standard-quality-control-collage-concept-1030x687 Boost Efficiency and Reduce Costs: The ROI of Azure Integration Services

In today’s data-driven world, businesses rely on seamless integration between various applications, databases, and cloud services. This integration allows for streamlined workflows, automated processes, and ultimately, better decision-making. However, building and maintaining traditional on-premises integration solutions can be complex, expensive, and time-consuming. This is where Azure Integration Services (AIS) comes in.

What is Azure Integration Services?

Azure Integration Services is a cloud-based platform offered by Microsoft that allows businesses to design, develop, deploy, and manage integrations between various systems. It provides a comprehensive suite of tools and services, including:

Logic Apps: A low-code/no-code visual designer for building automated workflows that connect applications, services, and data across the cloud and on-premises.

Data Factory: A cloud-based ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) and data integration service for moving data between different data sources.

API Management: A service for publishing, managing, and securing APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to expose data and functionality from your applications to other systems.

Event Grid: A fully managed pub/sub service for event routing and real-time processing.

Service Bus: Connects applications and services through secure messages.

Azure Functions: A serverless compute platform that allows event-driven applications to be built and deployed without managing services and complex infrastructure.

The ROI of Azure Integration Services

Implementing Azure Integration Services can deliver a significant return on investment (ROI) for businesses in several ways:

  1. Increased Efficiency: AIS automates manual integration tasks, freeing up valuable IT resources to focus on other strategic initiatives. Logic Apps with their low-code/no-code capabilities empower business users to build simple integrations without relying heavily on developers. This reduces development time and allows faster innovation.
  2. Reduced Costs: Migrating from on-premises integration solutions to the cloud eliminates the need for expensive hardware, software licenses, and ongoing maintenance costs. Azure Integration Services offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, allowing businesses to scale their integration needs without upfront capital expenditure.
  3. Improved Data Quality: Azure Data Factory streamlines data movement and transformation, ensuring data consistency and accuracy across different systems. This leads to better reporting, analytics, and ultimately, more informed business decisions.
  4. Enhanced Agility: The cloud-based nature of AIS provides scalability and flexibility. Businesses can easily adapt their integrations as their needs evolve without worrying about infrastructure limitations.
  5. Simplified Management: AIS offers a centralized platform for managing all your integrations, providing real-time monitoring and analytics for improved troubleshooting and performance optimization.

Calculating the ROI of Azure Integration Services

While the specific ROI will vary depending on your business, there are ways to estimate the potential benefits. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Cost Savings: Calculate the cost of on-premises hardware, software licenses, and IT staff dedicated to managing traditional integrations. Compare this to the subscription cost of Azure Integration Services.
  • Improved Productivity: Estimate the time saved by automating manual integration tasks and factor in the value of increased employee productivity.
  • Reduced Errors: Quantify the cost associated with data errors due to manual integrations and estimate the potential gain from improved data quality through AIS.

Discover how a healthcare organization achieved faster product launches by migrating to Azure. Read the full case study to learn more.


By streamlining data flow, automating processes, and improving data quality, Azure Integration Services provides a compelling ROI for businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re looking to reduce costs, increase efficiency, or gain a competitive edge, Azure Integration Services can be a valuable tool in your digital transformation journey.

Getting Started with Azure Integration Services

Microsoft offers a free tier for Azure Integration Services, allowing you to explore the platform and experiment with its capabilities before committing to a paid subscription. Additionally, numerous resources are available online, including documentation, tutorials, and training courses, to help you get started.

Want to fast-track your Azure Integration Services journey with our expert team? Get in touch with us today.


Necessity_over_capacity-1030x343 Necessity Over Capacity: How to Get Cloud-Enabled Applications Right Cloud-enabled applications are on-premise software adapted to work in the cloud. However, despite being cloud-enabled, moving a legacy application to the cloud isn’t enough to truly take advantage of the benefits of a cloud application. To enjoy these benefits, businesses need to avoid treating cloud-enabled applications in the way they did when these were hosted on-premise. 

This article will review how on-premise and cloud systems work and learn the right approach for migrating applications to the cloud. To give us insight into the subject, we interviewed Richard Reukema, a software solutions architect at Optimus Information with decades of experience in the IT field.


The Difference Between Cloud and On-premise Applications

To begin with, on-premise applications work very differently once they are moved to the cloud. When running on-premise, the application’s performance is tied to the physical infrastructure of the organization. More importantly, legacy applications are not in the hands of their developers, but in the hands of IT operators.

