Cloud Transformation vs Cloud Migration – The Right Strategy for Business Transformation

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Cloud Transformation vs Cloud Migration – The Right Strategy for Business Transformation

Cloud migration and cloud transformation have a few common factors but are different processes that deliver different results for an organization. Here, we’ll discuss cloud transformation vs cloud migration to determine which is the right strategy for your business. 

Cloud technologies have been revolutionizing many industries over the last few years. From startups to international brands, business organizations with varying volumes have adopted cloud technologies or are planning to invest in them. The increasing popularity of digital transformation has put the cloud at the forefront. 

According to Mordor Intelligence, the global cloud migration market is estimated at $232.51 billion in 2024 and is projected to reach $806.41 billion in 2029 at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 28.24%. Meanwhile, Gartner has predicted that global spending on cloud computing will touch $679 in 2024, saying that it will become a necessity for business in competitive markets by 2028. 

However, several businesses are not entirely sure about the process. While some opt for cloud migration, some choose cloud transformation. Others wonder which is the best strategy for their establishments. 

In this blog, we’ll provide detailed answers to such questions about digital transformation in businesses and analyze cloud transformation vs cloud migration strategies. Let us first understand what cloud transformation and cloud migration mean. Read on!


What is Cloud Transformation?

Cloud transformation or cloud digital transformation is a comprehensive and end-to-end strategy that focuses on streamlining the entire IT infrastructure in an enterprise to increase its overall efficiency and reduce costs. Instead of shifting the software or business systems to a cloud, you will reconsider your existing IT strategy and strengthen it on multiple levels. This involves data pipeline creation, adoption of new technologies, third-party integrations, better security layers, and cultural changes in the organization, along with partnering with a cloud solutions provider. 

The process is highly complex and requires an expert team. Many businesses partner with a reliable cloud transformation consultant to develop a holistic approach to revamp the IT landscape in the business and achieve their results. It is also an expensive process but delivers a higher return on investment in the long run. 


What is Cloud Migration?

As the name suggests, cloud migration or migration to the cloud is the process of moving business applications and their data to cloud platforms. By moving an application from on-premises to the cloud, you can optimize your internal resources, scale the apps over time, and improve performance. Applications hosted on the cloud are more flexible, agile, and secure.

So, what is another name for cloud migration? It is sometimes termed ‘lifting and shifting’ since the apps and systems are lifted from on-premises business systems and shifted to a remote cloud platform. Depending on your preferences, the service provider will create a strategy for cloud migration to AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, or other cloud platforms. Based on your long-term plan and business objectives, you can choose between public, private, hybrid, and multiple cloud platforms. 


What are the 3 Main Phases of Cloud Migration?

The cloud migration roadmap is divided into three major phases to plan, execute, manage, and optimize the projects according to the business requirements. The phases are similar for different cloud platforms, such as Azure and AWS. 

Prepare and Plan 

Start by evaluating the existing systems in your business. Which applications do you want to move to the cloud? What kind of data do these applications need? Then, plan the process and determine which cloud provider is the right choice. Leading platforms have their cloud migration software. For example, Microsoft Azure has a tool called Azure Migrate. For other platforms, you can choose software like Datadog, Flexera, Carbonite Migrate, etc. Your cloud migration partner will take care of these aspects when you provide the necessary information. 

Migrate

Once the cloud migration plan is ready, the service provider will initiate the process of moving the selected applications and their data from on-premises to the cloud. This phase includes a series of steps like configuring, deploying, resource management, creating alternate data pipelines, actual data migration, third-party integrations, testing the applications on the cloud, and so on. It is time-consuming and has to be handled by experts with domain experience.  

Operate and Optimize 

When the migration and testing are done, the consultant will monitor the new setup on the cloud and make the necessary adjustments to create seamless workflows. They identify and eliminate glitches, bugs, etc., and optimize the processes to accelerate efficiency. The optimization phase deals with cost-management measures to maximize results without affecting quality. The service providers will continue to offer maintenance and support services to upgrade the apps whenever necessary. 


What is the Main Difference Between Cloud Transformation and Cloud Migration?

As a growing business, you want to do the right thing for your organization. Here, we’ll compare cloud transformation vs cloud migration to help you understand what each process signifies for your establishment. 

Strategy

The cloud transformation strategy is more detailed and comprehensive as it redefines the business approach. You implement a cloud-first approach where all major IT components are hosted on cloud platforms. This allows your employees more freedom and flexibility to work remotely and collaborate with others. 

Even though cloud migration involves shifting the applications to a cloud platform, it doesn’t always change the business approach. Your employees can continue working the same way and show greater productivity. Migrating the systems to the cloud doesn’t change the core of your business. 

Difficulty Levels 

Between cloud transformation vs cloud migration, the former is more difficult, complex, and expensive. Cloud migration doesn’t include development services. It doesn’t require the same level of expertise as cloud transformation. However, cloud migration also needs domain experience and capable support services. 

