7 Cloud Migration Strategies in 2024

Shuja Najmee
April 15, 2024

Are you keeping pace with the digital revolution? Interestingly, 60% of corporate data now resides in the cloud, underscoring the trust businesses place in cloud platforms as a secure storage solution, according to Zippia. This surge points directly to the importance of mastering cloud migration strategies, a topic we'll delve into throughout this blog. 

Here, we break down what cloud migration is, how it functions, its benefits for your business, and why some migrations don't succeed. As we explore the seven cloud migration strategies, you'll gain clear insights into optimizing your approach to harness the full potential of the cloud.

Cloud migration strategies: What is cloud migration?

What is cloud migration?

Cloud migration is the process where businesses move their digital assets, services, applications, and databases to cloud infrastructure. 

Companies often transition from traditional on-premises IT infrastructure to more dynamic cloud environments to meet growing technological demands efficiently.

How long does it usually take?

How long does the cloud migration process typically take?

Typically, a straightforward cloud migration involving small to medium-sized data sets can be completed within a few weeks to three months. However, for larger enterprises with extensive and complex systems, the process might extend from six months to a year or even longer.

In practice, the timeline of most cloud migration strategies also hinges on the preparation and planning stages. 

For instance, a business might spend additional weeks or months before the actual migration to map out data dependencies and application interactions, ensuring minimal disruption to operations during the transition. Such detailed upfront analysis often aids in smoother execution and integration post-migration, demonstrating the importance of a well-thought-out migration strategy.

During the migration, IT teams might choose to move applications in phases. This staggered approach allows them to troubleshoot issues as they arise without overwhelming the system, ensuring each segment is fully functional within the new cloud environment before proceeding.

7 Rs in cloud migration

7 Rs of AWS cloud migration strategies you should know

Cloud migration is a critical strategy for businesses aiming to boost operational efficiency and scalability. 

The concept of the 7 Rs of cloud migration, popularized by AWS, outlines distinct approaches to transferring different aspects of your IT infrastructure to the cloud. Here are the 7 Rs of cloud migration strategies: 

1. Retire

Some applications may no longer provide enough value to justify their upkeep. Retiring outdated or redundant applications helps streamline your operations and cuts costs, allowing you to focus resources on more impactful areas.

2. Retain

Certain applications may not be ready for cloud migration due to various technical, legal, or financial constraints. Retaining these applications in their current environments and revisiting the migration decision later allows for flexibility and informed planning.

3. Rehost

Rehosting, or lift and shift, involves migrating applications to the cloud without altering their architecture. This method is akin to moving your existing applications "as is" to a new cloud residence, offering a quick migration path with minimal disruption.

4. Relocate

Similar to rehosting, one of the strategies for migrating to the cloud is called relocation, which involves moving applications to a cloud that uses the same hypervisor as your current setup. This approach minimizes change and disruption, providing a seamless transition with little to no downtime.

5. Repurchase

This approach involves moving from traditional software to a cloud-based subscription model, often referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS). It reduces the need for physical infrastructure maintenance and allows businesses to take advantage of continual updates and innovations.

6. Replatform

Replatforming means making some adjustments to optimize your applications for the cloud environment without a complete overhaul. 

These modifications could include changing the database to fit the cloud provider's managed database services better or adjusting the way the application handles sessions.

7. Refactor

Last on the list of cloud migration strategies is called refactoring, which is the most comprehensive migration approach involving significant changes to the application to fully exploit cloud-native features like serverless computing, autoscaling, and microservices. 

This strategy is ideal for businesses that require advanced functionalities and are prepared to invest in significant architectural changes.

Advantages of migrating to the cloud

Benefits of using different types of cloud migration

Are you still wondering if cloud migration is right for your business? Let's explore the eight critical benefits that make a successful cloud migration an essential strategy for modern businesses. 

Enhances flexibility

Moving to the cloud allows your business to adapt more dynamically to market demands. This flexibility means you can scale resources up or down based on real-time needs without investing in physical infrastructure.

For instance, retail businesses can easily handle increased traffic during holiday sales by adjusting their cloud capacity.

