requires both a high degree of specialized skills and additional software.
Why do many legacy migrations fail?
Poor planning remains the top reason why migrations fail. Many organizations don’t discover issues until they’re in the middle of a migration and it has already affected system performance. The second reason is the inability to restart applications in the cloud.
One of the most complex elements of modernizing and migrating ageing/ legacy mobile applications typically surround the manual nature of the integration work, which frequently involves time-intensive and costly manual coding. Many large enterprises have traditionally supported this through internal teams and are now sitting on often millions of lines of custom code with no clear documentation that ultimately needs re-coding to leverage next-generation platforms.
How does one ensure successful migration of a legacy app(s)
The development team, the executive, and the legacy system owner need to identify the legacy system’s assets. The first step is to understand the reasons for migration (as a planning sub-process) The app in question could have cross-dependencies, data privacy/security is not managed well, etc. A well-articulated business case with these reasons is critical to sustaining any migration initiatives. The assets include:
- Documentation, including legacy system descriptions and flowcharts, and a disaster recovery plan;
- The facility where the company’s internal data center is located;
- Stakeholders associated with the legacy system; these include current users (including executives), developers, system administrators, and business analysts;
- IT infrastructure on which the legacy system runs; and
- Developers’ tech skills
Taking a big-picture, the holistic view will help you proactively identify potential operational, financial, technical and training obstacles and account for them in the planning process.
Assess the architecture and environment
One needs to evaluate your existing infrastructure. Several migration tools provide a comprehensive inventory of servers, devices, performance metrics and profile information to build your migration plan.
Next, it’s time to select your migration strategy: lift and shift, application evolution or application re-architecting.
Lift and Shift
Lift and shift migrations copy everything to the cloud precisely as is. It doesn’t require a lot of work to migrate an application, but it wastes resources and costs more to operate. You’ll likely be left paying for data you’re not currently using.
In an application evolution, you identify pieces of the application to transition to the cloud. This method allows users to migrate to the cloud in chunks, rather than all at once, but it also might cost more to operate.
Application re-architecture breaks down applications and rebuilds them in a more scalable, modern design. You’re not starting from scratch, but it eliminates code that constrains your agility & preserves and enhances business-relevant functionality.
This option is best for legacy applications that are still business-relevant and provide differentiation. Completely reworking an application for the cloud is a big undertaking, but Microsoft Azure has made it easier to do with microservices like Azure Service Fabric.
The cloud doesn’t work in every scenario. You may have desktop integrations that only work on your current servers.
Or, you may have a performance-intensive app that would be cost-prohibitive to operate in the cloud. In that case, a hybrid cloud migration may be the best solution.
Running a pilot migration
A pilot migration allows you to test the application in simulated situations that are close to your everyday operations. The goal is to see how users interact with the new environment and work out any kinks before an official launch. Pilots are time-consuming because it involves users testing the application based on how they would normally use it.
Despite the time investment, it’s a low-risk tactic to identify potential issues before you perform the migration
Tight integration with DevOps
Adopting microservices may require significant cultural and architectural shifts. A few important application management, agile and DevOps competencies for application delivery that should be adopted by development, deployment, and application teams looking to make the transition to microservices include:
Security embedded in DevOps processes, Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery, Automation of core infrastructure and releases, Deploying an application management model.
With a thorough assessment and preparation of workloads and applications, you should have the blueprint to migrate your legacy application successfully.
Inhouse or outsourced mobile app migration
CIOs and IT organizations must decide whether it will buy and integrate solutions themselves or outsource. It is a decision about where and when to invest a company’s time, money and other resources in products. Considering the constrained budgets IT organizations must deal with, the opportunity to save this capital via outsourcing can be highly attractive. However, by trusting an external third party with managing their mobile deployment environment comes at a price–the potential for loss of control. The main argument against outsourcing is that IT departments may have built a strong competency around certain technologies that support a company’s core business.
Few IT departments have built a strong competency in mobility, and even fewer view mobility as core to their business. While mobility is starting to become a necessity for business activities, many companies are just beginning to develop a mobile strategy. For this reason, as employees are demanding support for their mobile devices, IT is at a crossroads: either develop competency in mobility or outsource it to a managed mobility or professional services firm.
The complexity associated with the rollout, support, and management of multi-vendor business-grade mobility solutions presents a clear and attractive market opportunity for service providers; particularly for vendors with mobile-first domain expertise.
For mobile applications to truly transform your business, choosing the right partner is critical, as third parties can reduce the complexity of managing and securing mobile deployments while helping your IT organization deliver the level of service required for business-critical deployments. the company which can migrate your app seamlessly to any platform, OS or Language.
Critical Do’s and Don’ts
- 1. Do more analysis
- 2. Do testing, testing and more testing
- 3. Do use a scientific approach
- 4. Do set both technology and organisation KPI’s
- 5. Do use model-driven engineering
- 6. Don’t do it all at once
- 7. Don’t underestimate the size of the problem
- 8. Don’t leave the data migration as an afterthought
- 9. Don’t think it’s going to be easy
- 10. Don’t stress!
You can take advantage of our scalable cloud migration services and cloud hosting services to enhance the success of your legacy applications and software.
SovTech’s Product Advance division hosts, supports, maintains and optimizes existing software products in the market. We develop your product to perform the way it needs to using data, analytics and agile development techniques.
Contact us here for a consultation for your project.
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