Modernizing legacy applications: the benefits of the cloud without waste




12factor represents for us the key methodology to deal with the modernization of an application. As the name suggests, it draws up 12 operational principles to successfully complete the realization of a modern application. The topics addressed can be grouped into four areas.


Modernizing an application means taking the road that leads to the adoption of the cloud-native approach, benefiting from the great advantages it brings with it: scalability, resilience, flexibility. This path does not necessarily have to be an abrupt break with the processes already in place, the right strategy can in fact guarantee an effective and uninterrupted transition.

Not all legacy applications or services need to be completely replaced. Very often a few targeted interventions are enough to restore a product to its competitiveness and to start exploiting the advantages of the Cloud infrastructure.

The approaches to coordinate all these aspects according to the strategy that has been chosen, which is more cautious and progressive, or more decisive, are clearly identifiable. modernize your application.

What strategy to adopt to modernize your application


  • Rehosting

    The fastest and least expensive solution in terms of resources is Rehosting. The legacy application will be taken from the previous on-premise or cloud infrastructure and migrated to a new one, without or with very few changes to its code base.

    This allows you not to interfere in this phase with the workflow of the application already in place, ensuring continuity but with the disadvantage of not allowing access to the full potential of a complete cloud-native approach (flexibility and scalability above all). Rehosting is the best strategy when you are trying to immediately reduce the costs of an on-premise infrastructure or you just need to increase the resilience of your application or service. In addition, applications can very often be refactored quickly once in the Cloud and therefore Rehosting becomes a fundamental first step for the future development of cloud-native practices.
  • Refactoring

    Refactoring can be considered the first authentic step towards the adoption of the Cloud Native model.

    Refactoring is not limited to migrating a legacy application from an on-premise infrastructure to an IaaS, but represents a real own change of perspective that implies the containerization of the application itself and the intervention of an orchestration software such as Kubernetes. Although venturing into a total overhaul of a functioning application or service may seem risky, the cloud-native approach allows you to perform this step in a safe, controlled and gradual manner.
  • Rearchitecting

    This is the most drastic step towards Cloud Native: PaaS solutions, microservices and containers are adopted, profound changes are made to the code. Breaking down a monolithic legacy application into independent microservices is an advantage from multiple points of view: multiple teams can work in parallel on single features, releases can be fragmented and frequent, future maintenance easier. It is a time of transformation when Agile and DevOps approaches are adopted. It is not only the code that undergoes an important intervention, but also the culture of the organization that must be ready for a change of mentality.
  • Replacing

    If the application or a large part of it is replaced directly with an equivalent SaaS solution for functions.

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