on prem to AWS migration strategy and challenges

Cloud Migration Strategy: Challenges And Steps

On Prem to Cloud Migration Strategy

Migrating to the cloud might sound like an intimidating decision for any organization. However, as much as it sounds intimidating, it is a rather complex process and must be carried out with precautions as it possesses many functional, operational, and technical risks to an organization. For a successful cloud migration, an organization must come up with a cloud migration strategy that addresses both short-term goals (like decrease hosting costs) as well as long term goals (like improved alignment between the objectives of the business and IT). Before we dive into the details, here’s a little sneak peek of why cloud migration is a better option than on-premises data migration.

On-premises Vs. Cloud

There are many benefits of going with a cloud-based approach instead of traditional on-prem regardless of the cloud migration strategy you use. Here are some of the major benefits of cloud migration over on-prem migration.


On-premises Deployment

In an on-premises deployment approach, organizational data, along with all its resources, is deployed at the premises of an organization. This deployment is done within an organization’s own IT infrastructure. It is the responsibility of the enterprise to maintain the solution and address all the related processes after the deployment. Hence, it demands a dedicated IT team for all these processes to be done smoothly.

Cloud deployment

Though there are different types of cloud computing like hybrid cloud, private cloud, public cloud, etc., in a public cloud-based environment, the data and resources are deployed at the premises of the service provider. It means your organization does not have to take the burden of resources management, and after-deployment services once the migration has been performed.Also, the enterprise can access the data and all the resources via the cloud at any given time so there is 24/7 availability of data.


On-premises Cost

Organizations that go for on-premises data migration are responsible for all ongoing and miscellaneous costs related to the migration. It includes the cost involved in server hardware, power consumption, and outage and space costs.

Cloud Data Migration Costs

In case an organization migrates its data to the cloud, they are obliged to pay for only the resources they consume. This does not include maintenance costs, upkeep costs, etc. also, the price that an enterprise pays adjusts up and down according to the data they consume and the resources they use. Hence, the organization enjoys the peace of mind they deserve against a small investment.


On-premises data control

In an on-premises data migration, the enterprise is responsible for retaining their data and resources, and they have full control of what happens to the data and resources, for better or for worse. While on cloud data migration possesses many benefits for an organization, it is not usually a preferred option for highly regulated industries with major privacy concerns as they are more likely to migrate their data on-premises instead of on cloud.

On Cloud Data Control

Data control is one of the major questions many cloud migration consulting vendors and companies often struggle with the most. In a cloud-based data migration, the encryption keys and all the data is stored with the vendor or the service provider. Hence there is a risk of data not being able to be accessed in case of downtime.


On-Premises Data security

Industries that have extra sensitive data stored in their databases, like government organizations and banks, have an extra level of security and privacy standards that they need to comply with. An on-premises environment may be suitable for all such industries despite the promises by the cloud as data security and data integrity is major concerns for such organizations. Therefore, the on-premises environment for data storage makes more sense despite its cost and some drawbacks.

Cloud-Based Data Security

A seasoned cloud service provider ensures data security and integrity by putting the latest security standards and data encryption algorithms in place. The data security protocol implemented by a good cloud provider ensures data safety and integrity at all times. Therefore, for a small monthly cost, your organization is sure to keep the precious data safe and encrypted.


On-Premises environment

Regardless of the industry, almost all companies today are operating under some kind of regulatory control. The most common examples of such controls are HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). HIPPA has records of private health information, and FERPA has details of all the student records as well as government and industry regulations. All the companies that are subjected to such regulations, it is imperative to know where their precious data is so that they remain compliant.

Cloud-Based Compliance

For all the {“type”:”block”,”srcIndex”:19,”srcRootClientId”:””,”srcClientId”:”3fcf205e-e441-4d1f-bcc1-89faaa8487b0″}organizations that opt for a cloud-based approach, it is mandatory to perform their due diligence and make sure that the service provider is up to date and compliant with all the regulatory obligations and mandates within the industry. They must ensure the security of sensitive data and the privacy of customers, partners, and employees. When the data is moved to the cloud, it is the responsibility of the vendor to take care of the compliance-related issues, leaving you to be more focused towards the overall improvement of business.

Cloud Migration Tools

AWS Migration Services

Amazon, being the giant when it comes to cloud migration services, has exposed some of its very famous services for the end-users to consume. This includes database migration services, offline data transfer services, and their AWS Migration Hub. Most of these services are available for free for AWS users. However, these services are only compatible with AWS.

