Five steps to a successful cloud migration

George Kennedy

numbered stair steps


Moving to the cloud is no longer just a long-term business plan for most organisations. The transition is underway now. According to the Cloud Industry Forum, 69% of UK organisations sped up their cloud migration plans in 2020. What’s more, 88% expect the adoption of cloud services to increase in 2021.

Despite the large numbers, migrating to the cloud involves several considerations, such as when is the right time to make the transition? And, having made the decision, how should you make the move? Let’s consider the five key points you should consider before embarking on your cloud migration journey.


1. Define your objectives

The first consideration — and the most important key to success — is defining your business objectives. Are you looking to increase revenue? Improve your customer experience? Create a culture of innovation?

Then look at how the cloud can help you meet these objectives. This will require a major shift in thinking — from “the cloud is my data centre” to “the cloud is my business differentiator.” This means looking at your people, processes and technology from a new, cloud native perspective.

“Recent upheavals in the business world, accelerated by the COVID pandemic, are shifting requirements. The catalysts take on a variety of forms: the requirement for remote working; the need to faster deployment of new services or the ability to do more with customer data. Whatever the reason, the cloud is going to a big enabler of tackling this sort of digital disruption.”

Mahesh Desai, Chief Relationship Officer, Rackspace Technology EMEA


2. Get to know your current state

A critical issue, especially in larger companies, is simply not knowing which applications are being used across the organization. Conduct an audit of your applications and their dependencies. From here, you can start to weigh which applications are good candidates for a cloud migration, and which will require more work.

“It’s a common problem, especially with larger companies, that there’s often a low-to-medium knowledge about the applications being used within the organisation. If you ask them about the infrastructure, they know about that, but we try to bring the customer back to an application-centric point of view.”

Shoaib Rahim, Transformation Consultant, Rackspace Technology


3. Chart your road map

With your objectives in clear view, it’s time to create a roadmap to get there. For some businesses, a complete cloud native revolution is the way forward. For others, it’s better to move slowly and steadily with a phased migration.

Remember: there's no "one-size-fits-all” approach to cloud migrations. It’s important to treat every implementation on its unique merits, and according to your requirements around cost, risk and speed.  

“There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to cloud deployment . . . Some companies may want to go completely cloud native, while others want to make a targeted set of investments to move gradually.”

Paul Traynor, Director of Professional Services, Rackspace Technology


4. Plan for flexibility

The roadmap you start with may need to be modified along the way, so be prepared to periodically revisit your plans and make changes. For example, you may need to quickly pivot to address an unexpected merger or acquisition, a budget adjustment or a shift in business priorities. Consider the roadblocks you may encounter along the way, and plan for them.

“We had a large customer in the Middle East who wanted to save money on their data center.  Suddenly, COVID hit and they wanted to move to public cloud as quickly as possible. That seismic event changed the way they looked at everything.”

Shoaib Rahim, Transformation Consultant, Rackspace Technology


5. Build your ecosystems

Businesses need to bring the best cloud providers and technology partners into their transition — experts who can help with both business issues and technology concerns. You will also want to invest in developing greater technical skills in-house.

“Network engineers run networks, application developers write code, but cloud engineers have to do a bit of everything. We’re already seeing that people can build on their careers on cloud.”

Laura Foster, Program Manager, Tech UK


Get expert help for your journey

With the right experts by your side, you can achieve cloud migration success. Our specialist migration team has the strategy, planning and execution expertise you need, across all application migration scenarios — so you can modernize faster and more successfully, while protecting your business. Learn more about our migration services.