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A Tech Leaders 2023 Playbook

The Anatomy of a Successful Application Modernization
From embracing an Agile process to adopting DevSecOps and leveraging cloud adoption accelerators, this playbook is your go-to guide for achieving enterprise-grade quality in your application modernization journey. Share this resource with your team and get started on your modernization today!

App Modernization Expert: Bruno

Part 4

How to Approach Cloud Migration

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The migration process to the cloud cannot be reduced to a one-size-fits-all solution. When considering the modernization of legacy Java applications, selecting an appropriate cloud migration strategy is imperative. With a multitude of migration strategies available, determining the ideal approach can be a daunting task.

Fortunately, we have identified four commonly used migration strategies that can aid in making an informed decision tailored to your organization's unique needs and budget.


The rehosting strategy, commonly known as "lift and shift," is a cloud migration approach that involves moving your current workloads to the cloud with minimal modifications. This approach is well-suited for businesses seeking to rapidly transition to the cloud or offload their on-premises/data-center workloads in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  

The rehosting strategy enables organizations to migrate to the cloud without significant changes to their existing architecture, which results in a quick and seamless transition.  

Businesses can take advantage of cloud computing's advantages, such as enhanced scalability, flexibility, and cost efficiency, by adopting the rehosting strategy.

If you're looking to move workloads quickly to the cloud without making significant changes to your existing architecture, rehosting may be the way to go. This approach can help you reduce costs and improve scalability but may only partially take advantage of cloud-native features and may not address underlying issues in your existing system.


The refactoring strategy involves making targeted modifications to your application code and architecture to optimize it for the cloud environment. Although this approach may require a greater initial investment than a rehosting strategy, it offers numerous benefits, including the ability to take advantage of additional Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) capabilities.  

By embracing robust DevOps and DevSecOps practices, refactoring can also help accelerate the adoption of cloud-native functionalities, improving your organization's agility and competitiveness.

By investing in a refactoring strategy, businesses can optimize their applications for the cloud environment and ensure that they are scalable, secure, and efficient, ultimately delivering a better user experience.

Opting for a refactoring approach results in modifying your application code and architecture, which can lead to cost reduction, enhanced performance, and increased agility. However, this strategy may require more investments and expertise than rehosting and may not be feasible for applications that heavily rely on legacy technologies. It's essential to weigh the benefits against the costs and to consider the level of expertise required to execute the approach successfully.


Rearchitecting is the optimal approach when migrating legacy applications that cannot be easily adapted to the cloud but still support critical business functions, making it a justifiable investment. By embracing a rearchitecting approach, businesses can modernize their existing workloads and take full advantage of cloud-native technologies, setting the stage for their team to become true innovators. Additionally, this approach allows organizations to implement modern DevOps and DevSecOps practices, streamlining development processes, and maximizing their return on investment. By investing in a rearchitecting strategy, businesses can transform their legacy applications into modern, cloud-optimized solutions, ensuring they remain competitive and able to deliver superior user experiences.

Rearchitecting is an excellent choice for businesses seeking to modernize their workloads and fully utilize cloud-native technologies. Businesses can significantly increase scalability, reduce costs, and improve overall performance by redesigning their applications and infrastructure. However, it's essential to note that this approach can be time-consuming and expensive, especially without the right expertise to execute it effectively. With that said, working with an experienced tech partner that can guide your organization through the rearchitecting process is crucial, ensuring a seamless migration to the cloud while minimizing disruption to your business operations. With proper planning and execution, rearchitecting can be a valuable investment, enabling your organization to leverage cloud-native technologies and stay ahead of the competition entirely.


A rebuilding approach involves completely rewriting an application to achieve a "greenfield" state, which may be the only option when the return on investment for rearchitecting the application cannot be justified. While this approach can be highly effective, it requires a more significant upfront investment than other migration strategies. However, the benefits of rebuilding can be substantial, including a clean, modern codebase and the ability to leverage the full potential of cloud-native technologies. By embracing a rebuilding approach, businesses can eliminate technical debt and legacy constraints, enabling them to innovate more quickly and deliver superior user experiences.

Ultimately, the decision to pursue a rebuilding approach will depend on several factors, including the complexity of the existing application, the ROI of other migration strategies, and the organization's long-term goals.

Rebuilding an application from scratch can be a good choice when the ROI to rearchitect the application can’t be justified. This approach can help you build new applications with cloud-native features, modernize your development practices, and optimize your infrastructure. However, it can be the most time-consuming and expensive option and may not be feasible for all applications.

Considerations for Selecting the Right Migration Strategy

To ensure a successful migration to the cloud, carefully evaluating your organization's goals and limitations is crucial. By selecting the right migration strategy and partnering with a technology expert, you can modernize your legacy Java applications, enhance your organization's scalability and security, and position yourself for long-term growth. A robust and well-planned migration strategy can help your organization streamline its operations, increase productivity, and achieve greater agility in a rapidly changing business environment. Partnering with the right technology expert will offer guidance and support throughout the migration process is essential to achieving these outcomes. With the right strategy and partner, businesses can achieve a seamless and successful migration, unlocking the full potential of the cloud and staying ahead of the competition.

If you're seeking expert guidance on selecting the optimal migration strategy for your organization, our Java application modernization experts team is here to help. With years of experience and a deep understanding of cloud-native technologies, we can provide valuable insights and support throughout the migration process. So why wait? Connect with us today to schedule a call and begin your modernization journey.

Architecture Practice Lead, Architech

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