One-quarter of infrastructure and operations decision-makers at U.S. enterprises say that migrating existing workloads to a public cloud is one of their most important cloud strategy objectives. But many of these firms underestimate the costs associated with cloud migration planning, including both the people and tools required, Forrester says.
Firms that decide to undergo a cloud migration project must take enough time during the discovery and planning process to correctly identify what workloads would work best in public cloud environments. It is also important for firms to fully understand the interdependencies between apps that are moving to public cloud to ensure a smooth cloud migration.
For these reasons, many firms opt to use a cloud migration services provider to help them navigate the costs and technical challenges that can arise when moving on-premises workloads to public cloud environments.
While there are various migration tools provided by the public cloud vendors themselves, they require internal capabilities to use them correctly. Depending on the types of workloads or applications that are moving to the cloud, it may be necessary to work with a partner that has experience in public cloud migrations.
If you’re facing a cloud migration and looking for a provider to help with that process, this top 10 list is designed to simplify your choice. To compile the list, we identified the cloud migration services providers in the market – coming up with an evaluation lineup of 25 companies -- and then determined the factors by which we would assess them (there’s more info below about the factors we used). We then conducted extensive research on the offerings and talked to IT professionals, analysts and company executives to determine 10 of the best cloud migration services providers.
Though there are many cloud migration services providers that specialize in one cloud platform, in compiling this list we focus on providers that offer expertise in more than one cloud platform because they offer more flexibility and choice.
Following this reasoning, we have also opted to exclude cloud migration providers that have been acquired by cloud vendors, so that is why you will not see companies such as Velostrata, which was recently acquired by Google, or CloudVelox, acquired by VMware in February, on the list.
All the companies on this list offer migration tools, professional services, or proprietary frameworks or migration blueprints to help enterprises of all sizes and from all different industries move workloads and mission-critical business applications to the public cloud.
Criteria for inclusion on this list, which is presented alphabetically, included firms’ degree of focus on public cloud migration, partnership ecosystems, innovation and company size. When available, we factored in reviews of the companies’ technology and workplace culture.
Before we drill down into the top 10 list, we have some overarching advice for choosing a public cloud migration provider.
When selecting a provider, it is important to work with a partner that has specific knowledge of the cloud platform to which you are trying to move, Clutch analyst Jackie Faselt said.
Organizations can turn to independent third-party reviews to see if a company has delivered to clients on a similar project, or ask the company to provide case studies.
Another important consideration for evaluating public cloud migration services providers is ensuring they have a high level of expertise in cloud security, she said.
“It’s important that both the cloud platform of choice and the cloud migration company has knowledge about security standards and guidelines and can also accurately set up user permissions and identity management,” Faselt said.
Asking upfront whether a cloud migration company provides training on a new system is also important, as is understanding what ongoing maintenance may be required. Often, these are extra costs that may put your project over budget if they are not accounted for at the outset.
Now, here’s the top 10 list.
It may surprise you to learn that despite employing more than 47,000 cloud professionals around the world, Accenture relies heavily on tools that automate the cloud migration process. The company says 75 percent of migrations are completed through automated tool sets.
Accenture uses a migration methodology that involves four phases: Inventory, High-Level Planning, Detailed Planning and Execution. The methodology relies on the company’s proprietary tool, known as Accelerate, that facilitates each step of the process. In the Inventory phase, it expedites the gathering of information to determine the current state of applications and infrastructure to define the scope. In the planning phases, Accelerate helps identify which workloads will be migrated, captures the dependencies across applications, and pinpoints technical limitations.
Accelerate also analyzes data to predict costs and creates step-by-step instruction sets to execute before, during and after migration. According to Accenture, Accelerate has been used to successfully migrate more than 200,000 application workloads.
Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Accenture has been on a cloud migration journey of its own, already having moved about 85 percent of its infrastructure to the cloud as of March. Accenture CIO Andrew Wilson told InformationWeek that its migration acts as a proof of concept for its clients.
Accenture supports Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google, among other platforms.
