Cloud Modernization: How to Know If It's the Right Move for Your Company

Explore the essentials of cloud modernization and determine its fit for your business. Uncover key benefits and strategic insights for your company's growth.



If your organization is thinking of moving your data center or IT services to the cloud, there are two things to keep in mind—migration and modernization. 

Migration is the actual move to the cloud. Think of it as lifting your data centers and IT services from your physical space and shifting them to a cloud space such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Once you’ve successfully migrated, you’ll realize immediate savings from no longer needing to pay for physical servers or the space to store them. You’ll also reduce expenditures through cost optimization, the ongoing efficiencies, and associated savings gained from improving cloud operations. 

One such improvement comes through modernization.

What is Cloud Modernization?

AWS defines modernization as the combination of modern technologies, cloud-native architecture, software delivery, and operational processes that help you realize your business objectives more quickly and consistently. 

Anything in your IT stack or user process that causes inefficiency could be an indicator that it’s time for your company to consider cloud modernization. Tell-tale signs include:

  • Disruption in performance caused by slow processing speed or system downtime.
  • Difficulty in integrating newer apps indicates compatibility issues with more advanced technology.
  • Your system is unable to take advantage of the latest security systems or requires an inordinate amount of maintenance. 

All of which could impact user satisfaction and productivity.

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How to Know If Cloud Modernization Is Right for Your Business

Determining whether cloud modernization is the right move for your business involves a strategic evaluation of your current IT infrastructure, business objectives, and the potential benefits and challenges associated with modernization. 

Here's a structured approach to help you make an informed decision:

  • Assess your current state: Evaluate your existing IT infrastructure, applications, and processes. Identify any pain points, such as high maintenance costs, scalability issues, or security vulnerabilities.
  • Define your business objectives: Align your IT strategy with your business goals. Are you looking to improve agility, reduce costs, enhance security, or drive innovation?
  • Analyze the benefits: Reflect on the benefits of cloud modernization. Consider how these benefits align with your business objectives and whether they address your current challenges.
  • Consider the risks and challenges: Modernization comes with its set of challenges, such as potential downtime during migration, training staff on new technologies, and initial costs. Weigh these against the long-term benefits to determine if the move is justifiable.
  • Evaluate your readiness: Assess your organization's readiness for such a transition. Do you have the necessary skills and resources? Is there a willingness to change within the organization?
  • Consult with experts: Engage with AWS-certified cloud consultants like StratusGrid to get an expert perspective.
  • Build a business case: Based on your assessment, outline a business case that includes the expected benefits, costs, risks, and a timeline for the modernization process. This will help in securing buy-in from stakeholders.
  • Start small: If you're still uncertain, consider starting with a small, non-critical system to modernize. This can serve as a pilot project to demonstrate the benefits and help you gain confidence in a larger-scale transition.

By evaluating these aspects, you will know whether cloud modernization is the right strategic move for your business. Let us help you better understand the AWS cloud modernization approach to help you make a well-informed decision. 

How to Evaluate Your Need for Cloud Modernization

Recognizing the need for cloud modernization is the first step toward a more efficient and innovative future. Here are some indicators that your company might be ready for this transformative step:

  1. Legacy system limitations: If your current systems are struggling to keep up with the pace of business, causing delays or inefficiencies, it's a clear sign that modernization is needed.
  2. High operational costs: Operating and maintaining on-premises infrastructure can be costly. A move to modernized cloud solutions can significantly reduce these expenses.
  3. Lack of scalability: If your current setup cannot scale quickly to meet demand spikes or growth, cloud modernization can offer the elasticity your business needs.
  4. Security concerns: Older systems may not comply with the latest security standards. Modern cloud solutions offer robust security features to protect your data.
  5. Innovation stagnation: If your IT environment hinders rather than helps innovation, it's time to consider modernization to foster agility and faster development cycles.

