Migrating to the Cloud: Step-by-step guide

Once the IT team (with the approval of management) has decided to migrate an on-premise application to the cloud, the following are, on a broad level, the steps to take-

1. Choose the right cloud provider

  • The team needs to have a clear documentation of their requirements.
  • Should around and meet with cloud vendors to find the ideal match – one that fulfills-
    • technology needs,
    • budget,
    • security concerns, and
    • legal requirements.

2. Prepare to Migrate

This step is all about detailed and efficient planning.

  • Decide what needs to move first, and the order to follow – ideally you would move the easiest and least critical data first.
  • Analyze if the application architecture needs to change to adapt to the cloud environment
  • Staff (developers, administrators, analysts, managers) need to be trained with technical skills that are “cloud-ready”
  • Have plans for
    • data backup
    • updating code
    • troubleshooting problems
    • measuring performance
    • dealing with downtime
  • Understand and document governance and security changes that the cloud migration will cause

3. Migrate

  • Make a backup – you do not want to be caught without a working copy of data if the migration blotches up
  • Prepare data for migration
    • encrypt
    • compress
    • use the right tools
    • make sure it is complete (with metadata that is adapted to the new platform)
  • Move the data – either over the internet, or physically, depending on the how much of data you are transferring and how critical it is
  • Security during migration – security of data in motion – while it is being transferred. Securing all temporary storage devices and locations and cleaning up after the data has moved

4. Check and double-check

This can be a hybrid of automated and manual testing.

  • Has all the data been moved according to the plan in step 2?
  • Has the data been decompressed, stored in the right structure?
  • Is the metadata in place and compatible?
  • Is the data on the cloud encrypted?
  • Is the application working?
  • Is the application accessible to users?
  • Are all internal interfaces and security controls in place?
  • Can the admin and other staff remotely monitor and access all the data and functions needed to operate and maintain them?
  • Are default password and access role changed and in accordance with policy?
  • Are all intermediate storage devices cleaned up – no data leaks?

5. Document

  • Document the process
  • Review and analyze what went wrong, what could have been done better and more efficiently
  • Use this document as a reference for future migrations



AWS. (2015, December). A Practical Guide to Cloud Migration. Retrieved from https://d0.awsstatic.com/whitepapers/the-path-to-the-cloud-dec2015.pdf

Semeney, A. (2017, May 17). Cloud Migration Checklist: Step by Step Guide – Hacker Noon. Retrieved from https://hackernoon.com/cloud-migration-checklist-step-by-step-guide-e65839cb2e81