Cloud migration – understand the process, benefits and challenges before migrating to Azure

Are you considering cloud migration? If migrating to Azure is on your IT roadmap, we can help you understand more about the process, the benefits and the challenges you might face along the way.

Author: Russell McKee, Senior Consultant & Azure Architect

Russell McKee from Cloud Business talking about migrating to Azure, migrating to the cloud, microsoft cloud migration

An experienced Azure Architect and Senior M365 Consultant with over 20 years in the IT industry covering several sectors including Healthcare Government, Blue Light and Private enterprises. Highly focused on delivering change, innovation and exceptional end user experience by working with customers to get the best solution to the challenges they have. Russell has impeccable attention to detail and a genuine passion for innovation and technology.

Russell’s specialisms include Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, Exchange, Identity & Access Management, Modern Desktop with Microsoft Endpoint Manager, Telecoms, Networking, IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and Virtualisation technologies.


Cloud migration: What to expect when migrating to Azure 

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 likely were effective in getting the job done for a period of time. However, technology has changed rapidly, and businesses need flexibility and modern technology to have sustainable long-term growth.

Moving workloads, applications and processes to the cloud helps 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 I’ll discuss the ins and outs of cloud migration, and what businesses can expect when migrating to Azure. 

What is Cloud Migration? 

A 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, migrating to Azure. It also includes the ongoing process of maintaining and optimising the cloud once the migration is complete. 

Benefits of making the move to cloud

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, electricity and sufficient 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 comparison, with the cloud, it’s simple to increase or decrease resources as needed 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. 

Security 

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. That’s where we can help.

From here the cloud 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 and managed by experienced consultants, 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 is 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 cloud? 

Moving to the cloud can help your business grow, while 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 Azure, get in contact with us today. 

You can find out more about Azure cloud platform on the Microsoft website, or read about how we can support you here.

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