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In 2018, TSB Bank attempted a major cloud migration which failed allegedly because a new data centre hadn’t been tested. This failed migration is said to cost up to £141.6 million ($195m) and then an additional £915m ($1.26bn) to clean up the mess. So, anyone who says cloud migrations aren’t easy is definitely right.

Now, to get your cloud migration right the first time, you must work with the right migration partner. That should be one of your top cloud migration considerations.

Here are seven things the right partner will offer:

  1. They will understand your business objectives
  2. They have clear SLAs that focus on customer priorities
  3. They’re experienced in working with the cloud platform you want
  4. They will have much experience in cloud migrations within your sector
  5. Security will be a top priority
  6. They will have good relationships with other vendors
  7. They have many happy customers

1. They will understand your business objectives

A great cloud migration partner will have lots of technology know-how, but the right one will take the time to get to know your business and align themselves with your specific objectives.

Do you want to improve business agility? Rely on solutions that are scalable and can grow with your business? Become more cost-efficient? Ensure you are maximising resource usage? Then, you’re doing the right thing by migrating to the cloud.

But what the above things (agility, scalability, cost-efficiency etc) mean to one business might not mean the same for another. The right cloud migration partner understands this. They will work to familiarise themselves with your business’s goals and build a cloud migration strategy that caters to that.

2. They have clear SLAs that focus on customer priorities

The clarity of your cloud migration partner’s SLA (service level agreement) can say a lot. Complicated SLAs or a lack of one can hint towards a lack of structured processes and control. This will affect service delivery later down the line.


The SLAs you are given should give you confidence that any issues you raise will be dealt with promptly and efficiently. And of course, they should be focused on keeping your systems running smoothly.

They should include: 

  • Time to respond - not just acknowledge the issue 
  • Time to fix – this can be looked at in several ways; is an interim resolution required before a permanent fix is put in place? 
  • Escalation paths and timings

There are other SLAs that will be important to your business. So, make sure you talk to any prospective partner and see how they can be included with their standard SLA set. 

Combine the SLAs with a robust onboarding process where you learn how calls or issues can be logged and how they're monitored. This will help the supplier become more familiar with your setup and you can start to build a much more robust approach to SLAs and solution management.  

3. They’re experienced in working with the cloud platform you want

This one should be a no-brainer. You obviously need a partner who’s experienced in cloud migrations to the platform you want to move to. A little bit of partner research can pay dividends in the end. Talk to your peers - other people you know will have moved down this road already and you pick up hints on who’s good and who’s not. 

As was mentioned earlier, cloud migration means different things to different people.  Make sure you take the time to conduct a robust discovery exercise with a partner to ensure your choice of cloud platform and cloud migration is the right choice for you. 

4. They will have much experience in cloud migrations within your sector

In addition to experience in migrating to the platform you’re interested in, the right cloud migration partner will also have expertise in working with your sector. After all, guidelines and regulations vary from industry to industry.

The right migration partner will be experienced in working within your industry and ensure your cloud environment is compliant.

How to ensure a successful cloud migration

5. Security will be a top priority

A common reservation about the cloud is whether your data will be as safe as it would be in an on-premises, private server. The answer? It will be safer as long as you choose a reputable cloud provider and work with a great migration partner.

The best cloud providers (e.g. Microsoft, Google, Amazon etc) will do everything in their power to protect your data, from employing top security experts to monitor your data round-the-clock to having robust measures in place to prevent unauthorised access. How would they have gained their great reputation otherwise?

Cyber Security
As for your cloud migration partner, be sure to review their data loss and data breach notification processes. Do they meet your expectations? Are they aligned with your business’ legal or regulatory obligations?

6. They will have good relationships with other vendors

Some cloud migration partners will have relationships with other vendors. Make sure to understand these if you’re to decide whether this partner can provide an efficient, well-rounded service. For example, at Columbus, we are not only experienced in cloud migrations. We also offer (and this isn’t an exhaustive list):

  • E-commerce solutions
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems
  • ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems
  • Project management solutions

That means we can help ensure your entire business is connected rather than disparate. So, if you have any siloed departments, teams or core business systems, these can all be connected and you can benefit from boosted visibility, productivity, efficiency and more!

7. They have many happy customers

Happy customers are always a good sign, especially happy customers who have been down a similar road to you. Don’t be shy to ask to speak to your potential partner's customers to get a reference.

Even better if these customers share similarities with your business - for example, the same industry, similar business size, similar challenges and needs.

Happy businesswoman sitting at the table and talking on the phone in cafe. Looking away

Your choice of partner is just one consideration in your cloud migration project

Your choice of cloud migration partner is a very important consideration. However, there are a few others you should also keep in mind. In our step-by-step guide to cloud migrations, we discuss everything you should consider before, during and after your project.

Are you prepared for your cloud migration? You will be after reading our guide. Grab your copy below.

How to ensure a successful cloud migration


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