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What is cloud migration? How to Make a Rapid Move to the Cloud


October 31, 2022

Businesses are dynamic in nature, and so are all the IT assets relied upon to run and support business demands would need innovation and growth. As more enterprises are adopting to the Cloud, it warrants immigrating many assets to the Cloud for higher efficiencies, scale, and cost benefits. This move – called the Cloud migration, is the process of moving an enterprise’s IT assets and databases, services, IT resources, and applications either fully or partially to the Cloud. The term also applies when moving from one Cloud to another. Obviously, it’s no easy task and needs detailed planning and preparation that begins well in advance before narrowing down on the right migration strategy. The better this pre-planning, the greater the results in savings and flexibility.

What are the 6 benefits of Cloud migration?

As stated above, the very decision that greenlights Cloud migration is considered very carefully. Because the idea is to step away from legacy infrastructure and monolithic architecture and move to the Cloud, thus leading to multiple operational, financial, technological, and environmental benefits. In the new normal, the Cloud is now considered almost a de-facto home to most enterprises’ IT assets. Indeed, it can be safely assumed that it was purely because of greater cloud migration during the pandemic that, were enterprises are able to stay operational. Now, more than a home, it’s a powerful driving force for accelerating digital transformation and being future-ready. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits Cloud migration can offer:

1. Deploy faster

Business cycles are hugely frenetic and they are getting even more so. To cope with it, the cloud ensures faster provisioning & deployment of infrastructure, applications, data, and other services. When servers can be provisioned in a matter of hours, why bother purchasing them, and setting them up? With the cloud, it’s faster, cheaper, and simpler! Beyond business cycles, the cloud can also help test and deploy new applications, while ensuring usual production stays undisrupted. Carpe diem!

2. Innovating on the fly

Perhaps the most important agenda in many business leaders’ minds is innovation. Giving wings to thought provoking ideas, and getting it materialized is a different matter altogether. With business cycles being frenetic as it is, flying in time is as important as the vision to fly itself. It’s here that the Cloud can offer transformative and disruptive computing models possible for enterprises to innovate better and faster.

3. Cost savings & optimization

Capex savings are the magical word to any CXO’s! Cloud services being available at nominal cost yields significant savings in Capex cost. Also, it provides auto-scaling of any or all digital assets, services, and applications. In other words, pay-per-use, and pay when in use.

4. Enhanced data security

Security concerns are enough to stress out any member in the boardroom, with its potential impact can be felt far and wide. Using the right frameworks and with proper security protocols in place, the Cloud can provide far more enhanced security when compared to traditional IT environments. This is one of the key factor which is the topmost priority for any cloud service providers to attract the business users.

5. Greater agility & flexibility

Who wouldn’t want to simplify their IT infrastructure? Legacy IT infrastructure has always been a quagmire to deal with even for the most experienced SME’s. However, with the Cloud, simplicity is a given, even as it enables agility and flexibility in many other ways. This is yet another critical factor for enterprises to consider when they need the ability to operate virtually anywhere. From operations to maintenance, the Cloud can be accessed easily, thereby reducing the need for any physical staff presence. Virtual machines being flexible, you can scale up or down, as and when required, and switch to multiple redundancies almost in real-time in case of a service outage.

6. Improved scalability & elasticity

Cloud service providers have enormous hardware and software resources at their disposal. This is a huge advantage for companies that need this scale rapidly with little disruption to normal business processes. As the company and its requirements grow, the cloud infrastructure grows as per requirements too. Global servers ensure that no matter where the company’s employees or customers are located, the process and user experience flow seamlessly.

Considering these benefits, enterprises today have multiple Cloud services to choose from: public, private, hybrid, and multi-Cloud. So, now if you have decided on migrating to the Cloud, the next step is to give equally serious thought to the process itself. Why? Read on!

The Cloud migration process and its criticality to the outcome

While it is easy to buy into the benefits of Cloud migration, it is equally tough (yet critically important) to understand and get thoroughly involved in the process. The real success of your Cloud migration strategy will depend on it and it begins by asking three key questions: Why, What, and How.


This question is for the leadership to answer, with a clear purpose and vision set in cement! Ideally, it should contain a baseline of current IT infrastructure and application stack with future Cloud environment KPIs for measuring the success.


Take stock of what’s in your environment, including all interdependencies, then calendar the entire migration schedule. See which are the data center or applications and database that can be moved as they are (rehosting), or need reworking (replatforming, refactoring). Figure out what tools can help simplifying your migration approach.


