New Technologies are Fueling the Trend of Migrating Mission-Critical Apps to the Cloud
Cloud adoption has gone mainstream as now more than 90% of U.S. businesses use some type of cloud service for their IT infrastructure, and now, many enterprises are looking at migrating mission-critical applications to the cloud. This is a new trend, according to 451 Group, as the majority of U.S. enterprises have, up until this point, taken a slower phased approach to migrating applications to off-premise cloud environments.
The initial wave of enterprise cloud adoption consisted of “lift and shift” application migrations to the cloud. In these instances, organizations migrate existing on-premise applications to off-premise hosted cloud environments with minimal changes to the application code. The primary target workloads here are non-mission critical, such as dev/test, UAT, QA and sandbox. These applications are low hanging fruit to migrate, and enterprises see an immediate benefit of off-loading the management and maintenance burden to third-party Managed Service Providers (MSPs).
With the rapid momentum of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and 5G, enterprises are quickly shifting IT strategies to incorporate these technologies into their digital transformation and modernization efforts. AI, ML, IoT and 5G are powering new market opportunities and revenue streams such as telemedicine, smart cities and big data analytics by providing high performance and automated machine-based analytics, primarily at the edge of networks where the data is both created and consumed.
To capitalize on this trend, organizations are shifting the focus of their modernization efforts to include refactoring their mission-critical applications to incorporate these emerging technologies while simultaneously taking advantage of the benefits of cloud. According to 451 Research, there has been a 5% jump in application refactoring and shifting to become cloud-native because of the perceived benefits and advantages that enterprises will experience. “We believe hybrid environments will be part of the mix as enterprises’ digital transformation efforts lead to the creation of composite applications featuring workflow processes such as database lookups, payment processing and AI/ML that may be distributed across different workload execution venues.” 
This is a complicated process that involves re-architecting and redesigning existing applications using cloud-native frameworks and migrating the application to an off-premise cloud environment. These efforts are complex, time-consuming, expensive and potentially risky, especially if executed without the assistance of an experienced MSP with a long track record of designing, implementing and migrating applications from on-premise environments to the cloud while in production.
Well aware of the risk and financial burden associated with these endeavors, enterprises continue to embark on these elaborate modernization efforts because of the massive competitive advantage they will gain from completing the transition. In fact, according to numerous IT analyst firms, 90% of enterprise applications will be AI-enabled by 2025.
A hybrid IT strategy is better than a one-size-fits-all approach because businesses have more choices about infrastructure and can do the following more cost effectively:
Whether the end-user is internal or external, data-rich applications drive innovation in customer service, such as one-day deliveries in B2B and B2C commerce or shorter wait times at government agencies.
PROVIDE SEAMLESS EXPERIENCES
Applications and services that are customer facing or influence the customer experience are good candidates to move to a hybrid infrastructure.
BE SECURE AND COMPLIANT
Some local, state or federal requirements may dictate that your customer-facing data stay local. Also, since it’s easier to audit in colocation platforms, you can offer your customers more control and transparency.
451 Research, Legacy mission-critical apps increasingly getting the cloud-native touch, 2020