AWS also offers its extensive toolset to the users for free that is hard to compete. As a cherry on the top, AWS also offers a service that includes all the hardware that can be used by the users to physically migrate the data to AWS data centers.

Carbonite Migrate

Carbonite Migrate is a cloud migration option worth taken into consideration if the project is related to business continuity or backup needs, and disaster recovery. The company offers services to migrate the data from or to any cloud or physical or virtual environment. On top of that, the company also promises minimal downtime throughout the process and near-immediate failover in an unfortunate case of an emergency. As far as client services and support are concerned, the company also boasts award-winning services.


The biggest selling point of CorentSurPass is its ability to help its customer’s package apps that can be later deployed at a Software as a Service (SaaS) basis to its internal and external customers. Other than providing cloud services to different enterprises, it also offers its products to system integrators, independent software vendors, managed service providers, and cloud computing vendors. The company boasts multiple awards with a long list of public cloud services providers.

Google Migration Services / Velostrata

Velostrata is a startup recently acquired by Google. The company has significantly improved its cloud migration services over the years. The services that this company offers take data migration to the cloud to up to ten times the speed. But of course, like other public cloud vendors, Google Migration services are also available for free, but the support is only limited to Google Cloud.

Cloud Migration Strategies

There are many cloud migration strategies that different organizations use according to their requirements. While some cloud migration strategies promise to provide the best ROI, some of them are the least risky and possess fewer threats as compared to others. Some are among the most expensive cloud migration strategies, while some are cost-effective. To decide which cloud migration strategy would work the best for your organization, you need to know the different cloud migration strategies, also known as the 6R’s of cloud migration. Below are some of the most famous and applicable cloud migration strategies:


This cloud migration strategy is also called a lift-and-shift strategy. This strategy works as it sounds like, that is, lifting an application from its current landscape and moving it to another environment. For example, moving an application along with all three of its tiers (the front end, the backend and the database and OS) from premises to the cloud. This process is also called Rehosting because it involves moving the entire application stack to a new host without making any extensive changes. This cloud migration strategy stands out as the most rapid, cost-efficient, and the least risky strategy to migrate the data. It also promises the highest ROI among all cloud migration strategies.


Also known as lift-tinker-and-shift strategy, re-platforming is a modified form of Rehosting. What makes it different from Rehosting is the adjustments involved in the process to make the landscape improved in different ways. The re-platforming strategy allows businesses to fulfill the business-related goals beyond rehosting and, at the same time being inside the scope of the project. For organizations that are looking for achieving certain milestones, like system upgrade to increase system’s performance, re-platforming caters to all the requirements that need to be fulfilled.


Repurchasing means migrating data by moving it to an entirely different product. This strategy is also called drop-and-shop, and it involves migrating the data to a different form. For example, data migration to SaaS platform, movement of CRM to another service provider like salesforce.com, migration of HR system to Workday or any other platform, moving all the CMS content to Drupal, and so on. The main idea behind introducing the Repurchasing strategy for data migration is to avoid migrating fragile on-premises applications and instead purchase those services in the form of an appliance.


Refactoring is also termed as Re-Architecting. It involves organizations to reimagine the flow of the application in terms of architecture and development using cloud-native features most of the time. This cloud migration strategy is needed for organizations that require to add new features to their applications, scale their applications up or improve the performance of the existing application that would otherwise be impossible in the current environment. For example, if an organization is looking forward to moving from monolithic architecture to a service-oriented (or server-less) architecture to improve the overall performance of their application, they can have a look into Refactoring it.


As the name sounds, it refers to getting rid of the existing application. There are scenarios when it does make sense to completely shut down the application that no functional unit in your organization is using. This cloud migration strategy requires organizations to look into each individual functional unit and see if they are using certain applications. Based on these statistics, the decision to migrate the application to the cloud or not is to be made. This cloud migration strategy can boost the business case and makes the business’s attention to be diverted to the areas that most people use.


This approach of migrating data over cloud means to Revisit or simply to hold the changes to be done. Once an organization is clear on the resources required and has planned to acquire those resources one after the other, it is better for them to look at what they already have at hand. Hence the idea of retention comes into play to let organizations retain the important IT assets first. This retention of assets saves costs related to cloud migration and is also helpful if an organization is not certain about moving an application to the cloud yet. A classic example of a scenario where an organization would go for a Retain cloud migration strategy would be if they are still in the process of getting rid of the depreciation, or maybe if they are not ready to yet prioritize an application for migration that has just been upgraded, or even if they are not yet ready to migrate some of the applications.

