Application Migration

Why Businesses Migrate Legacy Applications to a Private Cloud

Your business may still depend on one or more robust legacy applications. From a cost and user access perspective, would it be beneficial to migrate some or all of your legacy apps to the cloud?

Let’s start by looking at four general environments in which business software runs. For a given organization, these are not mutually exclusive.

  1. Traditional on-premises — Legacy commercial and homegrown apps
  2. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) private cloud — Legacy commercial and homegrown apps, user desktops
  3. Platform as a Service (PaaS) private cloud — Custom app platforms like Heroku and Google App Engine
  4. Software as a Service (SaaS) public cloud — Multi-tenant applications like Salesforce, DropBox, and Google Workspace

Traditional On-Prem Applications

Here is a partial list of on-premises applications grouped by category. These traditional applications are installed on local servers and desktop machines.

They are all candidates for moving from on-prem to a private cloud.

Microsoft Office

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Outlook Desktop

Financial Applications

  • QuickBooks Enterprise
  • LaCerte
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP and NAV
  • Sage 100, 300, and 500

ERP Solutions

  • SAP R/3 and SAP ECC
  • Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and World
  • Aptean Made2Manage
  • Infor Lawson
  • Infor LN (Baan)
  • Infor Syteline
  • Epicor


  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Oracle
  • Filemaker Pro
  • Microsoft Access
  • Visual FoxPro

CRM Software

  • ACT!
  • GoldMine
  • Infor CRM SLX
  • Maximizer

Creative and Design

  • AutoCAD (older versions)
  • Adobe Creative Suite

Perhaps some of the above application categories or brands look familiar.

What and Where to Migrate

In some cases, there’s too much risk in replacing a commercial on-prem app software that appears to be a cloud-native equivalent on the surface.

For example, a cloud-native system may not meet the business’s needs. In addition, replacing existing system integrations may be difficult and costly.

For proprietary homegrown systems without commercial equivalents, replicating the system’s functionality on a SaaS platform like Salesforce (low-code/no-code) or a PaaS platform like Heroku (mainly code) may be prohibitively expensive. 

On the other hand, there are risks with continuing to run legacy systems in-house. These risks include

  • Future increases in hardware & maintenance costs
  • Insufficient protection from cyber-attacks
  • Unreliable data backups
  • Ongoing access issues for members of a distributed workforce.

The middle ground is migrating legacy systems — commercial and homegrown — to a private cloud. This is typically done by shifting applications to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in the cloud.

On-Prem vs. IaaS v. SaaS

Once applications are shifted to a private cloud, authorized employees and contractors can securely access them from any device running an HTML5-compliant browser such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari.

Devices include PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, and tablets.

Benefits of Migrating Legacy Applications

The following are the benefits of shifting legacy apps from on-premises to a private cloud.

Enhanced Efficiency – Migrating legacy applications to the cloud can improve operational efficiency.

Cloud services provide flexible and scalable resources, allowing businesses to adjust to changing demands without significant infrastructure investments quickly.

Reduced IT Capital Costs – small businesses migrate to the cloud to save on capital expenditures like servers and disaster recovery systems.

The pay-as-you-go model of most private cloud services means you only pay for what you use, eliminating the need for significant upfront investments in hardware and maintenance.

While there are up-front onboarding and migration costs when shifting apps to a private cloud, it’s critical to factor in the difference in long-term costs.

Improved Security and Compliance – contrary to the misconception that the cloud is less secure, cloud providers invest heavily in security, usually more than a small business can afford.

There are economies of scale in implementing cybersecurity software at the service provider level.

Cloud providers typically comply with various regulatory standards, reducing the burden on small businesses to manage compliance.

If your IT partner has a CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) on staff, that person can assist with your organization’s compliance requirements.

Please get in touch with us to discuss your legacy applications environment with a CISSP and get a quote for moving apps to a managed private cloud.

More Reliable Backups & Disaster Recovery – private cloud providers offer automatic backups and disaster recovery solutions, ensuring critical business information is protected, easily recoverable, and less susceptible to loss.

This is another area in which economies of scale factor in.

Enhanced Mobile and Remote Office Access – in support of an increasingly distributed workforce, remote and mobile users have more convenient and reliable access to files and apps that have been shifted to the cloud. 

Private cloud-hosted applications allow employees to access information and work from anywhere, fostering a more flexible and responsive work environment.

Competitive Advantages – companies must find ways to maintain a competitive edge in today’s competitive marketplace.

Organizations can improve sales, marketing, and customer service processes with streamlined operations from shifting applications to the cloud.

The Move to a Private Cloud, Step-by-Step

If you work with an IT service provider offering a managed private cloud, that organization can manage the following steps.

  • Assess Your Current Infrastructure: Understand your current applications and which ones would benefit most from cloud migration.
  • Choose the Right Private Cloud Provider: Look for a provider that offers the services you need at a price that makes sense for your business.
  • Plan Your Migration: Develop a detailed migration plan, including timelines and contingencies.
  • Train Your Staff: Ensure employees are trained on accessing the cloud-based applications.
  • Monitor and Optimize: After the migration, continuously monitor performance and optimize as needed to maximize your cloud investment.

Small and midsize businesses can survive and thrive in today’s digitally dominated landscape by migrating legacy applications to the cloud.

Contact us to discuss your legacy application environment and get a quote for moving apps to a managed private cloud.

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