Most organizations moving their legacy systems to the cloud base their decisions on the naïve assumption that the public cloud provides cost savings. However, this is not always true. Sometimes the migration complexity of certain applications outweighs the benefits to be had from a public cloud. Moreover, the total cost of ownership does not necessarily decrease by moving to a public cloud. Therefore, there is a need for a disciplined approach for choosing the right cloud platform for application migration. In this paper, we propose a comprehensive cloud decision framework that includes an extensible decision criteria set, associated usage guidelines, a decision model for cloud platform recommendation, and a cost calculator to compute the total cost of ownership (TCO). The decision process works as follows. It begins with the ordering of relevant criteria, either according to industry best practice or the enterprise’s specific requirements and preferences. A technical recommendation is made on the basis of the criteria classification, which is then assessed for financial viability. By providing traceability of the cost items in the public/private TCO calculators to the decision criteria, the framework enables users to iterate through the decision process, determining and eliminating (if possible) the main cost drivers until a right balance is found between the desirable criteria and the available budget. We illustrate the need, benefits and value of our proposed framework through three different real-world use case scenarios.