PLAN: Doing a migration assessment (step 3 of 3)

Cloud migration assessment | Binary Tree

In this series, we’re sharing tips around how to do a migration assessment, which is where you discover, plan, and evaluate your project. In this post, we cover step 3 of the process: evaluating and signing-off.

After you’ve discovered more about your application landscape and put together a detailed plan for migration, the last step is to evaluate and sign off with decision makers. Migrations don’t come cheap, with significant risk of overrunning costs and schedules and even disrupting the business. So to build a strong case for the project, you should forecast ROI and address common concerns up front.

Forecast cost and return on investment

In the discovery phase, you should have estimated your current on-premises application costs. Now, you can compare this to a forecast of cloud costs. This part can be a bit tricky, because costs in the cloud can be a bit more difficult to predict than on-premises costs. Cloud costs tend to vary more over time, as your usage might change, the cloud services might improve, or the unit cost of cloud resources could iterate.

To help you estimate cloud costs:

  • Use the Azure pricing calculator to help estimate costs based on your expected usage and service tiers
  • Choose the right cloud package for your needs, downsizing under-utilized hardware where possible
  • Account for the hours that each service will run, and look for ways to reduce those hours, especially for things like dev/test environments
  • Explore programs that let you re-use existing resources in the cloud, like the Azure Hybrid Benefit and the License Mobility program
  • Take advantage of Azure Reserved Instances, which can help reduce subscription costs
  • Familiarize yourself with best practices for managing ongoing costs in the cloud
  • Include the cost of the migration itself into your estimated costs

Address common concerns

Next up, you should document how you plan to address any concerns that came up from stakeholders during the discovery phase. Here are some common ones that are often raised when migrating to Azure, along with how you can address.


Share the requirements you captured in the discovery phase—and show how you addressed them in the proposed design.


Show how your proposed design addresses any security concerns. Also share Azure technologies that help mitigate common threats. In some cases, particularly when you’re redesigning an application for the cloud, the security approach might be different than what you’ve previously used on-premises.


Show how your proposed design addresses requirements for backup, availability, and disaster recovery. You might even want to share the published Azure SLAs.


A proof of concept can be a great way to address any concerns around how an application will work in the cloud. Here, either share the results from a past POC or talk about plans for an upcoming one.


Present a sound understanding of fully-loaded costs for the existing application implementation, together with a complete cost for the Azure implementation. It’s also a good idea to go as deep and itemized as possible here, as this will help improve confidence.

Get started

Ready to start a migration assessment of your own? We at Binary Tree are standing by. We’re exclusively focused on helping enterprises around the world plan, move, and manage their way to the Microsoft cloud. As part of this, we do assessments that help you get insight into your collaboration environments. To get started, get in touch.

More in the series:


Source: Microsoft. Cloud Migration and Modernization Playbook. 2018.