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A guide to Application-Led Cloud Transformation

Framework to navigate the complexities of legacy systems in cloud transformation

July 10 2024Sebastian Grewing

Legacy tech slowing down innovation

Cloud computing has transformed businesses globally for 15 years, but complex legacy systems in established companies impede agility. Sectors like manufacturing, healthcare, and banking bear the brunt of this evolving digital landscape. New product innovation and implementation can take months, hindering their ability to respond to market shifts, unlike digital natives.

Need for ALCT: One decision away from dream innovation

In today's business landscape, many businesses grapple with the complexities of their expansive application portfolios, making the initiation of cloud transformation, cloud-native adoption, or modernization a daunting endeavor. However, the power of the cloud and innovative digital technologies is within reach. With Application-Led Cloud Transformation (ALCT), organizations can revolutionize their operations by seamlessly transitioning critical applications, irrespective of their size or industry.

In this article, we explore the need for ALCT and how it can help in transforming businesses by enhancing customer experience, digitalization, and innovation. Before diving into ALCT, it is important to understand the importance of an efficient transformation strategy, application landscape assessment, and the need for modernization and cloud migration.

Why it is important to have an application transformation strategy

Having an efficient application transformation strategy is pivotal for organizations to achieve scalability, flexibility, cost efficiency, and improved performance. Modernizing legacy applications will help organizations leverage the benefits of cloud such as dynamic scaling, resource optimization, high availability, security, compliance, and global reach. 

Organizations can not only enhance operational efficiency with cloud, but they can also unlock avenues for exploring new growth opportunities in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. A well-curated strategy helps businesses overcome several challenges such as:

Handling both legacy & cloud-native environments:

  • Seamlessly integrate legacy systems with cloud-native applications
  • Use hybrid solutions to ensure smooth operation across different environments

Improving customer experience:

  • Leverage cloud scalability to meet customer demand
  • Utilize real-time data and analytics to enhance user interactions

Ensuring sustainability of heavily customized systems:

  • Modernize legacy applications while retaining critical custom features
  • Implement continuous updates and maintenance in the cloud

Accelerating time to market:

  • Adopt CI/CD pipelines to streamline development and deployment
  • Reduce development cycles with cloud-based development tools

Adhering to specific industry regulations:

  • Ensure compliance with industry-specific regulations using cloud provider tools
  • Implement robust security measures to protect sensitive data

Leveraging AI solutions:

  • Integrate AI and machine learning services to gain insights and automate processes
  • Use AI-driven analytics to enhance decision-making and operational efficiency

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ALCT: Next-gen application transformation framework

ALCT is a strategic approach to transforming and migrating applications. Unlike traditional cloud migrations that focus on infrastructure, ALCT prioritizes the unique needs and functionalities of applications. This approach helps in ensuring that the apps run seamlessly in the cloud while enabling greater agility, scalability, and performance.

In ALCT, the selection of the appropriate modernization partner is indeed crucial. However, it's imperative to recognize that the journey doesn't solely hinge on finding the right solution. Embracing cloud-native architecture, adhering to DevOps principles, leveraging Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings, and other strategic elements are equally essential facets that warrant attention. A cultural shift is needed to move from a classical approach to an agile (and digital) one. 

These considerations collectively shape a comprehensive application transformation strategy, ensuring optimal alignment with the organization's objectives and maximizing the benefits derived from cloud adoption.
 

The ALCT roadmap: Tailoring the cloud to applications

  1. Foundations: Understanding the applications
    The process begins with a comprehensive analysis of the application and its architecture. This in-depth examination aims to grasp their functionalities, resource requirements for optimal performance, and security needs.
  2. Crafting a personalized strategy
    Formulate a custom strategy by assessing application landscape. This entails selecting an optimal deployment model and configuring cloud resources to best suit the specific needs of each application and its roadmap for future enhancements.
  3. Migration and optimization
    Once the strategy is defined, the applications are carefully migrated to the chosen environment. This process may involve code refactoring for improved efficiency, utilization of cloud-native services for enhanced functionality, and potentially implementing containerization technologies for smoother deployment and management.
  4. Continuous monitoring, development, and management
    Following migration, the applications remain under a close watch. Continuous monitoring of performance and security is implemented to guarantee efficient and secure operation within the cloud infrastructure.

