Cloud Migration: How to Move Your Business to the Cloud Without Disruption

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 Disruption has been altering the business landscape for some time, but the pace of change has accelerated in the past few years. This has compelled companies to seek ways to be digitally resilient — to rapidly adapt to disruptions by leveraging technology to restore operations and capitalize on new conditions. Digital resiliency is ‘resetting’ organizations as they look toward migrating to the cloud. In a recent IDC study exploring the state of migration from on-premises ERP to cloud ERP among more than 1,600 companies, 68 percent of organizations said the global COVID-19 pandemic accelerated their transition.

Migrating to the cloud can give organizations access to continuous innovation and improve employee decision-making, among other benefits, but there are critical elements to consider for a smooth transition. Data can be a key challenge, depending on the amount and quality of data to be moved and the ability to map and manage that data. The global pandemic sparked a surge in cloud migration for mission-critical workloads. Cloud strategies have now evolved into comprehensive migration and modernization initiatives.

By 2024, most enterprises aim to allocate a substantial portion of their IT hosting budget, with $8 out of every $10 earmarked for cloud solutions, encompassing private cloud, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS), according to McKinsey & Co research. This ambitious goal is driven by multiple factors, including the imperative to accelerate enterprise digitization due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the primary catalyst is the potential $1 trillion in business value that can be unlocked through cloud adoption. During uncertain economic times, enterprises turn to migration and modernization as key drivers to bolster growth, future-proof their businesses, and trim operational costs, according to Microsoft research conducted in 2022.

Cloud migration is the process of transferring data, applications, computing resources, and digital assets from on-premises data centers to a cloud provider’s data center, which is akin to seeking greener pastures. Organizations pursuing cloud migration are in search of cost-effective computing, a plethora of capabilities, continuous technological innovations, and nearly limitless scalability.

The transition to the cloud aims to eliminate the challenges of hiring skilled technologists for routine maintenance tasks associated with hardware, databases, and applications. However, while the benefits are substantial, an inadequately planned migration can be a complex and risky endeavor. In this blog, we will delve into the intricacies of a cloud migration plan, highlighting the significance of this process and providing guidance to help you prepare effectively for a smoother journey to this improved digital landscape.

Cloud migration

Cloud migration refers to transferring digital operations from on-premises data centers or legacy infrastructure to the cloud. This comprehensive shift involves moving applications, databases, and supporting technologies to a cloud provider’s data center. It can encompass relocating on-premises applications, along with their associated databases and development platforms, onto the cloud provider’s servers, storage, and networking infrastructure. Alternatively, it may involve adopting cloud-based applications like ERP, CRM, or HCM, effectively replacing legacy versions.

In all these scenarios, cloud migrations transition workloads from an organization’s proprietary data centers to a cloud provider’s environment, where tasks such as backups, security patching, and feature updates are typically included as part of the service.

The term “migration” aptly describes the significant undertaking in moving these workloads to the cloud, necessitating meticulous planning and skillful execution. This planning is essential to ensure uninterrupted operations during the transition period.

Organizations opt from on-prem to cloud migration to escape outdated and inefficient legacy infrastructures, such as aging servers or unreliable firewall appliances, and embrace the benefits of cloud computing. As a result, numerous businesses are at least partially migrating to the cloud.

Cloud migration is a critical step in achieving real-time, efficient performance. Consequently, it requires thorough analysis, careful planning, and precise execution to ensure that the chosen cloud solution aligns seamlessly with specific business requirements.

It’s important to recognize that migrating to the cloud isn’t solely about reaching the destination; it’s also about optimizing operations in the new cloud environment. This may involve rethinking and rebuilding applications to maximize their performance in the cloud. This evolution prompts businesses to consider the concept of application modernization.

Throughout the cloud migration journey, businesses of all sizes often seek assistance, turning to service firms with expertise in various migration capabilities, such as lift-and-shift cloud migration or modernization services, including automated language translation and conventional re-platforming.

Leveraging cloud resources is a prevalent business approach supported by various established processes and strategies. Achieving successful cloud migrations demands careful planning, but the associated risks are familiar and manageable. With an expanding toolkit of tools from both cloud providers and third-party vendors, the migration process has become more accessible. Continuous innovation by cloud providers enhances their services, making the cloud an attractive choice even for critical and sensitive workloads.

