What is Cloud Modernisation and what
does it mean for your data platforms?

As the digital age develops it becomes more and more true that your business is only as agile as your IT and data systems. That’s where cloud modernisation makes the difference. 

You have almost certainly researched, considered, planned, or even executed a cloud migration at some point, but if you have come across cloud modernisation, it might seem a bit more daunting. 

True, it’s a bigger and more complex project, but it represents such long-term (and short-term) value to your organisation that it’s more than worth the time and effort. 

So, what is cloud modernisation? 

A straight cloud migration involves the transition of an organisation's digital assets, including data platforms, warehouses, IT resources, and applications from on-premises or co-located infrastructures to a cloud-based environment. 

Cloud modernisation at its most basic (and underwhelming) is the transition of on-premise data applications to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) workloads. On a data ‘payload’ level, that offers few advantages, because the payload remains the same. 

By contrast, true cloud modernisation arranges and transforms your infrastructure more strategically, giving you the extra flexibility, control, and value that only a cloud can offer. 

Here’s why it’s worth doing, and how to go about it. 

Why should we consider cloud modernisation? 

A cloud-native platform can unlock huge business potential. 

Taking advantage of AI 

You can accelerate insights with modern cloud platforms. AI-powered, metadata-driven intelligence increases the iteration rate of your programmes, which refines data further in the same amount of time. Some platforms can automatically suggest the insights that you can gather from the data, which means the business has actional information far sooner than the business would have traditionally. 

Flexibility 

  • The payment model of a cloud platform means you can use what you need, when you need it, based on the amount of capacity and services you need. It is worth bearing in mind that finance departments may find this uncomfortable, as they prefer stable forecasts.  
  • Elastic serverless processing reduces the time to value for your data. Data is presented in an ‘analysis-ready’ state, which means the analyst is saved days or even weeks searching for data and transforming it to the current purpose. 
  • If you choose a platform with a low-code or no-code requirement, you accelerate value with functional changes that don’t require support from an IT department. However, low-code platforms don’t scale indefinitely, so the organisation will need to make an informed decision on that trade-off. 
  • You can access, consume and govern data wherever it flows. 

Control and Security 

The best cloud platforms offer some of the highest industry data security standards and governance to define and enforce regulatory and privacy policies. 

Remaining ready for the latest tools and solutions 

Many technology vendors are heading towards SaaS offerings. Since that is where development effort is being directed, businesses need to be ready to take advantage of the tools that are entering (and soon to enter) the market. Cloud Modernisation lays that groundwork. 

How do you modernise to the cloud? 

While modernisation is much more than cloud migration, it will involve migration onto a modern platform. 

When we’re advising clients on cloud modernisation, we run the project in three main stages — ‘Assessment’, ‘Conversion and Testing’, and ‘Production’. 

1. Assessment 

An initial code analysis assesses the complexity of your migration at the start of the project, enabling a more accurate cost and timeline for migration. That will help to define your objectives for cloud migration and understand the full process needed to migrate your data successfully. 

2. Conversion and testing 

  • Fully converted code is immediately rehosted 
  • Partially converted code is completed 
  • Any remaining unconverted code is rebuilt manually before migration 

An automated testing framework can then be deployed to bring a repeatable method of unit, integration, and regression testing. 

3. Production 

Converted and tested code then moves to production, live on the cloud. You can either deploy your cloud migration in one fully completed migration, or incrementally, focussing on business-critical data before repeating the process. 

Cloud modernisation FAQs 

Will Cloud Modernisation be disruptive?

Modernisation work takes place at the back end of development, so there should be no disruption at the front end. Your existing platform will stay up and running until you’re ready to fully transition.

Will we lose any existing integrations through Cloud Modernisation? 

A lot of businesses have built complex ecosystems around their data integrations, and they worry that migrating will mean they have to build those from scratch. 

A consultant or partner can discuss what integrations you want keep, why you want to keep them, and whether that might be possible. However, you should consider re-engineering your processes, because antiquated processes cause the most inefficiencies. The migration process will map your integrations, then set them up with optimisation and testing, and once approved the transition can be smooth and gradual.

How do we start our Cloud Modernisation? 

For a more detailed, step-by-step guide to managing your modernisation to the cloud, get your copy of Cloud Modernisation: Your Quick-Start Guide. 

If you’re ready to start your cloud journey, contact Agile Solutions today. We’re expertly placed to accelerate your migration and drive your enterprise into a flexible, scalable cloud-based future.