Get ahead by moving mission-critical applications to the Cloud

March 8, 2023
Chris Munoz
VP & Principal Cloud Practice

By moving mission-critical applications to a cloud environment, companies can unlock tremendous earning potential, but only if they can avoid the pitfalls of migration. Companies from all industries are beginning to understand the value of cloud-based operations. According to a recent McKinsey study, by 2024, most businesses will spend 80% of their IT budgets on the Cloud. McKinsey estimates that enterprises are waiting to unlock over $1 trillion in business value.

While the value of transitioning to the Cloud is clear, many companies underestimate the risk. McKinsey reports that, on average, companies overspend on cloud migration by 14% more than initially budgeted and that 38% of businesses experience delays in migration projects by one quarter or more.

This article will discuss the benefits of migrating mission-critical applications to the Cloud, planning and implementing migration, and the potential pitfalls.

Why migrate mission-critical applications to cloud environments?

In addition to the attractive savings promised by cloud migration, other compelling benefits include:

  • Business agility
  • Scalability
  • Convenience
  • Efficiency
  • Improved customer experience
  • Lessened IT burden
  • Improved service quality

On the strategic level, by shifting to a cloud-based model for mission-critical applications, IT can swap out CapEx for OpEx. No longer will a cloud-first organization need to make costly investments in on-premises data centers and other hardware.

Also read: Meeting marketplace needs through application modernization

Prioritizing migration

If your enterprise has never migrated an application to the Cloud, the process can seem overwhelming at first. Organizations must determine the best place to start, what to prioritize, how to budget appropriately, and how to develop a realistic timeline. Creating a plan to guide decision-making will keep your organization on track and improve the success of your migration journey.

Creating a migration plan

Alignment. A company’s core objectives should be the north star of any migration project. Ask which applications will create the most impact from cloud optimization and have the most critical influence on long-term goals.

Prioritization. How do you determine which application to move to the Cloud first? Some considerations to keep in mind include the following:

  • Effort – How much code will be necessary to migrate the application? How much IT time and resources?
  • Budget – How much can your company afford to invest in cloud migration? How will you stay on budget?
  • Strategy – Should you start with mission-critical applications? Or does it make sense to migrate a low-priority application first to refine the process?

Define scope. After aligning your objectives and determining your priorities, set the project’s parameters.

  • What is a reasonable timeline? Consult with the IT department and potentially third-party consultants to determine a realistic completion date.
  • What are the milestones of the project? Defining milestones in advance is a way to ensure that the project stays on track.
  • How will you define success? In other words, what deliverables will demonstrate that the migration project has succeeded?
  • What is the minimum viable product? Cloud application development allows continuous development and deployment through rolling updates. The first iteration of cloud migration does not need the complete “wishlist” of features and functionality. Instead, it can help determine the central features the app needs to add value.
  • Note any compliance requirements your migration must follow for data management and security.

Also read: CBTS Application Modernization services bring your company into the digital age


After finalizing the plan, a phased approach is the best practice. Your strategy may resemble the following:

Design. Creating a specifications document will guide the rest of the development process. At this point, your team will need to determine the method of migration, which will consist of one of these methods:

  • Containerization
  • Lift and shift
  • Re-factoring

Planning. When the specifics are outlined, a comprehensive project plan will further detail the ins and outs of the migration. This technical document builds on the existing project plan by detailing timelines, team assignments, weekly tasks, etc. It also specifies what development environment will be deployed. Additionally, this plan fleshes out potential risks and worst-case scenario operating procedures.

Development and testing. Finally, migrating your mission-critical applications takes place after all the previous work to get ready. Code or automation tools speed up recurring tasks. A test case or proof of concept on a small scale may be necessary. The soft launch is an ideal time to perform rigorous stress testing on the newly cloud-based application and watch for potential vulnerabilities.

Training and support. Now comes the adoption of the application back into everyday operations. Staff must be trained and supported when something inevitably goes wrong.

Potential pitfalls of migration

Many companies bite off more than they can chew by tackling application migration internally. Common pitfalls include:

  • Running over budget and deadlines
  • Bugs or design flaws
  • Unsecured data and vulnerabilities
  • Limited or overtaxed IT staff

Expert guidance in cloud migration

Application migration is an in-depth process that can span months or even years. Many pitfalls and risks await inexperienced organizations seeking to claim a piece of the trillion-dollar value of cloud computing. That is why seeking a trusted advisor is crucial to migrating mission-critical applications successfully.

The CBTS team has over 30 years of experience developing and managing data centers and cloud environments. CBTS engineers and project managers are deeply experienced with a wide range of migration projects, elevating each step of the way—from discovery to implementation—to support with expertise and experience.

Contact a CBTS expert today to start your cloud migration journey.

Subscribe to our blog