Cloud migration is being implemented across industries. Unlike in software-as-a-service (SaaS) migration, enterprises are evaluating whether to move existing apps, not built for the cloud, to a public cloud environment — a practice previously viewed as prohibitively expensive and time-intensive. However, barriers to migration have lessened, and prominent enterprise voices are now actively designing cloud strategies around this concept.

Early stories of cloud migration describe massive endeavours to migrate all or most existing applications to a public cloud platform, heavily using lift-and-shift tools rather than more cost-intensive complete rewrites. Besides these highly publicised stories, there is little data available on the actual migration practices of enterprises today. Despite the hype surrounding cloud, today’s cloud migration conversation still lacks details.

In July 2017, Red Hat commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the cloud migration strategies of organisations. Forrester conducted an online survey with 272 respondents and four interviews with cloud decision makers at enterprises all over the world to explore this topic. Complete cloud migration may have started the story, but in practice, cloud migrators appear to balance cost, performance, security, and total benefits to determine whether to move a specific workload.

The study showed that despite the challenges, migrators persist and that the key to a successful migration strategy is to make decisions based on your organisation’s specific goals while remaining clear-eyed about the very real risks involved in the process.

Download Forrester’s in-depth report to discover 10 key recommendations for all professionals seeking to migrate existing workloads to the cloud.

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