Cloud transformation involves making major changes to applications, altering the source code, customizing the software, etc., to make sure they are compatible with each other. There’s a greater risk of data loss or unexpected system downtime during cloud transformation. 

Despite the difference in difficulty levels, both processes should be implemented by professionals trained for the job. Also, choose a service provider with certifications to use platforms like Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud. This allows them access to various tools and technologies available in the ecosystem and enhances the quality of the output. 

Timeline

As you may have guessed, cloud migration takes less time and can be completed quickly compared to cloud transformation. Since fewer changes and challenges are involved, the entire cloud migration journey is relatively simpler. 

Cloud transformation is called a journey as it involves revamping the business systems and processes to implement a newer and better approach. The process can continue for months without disrupting your daily work. Moreover, cloud digital transformation is not a one-time solution. It is a continuous process and needs more monitoring, maintenance, and support than cloud migration. 

Cultural Impact 

Any change you introduce into your business will have an impact on the established work culture and your employees. 

With cloud migration, the cultural impact will be limited as your employees don’t have to change their work. While they still have to use new dashboards, the applications are likely to be the same or similar. The required adjustment is less, making it easier to convince employees to embrace modern technologies.

With cloud native transformation, you are introducing more than a new hosting solution. You want your employees to think about digitalization and cloud as the primary approach to work. Since it is also an expensive and time-consuming process, you should involve your employees from the initial stages and create awareness about how it can bring cultural changes to the organization. Remote working, collaborations, and hybrid work culture will take precedence. 

Results or Benefits 

It’s no surprise that both strategies are beneficial for a business when you implement them correctly. However, cloud migration doesn’t offer the same extent of benefits as cloud transformation due to its limited scope in changing the business approach or revamping the models. You can still reduce costs and increase productivity with cloud migration. However, cloud transformation will allow you to take full advantage of the cloud architecture and ecosystem to modernize your business systems from end to end. 

Additionally, a cloud migration service provider may not offer cloud transformation services but a cloud digital transformation company will inherently offer cloud migration solutions tailored to suit your needs. 

Choosing between cloud transformation vs cloud migration depends on your business mission, vision, goals, and objectives. Businesses from all industries and sectors benefit from cloud solutions. Based on your budget and priorities, you can start with cloud migration and expand the scope to complete cloud digital transformation. This will also give your employees the time to get used to the idea and upgrade their skills through in-house training programs.


What is the Difference Between Cloud Modernization and Cloud Migration?

Now that we dealt with cloud transformation vs cloud migration, let’s see the difference between cloud migration and modernization.

Cloud modernization is the process of updating the applications and IT architecture to maximize the efficiency of cloud-based solutions. It is a little similar to cloud transformation but can be performed on a smaller scale. 

For example, an on-premises app can be modernized when it is being migrated to the cloud. An application already running on the cloud platform can be modernized independently. A legacy application can be modernized and used on-premises but can be hosted on a cloud-native environment like Kubernetes clusters. 

While cloud migration to Azure or AWS is simpler and faster, cloud modernization focuses on delivering long-lasting results and upgrading business apps to offer a competitive edge. Additionally, cloud migration to AWS and other platforms doesn’t require development resources. Cloud modernization and cloud transformation need development frameworks and technologies to better the applications and increase ROI. 


What is the Difference Between Data Transformation and Migration?

Another important concept to understand after cloud transformation vs cloud migration is the difference between data migration and data transformation (also called conversion). 

Data migration is the process of moving or shifting data from one app/ database/ storage type to another and is a part of the cloud transformation journey. Here, the focus is on finding a more suitable, cost-effective, and scalable storage solution for your business data. The data may or may not be converted or formatted. However, in most instances, data is cleaned, labeled, and transferred from one storage place to another (on-premises to the cloud or vice versa) to make it compatible with different applications. 

Data transformation is a step-by-step process where your business data is cleaned, formatted, and labeled to suit the new storage device/ platform/ application. Data transformation is performed in five stages – data profiling, mapping, transformation, validation, and loading. The transformed data is structured, uniform, and standardized, and can be used as an input in various third-party applications. Moreover, data can be transformed and kept in the same storage device (it doesn’t have to be migrated). For example, data is transformed when the legacy systems are modernized and used on-premises. 

However, unlike cloud transformation, data transformation is less complex. Data migration is time-consuming and risky as it can lead to data loss. 


Conclusion 

In the cloud transformation vs cloud migration debate, there is no right or wrong decision. It only depends on your business goals, budget, and plans. Additionally, choosing the right service provider will ensure that you do the best thing for your enterprise. 

Cloud migration and cloud transformation serve different purposes. If you want to reduce costs and lighten up your IT infrastructure, cloud migration is a good choice. However, if you want to streamline the entire system to implement digital technologies in all verticals, cloud business transformation is the right choice. 

Talk to our expert team to choose the right way forward!

Fact checked by –
Akansha Rani ~ Content Creator & Copy Writer

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