ECommerce Migration Strategy: 3 Key Factors For A Successful Shift To Cloud

Published On: April 13th, 20203 min read

Shifting from a legacy commerce platform to cloud-based technologies requires a deft balance of skills, technologies and cost considerations. A well-thought-out data migration strategy is fundamental to achieving this balance.

The ecosystem of cloud technologies is so immense that there are almost infinite ways to make the cloud a part of your commerce system. To narrow things down, we’ll focus on two kinds of common enterprise commerce challenges: working with cloud-based components, you own or manage or interacting with third-party data migration services that other companies own.

Here’s a quick look at three critical components of a cloud commerce strategy.


woman migrating data from current platform to new ecommerce platform

Moving to the cloud means you have to dovetail the work of system architects, team leaders, database administrators, coders, support personnel and more. To gain the flexibility of cloud commerce, you need methodologies like Agile and tools such as Terraform and Jenkins X to iterate quickly and manage your software release cycle. In addition, people must be trained on the new ecommerce site and technology prior to working with it so they are able to accomplish their jobs in the new environment.

All of these skills-based challenges must work together when you shift to cloud-based commerce. A sound strategy and well-developed roadmap give you a foundation to deal with skills challenges.

Platform choice and rollout strategy

image representing ecommerce businesses replatform

Choosing a cloud platform, SaaS tools and APIs to connect cloud services requires a sophisticated architecture that accounts for how all these tools interact.

For starters, you have to choose an ecommerce migration strategy. Will you do everything at once or move things piece-by-piece to the cloud? If you do an incremental rollout, what’s the impact on your system architecture? You might be able to port an existing system to a cloud-hosted platform with only minor changes to the technology.

Every decision’s costs and benefits depend on merging existing systems and skills with the future state you envision. A strategy and roadmap that account for these factors will streamline operations and reduce financial risks.

TCO, hard/soft savings and ROI

image representing ecommerce migration and replatforming

In the cloud, your total cost of ownership (TCO) changes dramatically because you rent hardware on a pay-as-you-go basis and stop paying to build and manage datacenters. Running microservices, for instance, might generate costs measured in fractions of a penny. Holiday traffic spikes, by contrast, can send bandwidth costs skyward for e-commerce sites.

Moving commerce to the cloud yields a mix of straightforward hard-cost savings (owning vs. renting) and less-obvious soft-cost savings (speed and flexibility). All of these factors influence your ability to generate an attractive return on investment that will satisfy investors and executive leadership. Thus, financial considerations have to be baked into your ecommerce migration plan.

Thinking Beyond Strategy with DMI

image representing phased migration for on an online business

At DMI, we strongly recommend building a sophisticated cloud commerce strategy before starting up an ecommerce data migration to the cloud. But strategy is only the beginning. Because our developers have decades of experience in system design and digital commerce best practices, we can consult with clients and help them succeed in every phase of the ecommerce migration process, from strategy to roadmap development to migration of customer data to long-term development.

Andrew Powers, senior vice president, solutions delivery, digital commerce