Expert Insights and Cloud Migration Strategies for CIOs and CTOs

It’s important for businesses considering migrating to the Cloud to understand the differences and nuances of the different cloud migration strategies and how each will impact your planning.  

We’ve written this guide based on our experiences to help businesses make the right decisions to seamlessly transition to the cloud.


Cloud migration is a strategic decision for businesses to make who are looking for scalability, flexibility, and cost optimisation. However, the journey to the cloud requires careful planning and execution to guarantee success and avoid costly mistakes.

In this summary, we’ve outlined the different cloud migration strategies, why some are better suited than others for businesses depending at what stage they are in, and how our specialist services will help CIOs and CTOs to navigate this transformative process with confidence knowing they are making the right choices.

Understanding Cloud Migration Strategy:

A cloud migration strategy is a systematic plan for transitioning data and applications from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud. However, not all workloads are suitable for cloud-based environments, emphasising the importance of a well-documented and validated strategy.

The Cloud Migration Process:

1. Planning Your Migration

  • Assess your current environment and define migration objectives.
  • Calculate cloud server requirements to avoid over-provisioning.
  • Partner with specialists like Digital Craftsmen for expert guidance and support.

2. Choosing Your Cloud Environment

  • Decide between Public, Private, Hybrid or Multi-Cloud models based on current and future needs.
  • Ensure visibility extends to chosen cloud providers for seamless integration.

3. Migrating Your Apps and Data

  • Plan migration meticulously while addressing security and data backup concerns.
  • Utilise Application Performance Management (APM) solutions for baseline performance and monitoring.

4. Validating Post-Move Success

  • Measures and evaluate the success of your migration using solutions such as AppDynamics Business iQ, Rollbar, and NewRelic through pre- and post-move performance comparisons.
  • Our teams are also experienced with working with our clients’ own preferred instrumentation.

The Six Most Common Cloud Migration Strategies: Known as the Six Rs of Migration:

1. Re-host ("Lift and Shift")

Involves moving existing applications and workloads from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud without significant modifications. It’s a quick and straightforward approach that offers minimal disruption and a faster return on investment. However, while rehosting provides immediate benefits such as reduced maintenance costs and improved scalability, it may not fully leverage the advantages of cloud-native services.

2. Re-platform

A variation of lift and shift where slight modifications are made to optimise applications for the cloud environment. This approach involves updating the underlying infrastructure or platform components while keeping the core architecture of the applications intact. Re-platform allows businesses to take advantage of cloud-specific features and services, such as auto-scaling and managed databases, while minimising the need for extensive code changes.

3. Re-purchase

Involves migrating applications to new, cloud-native platforms or software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. This approach often requires replacing existing applications with off-the-shelf cloud-based alternatives that offer similar functionality. While repurchasing may involve significant up-front costs and require retraining of staff, it can provide long-term benefits such as improved scalability, reduced maintenance overheads and access to the latest features and updates provided by the cloud provider.

4. Re-factor

Also known as re-architecting, involves redesigning and rebuilding applications from scratch to take full advantage of cloud-native capabilities. This approach typically requires extensive code changes and architectural modifications to optimise applications for the cloud environment. Re-factoring allows businesses to leverage advanced cloud services such as serverless computing, microservices architecture and containerisation, resulting in improved performance, scalability and cost efficiency.

5. Retire

Involves identifying and decommissioning applications or workloads that are no longer necessary or relevant to the business. This may include legacy applications, redundant systems or outdated processes that can be safely retired without impacting business operations. By retiring unnecessary applications, businesses can streamline their IT infrastructure, reduce maintenance costs and free up resources for more strategic initiatives.

6. Retain

Involves keeping certain applications or workloads on-premises instead of migrating them to the cloud. This may be due to regulatory compliance requirements, data sovereignty concerns, or the need to maintain legacy systems that are not compatible with cloud environments. While retaining certain workloads on-premises may limit the benefits of cloud migration, it allows businesses to maintain control over sensitive data and critical operations while exploring cloud options for other parts of their infrastructure.

