Cloud Migration Checklist: 6 Steps to Take Before Moving to the Cloud

Cloud Migration Checklist: 6 Steps to Take Before Moving to the Cloud

Is your business ready to move onto the cloud? As companies across the globe adopt the cloud, they should be preparing for the cloud migration period. Your company may think that cloud migration is a simple process, and for the most part, it is. However, your enterprise needs to establish and run through a cloud migration checklist before you start the move. Otherwise, as you adopt the cloud, you could increase unnecessary spending, lose track of important data, or open up security holes in your infrastructure — all of which could land you in serious hot water.

So how do you know if you’re ready to migrate? What are the steps you need to take to ensure your cloud migration will go smoothly? Do you have safeguards in place just in case something goes wrong? Below, we outlined six checklist steps that your enterprise should complete before you begin the cloud migration process.

If you think you still need help with your migration checklist, consider engaging with a managed cloud service provider. Our free MSP Buyer’s Guide contains profiles on the top cloud managed service providers for AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, as well as questions you should ask vendors and yourself before buying. We also offer an MSP Vendor Map that outlines those vendors in a Venn diagram to make it easy for you to select potential providers.

Assess your current infrastructure and readiness

First things first: you need to understand the state of your current business infrastructure and how adding the cloud will affect it. Adopting the cloud might mean reconfiguring your entire business to fit the new technology. Depending on your cloud solutions, a part of your infrastructure might move onto the cloud permanently. You need to determine whether or not your business is ready to deal with the process moving onto a new system.

Establish a cloud migration plan

You shouldn’t head into the cloud blind; you’ll want to establish a solid cloud migration plan first. This plan should outline your migration process in a step-by-step manner; you need to know which data you’re going to migrate over first and how long you expect the migration process will fully take. Your business doesn’t necessarily need to stick to its plan in the long run, but having one in place at least gives you an initial direction to work towards.

Consider potential security risks

Cloud providers make bold claims about the security of their solutions, but your enterprise can never be too careful. You will be accessing your cloud data over an Internet connection, so that begs the question: do you need a secure connection to enter your cloud environment or can you simply use a public network to do so? If the latter is true, you’ll want strict access control and authentication measures to prevent unauthorized users from accessing your data.

Our MSP Buyer’s Guide contains profiles on the top cloud managed service providers for AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, as well as questions you should ask vendors and yourself before buying.

Confirm that you’ll maintain compliance

If some or all of your company’s data is protected under regulations like HIPAA, PCI DSS, or FISMA, you absolutely need to check that you’ll maintain compliance as you move into the cloud. Many cloud vendors are certified to comply with common data regulations, and they’ll make this information known to prospective buyers. However, it’s still on your company to ensure that the vendor you choose can comply with the regulations you need to follow. It can’t hurt to ask the providers you’re looking at whether or not they can help you maintain compliance with a specific decree.

Project the costs of your cloud migration

Before you move your data onto the cloud, you need to consider the cost to your business. Your company should estimate the cost of storing resources and operating processes inside the cloud, as well as the potential money saved by forgoing or replacing legacy solutions. However, cloud costs don’t just stop there. Have you estimated the project cost of a service or application’s downtime while it’s being moved to the cloud? Moreover, are there any hidden costs to the cloud solution you’re running that you can uncover before you begin?

Get your team ready to migrate

One aspect of readiness evaluation that’s often overlooked is your employees – are they ready to migrate to the cloud? You’ll want to train your team on your cloud environment before you begin the major steps of your cloud migration process. This is especially important for employees who will be directly involved in the migration — your enterprise may want to consider hiring a cloud migration specialist to help make the transition easier.


Running a cloud environment and need help managing the cloud services you use? Our MSP Buyer’s Guide contains profiles on the top cloud managed service providers for AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, as well as questions you should ask vendors and yourself before buying. We also offer an MSP Vendor Map that outlines those vendors in a Venn diagram to make it easy for you to select potential providers.

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Daniel Hein

Dan is a tech writer who writes about Enterprise Cloud Strategy and Network Monitoring for Solutions Review. He graduated from Fitchburg State University with a Bachelor's in Professional Writing. You can reach him at dhein@solutionsreview.com
Daniel Hein