If you don’t buy into digital transformation, just consider your daily routine. The bank you no longer visit, now sends balance and fraud alerts by texts. A trip to grab groceries has been replaced by a doorstep drop-off -- from the guy that used to deliver the now defunct newspaper.

And, ding-ding-ding… your drive across town has been rerouted around the dog parade that was auto-populated into your mobile notifications.

Your bank, grocery store, restaurant, newspaper, traffic cop, and local non-profit are all under attack by digital upstarts. As are your doctor, insurance agent, and governor. To survive, they’re transforming operations and communications, and embracing the cloud.

From regional to multi-national and for-profit to local government, incumbents and industry leaders are turning to flexible and scalable cloud providers such as Microsoft Azure.

But to realize digital transformation, leaders must consider the cloud migration costs and benefits for each application. And develop a prioritized list of workloads to migrate to Azure.

Some do this in house. Others turn to trusted advisors. But to enable innovation and reinvent customer interactions, all must consider the following application migrations guidelines:

Azure migration priorities are driven by six application level considerations:

  1. Architecture, Data Migration, & Integrations – Large apps are harder to migrate as are those with data governance and enterprise integrations. Thus, lead with less complicated workloads when shifting to Azure. Such as a simple SQL Server-based workload.
  1. Performance & Availability – Even Azure’s strong cloud performance may not suffice or fit your budget. High-speed trading and bandwidth intensive workloads, for example. Or those with frequent data transfers. Start with apps that require fewer optimizations and smaller database storage. Or a DevTest or DevOps platform.
  1. Security & Privacy – Always a top concern for business leaders, it’s critical to consider each application’s security, governance, risk, and compliance needs. This should include data residency regulations such as HIPPA and GDPR. And check these requirements against Azure’s security specifications.
  1. Application Lifecycle – Apps overdue for upgrades may be a good place to start. Such as an aging SharePoint or Windows app. But new or end of life workloads should likely wait until phase two or beyond.
  1. Migration Cost – The above four considerations plus compute and storage needs will dictate the total expense for each workload migration to Azure. Large redesigns, data migration, and integrations, will likely cost more. Yet, the advantages could offset this spend. Thus, it’s critical to weigh all costs and benefits when prioritizing workloads for migration to Azure.
  1. Business Considerations – It’s critical that business leaders provide their analysis of the digitization benefits for any workload under consideration. From agility to innovation and customer reach to time-to-market, which apps will benefit the most?

A critical review of the above six items for each application under consideration will help prioritize workloads for migration to Azure.

If you can’t do this alone, consult with Trianz professionals that have years of experience with successful workload migration to the cloud, and significant Microsoft application and Azure platform expertise.

Typical Azure engagements include migration and management of .Net applications, SQL Server databases, DevOps and DevTest environments, SharePoint collaboration, Office and Exchange productivity, and big data analytics.