To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Today it seems that regardless of the problem, Cloud computing is the answer. When we analyse cloud services from the likes of Azure and AWS, they are really just sophisticated outsourcing agreements, along with many of the challenges found in outsourcing deals.

The concept seemed easy, take you workload from your old worn-out servers and put them onto a cloud platform. The reality is far trickier and a detailed analysis of the workload needs to take place to assess whether it can be moved to the cloud. There are many tools available to do this and many companies that have resources trained in the use of these tools. Unfortunately, a lot of the code analysis is done manually and so two analysts may come up with slightly different results. Depending on the size and complexity of the portfolio, this analysis can take weeks or even months. As with the SEER suite, we went looking for tools and came across the CAST Highlight suite. In a nutshell, it scans and analyses the source code, providing valuable insight into not only the ability of the application to move to the cloud, but also how resilient the code is as well as identifying exposure to open source code. One word – incredible.

More information is available here:

CAST Highlight provides 4 sets of data:

Cloud Readiness

Roadblocks & Boosters

Software Health

Resiliency & Agility

Software Composition

OSS Vulnerabilities & IP Risks

Private Data Detection

GDPR & PII Patterns

How does it work?

Rather than replicate the excellent work from the CAST team, have a look at their website: CAST Highlight Analytics – How it works (

Typical CAST charts


CAST provides some backfired function point metrics. LODESTAR & Galorath can take that information and use it as input into SEER for Software (also referred to as SEER-SEM) and develop detailed remediation estimates providing insight into roles, effort, cost and risk.

 SEER for IT has a number of Knowledge Bases for cloud computing, which when coupled with the estimate from SEER-SEM, provide a complete cost of ownership for the project.

CAST Implementation

The team at CAST Highlight have been refining the tools and approaches since 2004, with CAST Highlight launched in 2017. This sees a recommended implementation approach based on data from the tool coupled with native knowledge of the organisation. An analysis of the applications may suggest that Application_XYZ is a reasonable candidate to migrate. Knowledge from the organisation may indicate that if that application is out of action for a few hours, the company loses millions of dollars. More scrutiny and testing may be required prior to the migration…

As part of the CAST Highlight fees, support from he CAST team is provided to assist setting up and running the project.

Typically the approach is divided into getting the source-code into CAST Highlight with the least amount of effort and surveys developed and sent to key individuals to better understand the criticality of the various applications.

With the insight provided by CAST Highlight (and SEER), the organisation can make informed decisions with regard to their cloud migration.

Typical SEER charts

SEER risk chart
SEER effort chart