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Everything You Need to Know About Cloud Migration


Emily Keeling

Posted Jun 14, 2024

Moving to the cloud offers numerous benefits, but the process can be complex and daunting. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about cloud migration, from understanding its benefits to implementing a successful strategy.


What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is the process of moving data, applications, and other business elements from on-premises infrastructure to a cloud-based environment. This can involve transitioning from one cloud provider to another (cloud-to-cloud migration) or moving from a traditional data center to a public, private, or hybrid cloud.


Why Migrate to the Cloud?

  1. Cost Savings

Moving to the cloud eliminates the need for expensive hardware and reduces the costs associated with maintaining on-premises infrastructure. The cloud operates on a pay-as-you-go model, so businesses only pay for what they use.


  1. Scalability and Flexibility

Cloud environments can scale resources up or down based on demand, ensuring optimal performance and cost-efficiency. There’s a global network of data centres, enabling businesses to expand their global operations seamlessly.


  1. Enhanced Security

Cloud providers invest heavily in security, offering advanced features such as encryption, identity management, and threat detection. Many cloud providers comply with industry standards and regulations, helping businesses meet their compliance requirements.


  1. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

Cloud services provide robust backup and disaster recovery solutions, ensuring business continuity in the event of a disaster.


Types of Cloud Migration

  1. Rehosting (Lift and Shift)

Rehosting involves moving applications and data to the cloud without significant changes. This is quick and straightforward, with minimal disruption to daily work. However, it may not fully leverage cloud-native benefits.


  1. Replatforming (Lift, Tinker, and Shift)

Replatforming involves making some optimisations to the application during migration.

This gains some cloud-native benefits without having to undergo a complete overhaul, but requires more effort than rehosting.


  1. Refactoring (Re-architecting)

Refactoring involves redesigning applications to fully exploit cloud-native features and services. This maximises the benefits of the cloud, but is time-consuming and resource-intensive.


  1. Repurchasing

Repurchasing involves moving to a new, cloud-native product (e.g., switching from a self-hosted CRM to a SaaS CRM). This often leads to better integration and functionality, but requires significant readjustment and training.


  1. Retiring

Retiring involves shutting down outdated applications that are no longer needed to reduce costs and complexity. It’s important to thoroughly check that nothing critical is lost.


  1. Retaining

Retaining involves keeping some applications on-premises, often due to compliance, latency, or other reasons. This maintains control over critical applications, but means the business may not fully benefit from cloud advantages.


Steps to a Successful Cloud Migration

  1. Planning and Assessment

Understand why you’re migrating and what you hope to achieve.

Evaluate your existing infrastructure, applications, and dependencies.


  1. Choosing the Right Cloud Provider

Consider factors such as cost, performance, security, and support.

Be aware of potential challenges in switching providers in the future.


  1. Developing a Migration Strategy

Decide which applications to move first based on their complexity, importance, and dependencies.

Select the appropriate type of migration (rehosting, replatforming, etc.) for each application.


  1. Executing the Migration

Start with a small, non-critical application to test the migration process.

Move data carefully to ensure integrity and security.

Migrate applications in stages to minimise downtime.


  1. Post-Migration

Testing: Verify that all applications are functioning correctly in the new environment.

Fine-tune your cloud environment for performance and cost-efficiency.

Ensure your team is trained to manage and operate in the new cloud environment.


Common Challenges in Cloud Migration

  1. Downtime and Disruption

Plan migrations during off-peak hours and use strategies like blue-green deployment to minimise downtime.


  1. Data Security and Compliance

Ensure robust encryption, access controls, and compliance with relevant regulations.


  1. Cost Management

Monitor cloud usage and implement cost-management tools to avoid unexpected expenses.


  1. Complexity and Compatibility

Conduct thorough testing and use migration tools that ensure compatibility and smooth transition.



Cloud migration is a powerful strategy for modernising your IT infrastructure, enhancing flexibility, and reducing costs. However, it requires careful planning, execution, and ongoing management to reap its full benefits.

By understanding the types of migrations, planning strategically, and addressing common challenges, your business can successfully navigate the cloud migration journey and achieve lasting success.

Whether you’re just starting or looking to optimise your cloud presence, the insights provided in this guide will help you make informed decisions and pave the way for a smooth transition to the cloud.