Capgemini uses a cloud-agnostic migration methodology, called Capgemini Cloud Assessment, that focuses on low-risk, high-return business transformation.
Its methodology includes four phases: Plot, Scan, Craft and Solve. During these phases, it determines scope and execution strategy, performs analysis on the portfolio, applies filters to identify appropriate deployment for each application, and creates a road map with recommended steps for the cloud migration. Capgemini uses a proprietary ranking and scoring model to provide objective analysis.
Its services include migration planning, cloud architecture and migration execution. It specializes in SAP migrations to public clouds, particularly AWS and Azure, where it focuses on cost savings that can be achieved in the cloud. In 2016, it completed one of the largest SAP migrations at the time for U.S. phosphate and potash mining company Mosaic, which moved its SAP systems to Azure.
“We are highly pleased with the results,” Stephen Murray, senior director of IT technology services for Mosaic, said. "The migrations not only went smoothly, but we were also able to realize our goal of a transition that had little impact to our end users.”
Capgemini is an AWS Managed Services Partner, AWS Premier Consulting Partner and an SAP global partner and is AWS-certified on SAP.
It supports AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, among other SaaS and PaaS vendors.
Headquartered in New Jersey, Cognizant has more than 260,000 employees around the world. It helps customers assess and plan for secure cloud environments, set them up, and migrate workloads to the cloud using the Cognizant Cloud Steps Transformation Framework, a tool-based solution.
The framework is based on four steps: Assess and Plan, Set Up, Migrate, and Manage. It also offers prebuilt solution blueprints designed to accelerate cloud adoption for specific workloads. Blueprints for application migration include the Application Transformation Blueprint and the SAP Cloud Blueprint.
Other tools used by Cognizant in its public cloud migration projects include a Cloud Assessment Engine, which automates discovery of workloads. This analytics engine also rates workloads for feasibility of deployment, can intelligently estimate capacity for the targeted environment, and create a phased migration plan.
Its Windows Azure practice group developed a portfolio of services and tools for clients, called the Octane Value Suite, to help IT organizations migrate computing and storage operations to Microsoft Azure.
It provides cloud migration services include AWS, Microsoft Azure and VMware.
Deloitte migrates enterprise workloads to data center, private cloud and public clouds, working with AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle Cloud, VMware, OpenStack, SoftLayer and CenturyLink. It also specializes in migrating SAP workloads to AWS and Google.
Earlier this year, Deloitte acquired Atadata, an Atlanta-based cloud migration provider. Its workload mobility platform, now called Deloitte ATASphere, is compatible with 20 cloud infrastructures and is certified by AWS, works with Azure and is recommended by Google for its Cloud Platform.
Deloitte ATAmotion is an automated cloud migration engine that is managed through a central console. It is purpose-built for the enterprise and allows clients to migrate applications like SAP, SAP HANA and Oracle to private or public clouds.
Last year Deloitte added 3,000 U.S.-based high-tech engineering jobs to deliver cloud capabilities to its clients.
5. DXC Technology
DXC Technology employs more than 200 advisors, engineers and system admins, according to the company.
Its focus on digital transformation is woven throughout its services, which include workload advisory and workload migration to the cloud. It offers application services for Microsoft Azure and AWS, helping enterprises migrate workloads to those platforms.
DXC Technology has alliances with Carbonite (around Carbonite Move, which Carbonite acquired when it bought Double-Take), Microsoft, AWS and VMware.
In 2016, DXC Technology acquired Racemi to help clients accelerate their move to the public cloud.
The company has 60,000 employees across 50 countries.
MindTree is headquartered in New Jersey with 43 offices across 17 countries. It has 4,000 cloud projects under its belt and is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner.
The company has been recognized in ISG Provider Lens as a Rising Star in public cloud consulting, implementation and public cloud managed services. It has also won innovation awards from Microsoft and Salesforce.