Reduces costs

Migrating to the cloud offers significant cost savings. You pay only for the resources you use, eliminating the need for large capital expenditures on hardware and maintenance. 

This shift from a capital expenditure model to an operational expenditure model is particularly beneficial for startups and small businesses looking to optimize budget usage.

Boosts collaboration

Your business can benefit from cloud migration strategies as it facilitates better collaboration among team members. 

With cloud services, employees can access, edit, and share documents anytime, from anywhere, enhancing productivity. A team working on a software development project can simultaneously access and update code without the need for physical data transfers.

Improves disaster recovery

Having a cloud migration plan enhances your business’s disaster recovery capabilities. With data backed up in the cloud across multiple secure locations, recovery processes are more robust and quicker. 

Cloud adoption ensures business continuity even if one data center faces an outage or a natural disaster.

Ensures security

Top-tier cloud service providers implement rigorous security measures that many businesses could not afford independently. These measures include encryption, access control, and security audits, safeguarding your data from unauthorized access and cyber threats.

Promotes innovation

By reducing the time IT staff spends on maintenance, the cloud frees them to focus on innovation and strategic tasks. This environment supports faster development and deployment of applications, helping businesses stay competitive in rapidly changing industries.

Increases reach

Cloud services are accessible from anywhere with internet access, allowing businesses to expand their operations globally without physical presence. For example, an e-commerce platform can serve customers across different continents seamlessly using different cloud migration strategies.

Streamlines management

Cloud solutions offer centralized management of applications and data, simplifying IT management tasks. 

Automated updates and patches reduce the burden on IT teams, ensuring systems are up-to-date and reducing vulnerabilities. This centralized approach also provides a clearer overview of resource utilization, improving decision-making processes.

Phases of cloud migration

Understanding the three phases of cloud services

Are you interested in moving to the cloud or using migration tools? Here are the three phases of cloud computing you should know: 

  • Planning phase
  • Mid-shift phase
  • Go-live phase

Planning phase

The journey to the cloud starts with meticulous planning. This phase includes assessing your IT infrastructure to identify what data and applications will migrate to the cloud. You'll determine the project's scope, the resources needed, and the potential impact on your operations.

A thorough risk assessment is also critical to identify potential security concerns and compliance issues. During this stage, you set clear objectives and KPIs to measure the success of the migration.

For example, a retail company might plan to migrate its customer relationship management system to improve data accessibility and enhance customer service capabilities.

Mid-shift phase

Once you've laid the groundwork in your cloud migration strategies, you enter the mid-shift phase, where the actual migration happens. This involves moving your data, applications, and services from an on-premises environment to the cloud. 

IT teams must execute the migration strategy developed during the planning phase, often using tools that automate parts of the process to minimize downtime and errors.

This phase requires close monitoring to address any issues promptly. During this phase, consider a financial services firm ensuring that transactional data transfers securely and without disrupting day-to-day operations, maintaining customer trust.

Go-live phase

The final phase is the go-live, where your systems begin to operate entirely in the cloud environment. This phase includes thorough testing to ensure everything runs smoothly and meets the predefined performance criteria. 

Training your staff to work with the new cloud-based systems is also crucial during this phase to ensure they can utilize the latest tools effectively.

After everything is confirmed to be working correctly, it’s time to monitor the systems for any post-migration issues and make necessary adjustments. A successful go-live example could be an e-commerce business that starts to see faster page loading times and improved customer experiences, leading to increased sales.

Steps to migrating to the cloud

How to migrate to the cloud (step-by-step in cloud computing)

After understanding cloud migration strategies, it’s now time to migrate to the cloud. Here’s how you can efficiently transition to a cloud computing environment:

Step 1: Assess your needs

Start by evaluating what parts of your business need to move to the cloud. Identify which applications and data will benefit most from cloud capabilities such as scalability, accessibility, and cost-efficiency. This assessment often involves analyzing your current IT infrastructure and business goals.

For instance, a company might find that moving its customer relationship management system to the cloud allows for real-time data updates and better customer service.

Step 2: Plan your migration

Once you know what needs migrating, it's time to plan how to do it. This stage involves selecting the right cloud provider and deciding on the migration strategy—whether you'll rehost, re-platform, or refactor.

