What Is Your Cloud Migration Strategy?

What is managed IT September Blog 2

There are three standard cloud migration methods that are appropriate for businesses depending on their specific operational needs. These methods have different pros and cons, costs, and scopes. These methods are also not mutually exclusive. Multiple approaches can all be used in succession to transition a company to the cloud with minimal downtime.

Three Types of Cloud Migration

Depending on your organization’s current data and process needs and level of cloud adoption, one of three migration strategies is most appropriate—lift and sift, application refactoring, or replatforming. 

Ranging from simply moving where data is stored to changing where your applications are hosted and computer processing is actually done, these three methods offer different approaches based on what your company actually needs. Some organizations simply need remote access to data, while others need flexibility and nimble access to cloud-hosted applications.

Lift and Shift

Keeping servers in a data center in your facility wastes precious office space and is potentially a security or business continuity risk. Many businesses have already undergone the lift and shift process, which essentially entails eliminating the onsite data center in favor of a cloud storage solution.

This option is minimally disruptive to your operations but also has the fewest advantages. By removing onsite data storage, you can save money on real estate, energy costs, and server maintenance costs. 

Also, your team will not require much if any additional training. The biggest change is that files are stored in a different location. For the purposes of your day-to-day operations, very little is actually changing. This option also involves the lowest upfront cost of any migration strategy.

This limited approach helps organizations get a taste of what is possible with cloud storage and computing, but it is really just the beginning.

Application Refactoring

In the lift and shift approach, all that is really moving is the final data and reporting that come out of your applications and processes. However, without your applications themselves running on the cloud, all your team can do is access data, not create, analyze, and use it.

Application refactoring, also known as application modernization, essentially brings your applications to the cloud. This is more than a backup strategy because it enables greater flexibility and reliability. So long as you have an internet connection, you can access the tools you need to get work done. Also, because your tools are not operating locally, you are insulated from events like power outages or other, more disastrous natural events.

Application refactoring is not an all or none solution. This approach is inherently flexible in that only the applications that are necessary for your organization need to be migrated to your cloud-based infrastructure. Additionally, your legacy applications can continue to operate on your local systems while the migration process is underway. In other words, you don’t need to worry about the process disrupting your operations.


Of the three main approaches of migration into cloud storage and computing, replatforming is the most comprehensive. Suited for organizations that are looking to take full advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, replatforming is the third step beyond lift and sift and application refactoring approaches.

Though this approach involves the greatest upfront cost of the three strategies, replatforming enables a flexibility of scale that is unmatched. After replatforming is completed, you will be able to rapidly increase, decrease, and change the type and amount of company resources needed to complete a given task.

This approach embraces mobile technology to a large extent and is best suited for organizations that are expecting widespread change year over year.

There are a variety of cloud migration strategies that can be used alone or in combination to modernize your organization and fully leverage current technology.

Why Choose One Cloud Migration Approach?

The bottom line is that these three strategies are not mutually exclusive. When The Millennium Group comes in to consult on the ideal strategy for your organization, we aren’t just offering a multiple choice quiz—pick one and that’s the solution you are stuck with.

Instead, we will analyze your current processes, your security needs, which applications your team uses on a regular basis, viable alternatives if necessary, and more. Once a clear strategy has been proposed and agreed to, our goal is to complete the migration while sticking to your timeline and budget. Disruption is an unnecessary cost, and we avoid it as much as possible. Give us a call today to see how your organization can further leverage cloud technology.