By now, nearly every business leader across Australia has thought about cloud migration. The significance of the cloud in the Australian business landscape cannot be ignored, as many organisations have evolved past traditional data centres and moved to cloud platforms, driven by the promise of increased scalability, flexibility, and cost efficiency.

According to studies by ADAPT, it’s predicted that by 2025, 55% of workloads will reside in public cloud environments. This shows that while cloud is steadily gaining popularity, there is still a significant portion of businesses yet to migrate.

Done right, cloud migration can deliver significant business and commercial benefits. But it’s not always easy to get right. In fact, according to Forbes, one-third of migrations fail outright. To ensure success, you need a robust cloud migration strategy that works for your business, your requirements, and your goals.

After helping hundreds of Australian SMBs migrate to the cloud, we’ve put together a comprehensive but easy-to-follow checklist to help you build a cloud migration strategy that will help you transition smoothly and successfully.

Why do you even need a cloud migration strategy?

Cloud migration is not an if but a when. Those who are yet to migrate their workloads to the cloud will eventually do so – either through choice or because on-premise applications and solutions will no longer be offered.

Like we’ve seen with video to DVD to streaming or CDs to MP3s to Spotify, as more efficient ways to operate arise, older solutions die out. The cloud is no different.

Unfortunately, cloud migration isn’t as simple as signing up for Netflix.

Many businesses underestimate the strategic planning required, the technical challenges in transferring and securing data, and the operational disruptions that can occur if the migration is not managed properly.

A poorly designed (or non-existent) cloud migration strategy can lead to migrations missing deadlines, running well over budget, or failing completely. It can also impact your cyber security strategy, resulting in data losses, security breaches, and significant operational downtime that impacts reputation, commercial viability, and customer privacy.

Your 7-step cloud migration strategy checklist

  1. Pre-Migration Planning

  • Assess your current infrastructure, determine what needs to be migrated, and decide on your cloud service model and provider.
  • Utilise cloud readiness tools to evaluate your existing IT infrastructure, application portfolio, and operational practices to determine their suitability for a cloud environment.
  • Utilises cloud readiness tools to identify potential challenges, estimate costs, forecast performance and capacity needs, and ultimately guide the decision-making process for cloud adoption.
  1. Risk Assessment and Management

  • Identify potential security risks and compliance issues and plan how to mitigate them.
  • Refer to standards such as ISO/IEC 27001, which will help you conduct risk assessments to determine the appropriate security measures and controls. It involves a systematic approach to managing sensitive company information so that it remains secure and includes people, processes, and IT systems by applying a risk management process.
  1. Cost Analysis and Budget Planning

  • Outline expected costs and create a realistic budget that includes unexpected expenses.
  • Cost calculator tools can be useful for estimating the potential costs associated with using cloud services. These calculators can assist in budget planning, comparing costs across different cloud providers, and optimizing spending based on the business’s specific needs and usage patterns.
  • Most major cloud providers offer pricing calculators, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Oracle.
  1. Data and Application Migration Strategy

  • Multiple migration approaches exist for different types of applications and data. You’ll need to decide on the migration approach (lift and shift, re-platforming, re-architecting) that is right and possible for you.
  • Identify any tools that can help with data migration and how they will work as part of your strategy
  • For example, MigrationWiz is a cloud-based data migration tool by that provides a straightforward, efficient, and secure method to transition to cloud environments
  1. Security Strategy

  • Implementing a cyber security strategy and measures to protect data during and after migration can greatly minimise the risks associated with cloud migration and help maintain the security and integrity of data in the cloud.
  • During migration: Use secure migration tools, ensure encryption during the transfer period, implement strict access control, ensure network security and private connection between on-premise and cloud, and undertake continuous data integrity checks.
  • Post-migration: Conduct regular security assessments, undertake patch management, set up multi-factor authentication (MFA), instil data backup and recovery, ensure relevant compliance and data privacy, and apply secure configuration management.
  1. Testing and Validation

  • Ensure that all systems work as expected in the new cloud environment before going live with pilot tests and phased rollouts.
  • Identify and rectify any potential technical issues, ensure readiness for fullscale migration, and allow staff to get familiar with the new environment.
  • Pilot tests and phased rollouts allow organisations to minimise risks, fine-tune the migration process, and ensure system compatibility and performance under real-world conditions before full deployment.
  1. Post-Migration Review and Optimisation

  • Monitor the new system, compare it against pre-migration performance, and optimise for efficiency and cost.
  • Various tools are available to help organisations keep track of their cloud resources, identify issues proactively, and optimise costs and performance.
  • Helpful tools include Microsoft Azure Monitor, Amazon CloudWatch, Dynatrace, Datadog and Cisco CloudCenter

Finding the right strategy and execution support

Strategy is super important to ensure you get the business benefits out of cloud. Using this checklist, you’ve got a great foundation to build a well-planned, robust cloud migration strategy and be well-positioned to carry out

But building your strategy is just the first step.

While this checklist aims to simplify and break down what you need to carry out a timely, secure and successful cloud migration, it also demonstrates just how much work cloud migration can be.

This is why many organisations work with an expert provider to help them plan, execute, and manage their cloud migration and reduce the risk of transformation.

If you’re looking for some extra support along your cloud migration journey, VITG can help implement and manage your business cloud throughout the transition of your cloud journey, including on-premise to cloud migration, cloud-to-cloud migration, or application modernisation.

Our Cloud Managed Services are designed to empower you to embrace the very best of cloud computing by delivering deep expertise in Microsoft Azure and ongoing guidance on how to maximise the outcomes of your cloud investment.

For more information, get in touch.

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