A vital part of an application modernization strategy will be defining how each application is expected to operate and perform in its future state.

It is crucial to align application function, performance, availability, and recoverability characteristics in the cloud to its business objectives. An application's business objectives or requirements will not change with its deployment in a cloud platform.

How you meet these applications’ business objectives will vary with your organization’s cloud use case.

For applications being moved or operating in hybrid mode, its future state may still be subject to existing organizational parameters.

For example, operating in the cloud will remove some operational tasks like infrastructure upgrades that staff previously had to spend a lot of time managing. However, a migrated application will still likely need application updates and upgrades. These activities will still need to be completed, scheduled, tested, and planned for.

As applications are moved to the cloud, some common related enterprise functions and responsibilities will require review and re-evaluation. The following are some functions that should be considered:

  • Application-level patching.

  • Application-level upgrades.

  • Whether the authentication services will be local, on prem, or in the cloud.

  • Whether backup services will be required and used.

  • Notification and reporting services needed in the cloud that were previously addressed through redundant hardware on-premises.

  • What network services will be needed in the cloud that were previously provided on site to applications. For example, load balancing services needed vs the load balancing solution deployed on site.

  • Recovery plans to another service or another geographic region.

  • What security services, appliances, processes, and methods will replace security services leveraged on prem. For example, firewall functions.

With the exception of data center patching and upgrading, your organization may have these and many more functions or dependencies of applications that need to be well defined to meet business requirements in the cloud. This is in addition to documenting an application's performance in the cloud to understand if it is operating effectively. It is important to understand and document how the application is expected to be managed alongside all its related dependencies in order to fully modernize an application for the cloud.

For existing workloads, these environmental factors govern a lot of what the future state of a migrated or hybrid application may look like. Together, these functions, characteristics, and requirements will make up the entire state of an application in the cloud.