Cloud Migration — 3 Critical Considerations for Optimally Moving Assets Both To and From the Cloud

Cloud Migration — 3 Critical Considerations for Optimally Moving Assets Both To and From the Cloud

When business leaders allude to cloud migration in the context of digital transformation, they often refer to modernization into the cloud and away from legacy systems on-prem. However, there are also times when a “repatriation” of certain assets away from the cloud makes economic and strategic sense, meaning cloud migration is no longer a one-way street.

In order to be successful, whether an organization is shifting to the cloud or back on premises, these efforts require a keen focus on refactoring, alignment, and deft management of IT assets no matter where they reside.

1. Modernizing requires moving assets both to and from the cloud

The trend of moving data and operations into the cloud shows no signs of slowing. Combining a host of benefits tied to scalability, provisioning, global deployment, availability, and agility, cloud can offer convenient platform solution functionality, making it a compelling choice for a growing business — but not in every scenario.
For CDOs and teams charged with rationalizing IT investments and ensuring smooth, secure operations, migration actually turns out to be a two-way street.

There are plenty of cases where migrating data or assets away from the cloud is the smart and strategic choice to optimize or solve a problem with IT infrastructure, system architecture, or operations. This movement, often called “cloud repatriation,” typically involves scenarios where, to resolve an issue with performance, security or most commonly costs, an application or service is taken out of the cloud and repositioned either on premises or with a new SaaS host or MSP service.

A candidate scenario might be an archival database for backup and restore functions that were moved to the cloud as part of a larger lift and shift migration. Hosting this database costs more in the cloud, with premium pricing for elastic provisioning and low latency that the archival database doesn’t really need to perform its work.

In this instance, it would be more cost-effective to repatriate this database away from its current home in the cloud, back to somewhere on premises or to a more economical cloud provider.
Another case where a shift away from the public cloud may make the most sense for an organization is for controlling margin costs as the operational dynamics of a given business service change.

For instance, if cloud computing or storage costs become too high for a given service application, margins will dictate, or even necessitate, a move on-prem or to a more affordable option. In the cloud, companies don't have full margin control, or simply can’t sweat the assets the way they can on-premise or in a private data center, where they can have a much lower cost profile.
Another consideration for some organizations – cloud enterprise license agreements have become very costly. An Uptime Institute Intelligence survey has found one-third of organizations have moved applications from a public cloud provider to a co-location facility or their own data center, with high cloud costs cited as the primary reason.

With public clouds, organizations often pay a higher premium because all of the costs are built in. However, it can be cheaper for a company to offload/transition some cloud-provided services directly to their internal teams and employees, who present a more affordable option than shouldering additional cloud costs over the long term.

2. Refactoring and configuration are key

Use cases like the above for cloud repatriation have become especially common since the pandemic era began – when the pressure to adapt to remote work and other COVID impacts caused businesses to rush into hurried lift and shift migrations, many of which were found to be understrategized.

Additional cases for repatriation may also arise in response to a new business strategy or changing operational conditions, such as repatriating assets to consolidate vendors or establish better interoperability with other enterprise systems.

Regardless of the migration path, CDOs and their teams must take a direction-agnostic approach when addressing today’s modern IT ecosystem. By refactoring and configuring cyber assets for optimal business value regardless of their current or intended location, IT teams can put the primary focus on how software is developed, how data is organized, and how applications, connectivity, and infrastructure are configured on an ongoing basis.

3. Building the modernization engine

For enterprises navigating repatriation efforts, luckily there are a range of marketplace options for cloud-native, hyper-converged networks, storage and compute architectures situated on premises. However, organizations shifting to the cloud typically require the establishment of a management plan or artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) platform to ensure all assets, systems, and processes are aligned and working together seamlessly, securely, and economically.

This means, transformation teams still face the challenge of establishing the overall coordination, configuration, and infrastructure of all the technology investments that have been made across the IT estate.

While there is no single formula for this journey, the desired end state is for organizations to strategically migrate to and from the cloud while maintaining maximum visibility and control over all systems. This includes strong traceability into past operations and ongoing alerts anytime new infrastructure or systems are provisioned or configuration changes happen with firewalls, switches or other components.

The most advanced platforms drive the level of proactivity even further into predictive, auto-resolution, and forensic capabilities to speed up root-cause analysis (RCA) and mean time to repair (MTTR).


When done correctly, strategic migration and repositioning of cyber assets to and from the cloud can bring tremendous business benefits in the form of major cost savings, enhanced performance, and stronger security. All these benefits derive from a priority focus on proper configuration, development, and control of all data and assets – regardless of whether the ideal environment for them is on premises or in the cloud.

About the Author:

As Founder and CEO of ScienceLogic, David Link brings more than 20 years of IT experience to the team to solve some of the most pressing problems facing IT organizations. With firsthand knowledge of customer pain points, Link built ScienceLogic to bring smarter and more targeted IT management tools to market. Under his leadership, what began as a three-person startup in 2003 has burgeoned into a global enterprise, quintupling in size, and fostering a successful ecosystem of customers, employees, and partners.

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