Operators make sure that the hardware has enough resources to handle the many applications that run simultaneously on it. As such, during the process of implementing a new application, they measure its consumption requirements. After that, the IT department handles a list of the hardware they need to run this application properly. To run these applications, companies can choose between relying on the equipment they already have or buying additional hardware for the payload of the application. To this extent, applications depend on the hardware configuration, which can bottleneck the application when under high demand or delay the deployment of newer versions of the software. This process is known as capacity planning.

It is crucial here to acknowledge that on-premise capacity planning takes into account not hourly or daily usage but yearly. Richard Reukema asserts that companies buying hardware have to take into consideration possible dates that will increase applications’ payload. For example, for some companies, Christmas is when some companies increase their sales in comparison to the rest of the year and need the most of their systems. Hence, IT operators have to make sure their applications will be able to withstand the occasional increase in their payload. If they fail to do so, the system’s capacity will not be able to meet demand. Increasing capacity in minutes like cloud applications is off the table

Necessity_over_capacity_quote-1030x300 Necessity Over Capacity: How to Get Cloud-Enabled Applications Right 

Aside from the possibility of increasing capacity infrequently,  the most IT operations can do is schedule to shut down some applications when others require more capacity. They’re limited by the equipment they have. In comparison, cloud applications don’t share resources, or, as Richard puts it, “we build cloud applications or clouded services for the capacity of the application that is required when it’s required.” For this very reason, he maintains that “legacy applications grow on capacity; cloud applications grow on necessity.”

Moving from Servers to Services

As we have seen, traditional IT is locked into capacity. As such, according to Richard, even after moving to the cloud and away from on-premise hardware, operators might still view cloud services as servers. He emphasizes that “they don’t understand software, they understand hardware; they see the cloud as a virtual datacenter”. Virtual datacenters allow companies to swiftly deploy additional infrastructure resources when needed without the time constraints of acquiring and installing new hardware. Scaling on-premise systems like that demand a whole process of picking hardware from vendors, waiting for it, and installing it. In comparison with cloud-enabled scaling, the whole thing takes months.

However, while cloud-enabled scaling eclipses the limitations of on-premise scaling, managing applications like this doesn’t take advantage of the cloud to its fullest. To Richard, virtualizing infrastructure makes no difference, since it keeps IT treating applications as servers instead of services.

Richard understands that to take advantage of cloud capabilities to their fullest, IT operators need to think of necessity instead of capacity. He uses the case of ride-sharing company Uber as an analogy: “Uber goes into a city. How many VMs do you think they have to configure to start up another city or even ten? They don’t. It’s a service. It will dynamically grow not on how much capacity there is but on the system’s load.”

For this reason, Richard points out that “you cannot move a legacy application to the cloud and have the benefits of a cloud-native application or cloud-powered applications.” Moreover, he also thinks that replicating the server mentality in the cloud can even be more expensive than on-premise hardware: “You will get charged more on AWS than you would on your servers in your room. Why? Because the servers in the physical room are all shared; The servers in the cloud are all independent of each other.”

Necessity_over_capacity_quote2-1030x300 Necessity Over Capacity: How to Get Cloud-Enabled Applications Right 

The Solution: DevOps

For Richard, making this paradigm shift from server to services and necessity over capacity requires a reinterpretation of the IT and software development teams’ role. That’s why Richard is in favour of DevOps: “IT operations have no place in services, it only has a place in servers because DevOps, which stands for developer operations, is managed by developers and they can manage operations because it’s their application that’s running on services, not servers.” DevOps emphasizes developing and maintaining software through a chain of short feedback loops —starting from the customer and through production, testing—, automation, and collaboration. DevOps achieves this by integrating developers and IT operators to shape IT infrastructure and the application simultaneously.

When it comes to the cloud, DevOps can administer deployment automation tools to ensure continuous delivery and reliability to the production environment, in a model known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Likewise, the Platform as a Service (PaaS) model provides serverless services that allow developers to work without the constraints of dealing with a server. IaaS and PaaS minimize the workload of operation teams and fit a business model based on scaling and pricing fixed on computing usage.


The Bottom Line

We have learned how cloud-enabled applications differ from on-premise applications, and how to move forward in making the most of our cloud-enabled applications. Still not sure about what you can do with the cloud? Get in touch with us to learn more about the perfect cloud solution for your company.

Microservices_Scalablity_Banner-1030x431 Microservices Scalability as a Business Issue

Microservices are a popular option for application modernization. For one thing, they are cost-effective, making them ideal for smaller companies. Also, microservices can be cloud-native, saving the space required for on-premise systems. More importantly, microservices deal with the issues of monolithic applications. To name a few:

  • Hard and slow to maintain and test.
  • Fixing a feature with bugs or under maintenance represents downtime for the whole application.
  • Difficulty to manage different languages.

