10 min read
Eyal Katz

8 Essential Steps to Create a Cloud Migration Assessment

A cloud migration assessment sometimes called a cloud readiness assessment, is the first step for organizations contemplating a shift to the cloud. Discover more with Control Plane.

8 Essential Steps to Create a Cloud Migration Assessment

Cloud migration is not a trend. It’s a fundamental change in how businesses handle their digital infrastructure. The motivation behind this mass migration varies between organizations but usually involves scalability, flexibility, or cost reductions.

Roughly one-third of all cloud migration initiatives are a complete failure, and among the migrations that are ‘successful,’ 25% fail to meet migration deadlines or other expectations. These numbers might seem intimidating for companies considering transitioning to the cloud. 

However, the likelihood of success increases significantly with a well-defined, comprehensive game plan. Incorporating a thorough cloud migration assessment can pave the way for a smooth and successful migration.

What is a Cloud Migration Assessment?

Cloud migration is transitioning from on-premise hardware to a cloud computing environment – public, private, or hybrid – for data, applications, IT processes, or entire infrastructures. Most organizations leverage the cloud’s scalability, flexibility, and accessibility to reduce operational costs and increase efficiency.

A cloud migration assessment, sometimes called a cloud readiness assessment, is the first step for organizations contemplating a shift to the cloud. The assessment examines the current IT infrastructure and overarching business goals to gauge the enterprise’s preparedness for moving to a cloud framework. It pinpoints certain workloads and applications best suited for cloud deployment, helping to optimize resource allocation and minimize operational disruptions.

6 Cloud Migration Strategies – The 6 Rs

Transitioning to the cloud is not a one-size-fits-all process. Below are six targeted cloud migration strategies that your organization can consider:


This strategy involves re-architecting applications to fully utilize cloud-native features and capabilities. It is appropriate for organizations looking to optimize their applications for stability, performance, and cost-efficiency in the cloud, but it often requires major changes to the application’s codebase.


This approach adjusts applications to make them compatible with cloud environments. Replatforming does not require a full redesign but may involve minor changes to the application’s architecture, such as adopting cloud-managed databases.


Also known as ‘drop and shop,’ your organization drops its existing applications or systems and moves to a different, typically cloud-native, SaaS product. This strategy offers a speedier deployment and the opportunity to adopt modern applications with enhanced functionality.


Commonly referred to as ‘lift-and-shift,’ your business moves its applications and data to the cloud without modification. Typically, it has the fastest migration timeline because only minimal changes to applications and databases are needed. It is ideal for companies looking to migrate quickly, but rehosting may not offer the full benefits of cloud optimization.


Relocating means moving workloads to the cloud by converting existing virtual machines to cloud instances. A popular choice when using infrastructure as a service (IaaS), it is best suited for already virtualized workloads that require cloud benefits like elasticity and reduced physical data center dependencies.


Sometimes, the best strategy is to keep certain applications or systems where they are, either on-premises or in a legacy hosting environment. The reason might be regulatory compliance, data sovereignty issues, or the application being tightly coupled with physical hardware. In such cases, retaining applications as-is while migrating other parts of the IT infrastructure can be the most practical approach.

How Does a Cloud Migration Assessment Help Overcome Migration Challenges?

A well-conducted cloud migration assessment addresses several key challenges that organizations face during migration:

1. Mitigating Lack of Cloud Strategy

Without a clear cloud strategy, your organization risks resource misallocation and cost overruns by deploying workloads on unsuitable cloud services. Operational disruptions may also occur when migrating interdependent applications without fully understanding their dependencies.

A cloud migration assessment prevents a lack of direction by outlining a safe, strategic path of action. It pinpoints specific workloads that are ripe for migration, identifies the most fitting cloud service models (be it IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS), and assists in selecting the right cloud provider for your needs. 

For instance, if your application requires high scalability and you’re dealing with big data analytics, the assessment might suggest migrating your data processing workloads to a PaaS solution to leverage auto-scaling features and advanced analytics services. 

As another example, you might decide to use an Internal Developer Platform (IDP) like Control Plane to shortcut migration hurdles with platform-agnostic deployment. This strategy enables you to significantly streamline the development process and reduce cloud management costs. 

2. Preventing Overspending

When managed correctly, the cloud can offer significant cost savings through a pay-as-you-go pricing model. Since infrastructure can be scaled on demand, your business is not overspending on underutilized resources. On the flip side, poor cost management can lead to escalating expenses due to overprovisioning or failed cloud services optimization.

An assessment identifies the cost implications of moving different workloads to the cloud, providing a clear picture of potential savings and areas where expenses could increase. It helps in accurate budgeting, selecting cost-effective resources, and planning for scale.

3. Planning for Exit Strategy

You can anticipate future situations that might require your organization to move to another cloud vendor or away from the cloud altogether. Planning for an exit as part of the migration strategy can protect your investments and guarantee long-term flexibility in your cloud services and decisions.

