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Retailers everywhere have started moving parts of their business to Azure. When looking at moving more of the data center into Azure, teams can see the current state, and the end state. At the end state, they see all the possibilities: AI, chatbots, advanced analytics, elastic scalability, and more. They also see how many of the services they use already run in the cloud. Databases, marketing tools, supply chain management, retail optimization platforms, and more are waiting for you once you make the move.


Working with people across Microsoft to understand what retailers go through to move from on-premises to the cloud, I learned a number of important things that many customers face when migrating to the cloud. At the start, retailers take baby steps: they rehost their applications in virtual machines. During that phase, they get comfortable with just using Azure. Next, they realize that maintenance of the infrastructure services could be eliminated if they switch from virtual machines to services. That refactoring frees up a lot of maintenance time, so the retailer looks at doing more: they rebuild parts of the solution to be cloud native. This effort resulted in putting together an article on Migrating your e-commerce solution to Azure.

In the article, I run through the options and decisions that most retailers face when planning a migration to Azure. For example:

  • Do you simply rehost your application in the cloud as-is? You immediately save the cost of  infrastructure.
  • Or do you consider application refactoring? A switch to Azure PaaS (and even SaaS) increases the ability to integrate new services—those that expand capability, performance and scalability.

Recommended next steps

This journey requires a lot of planning, taking inventory of what you already own, and learning. Regardless of where you are in this process, read Migrating your e-commerce solution to Azure overview to continue your journey moving your e-commerce solution to Azure.

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