Lift and shift versus changing your tech
When moving to the cloud, you have different options available to you. Each one needs to be carefully considered. Here’s a look at both sides of the story.
Around the world, the hot topic on the digital agenda in thousands of organisations is about moving to the cloud. And why not, it’s a great way to reduce costs, increase agility and make a real difference to the way your business operates.
Our first port of call is to look at the self-developed application. Every organisation has applications that are incredibly important and valuable to them. Very often these applications are unique, have special added value for the business and contain highly confidential functionalities. They also have functions connected to the standard applications for financial departments, HR production and so on. In other words, if moving to the cloud is at stake, these self-developed applications really must be considered.
During the development of an application, all kinds of technologies are used and incorporated, for example database, middleware and front-end technologies. These technologies are all too often commercially licensed products with all kinds of deployment restrictions. As soon as you’re considering deployment to the cloud, you need to check whether the existing license allows this, or whether it needs to be modified. But please be aware, this can lead to significantly higher license costs.
The road to lift & shift
Then there’s the cloud provider. All major cloud providers offer standard technologies, both licensed and open source, within their cloud pay-per-use basis. If a commercial software company doesn’t offer its software on a pay-per-use basis, it becomes difficult to include this in a standard cloud model. At this stage, the only solution is to rent an IaaS environment within the cloud on a ‘bring your own license’ basis, and start the lift and shift process of transferring the new environment.
At this stage you really need to examine the commercial license conditions of the software provider(s) to see if this is possible and the financial implications, now and in the future.
Or migrate – and get the best of both worlds
You have another option available to you – combine moving to the cloud with migrating to open source. In other words, change the technology while still maintaining the functionality you’ve invested so much time and money in.
Migrating to open source, whether it’s the database, middleware or the application, involves a one-off cost. These costs are often for the software products used to automate or partially automate the migration from one technology to another and the costs of the manual work to finalise, test and so on. Of course, there is one more vital benefit to this whole process: you’ll release the license restrictions, which allows you to take full advantage of the cloud. Win win.
When you put the one-off costs of migration against the financial benefits of the cloud over a 5 year period – moving over to open source is a very easy decision to make.