Preparing Your Organization for Cloud Migration – Checklist & Strategy

The cloud is one of the most important technologies in the enterprise tech ecosystem, resulting in better agility, scalability, and profitability. As a result, most enterprises globally are looking to transition to the cloud to stay in line with the digitalization objectives and enhance their competitive capabilities. 

As the cloud becomes the enabler of operational efficiencies, collaboration, availability, and cost savings, ensuring smooth cloud migration has become a top priority for enterprises of all sizes.

But cloud migration is a fairly complex process and contains multiple moving parts. As organizations look toward moving mission-critical applications to the cloud, developing a cloud migration strategy and checklist becomes paramount for migration success — precisely what this article elaborates on.

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is the procedure of moving data, applications, and other business workflows and processes to the cloud. It describes the move from on-premises or legacy infrastructure to the cloud. However, this term can also be applied to suggest migration from one cloud to another.

A cloud migration strategy encompasses all the details involved in the migration process. It creates a framework that helps enterprises smoothly transition to the new infrastructure.

Building a cloud migration strategy ensures better manageability and drives accountability during each step of the process. It serves as a guide and progress report for all the stakeholders while ensuring minimal downtime, simplicity in movement, and zero data loss.

For those making the initial foray into the cloud, the following are some considerations for cloud migration.

8 Key Considerations in Cloud Migration 

When it comes to successful cloud migration, preparation is everything. Here is a look at what a cloud migration strategy should look like:

  • Initiate the Migration-Architect

Before initiating the cloud migration process, the enterprise needs to identify the migration architect. A migration architect is a system architect-level role that shoulders the responsibility of planning and completing all aspects of the migration.

The migration architect defines the cloud-solution requirements, identifies and determines migration priorities, and designs data migration strategies and production switchover mechanisms.

Moreover, a designated migration architect ensures that all aspects of the migration are handled adroitly and that the process happens without glitches.

  • Determine the Cloud Integration Level

Shallow or deep cloud integration – which integration is best for cloud migration?

Shallow or “lift and shift” cloud migrations involve moving on-premise applications to the cloud and making limited or no changes to the servers for running the application. Simple application changes are enough for it to run in the cloud environment.

In deep cloud integration, applications are modified to leverage the benefits of the cloud. This could involve making those architectural changes that allow for the usage of serverless capabilities. It might also involve small changes such as employing load-balancing or auto-scaling or using a cloud-specific data store such as Amazon S3 or DynamoDB.

Deep cloud integration involves rewriting parts or all of an application to ensure that it is not only cloud-compatible but cloud-optimized. 

  • Make the Choice – Single or Multi-Cloud

Before choosing a cloud provider, enterprises must evaluate single or multi-cloud approaches and understand what suits them best.

A single cloud approach involves using a single cloud provider, such as AWS, and optimizing the application to run on a single cloud environment. Optimizing applications for a single cloud provider is relatively simple and requires teams to learn only one set of cloud APIs to leverage all the benefits the cloud provider offers. However, committing to a single cloud provider raises the challenge of vendor lock-in, and enterprises remain limited to the prices or limitations of the vendor.

A multi-cloud approach, as the name suggests, involves using multiple clouds. Here, one set of applications is run by one cloud provider, and another set runs on another cloud. Multi-cloud might even have one part of an application running on one cloud and other parts of the same application on another. For example, one part of an application that needs AI might be run on a cloud that delivers excellent AI capabilities and offers better database speed. Another cloud provider can host the other part that does not require heavy computing.

In essence, greater flexibility of where to put the applications in the future for optimized usage and elevated business leverage are some of the benefits of multi-cloud. The challenge here, however, is that application performance gets tied to the performance of both the cloud providers.

Favourably, enterprises also have the option of building cloud-agnostic applications. This approach allows applications to run simultaneously on multiple providers or split the application load across them. This model offers a lot of flexibility and allows enterprises to shift loads from one cloud provider to another easily. It’s noteworthy, however, that it can become challenging to use the key capabilities of each cloud provider and can complicate the application development and validation processes.

  • Set Up Cloud KPIs

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) define the metrics that measure application performance against expectations. Key KPIs measure user satisfaction, performance, security, reliability, and cost savings.

Cloud migration KPIs must evaluate areas such as rate of progress, cost per conversion, detection of technical threats/vulnerabilities, revenue generation, etc.

KPIs should be broken down into:

  • User Experience: This should include page load time, lag and response time and response and session time.
  • Application and component performance: This includes error rates, throughput, availability and Apdex.
  • Infrastructure usage: This involves measuring CPU and memory usage, disk performance, and network throughput
  • Business engagement: This involves measuring conversion rates and percentage and engagement rates.

It is crucial to identify the key metrics necessary for the business and the metrics likely to be most impacted by the cloud to track every step effectively and efficiently.

  • Establish Performance Baselines

Establishing performance baselines are paramount to the success of cloud migration. Baselines determine the migration status and serve as the benchmarks during cloud migration to diagnose problems or improvement opportunities. 

Setting these baselines allows enterprises to measure current (pre-migration) performance against the expected future state. Also, setting up the performance baselines clarifies how long the enterprise has to collect data to evaluate the performance.

  • Queue Migration Components

Sometimes moving large and complex applications can seem daunting. However, enterprises do not have to make this move all at once. When needed, applications can migrate piece by piece, one component or service at a time.

A cloud migration checklist has to identify the elements that need prioritization during the migration. Considering business priorities, how the cloud will be used, company goals behind the cloud move, business impact, etc., are some key points that identify the low-hanging fruit and help in queuing migration components effectively.

  • Refactoring

Many legacy applications need refactoring to leverage the benefits of the cloud. Migrating codebases, especially legacy codebases, need special considerations to operate as designed on the cloud. Refactoring is the process of restructuring existing computer code and the internal software structure to make it cloud-ready and cloud-optimized.

  • Develop a Clear Data Migration Plan

Data location plays a significant role in driving performance. As such, data migration becomes one of the most important and trickiest parts of cloud migration. It involves moving data from the on-site servers into the cloud.

Comprehensive data migration is crucial to the success of cloud migration. It has to ensure that all information is backed up and users can connect to the applications quickly when the plug is pulled on the on-site servers.

Options for data migration include either employing a bi-directional syncing mechanism between your on-premises and cloud databases or an on-premise database with one-way synchronization to a cloud-based database. Enterprises can also use a cloud migration service to ensure seamless data migration.

This is a crucial part of cloud migration and hence needs special attention. Not having a clearly defined data migration plan can lead to cloud migration failure or impede the capacity to leverage the comprehensive benefits of the cloud.


Along with all these aspects, enterprises must ensure a safe and secure cloud environment and choose cloud providers offering significant tooling and resources to build and maintain a secure system. Evaluating and finding hidden costs in infrastructure systems also becomes essential to leverage the cost optimization benefits of the cloud. 

All in all, having a well-defined cloud migration strategy takes the pain out of cloud migration and helps enterprises keep their goals and progress under view.

Need help with your cloud migration strategy? Connect with our experts to design, develop, and deploy the right cloud migration strategy for your business.