Lift and Shift! But Why Do the Heavy Lifting?

Migrating applications or infrastructure from one environment to another, organizations can move certain workloads from on-premise to Cloud.

Ashok Pandey
New Update

By Kunal Nagarkatti, Chief Operating Officer, Clover Infotech


There have been reams of newsprint on the advantages of moving to the cloud. However, preparing your organization for it is something that has not been broached much.

The term “Lift and Shift” refers to migrating your applications or infrastructure from one environment to another without redesigning the app. Using the lift-and-shift approach, organizations can move certain workloads from on-premise to Cloud.

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But should we just “Lift and Shift”? Can we optimize this process?

A thorough review of the existing applications before moving to Cloud:

We need to first check the complexity of the architecture of existing applications. “Off-the-shelf” applications with simple architecture are ideally suited for “lift-and-shift”. Complex applications which may pull data from disparate sources and interact and integrate with multiple systems should ideally be re-architected before being considered for lift-and-shift.


Kunal Nagarkatti, Chief Operating Officer, Clover Infotech Kunal Nagarkatti, Chief Operating Officer, Clover Infotech

Organizations replicate the on-premise application to the Cloud using the lift-and-shift approach. However, they may not always consider the ability of the application to adapt to Cloud environments and leverage its features. The decision to move such applications hinges on a simple cost and effort v/s benefit analysis. The cost and effort pertaining to redesigning or rearchitecting such applications v/s the benefits that such redesigned applications would accrue from being hosted on cloud environments. If the return on investments on redesigning is high and sustainable, it makes sense to move such applications to the cloud.

Let’s move first and then decide:


Moving legacy applications to the cloud and optimizing the application and underlying infrastructure is another route taken by organizations. It gives immediate benefits due to the reduction in spends on maintaining “on-premise” infrastructure. In such a case, organizations might move on-premise legacy applications to the cloud without re-designing or re-architecting it. Once in the cloud, they might choose to analyze and re-architect the application in the cloud.

What’s the best approach?

The approach would ideally be based on the organization’s current IT landscape, the proportion of legacy applications to off-the-shelf applications as well as the cost, time, effort, feasibility, sustainability and value derived by moving applications to the cloud.

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However, it would be recommended to not do the heavy lifting while using the lift-and-shift approach. A lift-and-shift project that starts without the necessary documentation, a clear blueprint, and high-level operational design will not yield the expected results. The smart way to adopt the lift-and-shift would be to address issues with current applications before migrating the applications to the cloud. After all, traveling light is the way to go – even when you move on to the Cloud.

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