Still, the main perk of microservices in comparison with monolithic applications is scalability: microservices capacity can be configured to scale dynamically to match how much they are demanded in a given time.

In this article, we will discuss defining and administrating microservices. We will see that defining microservices and their scalability is as much of a business question as a technical one.

What is microservice scalability?

The microservice architecture is a way of designing applications in which each of its modules, components, or functions fit into separate programs. By design, each microservice is meant to have a single functionality. Despite microservices working together, they are independent: they have their own database and communicate with other microservices through their APIs instead of relying on language-level communication or function calls.

These design choices are what separate microservices from monolithic applications. In comparison with monolithic applications, the microservice architecture offers the following perks: 

  • Integration: Due to their modularity, microservices can communicate with the client-side without calling another microservice first. Also, since microservices are language agnostic, they can communicate with each other without problem despite which language they are written in.
  • Fault tolerance: Their independence ensures that a fault in one microservice won’t make another fail.
  • Maintenance: They are easier to fix given the size of their code and independent diagnosis. In addition, systems can be maintained with short downtimes before redeployment.

Withal, the most important feature of microservices is scalability. Monolithic programs share the resources of the same machine statically. Microservices, in turn, scale their specs when demanded. In this way, microservices architectures can administer their resources and allocate them where and when they are required.

How to define microservices and scalability

We interviewed Richard Reukema, software architect at Optimus Information with decades of experience in the IT field, about microservices scalability. For starters, he believes that granularity (how minimal microservices can be) can be detrimental if not properly defined: “I’ve seen microservices used to the point where they’re so granular, that there are so many microservices, that there are so many REST calls that the whole system just can’t operate at scale.” As the number of microservices increases, so does communication complexity. Plus, since they have separated databases and logs,  maintaining a large number of microservices is more demanding. Likewise, converting small applications into microservices is not worth it in most cases; in comparison to small applications, a microservices architecture is more complex to maintain and implement. Therefore, the main problem with microservices is correctly defining their size.

Yet, taking into account the application functions as a whole and the optimal balance between granularity and independence is just part of solving the issue. According to Richard, what defines applications as monolithic is their companies’ business operations. In his own words, “application architecture never defines implementation; it only defines the responsibilities of the business.” He understands that “if a business had a help desk and the help desk took calls from every aspect of the organization, it would be a monolithic application because every time the phone rang, somebody would have to answer that call.” In this way, an application will be as monolithic as the business processes of its organization let it be.

Hence, a way of avoiding microservices becoming monolithic is decentralizing their communication channels. “If you want the delivery calls to go to the delivery people, and sales calls to go to the salespeople and the inventory to the inventory people, you suddenly have a department that either has an operator that routes the calls to the right department or you give the phone number to the people, and say, this is our area of the business that handles these different aspects of the business, and that’s no different to the API.


How to define scalability

After defining the right size for the microservices, these can be implemented and mapped up to containers. According to Richard, “the benchmark for containers is scalability: If I have a very small API, but it is handling three hundred thousand requests per second, it’s got to be able to scale very quickly, and more importantly, it should scale in”. Container servers scale in when their system capabilities (CPU, memory, network bandwidth, etc) are increased to match the demand the system requires. Containers autoregulate their resources in two main ways:

  1. Scale up or vertical scaling: Increasing the application capacity by augmenting the capacity of your servers—virtual or physical. Preferred for stateful apps since these require keeping the client information between sessions to work.
  2. Scale-out or horizontal scaling: Increasing the number of server instances to manage demand. Preferred for stateless applications since these don’t store client info.

In the case of scaling out, there’s also the idea of “scaling in,” that is, reducing server instances when the demand goes down. In this way, scaling can also improve microservices’ cost-effectiveness. To Richard, learning when to scale in is as important from a business perspective as scaling out: “If you can scale out as you’re generating revenue, and scale in when you are not incurring revenue, you’re saving expenses.” Hence, the business practice of minimizing expenses should also be taken into account when designing computer systems.


The bottom line

Microservices have made it possible to administer a system’s capacity much more easily and efficiently than monolithic applications. However, as we have seen, microservices are not the end of monolithic applications. As such, when designing microservices, we need to keep an eye on our business operations, and not exclusively focus on the technical aspects of the implementation.



To learn more, check out our blog about Legacy Systems: The Risks of Postponing Application Modernization.

