AWS Cloud Operations & Migrations Blog

Create a data-driven Migration Business Case using AWS Cloud Value Framework

AWS customers realize more than a 5:1 ratio of benefits to investment costs over five years with breakeven on their investment occurring in an average of 10 months (source: “The Business Value of Amazon Web Services”, an IDC whitepaper). This blog aims to help Information Technology (IT) teams calculate this value using the tools needed to build a data driven business case for moving from on-premises to AWS.

When companies compare the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of running workloads on-premises to running them on AWS, they primarily focus on infrastructure costs. While infrastructure cost reduction may be the simplest improvement metric to quantify, the true value of migrating to AWS extends far beyond infrastructure savings. So how can you quantify these additional benefits? The AWS Cloud Value Framework provides a model for building a comprehensive business case that captures the full range of advantages of moving to the cloud.

What is the AWS Cloud Value Framework?

The AWS Cloud Economics team developed the AWS Cloud Value Framework through collaborating with hundreds of enterprise customers and analyzing thousands of public AWS case studies. The framework helps customers quantify the business benefits of migrating to and building on AWS. In addition to the AWS Cloud Economics team, other AWS teams such as the AWS Migration Evaluator team leverage this framework to create holistic Migration Business Cases as well.

The AWS Cloud Value framework consists of five pillars:

  • Cost Savings (TCO) – Customers who move to AWS reduce the percentage of IT spend on infrastructure, freeing budget for reinvestment in other areas. For example: a 70% reduction in server costs, as seen in the Forex Forest case study.
  • Staff Productivity – By reducing or eliminating repeated tasks that are no longer needed, resources can focus more on higher value activities. For example: A 200% increase in manageable resources, as seen in the Clearwater Analytics case study.
  • Operational Resilience – AWS customers benefit from increased availability, scalability, and reliability, all while reducing unplanned downtime. For example: A 100% reduction in downtime, as seen in the Pos Malaysia case study.
  • Business Agility – AWS customers are able to accelerate time to market, with an increased pace of experimentation and faster deployment of new features and applications with fewer errors. For example: A 70% reduction in time-to-market for new projects, as seen in the Meliá Hotels case study.
  • Sustainability – Leveraging AWS can minimize the environmental impact of business operations. For example: A 99% reduction in the workload’s carbon footprint, as seen in the Baker Hughes case study.

Creating the Business Case

To capture the full value of migrating to AWS, it is important to build a compelling data-driven business case which involves quantifying the benefits for all five pillars of the AWS Cloud Value Framework. An optimal way of achieving this is by requesting an assessment through the complimentary AWS Migration Evaluator service, either through your AWS account team or the Migration Assessment Request page. AWS Partners can request an assessment for their customers through the AWS Partner Portal. Once you submit the request, a Solutions Architect (SA) from the Migration Evaluator team is assigned to support you with the assessment. Taking this consultative approach allows you to make strategic, metrics-based decisions about your cloud migration.

The following stages are involved in the process:

  1. Data Collection: The Migration Evaluator team can help you collect on-premises infrastructure data. The Migration Evaluator collector collects server sizing and time-series utilization data over a recommended collection period of seven days or more if necessary. Alternatively, the team can work with existing sizing and utilization data for analysis. The precision of the data directly impacts the accuracy of the results.

    Providing these optional but important additional data points will help quantify the non-TCO pillars of the AWS Cloud Value Framework:

    • Organization annual revenue (USD)
    • Organization number of employees
    • Percent of workloads in scope
    • Datacenter location
  2. Analysis: During the analysis phase, your assigned SA takes the lead in compiling the collected and provided data, conducting the analysis, and preparing the results. This includes a and an excel export with server specific information.
  3. Results Review: This is where your assigned SA walks you through assessment insights, financial summary, business value, deployment summary, and next steps. You can also clarify any questions you might have about the analysis and request any changes to the results if necessary. At this point, you have the comprehensive business case that you were looking for to justify your AWS migration.

Results Walkthrough

Here are a few example slides from the Migration Evaluator Business Case you would receive, showcasing the quantified improvements from moving to AWS:

  • Slide showcasing the Infrastructure Cost savings
    A slide showcasing a table with multiple AWS cost models using one and three year Reserved Instance pricing with License Included and Bring Your Own License options. The costs are itemized for Compute, Amazon Workspaces, Storage, Network, and AWS Support.

Figure 1: Financial Overview

  • Slide showcasing the Staff Productivity improvements
    A slide showcasing Staff Productivity improvements by comparing the yearly IT administrative staff value estimates for on-prem storage and VM to AWS storage and VM. The findings are based on G1000 survey results that show the percentage increase in the number of VMs and the amount of storage an administrator can manage on AWS than on on-prem for companies of a similar size and industry.

Figure 2: Staff Productivity Summary

  • Slide showcasing the Operational Resilience improvements
    A slide showcasing Operational Resilience improvements by comparing the yearly estimated cost of downtime on-prem to AWS. The findings are based on G1000 survey results that show the percentage reduction in unplanned downtime on AWS than on on-prem for companies of a similar size and industry.

Figure 3: Operational Resilience Summary

  • Slide showcasing the Business Agility improvements
    A slide showcasing Business Agility improvements by comparing the yearly business agility value estimates for developer efficiency on-prem to AWS. The findings are based on G1000 survey results that show the increased efficiency of an application developer on AWS than on on-prem for companies of a similar size and industry.

Figure 4: Business Agility Summary

  • Slide showcasing the Carbon Footprint savings
    A slide showcasing the projected carbon emissions of running workloads on AWS compared to on-premises using Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e). In addition to the percentage reduction, the slide also shows the breakdown of the reduction that can be attributed to the increased datacenter efficiency and to renewable energy usage.

Figure 5: Carbon Footprint Savings


In this blog post, we have discussed the importance of building a comprehensive business case that goes beyond just infrastructure cost savings when making the case to migrate on-premises workloads to AWS.

We introduced the AWS Cloud Value Framework, developed by the AWS Cloud Economics team, which provides a model to quantify benefits across five pillars – Cost Savings, Staff Productivity, Operational Resilience, Business Agility, and Sustainability. We then walked through the process of creating a data-driven business case leveraging the AWS Migration Evaluator service. Migration Evaluator SAs help collect inventory and utilization data, conduct an analysis, and prepare results for you. Although creating a comprehensive business case for cloud migration can be challenging, AWS Migration Evaluator can simplify the process. This purpose-built service leverages AWS expertise to help you create a data-driven business case. You can leverage this holistic business case showcasing quantified improvements in each of the five pillars as the core component of your justification for cloud adoption.

To learn more about AWS Migration Evaluator and building a migration business case, please refer to the following resources:


About the Author

Author's bio photo

Hrushikesh Shah

Hrushikesh is a Solutions Architect at AWS, specializing in migrations. With a background in software development and technical training, he brings a unique blend of technical expertise to help organizations seamlessly transition their workloads to AWS. Outside of work, he enjoys reading and travelling.