This crucial planning process starts with having a detailed understanding of where you are now, which will determine where you want to go. That means understanding your infrastructure costs today to calculate and compare the costs of operation in the cloud tomorrow.

That should start with an audit to give you a solid understanding of the network, storage and database capacity you need to run the applications you want to migrate to the cloud.

Cloud providers have simplified pricing structures so they can be more easily understood. Each of the major providers makes cloud cost calculators available to help in this process:

When it comes to evaluating which workloads are suitable for moving off-premises you must assess them based on the criteria of speed, sensitivity and scale. If an application that you rely on is changing fast, it may be a good candidate for cloud migration since the costs of keeping up with those changes can be lower through software as a service (SaaS).