Azure Container Apps have skyrocketed into popularity since their launch at the 2021 Microsoft Ignite Conference. In this article we’ll be covering a few topics integral to understanding the Azure Container Apps service, starting off with what container apps are and what this service entails. We’ll look at the prominent features of Azure Container Apps as well as both the benefits and limitations. Finally, we’ll examine how the Microsoft container apps compare to similar container options on the market. As Azure Container Apps is still in public preview, we look forward to new updates and features. For more details and products that were introduced at the 2021 Microsoft Ignite Conference, check out our full article here.

What Is a Container?

Imagine that you’re moving houses. It’s an exhausting process organizing everything and moving it from one location to the next. You have to pack all your belongings into boxes. Generally, you’d pack similar things from one room into the same box, for example, you may have a “kitchen” box with all your dinnerware, utensils, and pots. Everything that you would need for the kitchen would be contained in that single package. Containers function in the same way. They are packages of software that bundle an application’s code with everything else that it would need, for example files, libraries, and other dependencies.

Screen-Shot-2022-04-28-at-2.51.13-PM-1030x476 Understanding the Azure Container Apps Service

Image Source: Microsoft 2022

What Are Azure Container Apps?

The Azure Container Apps service allows you to run containerized applications and microservices on a serverless platform, without managing complex infrastructure. In doing so, it boasts a range of features, expanded on in the following section, such as autoscaling, splitting traffic, and support for a variety of application types.

Relevant Features and Benefits

The following are a few features and benefits of Azure Container Apps:

  1. Autoscaling: As mentioned above, Azure Container Apps has powerful auto-scaling capabilities based on event triggers or HTTP traffic. As the container app scales out, new instances of the container app, named instances, are created as required. This service supports many scale triggers.
  2. Splitting Traffic: Azure Container Apps has the capability to activate multiple container revisions with different proportions of requests directed to each one for testing scenarios. This feature is very beneficial when you want to make your container app accessible through HTTP.
  3. Allowing for Application Flexibility: The containers within Azure Container Apps are incredibly versatile and are able to use any programming language, runtime, or development stack. The flexibility that this provides users in implementing the product and users can define multiple containers within a single container app for use of shared disk space, scale rules, and more. 
azure-container-apps-example-scenarios-2 Understanding the Azure Container Apps Service

Image Source: Azure Container Apps: Example Scenarios, Microsoft 2022

Potential Drawbacks

There are a few things to take note of before using Azure Container Apps. One limitation of the product is that it cannot run privileged containers. If you try to run a program that requires root access, there will be a runtime error that occurs within the app. The other thing to note is that in order to run this product, Linux-based container images are required.

Azure Container Apps as Compared to Other Contenders

It’s important to analyze whether Azure Container Apps is the best fit for your organization and its needs. The following options are other services that would be better suited for specific use cases.

  1. Azure Kubernetes Service: If it’s necessary for you to have access to Kubernetes APIs and control plane, it may be better to use this product rather than Azure Container Apps, which doesn’t allow for direct access to the aforementioned Kubernetes APIs.
  2. Azure Container Instances: This service is often referred to as the simpler, building block version of Azure Container Apps, and is ideal if your needs do not match up with the Azure Container Apps scenarios.
  3. Azure Functions: When building Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS) style functions, Azure Functions is the best way to go as it’s more optimized for functions distributed as containers or code. As well as this, it possesses a base container image, which allows for the reuse of code even as the environment changes.


After understanding the multitude of features that the Azure Container Apps service contains and the optimal use cases, you probably have a better sense of whether it’s something that your organization would benefit from. Flexible, scalable, and easily integrated, it’s a service that covers a range of needs for deploying microservices using serverless containers. If you’re interested in finding other Azure services in addition to Azure Container Apps, click here.


LegacyApps_Risks-of-Postponing-Application-Modernization-1030x429 Legacy Systems: The Risks of Postponing Application Modernization

Legacy systems are systems near the end of their life cycle. While still functional, legacy systems are potentially detrimental from both a technical and business point of view. This can cause problems from internal communication issues to setbacks going to market. If ignored, legacy systems can even drive companies out of business.

However, knowing these issues with aging systems hasn’t stopped organizations from keeping them running. Modernization is indeed an arduous process, often dismissed as systems remain operative. Therefore, companies must acknowledge that modernizing not only improves their processes and increases profit but modernizing their legacy applications will also help them preserve the well-being of their business and stay competitive.

In this article, we will tackle what organizations can lose when postponing modernizing a legacy system. We’ll also provide a short review of the available solutions for modernization, including cloud technologies.


Why should companies modernize?

