Cloud Migration vs Cloud Modernisation:
Should you re-host or re-platform your data?

If you’ve investigated moving your data and applications to the cloud, you are likely to have encountered the question of ‘cloud migration’ vs ‘cloud modernisation’. 

So, what’s the difference, and which is the right approach for your business? 

It’s important to note that the two concepts overlap. To avoid confusion, it’s most helpful to frame them as ‘Re-hosting’ (migration) and ‘Re-platforming’ (modernisation). They are two of the six ‘R’s of cloud migration. 

The Six ‘R’s of Cloud Migration

Within cloud migration generally, there are six concepts (6 ‘R’s) that describe the approaches you can take. Those are ‘rehost, re-platform, repurchase, retire, retain, and re-architect.’ 

Rehost (Cloud Migration) 

Sometimes referred to as a ‘lift and shift’ strategy, rehosting is a plain migration onto the cloud. You take a system or an application, and instead of hosting it on-premises, you take it as is and host it on a cloud server. 

Replatform (Cloud Modernisation) 

If rehosting is ‘lift and shift’, then re-platforming is ‘lift, reshape, and shift’. The reshaping element transforms the application in order to take advantage of the cloud as a platform. 


Repurchasing replaces the applications you have with cloud applications. For example, you may have applications that you can’t replatform or rehost, because they don’t run on the cloud. In that case, you might choose to replace them with different, cloud-based applications. 


There may be parts of your IT that are no longer relevant. They might have been rendered obsolete by other applications, or their functions may not be required any more. It makes no sense to bring those applications with you as you migrate, so it’s the perfect opportunity to trim the digital fat. 


You might opt to leave some applications as they and where they are. This is usually a ‘for now’ rather than a ‘forever’ strategy, when there’s no business advantage to moving a specific piece of software to the cloud. 


When you re-architect (or re-factor) an app, you redesign your application to become a cloud-native version of the same service. That may involve breaking it down into a series of ‘microservices’. 

Rehosting VS Re-Platforming 

If you don’t know whether to rehost or platform for data and your software, the first questions to ask are ‘What is our long-term strategy’ and ‘How much do we want to change the way we use our applications and information?’ If you want to carry on as normal, but on the cloud, then a straightforward migration will serve you well. If you want your migration to be transformational, then you need to modernise your architecture too. 

Modernisation can refresh and reinvigorate your organisation’s relationship with data, giving your teams fresh perspectives, and empowering them to us their tools to even greater effect. 

Here are some of the advantages of a full cloud modernisation. 

Take full advantage of AI 

Cloud-native data architecture can deliver insights with AI. A platform driven by metadata will allow AI to operate usefully and accurately. 


A SaaS model can and should allow you to use the capacity you need at any given time, and charge you according to your requirements. 

As well as being cost-effective, a modernised cloud is infinitely scalable. When you need more capacity, it is available instantly. 

Control and agility 

A platform with a low- or no-code requirement means the business can be more agile. There’s no need to spend excessive time developing and maintaining code in order to respond to trends and changes in business needs. 


The most modern cloud platforms offer the highest standards of security and privacy policies. 

How do we start our Cloud Modernisation? 

Still not sure about cloud migration vs cloud modernisation? Get started on your modernisation journey download 'Cloud Modernisation: Your Quick-Start Guide', or contact us today to speak to one of our team.  Agile Solutions are expertly placed to accelerate your migration and drive your enterprise into a flexible, scalable cloud-based future.