Cloud Migration Steps

Now that you know what cloud migration strategies are, you need to be aware of the cloud migration steps that are followed regardless of the cloud migration strategy your organization uses. Below are the steps required to be taken into consideration before migrating to the cloud:

  1. Determine the Need for cloud migration
  2. Run a SWOT analysis
  3. Assess your organizational environment
  4. Select the best cloud partner for you
  5. Select the required environment for the cloud
  6. Determine the architecture of the cloud
  7. Choose a cloud provider
  8. Plan the migration process
  9. Execute (after taking Backup)
  10. Monitor success

We’ll talk about each of these steps in detail now:

Step # 1 – Determine the Need for cloud migration

The first step towards cloud migration is to be 100% sure that your organization needs it and is willing to take the risk for the better. Ask yourself whether cloud migration is the only best option for you, or there are other options as well that are equally efficient but more cost-effective and less risky. Analyze the reasons why your organization needs to go for cloud migration. This will help you determine whether you should go for cloud migration, or you should stick to the convention after some updates and modifications. However, most of the time, businesses that take the risk of migrating to the cloud are observed to be adding more benefits to the overall performance. 

Step # 2 – Run A SWOT Analysis

Performing cloud migration is a big undertaking for any organization regardless of the cloud migration strategy they put in place. While it promises to improve the operations of every functional unit, the process does possess serious risks and threats, and it can easily be disruptive if not executed with caution. Therefore, once an organization is clear that they need to migrate to a cloud, they must perform an objective analysis of the possible benefits as well as major and minor risks and threats associated with cloud migration. The best way to do this is to run a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis and note down the possible negative outcomes of the migration.

Step # 3 – Assess Your Organizational Environment

Assessing the existing environment of your organization is another way to make important decisions later in the process of migration. This includes an assessment of the existing IT infrastructure, the resources, all the applications that are being used by each functional unit, the cost associated, and many other factors. Below are a few points to consider in this regard:

  • Determine which applications need migration. There may be some scenarios where existing applications are best to be left on-premises instead of the cloud. This can be a legacy application that cannot be ported or an application that has just been upgraded.
  • Once all the applications are determined and analyzed, analyze the infrastructure that these applications are using. This includes the storage requirements, the data being generated, the network requirements, and SLA.
  • Determine the amount of money spent on physical servers and their management.
  • Determine all other hidden costs involved.

Step # 4 – Select The Best Cloud Partner For You

If you are technically aware of the processes and steps to follow during cloud migration in your organization, it is great and an ideal scenario. However, if you believe that you don’t have enough time and resources and even knowledge to perform a successful cloud migration, then it is the right time to look for an efficient cloud partner. A cloud partner will add huge value to your cloud migration process by ensuring that the process is executed seamlessly. The factors you need to consider while deciding the best cloud partner for your project are their past experience working on projects that are similar to the one at your organization, their experience with dealing in industries that are comparable to yours in terms of size. You can also take help from certified professionals.

Step # 5 – Select The Required Environment For The Cloud

Now that you have decided that your organization wants to move to the cloud, you know which applications are required to be moved to the cloud, and you have a dedicated team to do this for you, it’s time for you to decide what environment configurations you need on your cloud for a seamless cloud migration. The architecture includes selection among private cloud, public cloud, hybrid cloud, the pros and cons of going with each approach, the possible threats and risks involved with each of the cloud approaches, and so on. Determining the type of cloud you need for migration based on your applications and requirements should be the first decision to ensure seamless cloud migration.

Step # 6 – Determine The Architecture Of The Cloud

Once you are clear on the type of cloud you need to perform cloud migration, you need to analyze the architecture of the cloud you want to migrate your data to. Based on the steps you performed in Step # 3 (Assess Your Organizational Environment), you need to determine all the required components for cloud migration. You can also take into consideration the computing power, storage needs, and content delivery, etc.

Step # 7 – Choose A Cloud Provider

Once you have analyzed the required cloud architecture, you need to determine the cloud provider you need based on your requirements. Do not confuse it with Cloud Partner. A cloud provider will meet the needs of the cloud architecture you require. Therefore, it is advised to go for a cloud provider that fulfills all your organizational architecture needs and stays within the domain of the objectives you wish to achieve after successful migration. Apart from these two factors, there are other factors too that need to be considered when your organization performs this step. These factors can be the promised SLA, positive feedback, and prompt customer service.