Time to roll those sleeves up and get your hands cloudy. When you’re ready to start with your cloud migration, it’s typically best to start with something not overly complex or business-critical. With any luck, that quick win will boost excitement and teach you some things along the way.

Applications should be designed, migrated, and validated using one of the migration strategies covered below. After making the move, always test everything before decommissioning legacy systems. This may mean running two environments for a time, but it can be an invaluable failsafe in case Murphy’s Law decides to present itself.

For migrating applications and data, it would be a good idea to begin with something not complex or business-critical. In this way, risks are further minimized. Once you’re up there, applications should be designed, migrated, and validated. With a thorough Cloud migration checklist in hand, the process becomes more seamless and non-disruptive. Knowing which milestones are crossed and which are coming up also helps keep an eye on all the moving pieces.

Cloud migration strategies: The 6 Rs

Formulating a Cloud migration strategy is an in-depth process, but the planning stage often identifies what is in the potential migration environment, the interdependencies involved with migrating elements and different systems, which can be migrated, and what stays. Popularly and collectively known as the “6Rs of migration,” the migration strategy features Retiring, Retaining, Rehosting, Replatforming, Refactoring, and Re-architecting.

1. Retire

What should go and what can stay? Evaluating this sheds light on the value of each product, service, asset, or application. Not only does this help identify legacy assets that are resource-hoggers, it can also help save on costs by retiring them, instead of further maintenance.

2. Retain

In many cases, some elements of your environment may not be migration friendly and need to be retained as-is due to varied reasons. Retaining these on-premises is prudent and considers to be the right decision.

3. Rehost

Otherwise known as “lift and shift”, rehosting is a quick solution to migrate with minimal effort. Ideal for initial migrations, Rehosting helps move existing physical and virtual servers into an IaaS solution that hosts servers, storage, and networking hardware in a virtualized environment. Even applications can be “lifted and shifted” to cloud environment, however you will not realize the full benefits of cloud environment. Later, point of time you may regret as this operating expense might shoot up compared to while they were on on-premises environment. And the applications might not perform with the required agility and scalability which you may would have thought about on moving them to cloud environment.

4. Replatform

For mature organizations with complex legacy IT systems that are too structured for migration, they may need emulating through a virtual machine for compatibility with modern Cloud services. Replatforming is thus strictly advised for enterprises that cannot restructure their IT systems.

5. Repurchase

A highly favoured option, Repurchasing, is a quick and easy way to access cloud-based bespoke SaaS services. SaaS helps migrating existing data and applications and transforming them into a Cloud-based environment.

6. Refactor and Re-architect

Need additional or new business features or address scalability issues? Then Refactoring and re-architecting is the way to go. Want to boost agility, ensure business continuity, and enhance overall productivity and collaboration? In this option, cost might be a little higher compared to earlier models but it yields you the complete benefits of cloud migration in terms of agility, flexibility, scalability, and faster time-to-market to compete with other players in the market.

What are the challenges of Cloud migration?

Cloud migration is greater than the sum of its parts. It is a complex, arduous, and challenging endeavour to undertake. But the pros are far more than the cons, and the right preparation ensures a smooth migration. This brings us to the challenges many enterprises face during the Cloud migration process.

  • Lack of a clear strategy governed by business objectives
  • Lack of clear understanding of the cloud environment leading to a disparate ecosystem
  • Exceeding planned budgets
  • Not addressing security properly, and failures of critical services
  • Human error
  • Lack of operational skills for the new cloud environment

But nothing is daunting enough to put you off from your cloud migration goal. All these challenges are easily countered, with the right cloud partner by your side.

Hexaware’s Cloud Migration Services

When it comes to re-imagining the future, it pays to have a partner you can trust. As a leader in Cloud transformation strategy, Hexaware’s proven track record to unlock the business potential of the Cloud can go a long way in giving you the confidence to accelerate your Cloud migration journey from the word go.

Hexaware’s proprietary Cloud migration solution Amaze® encompasses an end-to-end perspective and capabilities to maximize RoI, minimize risks and achieve business goals faster than ever.

For more information on Hexaware can partner your Cloud migration journey, please visit: hexaware.com/services/cloud-transformation/

About the Author

Prakash Rangarajan

Prakash Rangarajan

Prakash likes to blog on digital marketing, technology and nature. He sees the writing process as an intrinsic journey of the heart, mind and the soul. He loves trekking and is passionate about wildlife conservation.

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