Cloud Migration Timeline: Save Time and Make Money.

Explore key factors that influence your cloud migration timeline and learn how long data migration could take. Get insights for smoother execution.

Switching to a cloud platform is an attractive option, considering the flexibility and cost reduction it provides for your business. According to reports, this process has a 62% likelihood of failing or being more complicated than expected. You might think you're on a path to failure if you're now a year into your cloud migration with no clear sign of when you'll accomplish this process. Even if you haven't started this process yet, you should know the average timeline of this process so that you can create an appropriate plan.

In this blog, we'll reveal how long cloud migration takes and how you can reduce this timeline.

What Is Cloud Migration?

Before we explore this timeline, you first need to understand what cloud migration is. This is a process whereby your business uploads data and applications to a cloud platform. Alternatively, you can rely on a third-party software company's services to manage and conduct your migration. Then, you'll have the flexibility of working with these digital assets from anywhere with an internet connection. More specifically, this process has the following steps:

  • Migration Planning and Preparation: The first step of cloud migration is to decide what problem your business faces and the strategies you'll use to solve them. You also need to consider training, budget, security, and other details.

  • Data Extraction: After you've planned and prepared for the transfer, you'll need to transfer your data out of your storage.

  • Data Cleansing: Now that you've extracted the data, you'll have to ensure it's usable and of high quality.

  • Data Transformation: Once you've cleansed your data, you should adjust your digital assets to function on the cloud platform.

  • Data Uploading: Now that your data is ready for uploading, you'll transfer it to the cloud platform.

  • Data Verification: After you've uploaded the data, you'll need to test it to verify that it's still usable and that there are no issues.

  • Cut Over: Lastly, you'll 'cut over' or switch the end users' traffic toward the cloud platform.

Nevertheless, these steps can overlap, and you'll need to monitor them to ensure a smooth transfer to the cloud platform.

How Long Does Cloud Migration Take?

Transferring your digital assets to a cloud platform can take as little as 2 weeks for a simple project such as uploading a small team's email system. Meanwhile, a larger project, such as moving all data from a medium- to a large-sized company that stores and manages data for its customers, could take 2 years. 

For instance, Spotify started pursuing cloud migration in 2015. Yet their cutover only began in 2017. Then, they retired their on-premises digital assets in 2018. 

According to reports, 73% of cloud migration projects take a year to accomplish, and 96% of these projects go beyond their estimated schedule and budget. Broadly, this disparity depends on the size of the projects and the approach you take to this transfer.

Here's a table examining the different timeline ranges based on project size:

Project Size

Migration Avg. Timeline

Small Project

1 - 2 weeks

Medium Project

2 - 4 months

Large Project

6 - 24 months

How Long Data Migration Takes: The Key Factors Involved

Now that you understand the average timelines let's explore the specific factors that affect your data transfer. 

1. Cloud Migration Planning

Your plan is the main factor defining your migration timeline. If you create a meticulous plan, your staff will know exactly what they need to do and have the resources to do it. Therefore, you won't have to pause your project so that staff can clarify duties and responsibilities. 

Moreover, the strategies in your plan will affect the timeline. For instance, if you choose a refactoring strategy that relies on creating new applications, it will take longer. Meanwhile, if you choose a repurchasing strategy that relies on buying replacement applications, it will take less time.

2. Staff Training

Employee training can lengthen the timeline as you transfer your data. You'll only be able to complete the transfer once your staff can comfortably use the cloud applications. Otherwise, your migration may fail because staff won't be able to use it.

3. Cloud Compatibility

Your data and applications' compatibility with the cloud platform and services will affect the schedule of your transfer. If your digital assets aren't compatible, you'll need to recreate, adjust, or replace them. Moreover, these changes may require staff training, which will further lengthen your schedule.

4. Data Volume

Another factor in your transfer timeline is the amount of data you upload. Larger volumes of data take more time to migrate. Meanwhile, if you select only a few digital assets that need to be accessible from the Internet, your cloud migration will take less time. According to reports, this may be why only a quarter of businesses have plans to transfer all of their applications.

5. Security Skills 

The security skills of the staff conducting your transfer will affect its timeline. While you may have a security system in place, it might not have features that allow for a safe transfer. Therefore, your staff will need the training and resources to transfer your data safely. Otherwise, they may pause the project until they have these resources. If not, criminals may target your confidential data, and your business may lose access to digital assets or even your reputation among clients.

6. Cloud Migration Costs

The costs associated with your migration can slow the process. Usually, your cloud migration plan should include a budget. However, if your budget doesn't match the reality of your resource needs, the costs may exceed it. Then, you'll need to pause or scale down the project until you have the necessary resources to complete it.

7. Testing and Verification 

The testing and validation steps can affect the final timeline of your migration. As you test your data to establish its quality and usability, you may encounter issues that require repair or adjustments. If you're conducting this process internally, your staff may not have the skills to address these issues.

8.Network Bandwidth

Finally, your network may affect the length of your migration process. If you have slow internet, it will limit the volume of data you can transfer at a time. Moreover, an unreliable internet connection may lead to corrupted files or failed uploads.

How to Shorten Cloud Migration Timeline: Top Tips

To guarantee a faster migration process, you should use the following tips:

  • Involve Department Representatives: In your planning stage, you should include staff from different departments so you can use their concerns and ideas to tailor your plan. Then, you'll better understand which digital assets you should prioritize or abandon, reducing your costs, too.

  • Use Automation Tools: You should use these tools to free your staff to do the tasks that require human intervention. This will increase your process' speed and may cost less since you'll need less human labor.

  • Use Measurement Metrics: As part of your migration plan, you should create measurement metrics. Then, you should use them throughout the process to quickly course-correct and ensure you stay on schedule or even shorten your timeline.

  • Migrate in Stages: You should segment your plan so that you'll transfer fewer digital assets at a time. Breaking down this process into multiple projects or stages will give your staff the time to resolve issues and learn from the process to make each subsequent stage more efficient.

How Divelement Can Support Your Quick and Successful Cloud Migration.

A long migration process is more expensive and may monopolize some of your staff, affecting your operations. Yet, with the help of third-party cloud software experts like Divelement, you can make your process more efficient. This nearshore company offers high-quality cloud migration consultancy and management services. Therefore, you can rely on their expertise to create the right plan for your business to switch to a cloud platform successfully. Plus, they can supplement your staff or offer fully managed teams to work on your migration so you can complete this process faster.

Furthermore, since they're a nearshore company, their services will cost less than onshore companies. As a nearshore company, they'll also culturally align with your business and easily collaborate with you, unlike offshore companies.

Now you know that transferring your business' data to a cloud usually takes around a year. Yet, it can take as little as 2 weeks if it's a small project or 2 years if it's a large one. How long a cloud migration takes also depends on the plan you implement. Your plan will decide whether your staff will need training and whether you have the resources to ensure a secure transfer of high-quality data.

Furthermore, you can shorten your cloud migration process by including the input of your different departments and seeking solutions from software experts such as Divelement.