Business considerations for cloud assessment, transformation, and migration

  1. All businesses can benefit from cloud: In fact, every business today aspiring to adopt digitization can benefit from cloud transformation. 
  2. Certain businesses see even greater advantages: However, some categories of businesses such as legacy businesses burdened by outdated infrastructure, startups looking to scale rapidly, and industries subject to stringent regulatory requirements stand to gain greater benefits by embracing cloud migration and transformation.

By evaluating the current IT landscape and identifying areas apt for cloud migration, these businesses can position themselves for long-term success. However, before embarking on any major transformation, understanding the business goals is critical. This will help in shortening the time for transformation. ALCT is a powerful tool for this, but it is essential for businesses to consider the existing IT infrastructure, security requirements, and the specific needs of applications before taking the plunge.
 

Advantages of ALCT

ALCT streamlines application deployment with on-demand scalability, fostering a culture of innovation. Unburdened from hardware maintenance tasks, businesses can focus on strategic initiatives. Leading cloud providers address security concerns with robust features and compliance, while ALCT further strengthens the security posture through centralized governance. Below are a few common advantages of ALCT:

  • Faster deployment and easy scalability
  • Access to cloud-native technologies
  • Pay-as-you-go pricing and reduced CapEx
  • High availability and global reach
  • Advanced security features with regular updates
  • Efficient resource management and streamlined IT operations
  • Integrated disaster recovery and data redundancy
  • Collaborative tools and unified development environments
  • Tailored solutions with hybrid and multi-cloud strategies

The challenges in ALCT adoption

ALCT offers a powerful toolkit, but experts caution against potential pitfalls:

  1. Vendor lock-in: Relying on one cloud provider can limit flexibility and raise future costs. Using open standards and cloud-agnostic tools during application development can provide the flexibility businesses need to switch cloud providers in future.
  2. Data security: Security is crucial. Do sufficient research to confirm that the cloud provider adheres to strict security practices and data privacy regulations.
  3. Migration challenges: Moving complex applications can be tricky. Partnering with a cloud migration expert streamlines the migration process and minimizes disruption.

T-Systems guiding transformation

Understanding these challenges is crucial. T-Systems offers a comprehensive solution to navigate the complexities of the application transformation journey and maximize the benefits of ALCT.

A framework for success: 

Our integrated framework tackles these challenges head-on, delivering a reliable, end-to-end application transformation. This approach unlocks the full potential of ALCT for businesses.

Embrace the cloud advantage with T-Systems:

Our industry experts can guide organizations through the cloud journey. With their expertise, businesses can overcome challenges, leverage ALCT's full potential, and thrive in the digital age.

The services involved in this comprehensive approach include:

  1. Application advisory: Our trusted team of experts leverages AI to optimize costs, minimize risks, drive application discovery and assessment, devise multi-cloud strategies and roadmaps, incorporate security, and implement SaaS models.
  2. Cloud migration support: Cloud migration assessment and accelerated minimal-risk migrations help move workloads from anywhere to any cloud—private, public, or hybrid. This is supported by integrated cloud-native services, interwoven security, and data sovereignty.
  3. Application modernization: Fast and efficient modernization supported by sophisticated tools, along with proven templates and blueprints for optimizing applications for new-age cloud with application migration, application engineering, data engineering, and cloud-native development.
  4. Application management: Reliable and cost-efficient management of applications and maintenance along with application operations management, AIOps, and managed cloud services.

In conclusion, embracing ALCT is not just ideal, but also essential for businesses in today's rapidly evolving digital landscape. By prioritizing applications and leveraging the power of the cloud, organizations can achieve unparalleled agility, efficiency, and innovation, positioning themselves as leaders in their respective industries. Contact us for more details about ALCT.

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About the author
Sebastian Grewing, Lead Enterprise Architect, T-Systems International GmbH

Sebastian Grewing

Lead Enterprise Architect, T-Systems International GmbH

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Application-Led Cloud Transformation (ALCT)

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