How to establish a Business-Centric PaaS migration roadmap


While a few large companies like Johnson & Johnson got the rid of all their Mainframe-based applications and expect to run more applications in the Cloud than they currently do on their own infrastructure, the great majority of the Forbes Global 2000 organizations are still stuck at the beginning of the journey. If these large shops have initiated their move to the Cloud to reduce infrastructure costs, they’ll soon be confronted with technological, cultural and psychological hurdles which may hinder them to take full advantage – cost reduction, but also business value – of the Cloud. In this blog post series, we detail how to “lift & extend” and the pragmatic keys to establish a virtuous circle in your Cloud adoption strategy.

Once you identified the set of applications you’ll modernize to make them use Cloud-native services, it is important to plan and coordinate this transformation over time. Depending on their business, economic and technical KPIs, and since moving your applications to PaaS means significant effort and organizational changes, four Cloud migration categories can be established.



These applications are identified as being technically easily moveable to PaaS but their contribution to the business is not significant. Quick-wins are an opportunity to validate and communicate internally on the benefits of PaaS, at an early stage of your Cloud journey.

Cloud Core

The applications that constitute the core part of your Cloud journey, defined by a) their high impact on the business; b) their technical state (low adherence to the underlying OS, no usage of middleware, etc.); and c)  organizational (e.g. Agile and DevOps culture, practices and tools in place) abilities to easily be moved to PaaS.

The PaaS Migration Decision Matrix

Long-Term Bets

The hard part of your Cloud journey is composed of applications that contribute to the business but for which a great variety of organizational and technical hurdles can be found. Their migration to PaaS should be closely monitored, coached by the PaaS “dream teams”, who successfully migrated the “quick-win” Said differently, pushing first these applications would be counter-productive and risky for your Cloud Adoption Strategy.

Pursue Later

With a relatively low business value and a high number of technical blockers for a migration to PaaS, these applications should be positioned in the long tail of your Cloud journey.

In addition, keep in mind that thanks to the mapping between an application and its supported business capabilities (as described earlier), the PaaS migration doesn’t necessarily need to be a “big bang” approach.  Some parts of an application can be ported to PaaS, while others remain on-premises or running in IaaS.

Filed in: CAST Highlight
Michael Muller
Michael Muller Product Owner Cloud-Based Software Analytics & Benchmarking at CAST
Michael Muller is a 15-year veteran in the software quality and measurement space. His areas of expertise include code quality, technical debt assessment, software quality remediation strategy, and application portfolio management. Michael manages the Appmarq product and benchmark database and is part of the CAST Research Labs analysis team that generates the industry-renowned CRASH reports.
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