Cloud adoption has driven application portfolio evolution. Organisations are using multiple forms of cloud to support a variety of IT initiatives including application development, application testing, and application modernisation. Customers are building new cloud-native applications as well as modernising and migrating existing applications to the public, private, and hybrid clouds. They seek to drive resource productivity, enhance data security, and increase organisational flexibility, agility, and resiliency. As portfolios become more diverse for application types and span varied hosting environments, enterprises are aiming to seamlessly integrate applications across cloud and on-premises environments to better support diverse business processes and provide a platform for innovation.

The Groundswell for Application Modernisation and Migration to Cloud Is Here

Application modernisation has been rising as a business priority. Application modernisation and migration have emerged as key tactics to build better business resiliency and operational efficiency. According to IDC’s survey findings, application modernisation is rated as a high or top priority for nearly 60% of enterprises today; in the next 24 to 36 months, modernisation will be a high or top priority for nearly two thirds of enterprises. Moreover, IDC has also found that enterprises are well underway in modernising their applications to cloud. According to IDC’s 2021 Application Services Survey, organisations estimate that 38% of their application portfolio has already been migrated to cloud; in five years, enterprises expect that 54% will be modernised to cloud. IDC research has also uncovered that of those applications that have been migrated to cloud, nearly 40% reside on public cloud.

Figure 1: Application Portfolio Modernised to Cloud

Q: Approximately what percentage of your organisation’s application portfolio would you estimate has been modernised to a cloud environment today, and what percentage of your organisation’s application portfolio would you estimate will be modernised to a cloud environment in three years?

Modernising Applications to VMWare on AWS Generates Value

To learn more about what enterprises have accomplished through migrating and modernising applications to cloud, IDC conducted research that explored the value and benefits achieved when enterprises moved business-critical workloads and applications on VMware Cloud to AWS. IDC interviewed 17 organisations that had experience with and knowledge about the benefits and costs of using VMWare on AWS. We explored a variety of areas to understand the quantitative and qualitative impact that using VMWare on AWS had on each organisation’s IT operations, costs, and business performance. What IDC learned was that enterprises were able to create value through:

  • Reduced application downtime. On average, interviewees told IDC that application migration to VMWare on AWS helped their organisations reduce application outages roughly 57%, while at the same time speeding up issue resolution by 45% and reducing productivity losses by 76%.
  • Lowered risk in revenue loss. Better availability for revenue-generating applications supported on VMware Cloud on AWS helped companies reduce revenue losses caused by unplanned downtime. IDC calculated the amount of total additional annual revenue available as a result of reducing these types of events at $3,140,333 per organisation.
  • Increased application performance. After deployment of VMware Cloud on AWS, enterprises experienced, on average, a 37% improvement in application performance.
  • Reduced time to run analytical queries. On average, the time needed to run analytical queries dropped 33%, enabling users to make decisions and take next actions more rapidly.
  • Faster execution of business transactions. On average, interviewed organisations were able to increase business transaction speed by 20%.

Leverage Lessons Learned to Maximise Benefits and Sidestep Cloud Migration Pitfalls

Many organisations have modernised and migrated applications to the cloud. Companies that have achieved greater maturity through application modernisation and migration point to lessons learned in the following areas of management:

  • Strategy. Lessons learned here have centred on using business value to justify migration initiatives. By ensuring initiatives are rooted in business value, organisations can prove how cloud migration can generate cash that can allow them to self-fund innovation and additional modernisation and migration efforts.
  • Governance. Learnings around governance centre on using grassroot efforts to kickstart change fused with leadership support; devising the right organisational structure, governance model, and roles and responsibilities; and ensuring all parties have visibility and stakes in success criteria. By using a grassroots approach, change can be cultivated from within a team instead of being imposed upon a team by leadership. Setting up the right organisational structure is also key for success. Application teams need to have proper escalation paths and procedures to follow for issues management. The right structure can also improve coordination across team members through clearer accountability standards.
  • People. From a talent perspective, lessons learned focus on embracing change through communities of practice, making sure you have the right talent for the job, and emphasising ongoing training and education. Like many change management initiatives, cloud migration success depends on the mindsets of the people that are involved. Skills, training, and ongoing educational development are cornerstones to ensure that talent is equipped with the right tools to overcome change challenges. Moreover, by establishing a culture that promotes communities of practice, organisations can enact change at the grassroots level to build a groundswell of momentum from the bottom up.