Pros and Cons of 4 Common Cloud Migration Strategies

Reading time: 3 mins
Birds migrating
Share article

It's expected that the public cloud service market will reach $623.3 billion by 2023 worldwide.

After all, cloud computing offers businesses greater flexibility, resilience, and recovery. But migrating all of your applications and data can be a pain. There are countless migration strategies out there, all with advantages and disadvantages. But, which one is the right pick for your organization?

Let’s take a look at four of the most common cloud migration strategies:

1. Rehost

Lift and shift’

Rehosting—often known as ‘lift and shift’—is about lifting your servers or applications from where they’re currently hosted, and shifting them over to a new cloud infrastructure. It’s probably the most common strategy, especially for those just starting out with migration.

That’s where the pros lie—simplicity. It’s a low resistance option thanks to the pay-as-you-go public cloud infrastructure and allows you to migrate your core services quickly. The initial shift doesn’t require any data architecture changes, so there’s no time and money going on lengthy testing.

The problem is that a simple lift and shift won’t make full use of the cloud. Your legacy applications are just operating in a different location, meaning they’re not scalable and won’t allow for distributed workloads. You’re also not addressing any issues you might have with your current applications, you’re just moving them over. This can increase the risk of migration failure, as applications may not be mapped accurately to the cloud configuration.

2. Refactor/Rearchitect

‘Lift, tinker, and shift’

Similar to rehosting, refactoring is about moving your current application over to a cloud infrastructure. However, the refactoring part involves adjusting the architecture to fit the new environment.

Refactoring sets you up for long-term savings on your migration. By rearchitecting your applications, you’re setting them up for scalability. This means you’re better equipped to meet your business goals as they inevitably expand.

However, this whole process is intensive. You’ll need time, money, and resources. It’s a complex project to refactor and it’ll take advanced development and operations skills that you might not have in-house.

3. Replatform

‘Lift and shape’

Replatforming fills the gap between the first two strategies. Like rehosting, you move your existing architecture over to a cloud, but you make adjustments to take advantage of the new infrastructure. It’s not a full rearchitect but allows you to make better use of the cloud’s features.

This enables you to start small, and scale up when you need to. It gives you more breathing room to experiment and find out what parts of the cloud work well for you, without committing to a full migration project.

With that said, one of the downfalls of re-platforming is that it can quickly get out of hand. Before you know it, you’re locked into a full refactoring project. This is why planning is crucial to re-platforming, as it helps you focus only on the features you know need changing.

4. Repurchase

Drop and shop’

Repurchasing is when your legacy applications are fully replaced by a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, such as a CRM platform. You might choose this to streamline your old applications and reduce them down, or because it offers new capacities to scale up.

Taking this route removes the configuration time, as the new product is already set up for the cloud. It also eliminates the lengthy software procurement phase, as it allows you to buy pre-built solutions from a variety of vendors.

Choosing to repurchase depends a lot on the complexity of your applications. If you’re using a lot of unique features customized for your organization, it won’t be an effective strategy.

Choose the right cloud migration strategy

Worldwide spending on public cloud services is set to grow by 20 percent in 2022.

We’ve highlighted four great options that are worth considering for your cloud migration. They cover a range of needs, budgets, and project scopes, so one is sure to fit in with your migration goals.

That said, all of the different strategies out there might cloud your judgment. So if you need help deciding what’s right for your organization, contact us today.

Contact us

Ready To
Step On The Gas?

If you’d like to accelerate innovation in your business, get in touch. Our expert consultants can explore what’s possible for you.

Let's talk
Man and woman discussing solutions around a computer