Now, let’s explore the benefits of cloud migration. For companies embarking on the cloud migration journey, the impact can be nothing short of transformative. First and foremost, there’s the enticing prospect of a reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). No longer burdened by hefty upfront investments in hardware and software licenses, organizations can shift to a more cost-effective pay-per-use model. This means paying only for the resources consumed, a financial strategy that makes impeccable sense in a world where efficiency is paramount. Enterprises worldwide are rapidly transitioning to the cloud, driven by the changing landscape of elastic digital workplaces. The surge in online demand and the widespread acceptance of remote work have thrust cloud migration into the limelight. Those who have embarked on this transformative journey find themselves hurtling towards a cloud-based future that promises to dominate the business landscape in the years ahead.

This shift to cloud computing offers a multitude of advantages:


AppDev Agility

Cloud-based development environments empower teams to initiate a DevTest setup and begin coding within minutes, eliminating the days or weeks required for ordering and provisioning new hardware.

Elastic Scalability

Cloud-based infrastructure can swiftly adapt to fluctuating business demands, eliminating the need for overprovisioning hardware to meet rare demand spikes. It enables organizations to reduce cloud costs during idle periods efficiently.

Pay-per-Use Model

Cloud infrastructure is acquired based on usage or CPU utilization. This cost-effective approach stands in contrast to on-premises architectures that necessitate upfront investments in hardware and software licenses, often exceeding actual usage requirements.

Self-Service Provisioning

Cloud services are designed for end-users to provision autonomously, reducing the reliance on in-house technical expertise. For example, a developer can effortlessly set up a test database within minutes, bypassing the need for a database administrator.

Constant Innovation

Cloud providers maintain their data centers with modern, secure hardware, regularly patching against the latest security threats. They also offer automatic updates and feature enhancements for cloud-based applications and infrastructure. This contrasts with on-premises applications that may remain stagnant for extended periods.

More Value from Data

Cloud platform services provide up-to-date database versions with advanced features like managing multiple data types and incorporating machine learning capabilities. This simplifies data architecture and maximizes its value.

More Value from Data

Cloud platform services provide up-to-date database versions with advanced features like managing multiple data types and incorporating machine learning capabilities. This simplifies data architecture and maximizes its value.

Lower Data Center Costs

As businesses migrate their resources, data, applications, and development platforms to the cloud, they can decommission costly data centers. This shift alleviates the burden of routine tasks on skilled employees, allowing them to focus on value-added work.

Cloud Deployment Models

Cloud deployment models have evolved significantly to cater to diverse organizational needs. This evolution, driven by hyperscale providers, extends well beyond traditional public cloud services and has played a pivotal role in accelerating cloud migration adoption.

1. Public Cloud:

The public cloud is the conventional model where organizations acquire server space within a cloud provider’s data center. Payment can be based on usage or through subscription models.

Shared Resources: In the public cloud, resources are typically shared among multiple customers of the cloud provider, making it a cost-effective option.

Accessibility: Public cloud services are accessible to anyone over the internet, enabling easy access to systems and services.

Examples: Google App Engine, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure.

2. Private Cloud:

Private cloud deployment stands in stark contrast to the public cloud. Here, an entire server or specific server racks within the cloud data center are exclusively dedicated to a single organization.

Exclusive Environment: Private clouds provide a one-on-one environment, eliminating the need to share hardware resources with other entities.

Control: Organizations enjoy comprehensive control over their private cloud infrastructure, allowing customization and tailored management.

Security: Private clouds are implemented within a secure cloud-based environment, safeguarded by robust firewalls, and overseen by the organization’s IT department. This model offers heightened security and data privacy.

3. Hybrid Cloud:

Hybrid cloud deployment combines elements of both public and private clouds. Organizations maintain some data and applications within a cloud provider’s data center while retaining others in their on-premises data center.

Flexibility: Hybrid cloud architectures offer flexibility and adaptability, enabling organizations to adhere to company policies, comply with data residency regulations, and optimize resource utilization.

