What Is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is the process of moving an organization’s applications, data, and other server elements to a cloud-based computing environment. A critical move as part of your business’s digital transformation, cloud migration can help you more effectively handle escalating volumes of data. 

More than 80% of organizations have at least one application or a portion of their computing infrastructure in the cloud. According to the same survey, 32% of total IT budgets will be allocated to cloud computing in 2021. It’s clear that many businesses are turning to the cloud for their data storage and privacy needs.

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Benefits of cloud migration

Organizations that have chosen to take their analytics to the cloud are doing so with solid reasoning behind them. Cloud BI is becoming more common, and with the following advantages of cloud migration, it’s easy to see why. 


Having all your data in one cloud-based place lets you easily pull datasets together faster. Your analysts are also able to generate more accurate query results more quickly. Moving to the cloud can also give you access to time-savers like cloud automation tools, so you can free yourself from tedious database tasks and focus on higher-value projects. 

Operational efficiency and agility

Free, fast access to data between applications and locations is crucial for agile decision-making. Having your data in the cloud makes this a breeze. Otherwise, your company is dependent on file transfers, which constrain builders and reduce efficiency. 

Security and support

A reputable cloud service should include built-in tools to protect the data in your warehouse. For example, if you’re using Amazon S3, its cloud servers provide both client- and server-side encryption, giving you control over when data is accessible and viewable. If you have sensitive data in your warehouse, these types of security features are crucial. The use of the cloud can also provide increased redundancy so you no longer need to worry about a server going down and taking your entire operations with it. 

Cost savings

Outsourcing server costs, maintenance, and upgrades can tremendously reduce your IT operations outlay. It also relieves your budget of the costs of the server hardware, not to mention the power it takes to run and the office space it takes up (and the heat it generates). And since you pay only for the processing power and storage you use, you gain flexibility, because you’re not tied to applications that you’re only using occasionally.

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Challenges to face when you migrate to cloud

Proper staff training

To encourage company-wide buy-in, it’s worth investing in expert training and resources for your staff. The main players need to be absolutely fluent on the specifics of the technology that your data is migrating to. And they need to feel like they are being well supported during the transition. This can mitigate any adoption resistance that may be fomenting among the staff. 

Migrating large databases

A large and complex database with multiple data connectors can involve setbacks and complications during the cloud migration process. Your cloud migration might involve moving from a physical infrastructure to a virtual one. You’ll want someone (or someones) who is very familiar with both your data and data integration practices to manage this move. 

Maintaining operations during the migration

To successfully migrate to cloud without any performance issues, plan before you jump. It’s a good idea to move over redundant or nonessential data first, to avoid disruptions in service. You may find that you need to adapt your data model during the process to account for any discrepancies that may occur. Having a solid strategy will ensure that your business operations continue to run smoothly during the migration.

Cloud migration strategies

The right strategy for the migration is key to a smooth transition. Planning is crucial, as cloud technology, infrastructure, and architecture are constantly evolving. The first hurdle you’ll come to is which service to sign up with. Snowflake, Google Cloud, and Amazon Web Services are all major industry players, and an up-to-date data engineer needs to be fluent with all their services.

A hybrid, or multicloud, solution has become popular for many enterprise companies. A recent survey found 81% of enterprises have taken advantage of a multicloud strategy. Companies can assign different applications to separate cloud warehouses depending on each one’s unique requirements, and even combine public and private clouds for maximum cost efficiency.

A third-party provider is another strategy for managing the technical details of the actual migration process. It can be a relief to offload all the headaches of the move. Choose a provider with a high customer satisfaction rating and expertise with a number of different platforms. 

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Cloud migration checklist

To summarize, here’s an overview of the steps you can take for successful cloud migration:

  • Plan your strategy
  • Choose a database model
  • Build the schema
  • Train your staff 
  • Explore multi-cloud and hybrid options

The cloud advantage

For today’s companies, who are dealing with today’s huge amounts of data, migrating to the cloud can be an excellent way to increase scale without sacrificing performance. The cloud can save you money by avoiding many in-house hosting costs and by allowing you to only pay for the server power you need. Also, many new programs and applications are being built on the cloud to begin with, so it’s clear that cloud literacy is a skill that no company can afford to ignore.

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