Migrating to Azure: the benefits and challenges

Many businesses rely on some form of legacy on-premises infrastructure that they own, host or manage. These systems or servers may have been introduced recently, or over a decade ago, and were effective in getting the job done.

However, the technology landscape has changed rapidly, and businesses require flexibility and next generation technology to have sustainable long-term growth. Moving workloads, applications and processes to the cloud can allow businesses to take advantage of the many benefits of cloud technology and can accelerate innovation to help businesses stand out from their competitors. In this article we will discuss the ins and outs of cloud migration, and what businesses can expect when migrating to Azure.

Find out about our Azure Migrate service, a popular package for organisations taking the next step on their digital transformation journey >

What is cloud migration?

Cloud migration is the process of moving legacy assets, such as applications, data, servers or processes, to a public or private cloud, in this case, the Azure cloud. It also includes the ongoing process of maintaining and optimising the cloud once the migration is complete.

Benefits of migrating to Azure

Cost efficiency and scalability

Cloud technology allows business to only pay for the resources they use. With legacy on-premises infrastructure, business have a significant upfront investment for the technology, the installation, as well as the costs involved with maintenance, power and cooling. If the business needs to upgrade, it involves upgrading all the hardware, and the process would potentially take months. Similarly, there is no easy way for businesses to downgrade if their needs change over time. In the cloud, it is simple to increase or decrease resources as required with no significant upfront costs involved. Once the technology is set up, the business only pays for what they use, and nothing more.

Performance and reliability

The Azure cloud has a 99.9% uptime and is one of the most powerful clouds available. It keeps network latency low and provides an end-user experience that is significantly faster and more powerful than high-end on-premises infrastructure.


Microsoft has over 3,500 cybersecurity professionals working 24/7, along with advanced AI, working to keep all processes, applications, and data in the cloud safe. This ensures that businesses can feel safe knowing that their precious data and applications will not fall into the hands of a cybercriminal. Similarly, there are many security features built into the Azure cloud to help IT professionals run cloud processes safely and effectively.

Cloud migration process

The process of migrating to Azure requires expertise and a thorough understanding of a business and its goals. It includes the initial planning and assessment of legacy systems, including applications, databases and servers. From here the migration strategy is designed with contingency plans and roll-back plans to answer worst case scenarios. A pilot migration is then completed to resolve any issues and ensure that all requirements will be met. Finally, the migration will be run, typically over a weekend, or throughout the night, to limit the amount of disruption for the business and its employees. This process of migration is typically undertaken by a third-party IT provider, as businesses can rely on their previous experience and expertise.

Key challenges

Lack of strategy and planning

If businesses rush this process of migration, they will likely have a poor final outcome, which can negate the benefits of moving the cloud and hurt the growth of a business. Each business has different requirements and goals, and the right IT provider will be able to design a migration strategy that sets them up for success and longevity of cloud systems.

Poor cost optimisation

Although one of the key benefits of moving to the cloud are cost savings, as costs are based off resource consumption, if a business does not optimise their usage and costs, they may be surprised by a high bill. Thankfully, Azure has free built-in functionality to predict usage and the associated costs, and the tools available to optimise usage to decrease overall costs whilst increasing efficiency.

Ready to move to the cloud?

Moving to the cloud can help businesses grow, whilst increasing profitability, productivity and accelerating digital transformation. However, in order to realise these benefits, the migration process must be carefully designed and monitored by a team of professionals. If you want to find out more about how we can help you migrate to the cloud, get in contact with us today or click on the link below to find out more about our Azure Migrate package.

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