Strategies to make cloud migration agile, cost-effective, and secure

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In the past two years (2020-2022), we’ve watching a significant growth in cloud adoption. According to a global survey conducted by Accenture, over 86% of organizations reported an increase in the scope and volume of their cloud initiatives during this period.

When migrating systems, applications, and data to the cloud, the results are well-known, including scalable flexibility, greater agility and mobility, enabling your team to access critical information from anywhere, enhancing collaboration and productivity.

However, for many companies undergoing cloud data migration, an excessive focus on short-term gains can lead to long-term issues, making it difficult to capture a much larger portion of the cloud’s true potential.

This can happen when IT departments, often with the help of system integrators, rush to migrate a set of applications to the cloud in order to capture initial gains. However, this short-term focus can have significant consequences.

One of the first pieces of advice we give to our clients is the importance of creating proper foundations. By establishing the correct groundwork, the organization paves the way for a smooth transition and reaps significant operational benefits.

In Brazil, data from IBM reveals that 83% of business and IT leaders adopt a hybrid cloud approach, driving digital transformation. The adoption rate of hybrid cloud in the country surpasses the global average of 77%.

Nevertheless, most Brazilian organizations face challenges in harmonizing all their cloud environments. Only 27% can comprehensively manage hybrid cloud environments, potentially leading to gaps and exposing data to risks.

In the Brazilian context, 76% consider it difficult to fully leverage the potential of digital transformation without a solid hybrid cloud strategy in place. Moreover, 89% of organizational leadership in the country has a clear understanding of the business value that investments in various cloud forms – public, private, multi, and hybrid – can provide.

During this cloud migration process, it’s crucial to be aware of the risks associated with hasty transitions without proper attention to foundational aspects. Rushed movements can result in performance and stability problems.


The research encompassed 800 business and IT leaders worldwide to understand how companies are progressing in their cloud journeys and how they perceive the value they have gained from their investments. The result was an unprecedented commitment to the cloud, with a total of 86% of surveyed companies reporting an increase in the volume or scope of their cloud initiatives since 2020. Those who have already embarked on cloud adoption appear to be advancing even further. On average, 50% of workloads are now in the public cloud, compared to 35% at the beginning of 2021. Private clouds host 32% of workloads on average.


Lack of proper planning can lead to improperly sized cloud infrastructure, resulting in mistakes, service disruptions, and downtime, affecting user experience and company reputation. Additionally, data security can be compromised. Without adequate consideration for security from the outset, there is a higher risk of cyber vulnerabilities, exposure of sensitive information, and potential regulatory compliance breaches.

Another significant risk is related to integration and team training. A hurried migration can lead to unfamiliarity with new cloud tools and processes. This can lead to operational difficulties, inefficiencies, and even employee resistance to adopting new technologies. Without proper training, the team might struggle to fully utilize cloud resources, hampering return on investment. Therefore, it’s crucial to recognize that a successful cloud migration requires a careful approach, meticulous planning, and gradual execution to mitigate these risks and ensure a smooth and effective process.

Certainly, adopting a careful and thoughtful approach to cloud migration, your company can enjoy a host of significant advantages. First and foremost, scalable flexibility is one of the key benefits. With the right foundations, you can scale your resources according to constantly changing demands, avoiding excessive spending on idle infrastructure and ensuring consistent performance even during activity spikes.

Challenges of cloud migration

Many companies face the challenge of prioritizing immediate gains during cloud migration, an approach that can result in long-term difficulties and a substantial reduction in potential value. Often, IT departments, in collaboration with system integrators, accelerate the migration of a set of applications to the cloud, aiming for initial gains. However, such a strategy can have serious consequences. The foundational cloud infrastructure, which represents essential support, is often neglected, leading to issues such as the need to recruit cloud engineers later.

However, it’s worth noting that creating a robust cloud foundation as part of a transformation strategy doesn’t require financial delays or substantial investments. Effectively establishing this cloud foundation requires critical steps with expertise. Companies that manage to build this solid foundation achieve significant results, such as up to eight times faster cloud migration processes, a 50% reduction in long-term migration costs, and no delays in implementation schedules.

The 10 commandments for building an adequate cloud foundation

Building a strong cloud foundation is not just an operational cost but a necessary investment for efficiency and value return. According to McKinsey’s 10 commandments, certain steps play a critical role in creating a solid foundation.

At ETHO IT Solutions, in our cloud migration projects, we always strive to follow these 10 commandments for a successful deployment that brings financial benefits and security to our clients.

1 – Optimize technology to streamline the process

Even if the workload is in a cloud or traditional data centers, many companies deal with outdated and bureaucratic work methods that result in delays and lack of results. Building the cloud foundation should prioritize the ability to rapidly accelerate the development cycle, from conception to implementation in a production environment, all while maintaining security intact. This is achieved through the automation of various steps throughout the process, such as requesting test environments, firewall modifications, instant creation of automated large-scale networks, identity and access management (IAM), application registration, certificate issuance, and compliance assurance, among other procedures.

