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Modernizing Applications With The 7 R Strategy

The path to modernizing applications must follow a phased and thoughtful approach to overcome potential hindrances without risking the core functionalities. This requires organizations to make informed decisions around challenges, value delivery, ROI, and cost. This is where the 7 R strategy for application modernization has become a boon for organizations.

The degree of disruption continues to spur across industries, however, the omnipresence of this trend has given rise to numerous challenges for organizations with technology at their core. Most organizations across the globe are now eyeing the shift to cloud platforms to tackle the evolution of challenges cost-effectively. According to a recent study, by 2022, over two-fifths of organizations worldwide will look to public cloud to run their workloads. 

Cloud Readiness Assessment for Modernizing Applications

The first step for organizations to begin with modernizing applications is assessment. As objectives of organizations vary according to their requirements, assessing the cloud readiness of their applications helps them identify the gaps and gauge ways to bridge them accurately. Key aspects that organizations are recommended to consider include timeline, budget, cost, competitor strategies, and whether they need to source expertise externally for modernization.

Organizations often underrate the last aspect, trying to depend on their internal members, who may not be able to orchestrate the process despite being proficient with technology. Resorting to renowned cloud service providers, such as Blazeclan, can help organizations with everything. This ranges from planning and assessment to optimization and modernization of their applications within their budget constraints.

The 7 R Strategy for Modernizing Applications

The 7 R strategy is applicable for only those organizations that eye cloud migration and modernizing applications becomes a totally independent activity. These strategies help organizations achieve application modernization with near-zero downtime and risks. The strategies include, retain, rehost, replatform, refactor, repurchase, relocate, and retire.


Removing applications with obsolete components and redundant functionalities makes it cost-effective for organizations. Additionally, it helps organizations optimize their existing codebase and applications with reduced effort and rids the requirement to build from scratch. Once organizations complete discovering applications for migration and modernization, it is necessary that they identify the ownership of applications. 

According to AWS, close to one-fifth of the enterprise IT portfolio has become obsolete and it must be removed. The savings this will entail is touted to boost the business of organizations, directing the focus of their teams to applications in demand and eliminating the number of applications that must be secured.


This strategy involves moving applications without making any changes to them. This falls in line with the objective of organizations to ensure a faster migration. Rehosting is often automated with the help of tools while some organizations prefer a manual approach to get a thorough know-how on moving legacy systems to the cloud.

This strategy can also be termed as the ‘lift and shift’ of applications, where they are redeployed on a virtual environment with minimum effort. While the data of applications is migrated without changing it, the applications work seamlessly in the new environment. Rehosting happens relatively faster, providing companies the opportunity to make optimizations moving forward with low upfront investments.


Making optimizations to the existing cloud platform of organizations for realizing tangible benefits is what replatforming strategy employs. This enables organizations to keep the core architecture of their applications unchanged, thereby reducing the time required to manage database instances. 

Organizations can achieve this by migrating their applications to one of the database-as-a-service (DBaaS) platforms, such as Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). Another option for organizations is to migrate their applications to a fully-managed environment, such as AWS Elastic Beanstalk.

This helps organizations in ebbing licensing costs while keeping the core architecture unchanged. This phase is much similar to rehosting, wherein the cloud vendor is changed or different cloud services are used from a single vendor.While the benefits involved in replatforming while modernizing applications are similar to that of rehosting, the former needs greater effort for optimization.


The refactor strategy enables organizations to re-imagine the way applications are developed and architected with the help of cloud-native features. Refactoring of applications is driven by critical business requirements that mandate adding features, scaling, or enhancing performance, which would be challenging to realize in the existing environment. 

While deploying this strategy becomes cost-intensive, it is yet deemed most beneficial among organizations having an appealing product-market fit. Refactoring basically involves morphing the architecture for modernizing applications. During the process of application modernization, organizations prefer serverless architectures to unlock newer opportunities. However, this process entails the need for a greater amount of effort and time.


This is the strategy where applications that need major refactoring but are critical for organizations’s business are prioritized and stacked before migration and modernization. Organizations must only move applications that make business sense. As the vitality of their portfolio grows, there will be lesser instances where their applications will have to be retained. 


The relocate strategy helps organizations migrate their infrastructure to the cloud environment, without the need for new hardware, modifications in existing operations, or rewriting applications. This strategy supports the compatibility of VMs and portability of workloads between the on-premises and cloud environments. The relocate strategy is specific to cases where organizations shift their infrastructure to the VMware Cloud.


Repurchasing is the move toward adoption of software-as-a-service (SaaS). For example replacing applications deployed on-premises with an open-source server in the SaaS model. Organizations often find cloud-based software, which can replace their existing on-premise solutions by purchasing licence to the software or platform. This strategy is commonly termed drop and shop.

The End of the Line

Modernizing applications is a tedious and a time-intensive process. With a good strategy and governed orchestration, it can be simplified and a smooth transition to the cloud can be achieved by organizations. Partnering with the right cloud service provider will help organizations to embark on a seamless application modernization journey. Also, it will help them focus their resources on their mission-critical objectives, thereby improving the overall efficiency and productivity.

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