Step # 8 – Plan The Migration Process

If you are reading this step, you are ready to perform the cloud migration process with almost everything at hand. It is now time to plan how this process is going to get executed to ensure success. While planning out the migration process, you need to ensure the following factors for successful cloud migration:

  • Ensure minimal possible disruption time
  • Determine the order of migration of the applications.
  • Devise deadlines to define a successful execution of the cloud migration process and keep tracking key metrics after the process completes.
  • Determine any changes that might be done at end-users processes during and after the migration and any training that might be needed to be carried out.

Step # 9 – Execute

Now it is time to perform the actual execution of the process. Here are the steps to follow in this step:

Backup Your Data And Servers – This is the most important step. The first step is to ensure you keep a backup of all the servers and data prior to migration, so you are sure you don’t lose anything in case of a failure. Make sure your data and all your resources are safe and easily accessible. Also, ensure that your processes do not fail during or after the migration.

Deployment – The next step is to set up the cloud and make it up and ready. This includes ensuring successful connections, provisioning, and testing of all the individual components involved in the process.

Migrate Your Data – Once the deployment is completed, it is important to migrate all the existing data to the cloud to ensure business operations are running smoothly. The first data load might take a little more time and might also require the data to be changed after being moved to a new cloud environment. Also, all the connections need to be tested completely after data is successfully migrated to the cloud.

Testing – this is the final step to the migration process. Once all the data is moved to the cloud, you need to carry out appropriate tests to make sure everything works as expected. For this, you need to ensure that the data is present at all times, and the environment is as per requirements. The migration process should not have any impact on how end users are interacting with the system, and even if it requires any tweaks to be made, it should be done during this phase is being executed.

Step # 10 – Monitor success

The data has been migrated, the applications are now up and running, and the Backup has been restored, and all the necessary tests are now carried out. The next and final important part of the cloud migration process is to ensure that the organization or third-party constantly monitor the functional flow of all the processes running within an organization and immediately call for help and get the issues fixed if anything is observed faulty.

Cloud Migration Challenges And How To Overcome Them

Now that we have seen the strategies organizations use to move to the cloud, we have also seen what steps are needed to be followed while moving to the cloud, as we mentioned earlier, cloud migration does involve serious risk and must be done under extreme caution. Below are some major challenges organizations face while moving their data to the cloud.

1. Getting the process done right

The first challenge for any organization while doing cloud migration is to take all necessary steps to make the process seamless and bug-free. The real challenge lies in the fact that it is easy to get things wrong on the very first attempt. There are many ways to tackle this challenge, and one of the most famous and efficient ways is to use Platform As A Service (PaaS) if you suspect your organization lacks the technical expertise.

2. Changes In Processes

Another big challenge in cloud migration lies in the way people are habituated to use a process and execute an application. Cloud migration sometimes brings drastic changes, and quite often, people have a hard time adapting to the new process. The best way to overcome this challenge is to provide extensive training to the staff as possible. It is observed that younger companies with efficient IT departments are more likely to make the transition to the cloud easy. Whereas bigger enterprises take some more time provided their huge infrastructure and functional units.

3. Having Business Objectives Reflect Cloud Migration Strategy

This is fairly complex. This challenge lies less on the technical side of the picture and more on the communication between the organization and the cloud provider. The strategy through which an organization wishes to carry cloud migration forward must be defined, keeping all the business goals to be achieved in mind. We have observed many times companies having a hard time devising such a strategy that clearly reflects that it is addressing all the business goals within the migration process.

4. Time, Security And Cost

These three factors have the biggest impact on cloud migration, and tackling these steps is still a challenge for many organizations. Cloud migration is a slow process that requires a lot of time as well as man-hours. More often than not, there are security concerns, and many firms are reluctant to move their private data over the cloud and instead prefer the data to be kept on their local servers. The easiest way to tackle this challenge is to ensure all security standards to be met before, during, and after cloud migration.

Cloud Migration by MindsMapped Consulting

With the cloud migration market being so fierce, it is hard to decide the best consulting firm for your cloud migration. Hiring MindsMapped consulting services for your cloud migration process, you can be rest assured that your cloud migration is in safe hands. The firm strongly puts in place all the latest and strongest data encryption and security protocols, so your data is secure during and after the migration. Furthermore, a dedicated and responsive customer support team is right there at your service to provide the support you need at every point of the process.


Migrating to the cloud is a big leap for any industry that opts for it. While there are threats, challenges, and risks involved in the process, it is safe to say that the process is getting more secure every day and is becoming mature enough to cater to all major and minor risks associated with it.

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