Coming back to the system evolution scale, software modernization is a step after software updating and at the doorstep of system replacement. Modernizing a system is a more cost-effective choice than replacing it altogether. Moreover, organizations may be too reliant on these applications —despite their issues— to retire them.

However, legacy systems can harm organizations in many ways. The following is a list of problems legacy systems may bring. Take a moment to acknowledge if these problems exist in your organization’s systems:

  • Losing clients due to poor, outdated, or non-functioning product UI/UX.
  • Keeping business operations becomes too costly in comparison with competitors who rely on newer systems
  • System maintenance monopolizes the IT budget
  • Security issues that cannot be fixed
  • Applications are built on outdated languages restricting integration with new technologies and processes such as inventory for payments.

As we can imagine, not addressing these issues can be extremely detrimental, Even in ways that were initially unthinkable.

Richard Reukema is a software solutions architect at Optimus Information with decades of experience in the IT field. According to him, relying on outdated technologies has the potential for hurting business so massively that you simply can’t ignore it. Richard quotes the cases of Uber and Airbnb as examples of this behaviour: “How many CEOs of the taxi industry and hotel industry saw a dynamic scale application eating 40% of their market? Zero”. Richard understands that these companies based their success on improving customer experience with new technologies: “The level of information that is available to the customer and the convenience of the transaction and the customer experience is vastly different because the old companies just couldn’t imagine a new process in which we use technology to simplify the experience of the customer”.


How to start application modernization

Application modernization starts in the planning stage. To modernize, it is necessary first to learn about the full landscape in which the application runs. In other words, learning about what applications it interacts with and how it does so. This isn’t an easy task: Usually, the landscape of these applications is as cryptic as the applications themselves. In his Master on Computer Science academician Simon Nilsson understands that there are two approaches for starting the modernization process:

  • White-box modernization or software reengineering: reverse-engineering the application to learn about its components and ecosystem and how it works.
  • Black-box modernization: looking at how the application interacts in its operating context (inputs and outputs) to learn about it.

Once the application becomes known, it is possible to choose a fitting solution. Simon divides modernization solutions into four categories:

  • Automated migration: using tools such as parsers to migrate languages, databases, and platforms.
  • Re-hosting: hosting the legacy system on a different platform.
  • Package implementation: using off-the-shelf software.
  • SOA Integration: taking the legacy application’s business logic and data embedded and turning them into services.

When figuring out the most appropriate solution for modernization, more often than not, the available budget ends up being as important as meeting the very specific requirements of the system. Yet there are solutions that can fit some cases and are not as overly expensive as others. For instance, low-code development platforms are a plausible and economic solution for modernization. Consulted about this technology, Richard Reukema finds room for low-code development platforms in modernization, yet he defines them as double-edged swords. Richard understands that low-code environments increase the complexity of the organization by being inaccessible to the different departments in which they operate. In his words, “low code environments in corporate settings are extremely difficult to manage because managers have credit cards and (therefore) they have to compute thousands of operations”.


Solutions for modernizing legacy systems

The following is a brief overview of different solutions for application modernization.

Azure Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS is a complete cloud solution that includes everything from infrastructure and middleware to development tools and database management systems. The idea behind PaaS is to cover the full application cycle, including building, testing, and deploying.

Thanks to PaaS, organizations don’t have to manage a multitude of software licenses, and instead, rely on a unified set of applications and services managed by the PaaS provider.


Containers are software code packages made of the bare minimum software for running the application proficiently in any infrastructure. Containers are isolated from the rest of the system, making them a great solution for dealing with incompatibilities, a common problem found in legacy systems. When at scale, containers are managed and automated by other programs, Kubernetes being one of the most popular.


Containers have made it possible to build scalable architectures out of numerous services. By disassembling software, more efficient use and maintenance of it is possible. This can make us think that microservices are the solution for modernizing every legacy monolithic application. However, microservice architecture is far from perfect. According to Richard, the problem with microservices is scalability. “I’ve seen microservices used to the point where they’re so granular, that there are so many microservices, that there are so many REST calls, the whole system just can operate at scale”, he says.


We have seen how critical modernizing legacy applications is, how it starts, and what solutions are available. The next step is to find the right technology and implementation for your case. Get in touch with Optimus to learn more about solutions for your organization.


Legacy-Application-Modernization-1 Legacy Application Modernization: Benefits, Challenges and Approaches

Organizations typically invest considerably to procure or develop custom applications that support critical business operations. Unfortunately, when these applications go out of date, replacing them with newer applications is often not an option due to the amount of dependency these generate over time. However, these legacy applications can be updated and reconfigured to work seamlessly with modern platforms that are more efficient than legacy monolithic frameworks.  

