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Benefits of cloud migration

Learn why cloud computing appeals to organizations, find out about common cloud migration challenges, and explore helpful migration resources.

Migration offers big perks but may pose some challenges

Benefits of migration include reduced IT costs and improved performance, but the migration process itself presents some challenges, such as planning and cost. Keep reading to explore key migration benefits and challenges.

Cloud migration benefits

Optimized costs

There are significant savings in resource, maintenance, and real estate costs, in addition to the ability to optimize workloads so that they cost less to run.

Flexibility and scalability

  • Organizations pay only for the cloud resources that they use, meaning that they don't need to pay for and maintain IT assets that they may only use occasionally.
  • When demand spikes or the organization needs more powerful compute resources, organizations can alter their resources instantly on demand.
  • To keep getting value from their existing IT investments, many organizations adopt a hybrid cloud model, where they migrate some of their workloads to the cloud while keeping others in their existing on-premises environment. (There can be industry compliance benefits to hybrid clouds, too.)
  • Most cloud platforms maintain a global presence so that organizations can improve performance by running workloads closer to where their users or customers are.

Enhanced security

Many public clouds have built-in security features and specialized cloud security tools to help ensure that an organization's resources are protected. Security patching is done automatically by the cloud provider in many cases.

Compliance

Some cloud platforms have specialized offerings to seamlessly meet compliance requirements—this is ideal for highly regulated industries like finance, healthcare, and government.

Backup, recovery, and failover

Most cloud providers help to improve business continuity by offering built-in, one-click backup and recovery capabilities. Some providers also offer the ability to store backups in different geographic regions.

Simplified management and monitoring

Organizations can manage and monitor their on-premises datacenter and cloud resources from a single screen if the cloud provider offers a central management tool.

Cloud migration challenges

Planning

A large-scale migration requires extensive planning across the organization—more so than the comparatively straightforward process of moving individual workloads to the cloud. Successful migration planning starts with a defined strategy and getting participation from key business, technical, and leadership stakeholders.

Cost

While cloud migration can improve ROI in both the short- and long- term, the migration itself will cost time, money, and resources. Cost estimates for planning and implementing a migration are essential.

Security and compliance

Although cloud providers offer a variety of security and compliance offerings, migration customers are responsible for implementing the right solutions for their needs. Organizations can build potential security and compliance considerations into their migrations during planning.

Business downtime

Even though moving massive amounts of data to the cloud can be done very quickly, it requires careful planning to minimize downtime for businesses. Migrating in waves with an iterative approach can help organizations move manageable batches of data over time.

Organizational adoption and training

While IT professionals and developers will find that most of their current skills apply to the cloud, some skills training is still needed. Upfront cloud skill-building and training can set up organizations for success during and after migration.

Migration partner or vendor selection

For organizations that don't have the in-house expertise or capacity to plan and implement their migration, partners are invaluable resources. The right migration partner has services and experience that matches the needs and business considerations of the migrating organization.

Frequently asked questions

  • Cloud computing allows organizations to innovate faster and offers flexible resources and enhanced resilience compared to on-premises resources. With cloud services, you usually pay only for what you need and when you need it. Cloud computing can work with existing on-premises infrastructure (in a hybrid model) or replace it altogether. Learn more about cloud computing and cloud migration.
  • The answer depends on the size and complexity of your organization's migration project, as well as your in-house IT capabilities. Azure offers a variety of resources, tools, training, and guidance for both in-house and partner-assisted migrations:

    • If you want expert guidance from an experienced migration partner at every stage of your cloud migration journey, join the Azure Migration Program.
    • If you want to move some or all of your workloads to the cloud yourself, take a look at the Azure migration center for tools and resources to migrate with confidence, and also the Azure cloud migration resources page for migration videos, webinars, scenario guides, and learning resources for most common scenarios and workloads.
  • Most data migration challenges can be mitigated by using the right migration tools and best practices, which are available through most major cloud providers. Here are some of the challenges, followed by solutions to address them:

    • Loss of data during migration.
    • Semantics risks, where there are differences in data measurement units between legacy and new systems.
    • Corruption, when data integrity is eroded because of format or content differences between legacy and new systems.
    • Interference, when legacy data is changed or updated as it's being migrated.

    Reduce the risks of data migration challenges with these solutions:

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