This paper attempts to identify the role of contextual properties of enterprise systems architecture in relation to service migration to cloud computing. In a cloud-based service architecture, the shift of ownership, scope, and control over architectural elements from consumers to cloud providers has a profound impact on ways cloud consumers design and manage their systems architecture. In this perspective, we introduce the concepts of architectural scope, ownership, and control as the contextual properties of systems architecture. The paper explores ways in which these properties can be mapped into a quantifiable framework that could be used to measure the degree of changes of contextual properties due to service migration to cloud computing. We seek here to address the service migration problems from a different perspective, namely, focusing on the contextual properties of architectural elements. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.