Shared Architecture: This model fosters a shared hybrid architecture, supporting various applications seamlessly.

4. Multi-cloud:

Multicloud entails the migration of applications and data to different cloud providers. This approach allows organizations to leverage specialized services from multiple cloud providers.

Specialization: Multicloud enables organizations to choose the most suitable cloud provider for specific services, optimizing workload performance.

Diverse Workloads: For instance, an organization might host its application servers on one cloud provider while managing database operations on another, harnessing the strengths of each provider’s expertise.

Each cloud deployment model has distinct advantages and considerations, making it crucial for organizations to carefully assess their requirements and objectives when choosing the most appropriate deployment strategy.

Cloud migration, while laden with promise, has its fair share of challenges. 

It’s essential to recognize and navigate these obstacles effectively to ensure a smooth and successful transition to the cloud. 

Cloud Migration Challenges

Legacy Applications: Only some applications can seamlessly make the journey to the cloud. Some legacy applications may need to be better suited for migration, requiring careful consideration of whether to retain, redevelop, or retire them.

Application Modernization: Cloud migration often raises the question of how to optimize applications for the cloud environment. Understanding the options for rebuilding applications to perform optimally in the cloud is crucial.

Cloud Management: After migrating applications, effective management becomes paramount. Identifying the best practices and personnel for managing cloud-based applications is essential for long-term success.

The complexity of Migrating: Cloud migration can be a complex endeavor, particularly for organizations with a vast array of databases and applications. Thorough discovery, meticulous planning, and precise execution are vital, often necessitating phase migration.

Key Dependencies: Identifying and addressing critical infrastructure and application dependencies is vital to reduce risks, save time, and minimize costs during migration.

Business Support: Gaining support from stakeholders across the organization is essential for scaling up cloud migration efforts. Ensuring that the migration aligns with the broader business strategy is crucial.

Data Residency: Certain data may be subject to company policies or data residency regulations that prevent it from being moved to a cloud provider’s data center. However, solutions can often be found by selecting a cloud provider with data centers in the same region or using cloud infrastructure within the company’s data center.

Complexity: Large-scale migrations involving numerous databases and applications require meticulous planning and execution. Typically, these migrations are phased to manage complexity effectively.

Data and Application Security: Security is a top concern during migration. Companies must conduct audits and assessments to ensure data remains secure during and after migration, especially in hybrid cloud configurations where data frequently moves between on-premises and cloud environments.

Navigating these challenges demands careful planning, collaboration, and an understanding of the unique needs and goals of each organization. While cloud migration is a journey with hurdles, overcoming them can lead to realizing the cloud’s transformative potential.

The cloud migration process is a comprehensive journey encompassing multiple phases: assessment, planning, migration, and optimization/modernization. This holistic approach is essential to minimize risk, manage costs, and streamline their path to successful cloud adoption.

When initiating the cloud migration process, organizations have various options. They can opt for an in-house approach using existing staff, collaborate closely with their chosen public cloud provider and leverage the vendor’s set of migration tools, or enlist the assistance of third-party migration partners who bring technical expertise and support to the table.

To ensure a smooth transition to the cloud, a well-structured checklist serves as a valuable roadmap. Such a checklist may include various crucial items and considerations, providing a systematic and organized approach to the migration process.

Below are the six essential steps to include in your cloud migration process, illustrated using the example of migrating a SaaS application:


Employ software monitoring and management tools to gain a comprehensive understanding of your data and application infrastructure, including dependencies and policies. This phase involves replicating or re-architecting these elements for the cloud environment.


Determine which cloud services will support or replicate the required functionality and establish a secure migration process.


Utilize cloud resources and services to construct the new application and infrastructure architecture, incorporating secure data migration pathways.


Replicate the data within the new application and ensure seamless integration with existing data sources and analytics processes.


Conduct thorough testing to verify that the new application functions as intended.

Cut Over

This milestone signifies the transition to the cloud-based application. It means bringing the new application into production and inviting users to test it, ultimately migrating all users to the cloud-based platform.