Migrating legacy applications to the cloud offers more comprehensive benefits such as platform flexibility, application scalability, robust security, and cross-platform compatibility. This article delves into the benefits of Legacy Application Modernization, related challenges and common approaches to migrating a legacy desktop application to the cloud.


Introduction to Legacy Application Modernization

Legacy applications require considerable investment to maintain competitiveness. More so, legacy applications follow a tightly coupled, monolithic architecture – that are susceptible to emerging security threats, are immutable and offer less scalability. As business dynamics keep changing, organizations relying on legacy applications must adopt consumer behaviour and embrace efficient models that enable holistic competence.

Legacy Application Modernization is a digital transformation strategy that repurposes existing software to make it compatible with modern devices and applications. Such applications can be rebuilt by rewriting the source code, augmenting the application or plugging the existing code and dependencies into a modern platform. 


Key Reasons to Modernize Legacy Applications

With legacy app modernization, organizations can advance their systems to stay competitive, pivot with changing consumer needs, and adopt advanced technology for efficiency. The following are some of the key reasons organizations embrace app modernization:  

Business Factors

  • Maintaining ageing applications costs more, so modernizing legacy apps lead to reduced operational costs
  • Modernizing helps organizations gain a competitive advantage using systems with enhanced performance and agility.
  • Modernized Legacy Applications boost efficiency and innovation since they are highly scalable, allowing for flexible deployment platforms and automation.
  • Improved customer satisfaction as modernized applications meets modern performance and user experience standards.

Technical Factors

  • Straightforward API integration with other software and third-party tools.
  • Modernization keeps applications secure from ever-evolving security threats.
  • Enhanced application performance with reduced security risks and reliable processes.
  • Enables adoption of efficient operating models and frameworks such as DevOps.


Challenges of Legacy App Modernization

While embracing app modernization, organizations face several challenges. Some of these include:

  • Resistance to change by employees/business stakeholders
  • Inadequate requisite skills for migration and post-migration phases
  • High initial costs 
  • Complex to replicate user-friendly systems
  • Lack of clarity on the right cloud model to choose 
  • Inflexibility and incompatibility with external APIs and tools.

These challenges remain critical factors for an organization’s hesitation to app modernization. However, with thoughtful planning and coordinated execution, the benefits of achieving operational efficiency surpass the challenges in the longer run.


Approaches to Migrate a Legacy App to the Cloud

While the best strategy for transitioning to the cloud varies with the organization’s requirements, there are common approaches that can ensure a successful modernization. 

  1. Assess and Audit the Existing Tech Stack

    Organizations must diligently assess the existing system’s performance and how effective it is for business processes. Doing so requires a comprehensive audit of related applications and infrastructure to establish whether the system is worth upgrading, and eventually helping to form the basis of the migration approach. Audit & Assessment also helps teams identify which software or infrastructure no longer adds value to the business, thereby helping to streamline migration efforts and costs. 

    Some important aspects to audit include:

    • Architecture An assessment of the application’s high-level architecture and components to identify bottlenecks that determine the most appropriate migration strategy.
    • Code – A comprehensive audit of the source code to detect code errors, vulnerability, and compatibility with the new platform. 
    • UI/UX – Assessing user interfaces, supported operations and processes to ensure user experiences are seamlessly migrated over and remain unchanged.


  2. Choosing the Right Migration Approach

    One key consideration before planning a cloud migration is to decide the right approach to adopt. Existing workloads, expected load, and projected business requirements are often common factors in determining the right strategy. Depending on the business case, organizations may follow one of the two approaches:

    Big Bang

    This strategy typically refers to a lift-and-shift approach where the entire application is re-hosted to the cloud in a single milestone. As a quick option, this approach allows the legacy platform to be decommissioned, while the organization’s entire workloads are deployed to the cloud in a single move. The Big Bang approach offers a shorter implementation time and is considered perfect for organizations that utilize smaller, non-complex workloads.


    The phased strategy refers to an approach in which the application workloads are shifted to the cloud in multiple, small milestones implemented over a period of time. This approach is considered suitable for large migration projects where it takes time to train the staff and for organizations that consist of multiple business units. Besides this, a phased approach offers additional benefits such as easier change management and a lower risk of failed migration.