Per ISG, “Mindtree has one of the highest amounts of FTEs certified in public cloud platforms among midsized service providers. Revenue from its public cloud consulting and migration practice is also above par compared to most of its midsized peers. In its cloud migration practice it employs 1,500 cloud experts who facilitate migrations to AWS, Azure and VMware environments.”
Mindtree’s Migration Factory approach covers assessment to application testing and promises to deliver complex migrations, cloud-to-cloud movement, and validation and performance testing.
In helping a multinational food manufacturer migrate to AWS, Mindtree provided a detailed study of the application landscape and proposed a cloud migration strategy and sequence of migration. Its solution delivered 25 percent savings on the company’s operational spend.
Rackspace has experience with customers of all sizes, from startups to the Fortune 100, but it primarily targets midsized customers with lift-and-shift migrations, according to Forrester.
Rackspace migrates workloads to AWS, Microsoft, Google, VMware and OpenStack. It is an AWS Premier Consulting Partner and has earned various AWS competencies, including the Migration competency.
Rackspace’s experts hold more than 800 AWS associate and professional certifications, and 1,000 AWS business and technical certifications, as well as 2,500 Microsoft certifications worldwide. It also has 100 certified Google experts on staff. They help customers through every stage of migration, from planning to optimization. It serves more than 1,100 customers across its managed public cloud portfolio.
Cloud engineers assess and evaluate current workloads, server configurations, network topology, security and compliance requirements. They design an appropriate migration strategy based on these details, then set a comprehensive project and migration plan before executing against the plan.
Rackspace was recently recognized as a leader in Gartner’s 2018 Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Managed Service Providers. Last year it acquired Datapipe to build out its professional services offering, as well as add public sector expertise.
Based in Los Angeles, Reliam raised $17 million from Great Hill Partners last year to continue building out its managed services, making key hires at the beginning of 2018, including CTO Jonathan LaCour, to support this growth.
It recently merged with AWS consulting partners Stratalux and G2 Tech Group and offers AWS and Azure managed services.
Reliam helps customers assess their current infrastructure and plans for lift-and-shift migration or refactoring of legacy environments. It creates a complete migration road map based on its clients’ “agility, availability and compliance goals.”
John Morris, director of IT for human resources technology firm Emptech, told ITPro Today that Reliam’s understanding of security was a big factor in Emptech’s decision to select it as a migration partner.
“When companies decide to use our services, we must do detailed security assessments,” Morris said. “So we tested those different providers on their responses to some of the questions we might have or some of the questions we’ve had in the past, and Reliam was good at being quick to respond to those questions and at coming up with some different ideas that we maybe hadn’t heard before.”
RiverMeadow provides migration services and managed migration services, supporting AWS, VMware and Azure.
With its managed migration services, RiverMeadow helps to plan and manage application and data migration, performing all required setup and preflight readiness checks, as well as migration and status monitoring.
Its SaaS migration platform offers automated migration of workloads without any pre-processing on the source machine or post-processing on the target machine with agentless deployment and live migration.
RiverMeadow recently added Microsoft Azure as a target cloud, and CEO Jim Jordan said the company will be “publicly announcing numerous large Azure engagements in the near term.”
Some of its customers include Dimension Data, SingleHop and the American Foundation for the Blind.
Global systems integrator Wipro uses a model it calls Cloud Migration Factory to deliver so-called throttled migration for different workloads from a dedicated services team. It uses standardized tools, technologies and processes to automate discovery, assessment, planning, execution and migration.
Wipro’s Rapid Cloud Enablement Suite helps enterprises transition to the cloud in five stages: Assess, Analyze, Migrate, Test and Release. It offers migrations to AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure.
For an unnamed large U.S.-based financial institution, Wipro migrated over 300 applications to the cloud within 18 months, using its Rapid Cloud Enablement Suite to improve the quality of application migration.
Gartner notes that Wipro has a relatively small cloud managed service in the context of its overall business, though growth has been strong. It has more experience supporting AWS than Azure or Google Cloud Platform.
Its scope enables it to perform application rebuilds and build custom applications.