Cloud Migration Tools

While cloud migration can be intricate, there is an array of tools available to streamline the process. Some of the best cloud migration tools are available in the market from major cloud providers, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Oracle. Additionally, third-party vendors like AppDynamics, Carbonite, and CloudScape specialize in tools like discovery, networking, and reporting. These tools are tailored to assist in migrating data, applications, or infrastructure from on-premises environments to the cloud, all while minimizing disruption to business operations and application uptime.

Cloud migration is a complex process that calls for strategies and approaches based on an organization’s needs. When transitioning to cloud computing, businesses must consider their deployment model (public, private, hybrid, or multi-cloud) and the service category (SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS). Additionally, they can choose from several migration types, each with its benefits and use cases. Here are the types of cloud migration that one can opt for:

6 Types of

Re-host (Lift & Shift

In a re-hosting strategy, also known as “lift and shift,” organizations transfer their applications from on-premises environments to cloud infrastructure or platform services.

This approach is ideal for applications with minimal dependencies, low business impact, and no regulatory constraints.

It offers immediate access to the cloud’s scalability and hardware advancements, managed by the cloud provider.


Re-platforming involves migrating applications to a cloud provider’s infrastructure while updating them to take advantage of the current technology and services offered by the provider.

For instance, organizations may replace older data management systems with modern, autonomous databases or incorporate built-in machine learning models.

This approach reduces operational expenses and improves application performance.


The retirement strategy involves identifying and decommissioning applications that are no longer needed or have become redundant.

Removing such applications streamlines operations reduces costs, and eliminates vestigial processes.

Careful planning is required, as there may be dependencies with other applications that need to be addressed before decommissioning.

Cloud migration offers various strategies, allowing businesses to tailor their approach to their unique requirements. By considering deployment models, service categories, and the specific needs of their applications, companies can effectively transition to the cloud while optimizing performance, cost-efficiency, and agility.


In a repurchasing strategy, organizations replace on-premises applications with cloud-based software as a Service (SaaS) offerings.

Employees access these cloud applications via a web browser, and the cloud provider handles maintenance and updates.

This migration type can simplify software management and ensure access to the latest features, though it may require process adaptation.


Organizations may decide to retain specific applications on-premises due to low latency requirements, data residency regulations, or cost efficiency.

However, it’s important to periodically reassess these decisions as cloud providers continually improve their offerings and expand their global data center presence.


Refactoring involves rearchitecting applications to make them more cloud-native, taking full advantage of cloud features.

Organizations may break down monolithic applications into microservices, enabling easier development, testing, and deployment of new features.

Additionally, in-database analytics can be integrated to enhance data processing and analysis.

Successful cloud migration requires careful planning and execution. To ensure a smooth transition, follow these best practices:

1. Define the Project Scope:

Clearly outline the scope of your cloud migration project. Determine which workloads, applications, or databases will be relocated to the cloud and specify the reasons for the migration.

2. Identify Dependencies and Integrations:

Use cloud migration tools to map dependencies, data sources, and integration points. Understanding these connections is crucial for a seamless migration.

3. Assess Cloud Providers:

Research and select a cloud provider suitable for the specific workloads being relocated. Consider factors such as performance, compliance, and cost.

4. Consider Multi-Cloud Strategy:

Evaluate whether a multi-cloud approach is necessary based on your workloads and business needs. It may provide redundancy and flexibility.

5. Conduct Cost Assessment:

Perform a comprehensive cost assessment to estimate the expenses associated with the migration and ongoing cloud usage.

6. Build a Skilled Team:

Assign a dedicated team with the necessary expertise to execute the migration effectively and ensure team members understand their roles and responsibilities.

7. Communicate Goals and Expectations:

Communicate the goals of the migration to the entire team. Ensure everyone understands the project’s objectives and expectations.

 8. Determine Responsibility Allocation:

Decide how much of the migration will be handled internally by your team and how much will be managed by the cloud provider or external experts.

9. Prioritize Workloads:

Prioritize which workloads to migrate based on complexity, size, and business criticality. Start with simpler, less critical workloads to build confidence.

10. Create a Migration Plan:

Develop a migration plan outlining the roadmap and schedule for the migration process. Include contingency plans for potential setbacks.

