What is Application Migration

Madhuri Shrestha
April 17, 2023

Application migration, as a literal translation, is the process of moving software applications from one environment to another. This could mean the migration is either from one server to another or from on-premise infrastructure to the cloud, or from one cloud provider to another.

The main purpose of application migration is to aid improvement in the performance, scalability, and reliability of the application whether it be Ruby On Rails migration or any other technical stack really. It can also help organisations reduce costs by moving to more cost-effective infrastructure. However, application migration can be a complex process and requires expert guidance from a software consultant. We are here to explore the application migration process, strategies, and understand the potential risks.

What Is The Application Migration Process?

The application migration process requires a lot of preparation and testing from our part. The process includes the steps of migration planning, mock testing, group migration and post migration testing. Let’s delve a bit deeper into each of these steps.


For this major change, we need to have a good application migration plan in place. Hence, migration planning is the first and most crucial step in the application migration process.

This starts with assessing the current application environment and then, defining the goals and requirements for the migration. During the planning phase, it’s important to identify potential issues that may occur during the migration process and develop a mitigation plan.This will allow us to fallback to a point where the application will be up and running. Proper planning can help reduce the risks associated with application migration.

Mock Testing

Mock testing is the process of testing the application in a simulated environment to identify any potential issues before the actual migration. This helps teams and businesses identify and fix problems before they impact the end users. Mock testing is a critical step in the application migration process as it helps ensure a seamless migration without any disruption of service.

Group Migration

Group migration involves migrating applications in batches rather than all at once. This allows organisations to avoid downtime and reduce the risk of disruption to business operations. Group migration allows organisations to monitor and manage the migration process more effectively, ensuring that each application is migrated successfully. This also helps us identify issues quickly, in any case something goes wrong during the application migration process.

Post Migration Testing

Post migration testing involves testing the application after the migration is complete to ensure that it is working as expected. It is essential for us to identify and fix any issues that may have emerged due to the migration process. Post migration testing helps the business ensure that the application is fully functional and ready to use.

What Are The Application Migration Strategies?

There are several approaches to application migration and we need to be intentional in adopting strategies that suit our requirements the best. Otherwise, a hasty and ill-prepared decision of application migration can cause more harm than good.

We are going to discuss the strategies organisations can use depending on their goals and requirements.


Rehosting involves moving the application to a new environment without making any changes to the application code. It is a quick and straightforward approach to application migration.

One thing to consider is that it may not result in significant performance improvement but this could be an alternative to manage costs as well as the first step to a series of application migration processes.


Refactoring is an approach that involves modifying the application code to optimise it for the new environment. This approach can improve performance, scalability, and reliability but requires significant development effort


Revision involves making minor modifications to the application code to ensure that it is compatible with the new environment. This approach can help organisations save time and resources, but may not result in significant improvements.


Rebuild involves rebuilding the application from scratch using modern technologies. This is basically re-architecting the whole application and can result in significant improvements in performance, scalability, and reliability. This requires a significant development effort to lead and deliver but provides a substantial return.


Sometimes as a team and a business, we need to identify some applications that need to be replaced with something better. Under this strategy, we replace the existing application with a new application or integrate with a service that meets the organisation’s requirements. This approach can result in significant improvements but may require significant investment as well.


Retain involves keeping the existing application as is and not migrating it. We need to identify the applications that are nearing the end of their life cycle or are not critical to the organisation’s operations.

This would save us from unnecessary investments and help us focus on the applications that require our attention. Sometimes no action is the best strategy.

What Are The Risks Of Application Migration?

While application migration can provide significant benefits, it can also involve quite a few risks that organisations should be aware of.

Technical Challenges

Technical challenges are a common risk associated with application migration. Technical challenges could occur due to differences in the environment between the source and destination platforms. These differences can cause incompatibilities between the application and the new environment. For instance, the application might have dependencies on specific libraries or operating systems that are not supported in the new environment. This could cause issues during the migration process, and the application might not function correctly after the migration.

Furthermore, for large applications with complex dependencies, the possible modifications to the application code required for application migration can be complicated and may cause the application to not work as expected, leading to technical issues.

To mitigate these risks, organisations should conduct thorough planning and mock testing before migrating the application

Unanticipated Costs

Application migration can be a complex process, requiring a significant amount of time and resources. Migration can be expensive due to several factors, such as hardware upgrades, software licenses, and professional services. Moreover, there could be unforeseen expenses due to unexpected issues that arise during the migration process. These costs can add up and may not have been accounted for in the initial budget.

Unexpected Downtime

Application migration could take longer than planned and lead to unexpected downtime. Downtime can have significant consequences for businesses, including lost productivity, revenue, and customer trust. If the application is unavailable for an extended period, it can result in lost business opportunities and damage the company’s reputation.

Therefore, it is essential to have a contingency plan in place to minimise the impact of unexpected downtime. For this, we need to have prepared backup systems or alternative hosting arrangements to ensure that the application remains available during the migration process and the downtime does not impact our end users.

reinteractive Migrates Your Application With Ease!

With such crucial and high risks involved in the application migration process, application migration may seem like a bite bigger than we can chew. But with proper planning using the guidance and involvement of professional help with great expertise like reinteractive provides, we can mitigate these risks and come up with a good strategy and contingency plan that will help us deliver the application migration with great results and measured cost and risks.

We are ready to help you with your application requirements - contact us for a free consultation!