You may be interested in How to Evaluate Your App Portfolio for Application Modernization Services

How to Assess Your Current Cloud Infrastructure

Before diving into modernization, it's crucial to understand your existing cloud infrastructure. Here's how to conduct a thorough assessment:

  1. Inventory your assets: Catalog all your IT assets in the cloud and on-premises. Understand what you have, where it's located, and how it's used.
  2. Analyze performance and costs: Evaluate the performance efficiency and financial impact of your current cloud setup. Identify areas where improvements can lead to cost savings or performance boosts.
  3. Review application architecture: Examine existing application architecture diagrams to gain insights into the structure and interrelations of your applications. This review can reveal modernization opportunities, helping to prioritize efforts based on potential impact and alignment with business goals.
  4. Identify dependencies: Understand the interdependencies between various applications and services. This will help in planning a smooth modernization process without disrupting operations.
  5. Compliance and security review: Ensure your current infrastructure complies with relevant regulations and security standards. Identify any gaps that modernization can address.

Business Expansion and Cloud Requirements

As your business grows, so do your IT needs. Cloud modernization can support this growth by providing:

  • Scalability: Modern cloud solutions can scale resources up or down based on demand, ensuring your infrastructure aligns with business growth without overinvestment.
  • Global reach: Expanding your business globally? Cloud services can help you deploy your applications in various regions, closer to your users, improving performance and compliance with regional data handling regulations.
  • Innovation enablement: With modern cloud services, you can leverage the latest technologies like containers, serverless, AI, machine learning, and IoT to drive innovation and stay ahead of the competition.
  • Agility: Modernized cloud environments enable faster deployment of new applications and services, allowing your business to quickly adapt to market changes or customer needs.

The Benefits of Cloud Modernization

Think of a move to the cloud as moving up from a sedan to a high-performance sportscar. You won’t get the most out of your purchase, however, if your engine requires a tune-up or you need new tires. Older apps in your legacy system or a poorly architected platform can similarly affect your cloud performance. 

Fortunately, modernization is a tune-up for your cloud. AWS lists six ways modernization can help you:

  1. Integration: Cloud-native applications can easily integrate with other cloud services, enabling you to build more complex and sophisticated systems seamlessly.
  2. Reliability: Modernized applications are inherently designed with cloud-native technologies that are architected to be resilient, geographically distributed, and self-healing. Downtime is reduced and overall reliability is improved.
  3. Speed of innovation: New features and functionality can be incorporated faster, making it easier to test new ideas and quickly adopt new capabilities. Your organization can respond quickly to market changes and reduce customer feedback loops, maintaining a competitive advantage.
  4. Operational efficiency: Cloud-native solutions are designed to be managed and monitored through serverless or managed instances. This reduces the complexity and effort required for upgrades, patching, and security management. Productivity increases and you can focus on building customer value.
  5. Cost efficiency: Utilizing cloud-native technologies and managed instances helps decrease costs associated with infrastructure and licensing. The ability to efficiently utilize resources at a granular level reduces the overall cost footprint.
  6. Scalability: Modernized applications can dynamically scale to meet changing demand, providing improved performance and availability compared to traditional applications. More importantly, only specific components that require additional capacity need to be scaled, rather than the entire platform that hosts the application.

Best Practices for Modernizing Your Cloud

Modernizing is not a simple flick of a switch. But it can be a successful undertaking If planned well. Here’s how to approach the modernization of your legacy apps for the cloud:

  • Modernize with purpose. Tie any app modernization effort to the business need that’s being addressed, such as cost savings, improved security, enhanced functionality, and the like.
  • Assess resources. Identify workloads and assets that will be moved to the cloud, as well as dependencies, licensing impacts, and business use cases and benefits. 
  • Analyze app architecture thoroughly. Carefully assess the app being modernized to understand its architecture, dependencies, and requirements.
  • Tailor your approach. There are many techniques and options available for app modernization, including rehosting, refactoring, rearchitecting, rebuilding, and replacing. 

AWS offers several modernization pathways. Read about The Rs of Application Modernization: 8 Proven Strategies for Success here.

  • Modernize related processes. Update underlying business processes including user experience and agility. 
  • Plan for the long haul. Take a continuous, modular approach, allowing adopters to gradually align with key business and technology goals.
  • Think holistically. Address not only current app modernization but alignment with future challenges.
  • Create a maturity assessment framework. Build a three-step framework consisting of discovery and assessment, roadmap creation, and role allocation.
  • Componentize. Follow a systematic approach by breaking down your app into smaller, independent components that can be deployed and scaled individually.
  • Make good on the promise of containers and microservices. Break down a monolithic application into smaller, more manageable microservices, allowing you to develop, test, deploy, and scale components independently.

