Cloud Migration vs Cloud Modernisation

Cloud computing has been around for some time, but more UK companies must consider whether it’s time to switch. Although the £7.5 billion cloud infrastructure market continues to soar, it’s been driven by larger enterprises. On the other side of the coin, many companies still haven’t opened themselves up to the cloud – but they should.

Positioning cloud computing front and centre means scalability, flexibility, agility and significant cost savings. In an era of distributed workforces and globalisation, the cloud is one of your most powerful tools.

But how are you going to move to the cloud? This brings up the issue of cloud migration vs. cloud modernisation.

Cloud Migration 101

Let’s begin with cloud migration. In simple terms,
cloud migration moves on-premises applications and data onto the cloud without changing its architecture.

Any changes revolve around configuration. For example, you may modify an application to work on a different operating system. Under a cloud migration strategy, you wouldn’t rewrite the app, introduce another programming language, or restructure its codebase other than making minor changes.

All these reasons are why you may hear cloud migration being called “lifting and shifting” because this is essentially what you’re doing. You’re lifting your assets into a cloud ecosystem.


Cloud Modernisation 101

The investment required to adopt the cloud is one reason
58% of UK SMEs still don’t use cloud-based computing in 2024. They’re not talking about migration but modernisation. So, what is cloud modernisation?

Legacy apps and other assets may not be suitable for fully utilising cloud services. For example, a monolithic app may need to be refactored to create a microservices architecture. Making these changes takes time and effort, but it pays dividends. Some of the advantages of modernisation include:

  • Consume hosting resources efficiently.

  • Scale easier.

  • Make updates more manageable.

  • Take fuller advantage of the cloud.


As you can see, migration and modernisation are often discussed together, but the actual processes differ.

The difference between cloud migration and cloud modernisation

Migration and modernisation aren’t interchangeable terms. However, businesses adopting the cloud could partake in both processes simultaneously. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), businesses may be using the cloud but not unlocking its true potential.


Consider these differences between migration and modernisation to make the cloud dividend a reality.


Time and Effort – Migration requires less time and effort because you’ve just moved applications from one place to another. This can also mean spending less on cloud adoption.


Required Skill Set – No development resources are needed to exact migration. In contrast, modernisation requires talented developers to manage source code changes while reframing applications.


Benefits – Modernisation usually delivers more benefits because it improves app reliability and performance. Migration also brings benefits, but it rarely maximises the benefits of cloud hosting.

In short, migration is simpler, but modernisation is more impactful. How do you know which one is suitable for your company? At Matrix247, we support businesses in managing migration and modernisation so we can advise on which path can deliver the greatest rewards.

Plan your Cloud Migration & Modernisation with Us

How to know whether cloud migration or cloud modernisation is better for your business

Before doing anything, the first step is deciding whether you will initiate a migration or modernisation campaign. In many cases, the way forward could be both. No two operations are the same, so it’s impossible to give a right or wrong answer that applies to everybody.

Instead, you must assess where you are and where you’re going. Again, this is something cloud experts like Matrix247 come in useful. If outlining your own cloud migration plan, consider the following factors:


Current Infrastructure – Evaluate where your IT infrastructure stands right now. Is what you have now compatible with existing cloud platforms, or is it outdated?


Goals – Ultimately, modernisation and migration must align with your objectives. Migration could do that alone if the goal is to reduce operational costs. However, opt for modernisation if you want to leverage next-generation technologies to their fullest, such as AI.


Budget – Both options cost time and resources. This issue isn’t purely a matter of what you have now but the returns you want. Although migration is cheaper upfront, modernisation delivers bigger financial dividends later.


Risk Tolerance – All big moves can create problems. Is now the right time for a risky play? For example, modernisation projects are complex and may necessitate substantial downtime, so if you’re swamped with work, you may want to put these initiatives on hold.


Look to the Future – Future-proofing your business should be at the forefront of your mind. This will often depend on which business you’re in. For example, industries that must stay on the cutting edge of the digital market may need to prioritise modernisation over migration. Likewise, examining what your customers may demand in the future is vital.


Compliance Issues – Certain industries have more considerations than others. For example, compliance is a serious matter if you work in the healthcare or finance industries. Any project may require additional thought to ensure your cloud strategy doesn’t inadvertently derail ongoing compliance.


Expertise – Do you have the personnel to manage a modernisation or migration project? If not, you may need to hire or partner with a cloud service provider like the team here at Matrix247.

Making the wrong decision can waste your time, resources and funds. Before proceeding, you must decide what works for your business.

Can you couple cloud migration and cloud modernisation together?

Migration and modernisation don’t act in isolation. Companies may find that some assets can be migrated without any changes, whereas other parts of their operations may need to be reframed first.

Generally, it’s recommended that if you can benefit from both, you should begin with migration before moving to modernisation. In other words, you’ll begin with rehosting and end with re-platforming.

How does this work?

First, migrate your applications and other assets to the cloud. This offers immediate cost savings and sustainability. It’s also a chance to test cloud readiness and see where the line for a minimum viable product is.

The next step is to modernise with applications already in the cloud. Some argue it’s better to modernise first, but this can lead to more downtime and suspend your transition to the cloud. However, it’s ultimately up to you.

Cloud migration and modernisation with Matrix 247

How much do you know about the cloud? Unless you work in the technology industry, the chances are high that the answer is not as much as you’d like. Even if you’re a technophobe by nature, the cloud is essential to staying competitive in today’s online-first world.

Choose an IT provider like Matrix247 to support your migration or modernisation. We’re experts in cloud services, enabling us to provide bespoke solutions to every business.
Contact us today to get the peace of mind needed to focus on your business while embracing an optimised IT strategy.


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