Cloud’s viability has grown massively in recent years, with scalability, enterprise
mobility, lower infrastructure costs, and seamless management taking center stage.
While some companies have successfully shifted to the cloud and are reaping the
benefits, others are in the process of performing similar migrations. Considering that
there are various cloud migration strategies to pursue, these businesses must ensure
that they tread the right path to bring about the desired results.
A cloud migration strategy refers to the plan formulated by an organization to move the
resources (applications + data) residing in the existing infrastructure to the cloud.
To help with that, this article outlines the various cloud migration strategies suitable for
organizations of different sizes. But before that, let’s explore the factors that influence
migrations to the cloud in general.
Factors Influencing Cloud Migration
Planning for cloud migration is essential for companies moving their entire system to
the cloud and their existing users who’d want to capitalize on the business benefits it
To that end, some of the factors that influence the cloud migration strategy adopted by a
● Staying Updated on the Recent Trends
What seems to be trending today might become obsolete sometime in the future. Old
infrastructure does not customarily integrate well with the latest technologies and
accrues high costs.
However, establishing a cloud environment allows the users to keep upgrading
regularly. With the cloud, companies do not have to invest money at every stage of
their product life cycle, nor do they have to risk the integrity of data or the
performance of their applications when a component is updated.
If the company’s primary aim is to stay updated with the latest tech trends, then it is
always viable to use the refactoring strategy in cloud migration (discussed in detail
later on in this article).
● Keeping Cost Low
Undoubtedly, maintaining an in-house data center and server can be a very costly
and time-consuming endeavor. Contrarily, working in a cloud environment allows
companies to operate on a pay-as-you-go model. Simply put, a cloud server can be
decommissioned at any time, reducing the wastage of resources.
Some of the costs included in cloud migration are – the cost of IaaS services, moving
resources, and the cost of training employees.
Note: If the cost of maintaining the cloud exceeds the costs incurred by the existing
framework, the company must decide on which component to retain, refactor, and
● Ensuring Better Interoperability
Users invariably want to access applications from various devices like desktops to
smartwatches. To cater to these needs, the company must ensure its business and
technology structure constantly evolves. They can opt for refactoring if they want to
create an agile framework.
● Top-Notch Security and Compliance
Cloud migration results in a few security risks while transferring extensive data.
Organizations must ensure all the client information is stored in a different
framework and all the new access controls are in place.
In the same vein, some companies look for cloud services that allow configuring
server locations, ensuring the server is geographically closer and safe.
● Investment in the Cloud Model
Investing in the cloud is considered an operational expense. However, if a company
sticks to a cloud service provider for a specific period and pays costs upfront, it is a
capital expenditure. Many cloud service providers work based on subscriptions and
provide various discounts.
The mode of payment depends on the financial model chosen by the company. The
decision is made by the tech, business, and finance teams. Depending on the cost, the
company can choose a cloud provider during migration.
Cloud Migration Strategies
Here are some of the best cloud migration strategies to look forward to.
One of the most commonly used cloud migration strategies is the “classic lift and
shift cloud migration strategy” or “rehosting.”
Rehosting refers to migrating all the applications, data, and operating systems
available in the in-house server to a cloud-based platform.
It is the best for smaller organizations with simple workloads strategizing their
long-term plans regarding services and scalability. Besides, rehosting is for those
tech infrastructures that depend mainly on virtual machines.
● Since it does not entail making changes to the architecture, Lift and Shift
migration is a simple process.
● It makes planning and budgeting cloud service migration easy.
● Rehosting is faster when compared to other strategies.
● It eliminates the risk of breaking anything by playing with the application’s
● Sometimes this strategy fails to consider various other benefits of the cloud,
● Although it takes less time, it can become costly in the future.
● There are chances of failure due to complex application dependencies.
Some companies might want to change their entire enterprise software solutions to
start afresh with new tools — precisely where Repurchasing comes into play. It
focuses on preserving critical data and moving it to SaaS or PaaS cloud solutions.
Some examples of Repurchasing are transferring from CRM to Salesforce or
transferring a backend code previously hosted on-premises to a private cloud server.
● Easily scalable, highly flexible, and agile.
● You do not have to spend time and effort configuring the framework.
● It is very budget-friendly when compared to refactoring.
● The employees and end-users must be trained to work with new and
third-party systems, which require time and resources.
● It requires a high-speed bandwidth connection. Having a poor connection can
result in frequent downtimes.
● Repurchasing is not the right option if one uses a highly specialized
application with unique features.
Refactoring refers to re-engineering the application to become cloud-native. This
strategy involves modifying the existing software to take advantage of cloud-based
features like flexibility and scalability.
It is a complex process compared to other cloud migration approaches because it
involves making changes in the code. Companies who want to add new functionality
to upscale their businesses and cannot achieve it with the current framework can
opt for refactoring.
● It is easily scalable and flexible, reducing the ROI.
● Refactoring is highly cost-effective in the long term as it matches the actual
resource requirement.● They are quick, reusable, and offer on-demand provisioning.
● It has a high initial cost.
● Projects take long to create business value.
● Refactoring is not designed for beginners. It involves a lot of advanced coding,
automation, and DevOps skills.
● This cloud migration strategy requires many changes in the application,
which can result in various code and configuration errors.
Many enterprises find obsolete components that wouldn’t provide benefits after
being moved to the cloud. These modules can increase expenses and can be retired
to reduce costs and bolster security.
● This approach helps to free up space in the in-house data center or server.
● It reduces the cost of maintenance.
● Also, it reduces the risk of security attacks.
● If, in the future, the business needs the previously retired component,
building it from scratch can be a time-consuming process. It will also need a
lot of resources.
As elucidated above, an organization’s cloud migration strategy is an initiative to move
all the resources in the in-house server to the cloud server.
Choosing the right migration strategy helps in the company’s future growth. However,
you should set clear goals and understand what your business demands in order to
avoid failures. And if you face challenges while migrating to the cloud, you can always
approach a cloud migration specialist for advice