Building a Business Case for AWS Cloud Modernization

There’s a lot that goes into the decision to modernize. Your overall modernization vision must align with your company’s business objectives. Modernization is defined at the organization, while implementation is realized at the application level. So, your business case should be tailored for each line of business or application group.

AWS offers four keys to consider in creating your business case:

  1. Enabling agility and innovation. Articulate how modernization will increase business agility and allow innovation. Measure agility based on development and deployment time, scalability, elasticity, time-to-market, and increased reliability.
  2. Assessing risk. Include a risk assessment that identifies potential risks and challenges associated with the modernization project. Evaluate risks across the following dimensions: technology maturity, business readiness, stakeholder commitment (Business and IT), and change management.
  3. Measuring success. Outline the expected outcomes of your modernization initiative and set clear KPIs for measuring success. The KPIs should be quantitative with a clear measurement criterion that can be used to compare against the legacy system.
  4. Reducing cost of ownership. Cost reduction is a critical factor for customers to move towards modernization. Compare the unit metric cost of each aspect of the application versus the estimated unit cost of a modernized solution. The cost comparison should include compute, storage, network bandwidth, APIs and transactions, licensing, resiliency, upgrades and bug fixes, and time-to-market.

How StratusGrid Can Help You With Your AWS Cloud Modernization Projects

As a certified AWS Consulting Partner, StratusGrid helps maximize your cloud usage—and minimize your cloud costs—through tailored solutions such as cloud modernization. 

As mentioned earlier, it’s imperative to develop a well-thought-out plan of attack for your modernization efforts. Such a plan involves assessments, planning, testing, and execution. 

Guided by best practices developed through years of experience, StratusGrid developed a process to help you navigate your cloud’s modernization together:

Alignment and Analysis

  • Identify your organization’s goals.
  • Identify the best ways to measure results.
  • Share a baseline to refer to before work starts.


  • Build a detailed and measurable action plan to make improvements.
  • Ensure the plan aligns with goals and should improve the measures.
  • Perform a risk assessment and identify mitigations.

Pilots and Testing

  • Test assumptions and perform pilots to help de-risk the project.


  • Work alongside your team to execute the plan.
  • Monitor process changes and adjust as needed.

Analysis and Presentation

  • Complete the closing presentation; measure the impact of our work together.
  • Present results to leadership.

How You Benefit From AWS Modernization With StratusGrid

StratusGrid has narrowed its focus to better serve enterprises and private equity firms in media and entertainment, supply chain logistics and advanced manufacturing, and health and finance tech. With over 14 years of experience with AWS cloud modernizations, StratusGrid can help you:

  • Be more cost-efficient: Choose the pricing option that best meets your needs. Only pay for the tools you need and allocate resources strategically to support your business goals.
  • Shorten deployment times: Innovate with faster iteration and tighter feedback loops by automating testing and deployment.
  • Improve security: Centralize your security operations, gain real-time visibility into your security posture, and respond to threats quickly and efficiently.
  • Reduce work in progress: Decrease the amount of manual work required to manage infrastructure and applications. Let your team focus on more strategic issues.
  • Delight customers: Improve user experience by making your applications faster, more reliable, and more scalable. Remain competitive and meet the growing expectations of your customers.

An AWS Modernization Use Case in Point

Crunchyroll is the leading destination for anime fans, anchored by a global streaming service that supports anime theatrical films, games, manga, events, e-commerce, collectibles, home entertainment, and merchandising. 

The company came to StratusGrid to help them gain visibility and rapidly identify ways to optimize their cloud infrastructure and reduce operational expenses across all their AWS Cloud environments.

Using their proprietary solution Stratusphere™ FinOps, StratusGrid provided Crunchyroll a consolidated view of usage costs and potential cost optimization findings across all their AWS environments. Crunchyroll was able to prioritize potential savings based on the level of effort it would take to realize them. The results:

  • 5X actual monthly savings compared to month one
  • 1.5X total actual monthly savings compared to month one in commitment-based findings
  • 3X total actual monthly savings compared to month one in configuration-based findings
  • 4X net monthly savings projected compared to month one

Read the complete case study here.

See Stratusphere™ FinOps in Action Here

Modernize Your Applications With StratusGrid

Not only does cloud modernization with StratusGrid save you money, but AWS reports an average of 69% reduction in unplanned downtime. Contact us for a consultation now!

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