What is a cloud migration strategy?

Businesses are always looking for new ways to optimise their operations and gain a competitive edge. Cloud migration is a powerful solution, allowing businesses to move their data, applications, and IT resources from on-premises servers to the cloud. 

But what exactly is cloud migration, and how can it benefit your organisation? This article explores the world of cloud migration, explaining its core concepts, different approaches, and the significant advantages it offers businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re considering a cloud migration or simply want to understand this growing trend, this article will give you all the essential knowledge you need to navigate the exciting possibilities of the cloud!

What is cloud migration?

Cloud migration is the process of moving a company’s digital assets, like applications, data, and IT resources, to the cloud. This can be done entirely, or just partially. The primary motivation behind cloud migration is often to leverage the scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness of cloud computing. By migrating to the cloud, businesses can benefit from on-demand access to computing resources, increased agility, improved collaboration, and reduced maintenance overhead.

Where are the digital assets moved from? Typically, companies move their data and applications from on-premises servers. On-premises servers are basically just computers with specialised software that a company owns and maintains itself.

Where are the digital assets moved to? The destination for cloud migration is a cloud computing environment. There are different cloud service models, but most commonly companies choose public cloud providers.

What is a cloud computing migration strategy?

A cloud computing migration strategy outlines the approach and steps a business will take to transition its digital assets, such as applications, data, and workloads, from an on-premises environment to the cloud. Developing a well-defined migration strategy is crucial for ensuring a smooth and successful transition while minimising risks and disruptions to the business. 

Here are the steps involved in a cloud computing migration strategy:

Step 1: Assessment and planning

  1. Evaluate existing IT infrastructure, applications, and workloads to identify candidates for migration.
  2. Assess factors such as dependencies, performance requirements, security considerations, and compliance requirements.
  3. Determine the most suitable migration approach for each workload (lift and shift, replatforming, refactoring, etc.).
  4. Develop a detailed migration plan, including timelines, resource requirements, and milestones.

Step 2: Risk management

  1. Identify potential risks and challenges associated with migration, such as data loss, downtime, security vulnerabilities, and compliance issues.
  2. Develop mitigation strategies to address identified risks and minimise their impact during migration.

Step 3: Cloud service selection

  1. Evaluate different cloud service providers (such as AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) based on factors like pricing, performance, security, availability, scalability, and compliance.
  2. Select the most appropriate cloud services (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) for each workload based on its requirements and compatibility with the cloud provider’s offerings.

Step 4: Data migration

  1. Plan and execute the migration of data from on-premises storage systems to cloud storage services.
  2. Ensure data integrity, consistency, and security during the migration process.
  3. Consider data transfer methods, such as online transfer, offline transfer, or a combination of both, depending on the volume and sensitivity of the data.

Step 5: Application migration

  1. Migrate applications to the cloud environment according to the chosen migration approach.
  2. Test applications thoroughly in the cloud environment to ensure functionality, performance, and compatibility.
  3. Implement any necessary adjustments or optimisations to optimise application performance and leverage cloud-native features.

Step 6: Training and change management

  1. Provide training and support to staff members to familiarise them with the cloud environment and new processes.
  2. Communicate with stakeholders about the migration process, expected changes, and potential impacts on business operations.
  3. Implement change management practices to ensure a smooth transition and minimise resistance to change.

Step 7: Monitoring and optimisation

  1. Establish monitoring and management processes to track the performance, availability, and cost of cloud resources.
  2. Continuously optimise cloud resources to improve efficiency, scalability, and cost-effectiveness.
  3. Implement security controls and compliance measures to protect data and ensure regulatory compliance in the cloud environment.

Helpful tips for cloud migration from Mintivo:

  1. A well-defined strategy ensures a smooth transition with minimal disruption to your operations.
  2. Not all workloads are ideal candidates for cloud migration. The strategy should identify which applications and data to move first.
  3. The cloud computing migration strategy you choose should outline the approach you’ll take to migrate each element. There are different methods (which we’ll get into in a minute) that all have different benefits and will work for different situations.

What are the types of cloud migration strategies?

Cloud migration involves transferring resources from physical servers or data centres to virtualized infrastructure hosted by cloud service providers. Cloud migration can involve a few different approaches:

Rehosting (lift and shift)

This involves migrating applications and data without making significant changes to their architecture. It’s often a quick and straightforward approach but may not fully leverage cloud-native capabilities.


Also known as lift, tinker, and shift, this approach involves making some adjustments to applications to optimise them for the cloud environment. It may involve minor changes to take advantage of cloud services while preserving much of the existing architecture.

Refactoring (re-architecting)

This involves redesigning applications to fully leverage cloud-native features, such as microservices, serverless computing, or containerisation. While more complex and time-consuming, this approach can boast significant benefits in terms of scalability, performance, and cost efficiency.


This involves replacing existing software with cloud-based alternatives, such as migrating from an on-premises CRM system to a cloud-based CRM service.


Some legacy systems or applications may be retired altogether if they are no longer needed or if there are suitable cloud-based alternatives.


In some cases, certain applications or data may remain on-premises due to regulatory compliance, security concerns, or other reasons.

What are the benefits of cloud migration?

Cloud migration offers numerous benefits to business across various industries. Here are some of the key advantages migrating to the cloud:

Scalability: Cloud computing allows businesses to scale their resources up or down quickly and easily in response to changing demand. This scalability enables businesses to handle fluctuations in workload without over or under-provisioning resources, thus improving efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Cost savings: Cloud migration often leads to cost savings by reducing the need for upfront capital investments in hardware and infrastructure. Instead, organisations can pay for cloud services on a pay-as-you-go basis, which typically results in lower overall costs, especially for variable workloads.

Flexibility and agility: Cloud computing provides businesses with the flexibility to innovate and experiment more rapidly by providing on-demand access to a wide range of computing resources, such as virtual machines, storage, databases, and development platforms. This agility enables businesses to respond quickly to market changes and customer needs.

Improved performance: Cloud providers typically offer high-performance computing infrastructure with advanced networking capabilities and data centres located in strategic locations around the world. By migrating to the cloud, organisations can benefit from improved performance, reliability, and availability compared to on-premises infrastructure.

Enhanced collaboration: Cloud computing enables seamless collaboration among distributed teams by providing centralised access to data, applications, and resources from anywhere with an internet connection. This improved collaboration fosters innovation, productivity, and teamwork within organisations.

Increased security: Cloud providers invest heavily in security measures to protect their infrastructure and customer data against cyber threats, such as data breaches, malware, and denial-of-service attacks. By migrating to the cloud, organisations can leverage the expertise and resources of cloud providers to enhance their overall security posture.

Disaster recovery and business continuity: Cloud computing offers built-in disaster recovery and backup capabilities, allowing organisations to easily replicate and recover data and applications in the event of a disaster or outage. This improves business continuity and minimises downtime, thus reducing the risk of financial loss and reputational damage.

Global reach: Cloud computing allows businesses to deploy applications and services globally with minimal effort, thanks to the extensive network of data centres maintained by cloud providers. This global reach allows businesses to expand their market reach and serve customers in different geographic regions more effectively.

Businesses are continually looking for ways to adapt, innovate, and remain competitive. Cloud migration represents a pivotal shift in how businesses manage their digital infrastructure and assets. Whether you’re exploring providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP), this fundamental change brings forth a host of opportunities and challenges that are well worth exploring

If you’re considering migrating to the cloud, why not speak to Mintivo? At Mintivo, we understand the significance of this move, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Our comprehensive 6-step plan is designed to streamline the transition process, ensuring a seamless and efficient migration to the cloud.

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