The 4 Different Azure Migration Strategies – Which is Better?

migration strategyWhether it’s a large financial organization, or a small health startup, every company is making a significant investment in cloud technology in 2019. In fact, 72{1f0cc4060f4fe9fc982bbd4bbe2778698630254e28c6e7cd32c637f8f4aaee17} of US executives report that they are already using cloud-based solutions or plan to do so in the very near future.

Many companies have already migrated workloads to the cloud such as Microsoft Azure. Nearly 40{1f0cc4060f4fe9fc982bbd4bbe2778698630254e28c6e7cd32c637f8f4aaee17} of them are adopting a cloud-first strategy. What about you?

  • If you have planned to migrate to Azure cloud solutions, it is time you learn about the 4 different Azure Migration strategies to help you accelerate the process. Since the migration process is time-consuming, and one that can bring business to a halt if you’re not careful, it is important to look into these strategies.

Choosing an Azure Migration Strategy

  • Once a company has determined its end state and which workloads they will begin with, they must decide upon a migration strategy. There are multiple strategies depending on the application, workload, and business unit. But most organizations typically pick one of the strategies listed below.

Lift and Shift

  • This strategy allows a business to keep the application mostly as-is and make any adjustments so that it can run smoothly on Azure. This is one of the fastest approaches you can take to migrate to Azure. There are even many migration tools that can assist you with this strategy.

Partial Refactor

  • In this strategy, some of the aspects of the application can remain as is, but other components may have to be rebuilt entirely in order to properly support Azure. A partial refactor Azure Migration strategy will also leave the existing application as is and build any additional supporting services on it.

Full Refactor

  • As the name suggests, in this strategy, a business must rebuild the application entirely. This is the most time-consuming approach but it also gives the business the greatest opportunity to take advantage of all availability of Microsoft Azure. This is a great approach to break an application down to bits and build out a container-based architecture instead.

Transition to SaaS or PaaS

  • If the workload a business is migrating is of commodity application nature such as CRM or email, or has any commodity components such as relational database, you can go with the transition to SaaS or PaaS strategy. This will greatly accelerate the Azure migration process as well as reduce any management overhead.


  • If you want the simplest and fastest approach, choose the lift and shift strategy. It is also the most common strategy most businesses use to move to the cloud. However, you won’t see any cost savings if you opt for this method because some of the cost-saving services of Microsoft Azure such as managed databases, and horizontal scaling cannot be used.

Pick the Right Team to Architect, Build, Migrate and Manage Your Cloud

  • Many IT teams make a common mistake of thinking that Azure is ‘easy’. Although it is true that you can sign up for Azure VM in just a few minutes, managing and architecting the growing Azure environment requires a lot of expertise from someone who manages any complex systems.
  • You can choose to either train your team in Azure or outsource the work to an external team or partner company like Henson Group. Our experts will build, migrate, and manage your cloud alongside your existing IT team through our Azure Migration Services.

Even if the option of outsourcing does not sound good to you, it is a good idea to hire an Azure partner for the first phase of migration alongside their team. This will give your internal team the experience it needs to work on Azure.

While you are at it, the expert Azure team of a partner will reduce any risks associated with the Azure migration process so your business can keep running smoothly.