Each of these migration strategies offers unique benefits and challenges, and the choice of approach depends on factors such as business objectives, technical requirements, and resource constraints.

By understanding the six Rs of migration, businesses can make informed decisions and develop tailored migration plans that make the best use of their resources, and to align with their future goals and priorities.

Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud:

Migrating to the cloud offers businesses a myriad of benefits, revolutionising the way organisations manage their IT infrastructure and operations. From cost savings and scalability to enhanced security and flexibility, the advantages of cloud computing are undeniable. By transitioning to the cloud, businesses can streamline processes, innovate faster, and stay competitive in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape. With the ability to access resources on-demand, optimise performance and leverage advanced technologies, cloud migration empowers organisations to achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency, agility, and resilience.


The top five reasons for migrating to the Cloud:

1. Decreased Hosting Costs

Migrating to the cloud slashes hosting expenses, eliminating the need for costly hardware investments and maintenance. Cloud service providers offer flexible, subscription-based pricing models, enabling businesses to pay only for the resources they utilise, redirecting savings toward strategic growth initiatives.

2. Agility and Scalability

Cloud computing delivers unmatched agility and scalability, allowing businesses to swiftly adapt to market shifts and customer demands. With on-demand resource scaling, businesses can effortlessly adjust compute power, storage capacity, and application deployments, facilitating innovation and competitive advantage in dynamic market landscapes.

3. Enhanced Disaster Recovery

Cloud computing provides robust disaster recovery capabilities, safeguarding critical data and applications from unforeseen disruptions. With built-in redundancy, failover mechanisms, and geo-replication, cloud providers ensure high availability and business continuity. Automated backup and recovery solutions streamline processes, minimising downtime and mitigating financial losses associated with outages.

4. Improved Security

Security is paramount in cloud migration, with providers offering comprehensive measures to protect data and applications. Third party cloud management specialists provide the advanced security infrastructure, including encryption, access management and threat detection, ensures data integrity and compliance. Regular updates and audits maintain adherence to industry standards, bolstering security posture and enabling businesses to focus on their core objectives.

5. Reduced Environmental Footprint

Cloud migration fosters environmental sustainability by promoting energy-efficient practices. Cloud providers operate eco-friendly data centres, leveraging renewable energy sources and green computing technologies to minimise carbon emissions. Consolidated infrastructure and optimised resource utilisation further contribute to a greener future, aligning with corporate sustainability goals.

Challenges of Cloud Migration:

One of the primary challenges during cloud migration is the risk of downtime, which can significantly disrupt business operations, affecting both customer and employee experiences. Proper planning and execution are crucial to minimise downtime and ensure a smooth transition to the cloud.

Data loss is another critical concern for businesses to address when migrating to the cloud. Without adequate data backup and recovery strategies in place, there’s a risk of losing valuable data during the migration process. Partnering with experienced cloud migration experts like Digital Craftsmen will mitigate this risk and safeguard data integrity.

Effective resource management is essential for businesses migrating to the cloud to avoid over-provisioning and optimise costs. With the scalability and flexibility offered by cloud environments, businesses must carefully plan and manage their resources to ensure optimal performance and cost efficiency.

Interoperability challenges can arise when integrating cloud services with existing on-premises systems or between different cloud platforms. Compatibility issues, data format inconsistencies, and integration complexities may hinder seamless interoperability. Leveraging the expertise of third-party experts like Digital Craftsmen will help businesses navigate these challenges and implement effective integration strategies.

Transformative results

Cloud migration presents significant opportunities for businesses but also comes with its share of challenges.

By partnering with specialists like Digital Craftsmen and leveraging comprehensive cloud migration strategies, CIOs and CTOs can navigate this journey with confidence and achieve transformative results.

Contact Digital Craftsmen today to learn more about our specialist cloud migration services and start your journey to the cloud.

Email our team on [email protected] or call us on 020 3745 7706

Find out how our experts will help your business with our specialist Cloud Migration Strategies

For over 22 years, Digital Craftsmen has delivered tailored hosting and IT security solutions across various business sectors.