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Navigating the AWS Migration Journey: Three Phases to Success

Chris guides us through the three phases of the AWS migration journey: Assess, Mobilize, and Migration and Modernize.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, embracing cloud technology has become essential for businesses to stay competitive and agile. Amazon Web Services stands as a leader in the cloud computing space, providing a vast array of services that can empower organisations to drive innovation and optimise their operations. However, embarking on the AWS migration journey can be daunting, requiring meticulous planning and execution.

In this post, we’ll guide you through the three crucial phases of the AWS migration journey: Assess, Mobilize, and most importantly Migration and Modernize. In our key role as trusted experts in the area of cloud adoption, we understand the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for our partners.

Our insights, drawn from decades of industry experience, aim to empower leaders and decision-makers to navigate this transformation with confidence. With any public cloud migration, we believe that the overarching target goal should always be modernisation.

Phase 1: Assess

The first phase of your AWS migration journey is Assess, and it lays the foundation for a successful migration strategy. During this phase, you'll evaluate your existing infrastructure, applications, and workloads to identify the most suitable candidates for migration. Here are the key steps in this phase:


Begin by comprehensively understanding your current environment. Employ AWS tools like AWS Application Discovery Service to automatically collect and analyse configuration and usage data across your infrastructure. This will give you valuable insights into the assets you have and how they interconnect.


Once you have gathered the necessary data, use the AWS Pricing Calculator to analyse the financial implications of moving to AWS. This tool will help you estimate many potential cost savings and identify areas where optimization is possible.


Not all applications and workloads are created equal. Categorise them based on their complexity, criticality, and business value. This will enable you to prioritise the migration process and allocate resources efficiently.

Assess Dependencies

Identify interdependencies between applications and data. This step is crucial in determining the correct migration approach for you, and avoiding any potential disruptions during the migration process.

Phase 2: Mobilize

The second phase of your AWS migration journey is Mobilize. In this phase, you'll begin building the necessary skills, teams, and processes required to execute the migration plan effectively. Let's delve more into the key aspects of this phase!

Build a Cloud Migration Team

Assemble a team of skilled professionals who have experience in cloud technologies and are well-versed in AWS best practices. This team will drive the migration effort, ensuring a smooth and successful transition.

Steamhaus have a proven track-record in assisting our customers in creating an internally facing Cloud Centre of Excellence. We would recommend reading a relevant AWS blog post that covers the subject of CCoE’s and how they serve to drive long-term innovation.

Cloud Training and Readiness

Ensure that your existing IT staff receives appropriate training on AWS services and tools. AWS offers training resources like AWS Training and Certification, empowering your team to make the most of all of the new technologies at their disposal.

Define Governance and Best Practices

Establish governance models and cloud best practices tailored to your organisation's needs. This will ensure consistency, security, and compliance throughout the migration process.

Design the Target Architecture

Collaborate with your cloud migration team to design a target architecture on AWS that aligns with your business goals. Leverage the AWS Well-Architected Framework documentation and Well-Architected Tool to ensure your architecture is secure, reliable, cost-optimised, and performance-efficient.

Phase 3: Migration and Modernize

The final phase of your AWS migration journey is Migration and Modernize. Now that you've assessed your environment and mobilised your teams, it's time to execute the migration plan and embrace the full potential of AWS services. Here's how you should go about it:

Select the Right Migration Approach

Based on your application dependencies and priorities, choose the most suitable migration approach. AWS provides several options, including rehosting (lift-and-shift), re-platforming, refactoring (re-architecting), repurchasing, and retiring.

We believe that this is perhaps one of the most crucial and important steps in the entire process for a number of reasons. Whilst lift-and-shift aka rehosting migrations can get you operating within AWS faster than other strategies, it can often be a missed opportunity if you’ve not considered the potential gains from a re-architecture or in-flight modernisation effort.

Our customers often choose this step to focus on modernisation, and as a result make rapid operational and cost efficiency gains, vastly improved scalability, increased performance and reliability, and a measurably improved security posture. These gains are often put onto the back-burner once a rehosting initiative has been concluded, so Steamhaus generally recommends that you start as you mean to go on!

Utilise AWS Migration Services

AWS offers various migration services such as AWS Database Migration Service (DMS) and AWS Application Migration Service to simplify the migration process and minimise downtime.

Optimise for the Cloud

Don't simply replicate your on-premises infrastructure on AWS. Embrace cloud-native capabilities and services to optimise performance, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. Re-engineer applications using services such as:

  • AWS Lambda
  • Amazon EventBridge
  • Amazon Step Functions
  • Amazon DynamoDB
  • Amazon Aurora
  • Amazon Elastic Container Service (Fargate)
  • Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service

And many, many more.

Steamhaus specialise in infrastructure modernisation and have in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience of all of the above services. Take a look at some of the work we’ve done with our customers on our site, as well as some of the stories of our work as told by our friends at AWS.

Enhance Security and Compliance

Leverage AWS security services like AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), AWS Key Management Service (KMS), AWS GuardDuty and AWS Config to fortify your cloud environment against threats and ensure that you meet any regulatory requirements.


By following AWS’ three phase model as described above, you can help to ensure that your organisation’s move to cloud bears fruit. Furthermore, if your aim is to accelerate and de-risk this endeavour as much as possible, engaging with a partner such as Steamhaus could well be the key to unlocking your true innovative potential.

As a trusted resource, we are here to assist your organisation in navigating this journey and help you to unlock the full potential of Amazon Web Services.

Written By Chris Merrett 30 Jul 2023