Planning also includes setting a realistic timeline and budget. It's crucial here to involve stakeholders and IT teams to align expectations and resources.

Step 3: Secure your data

Security is paramount in cloud migration. Ensure that the cloud service you choose complies with industry standards and offers robust security measures.

Implement strong data encryption, access controls, and regular security audits. For businesses dealing with sensitive information, like healthcare providers, compliance with regulations such as HIPAA is a must.

Step 4: Migrate in phases

To minimize disruptions, migrate in manageable phases. Start with less critical applications to test the cloud environment and refine your approach based on those experiences. 

This phased approach helps mitigate risk and allows your IT team to troubleshoot any issues that arise without affecting your entire operation.

Step 5: Train your team

Before going live, ensure that your team is trained to use the new cloud environment. This training should cover how to maximize the benefits of cloud tools, manage data effectively, and address potential security concerns. Regular training sessions help foster adaptability and ease the transition.

Step 6: Monitor and optimize

After using different cloud migration strategies, continuously monitor the performance and security of your cloud systems. Use cloud analytics tools to track how well your applications are performing and where you can make improvements. 

Optimization might involve scaling resources to meet demand peaks or tweaking your setup to reduce costs.

Step 7: Review and iterate

Finally, review the entire process to learn from what worked and what didn’t. This review can guide future migrations and IT strategies. Regular assessments help ensure that your cloud infrastructure evolves with your business needs and advances in technology.

Why choose Najmee?

Najmee: Your trusted partner vs. common cloud migration challenges

Understanding cloud migration strategies is key for businesses looking to boost efficiency and adaptability. As your ideal partner, Najmee offers over 20 years of expertise in delivering exceptional IT services tailored to your unique needs.

Our comprehensive range includes managed IT support to keep your systems operational, strategic advisory to align technology with your business objectives, and robust cybersecurity measures to protect your data.

With our advanced solutions, like unified communications, you ensure seamless and secure business operations. Our approach blends proactive support with cutting-edge technology solutions, positioning us as leaders in IT services.

Contact us now!

Take the next step in IT excellence with us! 

Thinking about cloud migration? Contact us today. Partnering with Najmee means upgrading your technology and investing in a relationship that prioritizes your business’s growth and security. Let’s work together to turn your technology into a strategic asset that propels your business forward.

Frequently asked questions

What are the 7 cloud migration strategies?

The 7 cloud migration strategies include rehosting, re-platforming, refactoring, repurchasing, retiring, retaining, and relocating. Each strategy offers a unique approach to transitioning workloads to the cloud, from simple lifts and shifts to complete application redesigns, tailored to maximize efficiency and alignment with a company’s cloud migration objectives.

What are the Rs of cloud migration?

The Rs of cloud migration refers to a set of strategic options that businesses can adopt to migrate their applications and data to the cloud. These strategies range from basic rehosting (often termed lift-and-shift) to more complex rearchitecting or refactoring, each offering different levels of cloud integration and transformation.

What is the best migration strategy for moving data to the cloud?

The best migration strategy for moving data to the cloud involves a comprehensive assessment of your data's complexity and sensitivity, followed by selecting a method like application migration or hybrid cloud migration that minimally disrupts operations while ensuring data integrity and security.

What are the different types of cloud migration strategies?

Cloud migration strategies include public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and multi-cloud solutions. Each type offers unique advantages, from the extensive scalability of the public cloud to the enhanced control and security of private cloud setups. Transitioning workloads to the cloud can be tailored to meet specific business needs and goals.

What are the benefits of cloud migration?

The benefits of cloud migration include increased scalability, enhanced disaster recovery, reduced IT costs, and improved flexibility. Migrating to a cloud model also helps streamline operations and can significantly reduce cloud costs by optimizing resource usage.

Can you describe the benefits of cloud migration specific to hybrid environments?

The benefits of cloud migration to a hybrid cloud include greater control over private data while still leveraging the scalability of the public cloud for less sensitive operations. Hybrid cloud migration allows for a balanced approach, maintaining essential security without sacrificing the flexibility cloud environments offer.

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