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July 6, 2023 | Channing Lovett

Cloud Modernization: How To Modernize Your Strategy

Modernizing your workloads and moving to the cloud can provide many benefits to your business by improving your agility, bottom line, and ability to scale. However, organizations run the risk of losing out if they aren’t aware of the wide array of modernization projects and strategies available. For a cloud application modernization strategy to be truly modern, it should take into account the projects that will have the greatest impact on your business and your ability to compete in an increasingly competitive marketplace. We’ll cover cloud modernization, its importance to businesses, and key elements to include in your modernization projects.

What is Cloud Modernization?

Cloud modernization is a process where an organization moves its legacy, on-premises applications to cloud-native solutions. Doing this may require one or more different migration strategies and may be accompanied by other modernization efforts, such as modernizing databases, adding new applications, and automating various processes. Cloud computing can bring needed flexibility, scalability, and reliability to a business, and is often a more cost-effective option than maintaining legacy frameworks.

Understanding Why Cloud Modernization is Important

Because digital transformation projects can be complex and costly, it’s easy to push them down on the list of priorities, but modernizing your infrastructure, applications, and workloads can be incredibly important. Businesses that adapt to meet new technological advancements stand a better chance of competing in a crowded marketplace. IT modernization projects also open the door to providing greater value as a business to end users. Compliance standards are also changing at the pace of technology. Organizations need to understand how to mitigate risk and meet requirements, which can be accomplished, in part, by taking on cloud modernization projects.

What are Examples of Different Cloud Modernization Projects?

Cloud modernization projects can include revisions to infrastructure, processes, applications, and features:

Infrastructure as Code

For organizations focused on modernizing infrastructure, IaC (infrastructure as code) plays a critical role in a cloud modernization project. With IaC, the infrastructure of the cloud is provisioned and managed using code-based configurations. This means that the infrastructure can be edited, deployed, and versioned the same way other code can.

Infrastructure that is built with IaC tends to have greater consistency because the environment can be provisioned the same way each time. The code also allows for automated deployment and version control. IaC makes compliance and auditing easier, as well as scaling. It can also play a key role in infrastructure lifecycle management – the coordination of an IT infrastructure lifecycle.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)

As an integral part of a DevOps-focused modernization project, continuous integration and continuous delivery is focused on modernizing the delivery of software development and deployment. In a CI/CD pipeline, the steps that are taken to deliver software are automated, ranging from code commits to full production deployments. This reduces the number of human errors, decreasing the risk of downtime and speeding up software delivery.

Additionally, CI/CD pipelines in the cloud allow for seamless integration with cloud services. This enables organizations to:

Cost Optimization

Cloud modernization typically involves leveraging cloud-based services and pay-as-you-go models to optimize cloud costs. It can include activities such as:

  • Using spot instances
  • Rightsizing resources
  • Utilizing auto-scaling
  • Implementing cost management tools to optimize cloud spending

Security and Compliance

As threats become more sophisticated and regulatory guidelines become more strict, modernization projects are likely to include security and compliance measures. These might entail identity and access management (IAM), monitoring and incident response, data security controls, vulnerability management, cloud provider security controls, and abiding by compliance regulations.


When it comes to resilience, modernization projects should be focused on how well applications and systems can withstand and recover from failures and disruptions. These projects might include working on backup and recovery, automated recovery, high availability, incident response, and mitigation.

Key Elements of a Strong Cloud Modernization Strategy

A cloud modernization strategy should provide a comprehensive roadmap for how an organization will move its data, applications, and workloads to the cloud, as well as how these resources will be managed and optimized after they’re migrated. In this strategy, a business needs to consider how processes, applications, and databases will be affected.

A picture of the key elements of a cloud modernization strategy

Process Modernization

Businesses can use the cloud to modernize their processes in many different ways. The following are some examples of areas where processes can be improved.

  • Application architecture: Transitioning from monolithic apps to microservices or cloud-native architectures. A monolithic app is independent and self-contained, whereas microservices are more loosely connected and can communicate with each other using APIs. The shift in architecture can improve scalability, maintenance, and agility.
  • Provisioning and deployment: By automating and streamlining the deployment and provision of IT resources, organizations can improve the accuracy, efficiency, and security of their processes. Configuration management will manage and track changes to systems, while resource provisioning can help determine the right allocation of resources for applications.
  • Scalability and elasticity: Through modernization, businesses can redefine their capacity planning and resource allocation processes. A common scalability project involves automating the scaling of resources based on demand.
  • Monitoring and alerting: Organizations can modernize their monitoring and alerting processes by defining relevant metrics, setting up automated monitoring, and configuring alerts and notifications to cut down on the manual effort needed to survey their cloud environment.
  • Cost optimization: Implementing processes and governance mechanisms to track and monitor costs is one way that cost optimization can be modernized. Businesses may also choose to establish budgeting and forecasting processes or implement resource tagging.
  • Data management and governance: In the cloud, organizations should establish processes for how data is ingested, stored, integrated, and governed.
  • Incident management and disaster recovery: When workloads move to the cloud, businesses need to redefine their incident and disaster recovery processes. What do escalation paths look like? How can you implement automated incident response mechanisms to ensure fewer problems go unnoticed?