2 – Plan cloud architecture for scalability

When developing cloud architecture, it is essential to consider scalability. When done effectively, a cloud architecture designed for five people can be expanded to accommodate 500 or more without substantial modifications. As cloud presence grows, a well-structured architecture should be able to incorporate more components, including additional application patterns, isolation zones, and expanded resources. Sustaining this expansion requires simple and well-designed interfaces between the various components. Since achieving this level in a first attempt can be challenging, relying on the experience of cloud architects who have already accomplished this on a large scale is undoubtedly a significant advantage.

3 – Structure an architecture-aligned organization

The configuration of teams influences the nature of the technology they work with. Organizational structures often shape the modes of operation of IT teams, which can lead to discrepancies with cloud architecture.

An example of this is that some companies maintain separate cloud teams for each business unit. This can lead to the creation of distinct cloud resources for each unit, without considering their reuse by other areas. This scenario can cause inefficiency and delays when changes from one team affect another.

For this reason, IT should first develop cloud architecture and then build an organization in compliance with that structure. This requires forming a core team, teams for isolation zones, and teams for application patterns, reducing dependencies and redundancies between groups and thereby generating more effective and cost-efficient architectural components.

4 – Leverage existing cloud infrastructure

Many companies express concerns about becoming dependent on a specific cloud service provider (CSP). This prompts them to seek ways to mitigate this risk. A common pattern is container dependency, which can be costly and time-consuming, hindering the realization of benefits offered by CSPs.

There are other approaches to reduce CSP dependency risk, such as defining a limited lock-in period and adopting practices and systems that enable rapid changes if necessary. When seeking to develop non-native resilience resources, organizations often end up competing directly with CSPs, but without the same expertise, understanding, or resources as these providers. This problem arises because many companies still view CSPs merely as hardware providers, rather than software partners.

5 – Also focus on cloud products

It’s common for companies to form internal cloud service teams to assist IT and business sectors in adopting the cloud. Typically, these service teams operate as support centers, handling requests to access approved cloud services. However, this often results in a fragmented approach, where the company uses dozens of independent cloud services without a coherent architecture. The result is complexity, failures, and lack of transparency in usage.

Therefore, it’s essential for companies to have dedicated product teams, composed of experienced cloud architects and engineers, to develop and manage simple, scalable, and reusable cloud products for application teams. Focusing on cloud products, rather than just services, helps ensure that resources are used correctly, following a more cohesive alignment.

6 – Prevent teams from recreating existing solutions when migrating to the cloud

When organizations allow application teams to migrate their own solutions to a cloud provider, this often results in a diverse set of dispersed cloud resources and configurations, making the maintenance of the entire inventory an ongoing challenge. A more effective approach is to treat application deployment resources as independent products, addressing common issues with application patterns. These patterns are responsible for configuring shared resources, establishing standardized deployment pipelines, and ensuring compliance in terms of quality and security.

7 – Implement targeted change management through isolation zones

Isolation zones represent the cloud environments where applications are hosted. To expedite migration to the cloud, cloud service providers and system integrators often start with a single isolation zone to house all applications. However, this approach is risky, as configuration changes made for one application can affect others. On the other hand, creating an isolation zone for each application makes it difficult to implement configuration changes.

8 – Develop features once for use across all cloud service providers

Most companies will be present in multiple clouds. Typically, this distribution is divided into around 60% of workloads on one platform, 30% on another, and the remainder distributed across other providers. Instead of repeatedly creating basic resources like connectivity and network routing, identity services, registration, and monitoring in each cloud service provider (CSP), companies should create these resources once and then reuse them in all isolation zones, including those on different CSPs.

9 – Facilitate acquisition integration by creating an additional implementation base

Throughout the acquisition process, merging IT assets can be a complex challenge. The cloud can expedite and simplify this merging process if the acquiring company creates an integration base capable of managing the assets of the acquired company. This approach allows existing identity, access, security, network, and compliance policies in the acquired company to be maintained, ensuring that workloads continue to operate as planned. Over time, these workloads can be migrated from the integration base to the main base in a controlled and predictable manner.

10 – Make security and compliance a proactive and automated foundation in the cloud

Every software component and system should undergo a security stage. Conventional cybersecurity approaches rely on human oversight and review, which can’t keep up with the pace required to harness the agility and speed offered by the cloud. Therefore, it’s crucial for companies to adopt new security architectures and processes to protect their cloud workloads.

About ETHO IT Solutions

ETHO IT Solutions’ mission is to support companies in executing projects in emerging technologies and to provide highly skilled and specialized hot skill professionals in the most demanded areas.

Our goal is to be your strategic partner in executing corporate IT and Digital Transformation projects, offering agile, transparent, and customized solutions tailored to each business’s needs. Our expertise encompasses the allocation of strategic resources needed to enable your organization’s projects, complementing the capabilities required by emerging technologies.

ETHO IT Solutions’ services range from conducting to managing IT projects in emerging technologies, application management, and strategic resource allocation.

We have a team of experienced managers with extensive knowledge of technological challenges and corporate project implementation. Therefore, we can guide the implementation and support of the most advanced technological solutions on the market. Our technical team consists of specialists in emerging technologies such as SAP, Salesforce, Google Cloud, Full Stack, Big Data, and more, possessing updated and relevant skills to address the growing complexity of corporate projects.

We are a company that goes beyond IT services. Our goal is to drive innovation and technology to sustain the necessary digital transformation for your company, thereby enhancing your business performance.






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