How to Build a Cloud Migration Plan in 7 Easy Steps?

April 3, 2024
15 min read

Moving your business to the cloud can unlock benefits, from increased scalability and agility to reduced costs. However, navigating the migration process can feel daunting. This guide cuts through the complexity and offers a clear roadmap for building a cloud migration project plan in just 7 steps. Whether you are a seasoned IT pro or just starting your cloud journey, this approach will help you define your goals, choose the right migration strategy, and ensure a smooth transition for your applications and data. 

What is Cloud Migration? 

Cloud migration refers to the process of moving your digital assets, like applications, data, or IT resources, from your physical servers to those hosted on a cloud. This can be a partial migration focusing on specific workloads or applications or a complete overhaul, where you shift your entire digital infrastructure to the cloud. 

You can take advantage of several approaches to migrate your data or applications to the cloud. The best strategy will depend on various factors, such as your application type, budget, and risk tolerance. Here’s a glimpse into the most common cloud migration strategies


Rehost, also known as Lift and Shift, is a strategy for moving applications from the original environment (on-premises, virtual, or cloud) to the cloud with minimal to no modification. This process offers a fast and relatively straightforward migration path without worrying about compatibility issues or performance disruption.


The relocation strategy is specially designed for virtual environments. It allows you to transfer a large number of servers comprising one or more applications from an on-premises platform to a cloud platform in a single instance. This technique doesn’t require purchasing new hardware, rewriting applications, or modifying your existing operation. 


Repurchase, or Drop and Shop, involves replacing your existing application with cloud-based offerings such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions. By replacing the on-premise application with the readily available latest version in the cloud, you can leverage new features and functionalities, integrate with other cloud services, and scale your resources efficiently. 


Replatforming, also known as Lift and Reshape, is an approach to moving applications to the cloud that involves making targeted modifications to existing applications to optimize their performance within the cloud environment. This approach goes beyond simple lift and shift but doesn’t require a complete rewrite. 


Modifying your on-premises apps occasionally may be necessary to enable them to function with the cloud infrastructure. Re-architecture involves making strategic changes to your application's codebase and structure to optimize its performance within the cloud environment. This could involve containerizing the application, modularizing the code, and virtualizing the application by running it on a virtual machine (VM).


Retain or Revisit strategy involves analyzing applications you wish to keep in your source environment or migrate later. There may be different reasons to keep them on-premises, such as security concerns, performance issues, or technical dependencies. 


In this strategy, you archive existing applications that you no longer need instead of moving them to the cloud. For example, you might want to archive a service due to its average performance, an application that’s idle since there has been no inbound connection for the last 90 days or any service with outdated technology.

7 Effective Steps to Build A Cloud Migration Plan 

Migrating data can be daunting, but you can achieve a smooth and efficient process with a structured approach. By following the steps listed below, you can streamline your data migration journey and minimize potential disruptions. Here’s a breakdown of key aspects: 

Define Your Objectives

Before deciding to migrate your data to the cloud, you need to have a clear set of goals and objectives to pick the suitable platform that provides the right capabilities according to your needs. Additionally, you would want to decide what cloud migration key performance indicators you’ll measure to prove that the cloud strategy benefits your business. 

Set Your Budget

Cloud migration involves various costs, such as cloud storage fees, data transfer charges, migration tool fees, software licenses, and professional services. You can avoid unexpected costs by establishing a budget and choosing the most cost-effective migration approach. 

Choose Migration Destination 

Before deciding to migrate data into the cloud, you should consider what type of data migration and cloud deployment models (public, private, hybrid) would be better for your company. The best destination will depend on your budget, security and compliance requirements, vendor lock-in, scalability, and desired level of accessibility. 

Implement Security Measures

A secure cloud migration depends on robust security measures. Encrypt your data (at rest and in transit) to safeguard it from unauthorized access during storage and transfer. Implement access controls to restrict who can view or modify any sensitive information. Secure your network with firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Finally, leverage the security best practices offered by cloud providers for an extra layer of protection. By prioritizing these measures, you can ensure your cloud migration is not only efficient but also adheres to compliant standards.

Choose Cloud Migration Strategy

After completing the above-mentioned decisions, select the migration approach (rehost, replatform, etc) that aligns with your goal and budget. Now, you are prepared to execute a strategy for your cloud migration project that specifies how the data will be moved and in what sequence. Having a comprehensive strategic road map is crucial in order to ensure that you are taking everything into account.

Test Your Migration Plan

Don’t attempt to migrate everything at once. Begin with the non-critical datasets, which are not essential for your daily operations or immediate decision-making. Testing helps you identify potential issues before migrating larger datasets. If you encounter any error, this will allow you to refine your approach before migrating entire datasets and ensure successful data transfer. 

Execute the Migration Plan

With your objectives defined, budget set, destination chosen, data prepared, and migration method selected, it’s time to execute your migration plan. Keep track of the process and address any issues that may arise along the way. After completing the process, it's essential to continuously monitor and optimize your cloud environment to ensure seamless performance.

Simplify Cloud Migration with Airbyte

Now that you have a roadmap for implementing your cloud migration plan, you still need to address the inevitable hurdle—data transfer. Moving mountains of data from your on-premises systems to the cloud can be arduous. But fear not! Here’s where Airbyte steps in as your cloud migration hero. 


Airbyte is a data integration platform that facilitates seamless data migration between various sources and destinations with over 350 pre-built connectors. It enables connectivity to multiple cloud platforms and data sources, such as SaaS apps, cloud databases, and flat files. After migrating the complete dataset, you can keep track of appended changes and upload them into destinations with its Change Data Capture (CDC) features.

With Airbyte's Connector Development Kit (CDK), you can create custom connectors to fit specific data sources or destinations in addition to the vast library of pre-built connectors. Its adaptability makes integration easy regardless of your unique data ecology.

Key features of Airyte include: 

  • Airbyte provides a user-friendly UI for configuring data flows and a powerful API for programmatic control. Additionally, with its Terraform provider, you can design pipelines with full control, enabling automation and seamless integration with your existing infrastructure tools. 
  • PyAirbyte is a Python package that gives programmatic access if you're looking for even more freedom and control while creating data pipelines. PyAirbyte enables you to manage and design custom data pipelines by extracting data from the connectors supported by Airbyte. This allows you to include Airbyte's capabilities in your development processes, expediting the process of migrating data to the cloud.
  • With dbt integration, Airbyte encourages you to perform complex transformations. This facilitates advanced data processing and manipulation to meet your migration needs. 
  • Airbyte prioritizes security with compliance like SOC 2, GDPR, ISO, and HIPAA. This will help you ensure that your data is safely relocated.

What’s more!

Airbyte offers three transparent pricing versions—Airbyte Self-managed, Airbyte Cloud, and Powered by Airbyte. The Self-managed offers a free version, and the Cloud plan operates on a pay-as-you-go model, allowing you to pay only for the resources you utilize. Lastly, Powered by Airbyte includes customized pricing based on sync frequency.

Final Words!

Embarking on a cloud migration project plan can be a transformative journey for your business, seeking enhanced scalability, flexibility, and accessibility. By following a structured approach and leveraging appropriate migration strategies, you can confidently navigate the complexities of migrating data and applications to the cloud.

However, simply following these steps won't be enough. Tools like Airbyte play a crucial role in streamlining data migration from various sources to cloud platforms. Airbyte ensures accuracy and efficiency throughout the process, contributing to an efficient cloud migration journey.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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