Application Modernization and Migration

While application modernization can be done without migrating to a new cloud environment, sometimes it’s necessary. The 7 R’s of cloud migration illustrate the many strategies organizations can use to complete migration projects. They include rehosting, relocating, replatforming, refactoring, repurchasing, retaining, and retiring applications and data. The simplest strategy is rehosting – moving everything to the cloud without making significant changes to the architecture or code. The most involved strategy is refactoring, or rearchitecting, which can mean a complete rewrite of an existing application into a cloud-native language. What strategy you choose for application modernization and migration will depend on the dependencies and complexity of the original application, what’s considered mandatory versus optional, and what your budget and timeline look like.


Serverless architecture allows developers to create and run applications without the need to manage servers, and it’s a powerful apprach for modernizing applications in the cloud. It can be used alongside different cloud migration strategies, such as rehosting, replatforming, or refactoring and regardless of the migration strategy chosen, organizations can leverage serverless services provided by cloud providers to enhance the scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency of their applications.


Containers can simplify the migration process by packaging applications and dependencies into an easily deployed unit that can run on any infrastructure. Containerized applications can be run on any infrastructure that supports containers, making them portable, quick to deploy, and scalable.


A migration strategy that’s somewhere between rehosting and refactoring is replatforming. When an application is replatformed, some changes may be made to the code, and the application is moved to a new platform, but the data remains the same. One common example of replatforming is when a legacy application is moved to the cloud from an on-premises environment.

Database Modernization

Database modernization leverages cloud-native databases and contributes to modernization in a few different ways:

  • Scalability and elasticity: Scaling automatically based on fluctuations in demand to ensure optimal performance and cost efficiency.
  • High availability: Leveraging the high availability of the cloud by reconfiguring or redesigning databases. Some benefits include data replication, failover, and multi-region deployments.
  • Data security and compliance: Adding at-rest/in-transit encryption, implementing cloud security measures, ensuring compliance with regulatory standards.
  • Data analytics: Data warehousing solutions, integrating with analytics and business intelligence (BI) tools, faciliate drawing insights from data which drives more informed decision-making.
  • Data replication and disaster recovery (DR): Taking advantage of built-in replication and DR capabilities of cloud, automating data replication across multiple regions ensures data availablity and mitigates the risk of data loss.
  • Performance optimization: Improving query performance, optimizing data access patterns, and enhancing overall database performance by leveraging cloud features.
  • Data lifecycle management: Redefining data management processes to align with cloud-native capabilities such as data retention policies, data archiving, and tiering strategies – organizing data by how important it is and how often it’s accessed helps optimize storage costs and improve organization and access.

Key Technologies and Platforms for Cloud Modernization

When an organization is ready for cloud modernization, it can turn to these key technologies and platforms to provide the necessary elements to adapt and thrive in a cloud environment.

an image of the different cloud platforms used for cloud modernization

Public Cloud Solutions

Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) are all public cloud platforms that offer a wide range of services that can aid in cloud modernization, including containers, serverless computing, AI/ML services, and DevOps and deployment services.

Private Cloud Solutions

Private cloud can also be used for modernization projects if an organization has very sensitive data to protect for highly specific configurations to support certain workloads. A private cloud environment offers more control and customization.

Hybrid Cloud and Multi-Cloud Solutions

Some businesses may benefit from a mix of private and public clouds, or may even want to keep some of their workloads in on-premise environments. A hybrid cloud solution describes any combination of cloud and non-cloud environments where an organization’s workloads are hosted while multi-cloud refers to instances of organizations using multiple cloud services from public cloud vendors.

How a Managed Cloud Provider Can Help with Modernization Projects

Unlock the full potential of your business with TierPoint’s cloud modernization solutions. By modernizing your IT infrastructure, you can drive growth, enhance efficiency, and stay ahead of the competition. Our expert team is ready to help you navigate the complexities of cloud transformation, ensuring a seamless transition that aligns with your business goals. Don’t let outdated systems hold you back—embrace the future of IT with confidence.

Ready to take the next step?  Learn how we can help modernize your IT and drive growth to support your cloud modernization journey.

Ready to improve your cloud strategy? Download the Journey to the Cloud eBook today to get started.


What is Cloud Modernization vs Migration?

Cloud migration entails moving a workload from an on-premise environment to the cloud. While cloud modernization may include this step, modernization projects are more about updating applications to take advantage of cloud-native features, or optimizing and modernizing the existing cloud environment to gain new capabilities.

What are the Cloud Transformation Phases?

Cloud transformation happens in the following phases – assessment, planning and strategy, design and architecture, migration, integration, optimization, governance and security, and continuous improvement.

What are the 7Rs of Cloud App Modernization?

The 7 Rs of cloud app modernization are rehosting, relocating, replatforming, refactoring, repurchasing, retaining, and retiring.

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