    More details on various cloud transformation strategies, including Rehosting, Replatforming, and Refactoring can be found here

  3.  Forming the Right Team

    As operating an application on a cloud-native ecosystem requires niche skills that are mostly different from an on-prem setup, organizations must plan to onboard the right team of experts who ensure legacy-to-cloud transitions are seamless. This can be done by reskilling its existing staff, hiring new resources or outsourcing to an external party to manage the transition as well as the BAU phase. Such experts are responsible for identifying components of the workload that require to be migrated and the challenges they may encounter.

    A commonly known strategy as part of the migration is to invoke the Agile model to ensure the transformation is comprehensive and highly collaborative. With the right Agile team structure, organizations can efficiently address emerging customer expectations and achieve operational excellence. 

    An Agile team structure primarily includes the following roles:

    • Product Manager
    • Program Manager/Scrum Master
    • Software Architect
    • Software Developers (Frontend/Backend)
    • DevOps Engineer
    • User Experience Designer
    • Quality Assurance Lead


  4. Appropriate Financial Planning

    Organizations must be wary of the associated costs of cloud migration. This typically involves an upfront lump sum for the shift and ongoing expenses during cloud usage. When budgeting for a cloud-based modernization, the migration program should identify financial projections of pre-migration, migration and post-migration phases. With appropriate budgeting, organizations unlock the comprehensive benefits of cloud migration as it helps teams allocate the right amounts of resources for configuration and deployment.


  5. Choosing the Cloud Service

    When migrating to the cloud, it is essential to pragmatically choose the right cloud service out of the following three models:


    Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) lets organizations acquire infrastructure resources such as storage, networks, processors and servers on-demand when required. Organizations only pay for the infrastructure they use for their workloads, which can be scaled to handle changes in resource demand. 

    Some popular IaaS offerings include Microsoft’s Azure, Amazon’s Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).


    With Platform-as-a-Service, cloud providers manage the hardware and operating systems that allow organizations to focus on developing codes and automating deployment pipelines. This improves efficiency as it eliminates tedious capacity planning, resource procurement and software maintenance. 

    Some popular PaaS offerings include Windows Azure, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and the Google App Engine.


    In Software-as-a-Service, the software vendors develop applications to be offered over the web. With SaaS models, organizations only need to plan, develop and maintain the application for end-use, rather than maintaining the underlying infrastructure or related platform. 

    Some popular SaaS applications include Microsoft Dropbox, Google Workspace, Salesforce, and SAP Concur.


As cloud computing enables rapid acceleration in enterprise growth, there is an emerging trend of organizations embracing the cloud to modernize legacy applications. Continuing the ongoing trend, a recent Gartner survey projects that almost 70% of organizations using cloud services today plan to increase their cloud spending in the future. 

Legacy applications are traditionally run on-premises, that rely on slow, monolithic frameworks.  As a result, legacy applications cannot keep up with the agility and performance requirements of modern devices. As organizations transition to the cloud to enable digital transformation and modernize applications, they must be mindful of the challenges and the right approach while doing so. The right migration strategy, however, depends on the type of application, budget and business needs. 


To know more on how Optimus can help you modernize your legacy applications, contact us here


Modernizing-_Applications_with_Azure_PaaS-2 Modernizing Applications with Azure PaaSFor organizations that rely on legacy technology, the cost of maintaining outdated software inhibits innovation and slows down the digital transformation process. Since business operations generate dependency on these legacy systems while accumulating enormous data over the years, such systems are hard to scale and complex to replace.

Migrating their legacy applications to an efficient technology ecosystem, organizations undertake app modernization as one of the key stages of their digital transformation journey. With modernization, organizations embrace efficient technology, tools and approaches, including Cloud, DevOps, and Microservices. These collectively enable organizations to become more lean, agile, and adaptable. 

A common approach to app modernization is transitioning the legacy application off the on-prem servers and rehosting/re-platforming it to a cloud platform. A Platform as a Service (PaaS) platform is one such cloud-based model that allows organizations to benefit from a pre-configured platform of essential infrastructure resources. 

In this article, we dive into the use-cases of a PaaS model, and the benefits of modernizing applications with Azure PaaS.

Modernizing Legacy Apps With Azure PaaS

A legacy on-prem framework requires enormous efforts towards provisioning and ongoing maintenance of the underlying infrastructure. In addition to this, managing a platform in-house gets immensely complex with frequent changes in compliance policies and security landscape. For mission-critical applications, ensuring a load-balanced service with distributed traffic additionally requires niche skills as well as considerable financial commitments. 

To help with this, Microsoft offers an HTTP-based Azure PaaS Service (commonly referred to as App Service) for hosting web applications, REST APIs, and mobile application backends on Windows or Linux-based environments.