Your cloud migration assessment will ask you to evaluate data portability, interoperability with other clouds or on-premises environments, and vendor contractual obligations.

4. Addressing Skill Gaps

Transitioning to the cloud demands specialized expertise that your current IT staff may lack, such as proficiency in cloud architecture or familiarity with specific cloud service providers like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. 

A cloud migration assessment can identify skill gaps so you can get the right training for the right staff. It ensures that your team is adequately prepared for migration and ongoing cloud management.

5. Ensuring Security and Compliance

During the assessment phase, a detailed evaluation of your data security needs and compliance mandates is performed alongside an examination of the cloud provider’s ability to fulfill these requirements.

For example, if your business operates within the healthcare sector, the chosen cloud solution must align with HIPAA regulations, specifically looking into data encryption, access controls, and audit trails. 

This forward-thinking strategy aids in pinpointing and predicting potential security vulnerabilities and ensures the chosen cloud environment complies with all applicable industry standards and regulations. 

8 Essential Steps to Create a Cloud Migration Assessment

1. Define Business Objectives and Outcomes

Start by clearly defining the strategic business objectives behind your move to the cloud. Whether it’s increasing scalability, enhancing flexibility, reducing costs, or improving disaster recovery capabilities, having clear goals will guide the entire migration process. 

2. Inventory and Categorize Applications and Data

Deploy automated discovery tools to catalog your IT assets, including applications and data stores. Using criteria such as application dependencies, data volume, and latency requirements, classify these assets based on cloud readiness, business value, and technical complexity. Tag each asset for its current cloud suitability to create a prioritization list.

3. Assess Application and Data Interdependencies

Employ network analysis and application performance monitoring tools to map all dependencies between applications and datasets. You can strategically sequence the migration process by identifying the essential connections and potential points of failure early. This granular visibility enables strategic sequencing for migration, identifying critical paths and potential bottlenecks that could impact business continuity.

4. Evaluate Security, Compliance, and Governance Requirements

Conduct a thorough assessment of your current security posture and compliance landscape against cloud provider offerings. Considerations should include data sovereignty, regulatory compliance (e.g., GDPR, HIPAA), and industry standards (e.g., ISO 27001).

Use compliance scanning tools and security posture assessment platforms to identify the gaps. Document your organization’s specific requirements for data encryption, access controls, and audit trails. Then, match these requirements against cloud service provider certifications and offerings.

5. Select the Right Cloud Environment and Provider

Evaluate public, private, and hybrid cloud options against a detailed checklist of the technical and business requirements, including compute capacities, storage types, network architectures, and service level agreements (SLAs). 

When selecting a provider, consider a weighted scoring exercise based on criteria such as cost efficiency, technical support quality, and the breadth of services offered. This criterion offers a data-supported list that fosters organizational and stakeholder confidence in moving forward with a certain provider. 

One of the main struggles of selecting the right provider is vendor lock-in, which makes it costly and complex to switch providers. However, with Control Plane’s Universal Cloud Identity™ technology, you can mix and match cloud providers and make workloads portable across various cloud environments, helping you ensure flexibility and freedom.

6. Develop a Detailed Migration Plan

Assemble a detailed migration blueprint outlining timelines, roles and responsibilities, cloud risk management strategies, and a communication plan. The plan should detail the migration approach for each application or workload – for example, rehost, refactor, or replatform – including any required modifications or optimizations.

Incorporate rollback plans and disaster recovery steps. Establish technical KPIs like downtime thresholds and performance benchmarks to monitor the migration’s success. If the migration is going poorly, your organization wants to know about it as soon as possible so that mitigating steps can be taken.

7. Conduct a Skills and Training Assessment

Identify the current capabilities of your IT staff regarding cloud technologies and pinpoint any skill gaps. Develop a training plan to upskill your team in areas such as cloud architecture, security, and DevOps. Consider leveraging external expertise through consulting services or specialized training programs to fill immediate gaps.

8. Test Your Migration Strategy

Before proceeding with the full migration, conduct a pilot migration for select applications or workloads using the cloud provider’s migration tools or third-party solutions. 

Analyze performance data, security implications, and cost impacts in this controlled environment to refine your migration approach. This stage is also a chance to test load balancing, auto-scaling configurations, and the integration of cloud-native services.

Cloud Mastery Made Easy with Control Plane 

By implementing the essential steps of a cloud migration assessment, your organization can confidently handle the complexities of cloud integration. The process can be made even smoother with a specialized ally.

Control Plane is revolutionizing how organizations deploy, manage, and scale backend applications. With a robust platform designed for high availability, low latency, and flexible cloud interaction, Control Plane can empower your business to manage its applications across any cloud or on-premises infrastructure.

Control Plane drastically cuts cloud computing costs through its Capacity AI, so you only pay for the resources you use. With a dynamic pricing structure and the ability to move workloads effortlessly between cloud and on-premise environments, Control Plane enables you to avoid vendor lock-in and inflexible cloud services. Discover the Control Plane difference today!