11. Evaluate Existing Cloud-Based Applications:

Assess if the organization already uses cloud-based applications and determine whether they should be retained or replaced by new cloud-based services.

12. Communicate with Stakeholders:

Keep all stakeholders informed about the migration process. Communicate what they can expect during and after the migration.

13. Establish Security Measures:

Prepare a comprehensive security plan for the migration and post-migration phases. Address data security, compliance, and access control.

14. Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):

Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for assessing the migration’s success. These metrics should align with your business objectives and performance goals.

15. Regular Progress Review:

Continuously check in with the migration team to review progress and address any challenges or roadblocks.

16. Testing and Adjustments:

Thoroughly test the migrated workloads and systems and be prepared to adjust as needed to ensure optimal performance and reliability.

17. Data Backup:

Before migration, ensure that all data is securely backed up to prevent loss.

18. Data Security Focus:

Pay close attention to data security during migration and post-migration phases. Understand the security responsibilities shared between your organization and the cloud provider.

By following these best practices, you can increase the likelihood of successful and efficient cloud migration, whether moving databases, adopting SaaS applications, or transitioning to cloud-based computing and storage services.

Cloud migration is an ever-evolving field, and staying up to date with the latest trends is important for organizations looking to harness the full potential of cloud computing. Here are some notable cloud migration trends to watch:

1. Increasingly Demanding Workloads in the Cloud:

Organizations are moving increasingly demanding workloads to the cloud, including mission-critical applications, data analytics, and high-performance computing tasks. This trend reflects growing confidence in cloud infrastructure’s reliability and scalability.

2. Complex Hybrid Cloud and Multi-cloud Migrations:

Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud deployments are becoming more complex and sophisticated. Companies are leveraging multiple cloud providers and environments to meet diverse business needs. However, cloud providers may impose data egress fees and other obstacles, creating challenges that organizations must address when pursuing multi-cloud strategies.

3. Collaboration Among Cloud Providers:

Some cloud providers are collaborating to simplify and lower barriers to multi-cloud deployments. This collaborative approach can benefit organizations by offering flexibility and reducing vendor lock-in.

4. Emphasis on Platform Services:

There is a growing interest in platform services, such as cloud-native development platforms. These services allow organizations to build custom software solutions while benefiting from modern cloud economics, scalability, and pay-as-you-go pricing models. This trend supports faster development and innovation.

5. Customer’s Own Data Center Cloud Deployments:

Dedicated clouds hosted within a customer’s data center are gaining popularity. In this model, the cloud provider owns and operates the hardware and software, while the customer has to pay for the cloud services they use. It combines the advantages of on-premises control with the flexibility and scalability of the cloud.

 6. Ongoing Advancements and Simplification:

Cloud migration is expected to become even more sophisticated as cloud providers continue to enhance their offerings. Providers will likely introduce enticing features, tools, and services to streamline migration processes and make them more accessible to a broader range of businesses.

As these trends continue to shape the cloud migration landscape, organizations should carefully evaluate their cloud strategies and adapt to take advantage of the opportunities presented by emerging technologies and partnerships. The ability to flexibly manage workloads, leverage multi-cloud environments, and harness platform services can lead to greater efficiency, cost savings, and innovation in the cloud computing era.

As a trusted partner of industry leaders such as Oracle, SAP, and Salesforce, Nsight is at the forefront of providing cutting-edge cloud migration solutions. Our expertise and collaboration with these technology giants empower us to offer comprehensive and tailored cloud migration services that align seamlessly with your organization’s needs. With a deep understanding of the intricacies of these platforms, we ensure a smooth transition to the cloud, allowing businesses to unlock the full potential of cloud computing while optimizing performance and efficiency.

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About the Author

Rakesh Nakka, a seasoned Practice Leader in Infrastructure, Security & Cloud, brings over 19 years of expertise in steering industry-leading operations. He adeptly leverages modern design patterns and next-gen technologies to ensure secure, seamless, and scalable system access.

With a strong advisory background, Rakesh excels in driving business innovation, workplace modernization, and long-term cost control through strategic cloud initiatives.

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