With App Service, there are no administrative efforts to maintain the base infrastructure where the applications run. This provides an efficient approach to deploy an application on the cloud without worrying about provisioning, configuring, or scaling the platform. 

Azure uses an efficient Service Fabric to ensure that each application in the plan keeps running and that resources can be scaled up or down as needed. Each App Service runs on a virtual machine in a Microsoft Datacenter. By allowing users to easily set the maximum instances of VMs on which they want to run their applications, the Service Fabric then replicates the application across multiple VMs, keeps them running, and balances load across them.

Some features of Azure App Service include:

  • Support for Multiple Programming Languages and Frameworks: Organizations can deploy applications built on a wide variety of frameworks, including .Net Core, NodeJS, Java, PHP, Python, or Ruby. Azure App Service also supports Powershell and other executable scripts as background services.
  • Serverless Code Using Azure Functions: Rather than deploying applications that explicitly require extensive provisioning or management of infrastructure, organizations can run serverless code snippets at a fraction of the compute time cost.
  • App Containerization: Organizations can deploy applications in containers and leverage efficient architectures such as Microservices for enhanced scalability and performance.
  • DevOps Support: Azure allows to set up testing, staging, and production environments with continuous integration and deployment pipelines in line with DevOps practices.
  • Provides CORS support for APIs. Also supports secured authentication, push notification, and offline data sync for mobile apps.
  • In-App SQL databases for storing app data.

Benefits of Azure App Service 

Organizations can benefit from modernizing applications with Azure PaaS in the following ways:

  • High Scalability: Azure allows organizations to scale their applications up or out. With the easy to use Azure Portal, users can set up auto-scale settings based on CPU, memory, and disk utilization levels to support additional application load or stress. Additionally, the Per-App scaling feature allows organizations to allocate and set resources for mission-critical applications selectively. 
  • High Availability: Azure’s App Service SLAs guarantee high availability using the optimum resources. This benefits an organization by leveraging the ability to host its applications across multiple regions through Microsoft’s extensive global datacenter infrastructure.
  • Analytics and Actionable Insights: The Azure portal provides insightful analytics on an application’s health and performance levels. Organizations can also obtain details on the app’s response times, CPU, memory, and disk utilization levels for identifying incident root cause or performance optimization. 
  • Robust Security: App Service provides authentication support through Azure Active Directory, Google, Facebook, Twitter, or Microsoft accounts. Additionally, organizations can control network access of their apps by setting up a priority list of deny/allow IP addresses while benefitting from Azure Virtual Network subnets.
  • Multi-Platform Support: App Service supports different languages and frameworks for app development and deployment, thus allowing for various industry and application-type use cases.

Popular PaaS Use-Cases 

While there are numerous successful use-cases of the PaaS model, the following are some of the most common domains that benefit from it:

  • Datawarehouse/Business Intelligence

Using cloud-based PaaS offerings, organizations can locate insights, generate patterns and predict results to improve business decisions such as forecasting, product design, and investment profits. Due to a number of PaaS-enabled benefits, more and more organizations securely set up and manage data storage such as databases, data warehouses, and data lakes using popular PaaS platforms such as Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

  • Application Hosting

A PaaS model is often considered as an enabler to a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. As a result, for businesses that offer SaaS-based application offerings, PaaS offers an immediate, quick to launch platform of cloud services to deploy, host, run and manage cloud-based applications, APIs, and mobile backends.

  • IoT

The versatility provided by PaaS platforms shown in the range of languages, frameworks, and tools supported allows for IoT deployments and integrations. By supporting to efficiently deploy applications on the edge, organizations can benefit from modernizing applications with Azure PaaS, focusing on an IoT framework.


Legacy applications are usually monolithic, expensive to manage and difficult to scale. Outdated software makes it challenging to adapt to new business requirements and hinders an organization’s digital transformation. Adopting a pragmatic approach to app modernization using PaaS platforms provides ways for organizations to refactor these applications for high efficiency. It also helps organizations to take advantage of cloud benefits like economies of scale and scalability.

Azure’s App Service by Microsoft is a cloud-based PaaS offering that provides a fully managed platform that offers auto-scaling, in-app SQL databases, high availability, and robust security to modernize and deploy modern applications. With a growing pattern of emerging technologies such as IoT, Stateful Applications, and Event Stream Processing, the computing paradigm is now at a completely different level than it used to be. This is why it’s critical for businesses to focus on the core application development and its growth, rather than spending efforts on redundant tasks of managing underlying platforms. 


To know more about how Optimus can help you migrate your legacy apps to a PaaS model, contact us today.