Companies are moving their business applications to the cloud at a rapid rate. By 2020, an estimated 83 percent of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud.

Migrating enterprise functions to the cloud improves workplace efficiency and security, but the task of transitioning legacy systems can appear daunting.

Moving applications to the cloud can be challenging if you are unprepared. In fact, 42 percent of businesses experience some level of migration failure.

The lift and shift migration style is one approach that can help you transition to the cloud without the need to redesign applications or disrupt workflow operations.

Lift and shift is an easy and inexpensive way to migrate your existing workloads to the cloud while running them on cloud-native resources. It allows your business to modernize its IT infrastructure for improved performance and resiliency at a fraction of the cost of other methods.


Companies that want to move their workloads to the cloud can use several migration approaches. Each method has its own set of benefits and disadvantages to consider before choosing an option.

1. Replatform: Replatforming involves replacing applications and rewriting code to make it cloud-native. Replatforming applications can help boost speed across all aspects of business, but it’s the hardest option to implement due to its time-intensive and costly nature.

2. Replace: This method involves throwing out existing applications in favor of outsourcing one or more applications to a cloud-based software company (SaaS). This approach eliminates the need for a development team, but you may face issues such as data access and a lack of customizability.

3. Rehost: This is known as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) or lifts and shift. Lift and shift uses company software that is moved to the cloud. Migration is fast and relatively inexpensive compared to other methods. It also causes the least amount of operational disruptions.

A lift and shift approach can be a quick and cost-efficient way to migrate data, but you should be educated on the process before making the transition.


Some of the key benefits of the lift and shift approach for enterprise cloud migration include:

1. Your applications stay the same. The data is simply rehosted on the cloud.

2. It saves time and money as the applications do not have to be redeveloped from scratch.

3. Security and compliance features can be directly mapped to the cloud.

4. The architectural constructs stay the same after the cloud migration is completed. No significant changes take place, meaning existing business processes remain intact.


Although the lift and shift migration can be a convenient method of migrating to the cloud, it’s not without some potential downfalls.

1. Lifting and shifting legacy applications to a cloud environment may result in issues such as slow and unresponsive processing power.

2. The application may be forced to use more processing and memory in the cloud, negating potential cost savings.

3. Legacy systems may have difficulties running outside of their current infrastructure, causing an increased demand for IT support.

4. The current IT department may have an extensive learning curve propping up legacy applications in a cloud environment.

The lift and shift approach is typically easy to implement, but businesses must assess potential risks to ensure value and cost-effectiveness.

Potential performance and latency issues can make for costly maintenance and continual IT support.

To ensure an successful lift and shift migration, it’s best to use an IT partner with migration expertise. Even if you don’t have in-house IT support, hiring a managed services provider with a background in application migration can help ensure a smooth, effective migration.


The lift and shift approach allows on-site applications to be moved to the cloud without any significant redesigns or overhauls. You should consider using the lift and shift approach if the following apply to your business:

1. You’re on a deadline: If you’re in a time crunch, the lift and shift approach may help expedite the transition to the cloud quicker than other methods.

2. You want lower costs: A lift and shift migration can provide cost savings compared to more expensive methods such as re-platforming and refactoring. Typically, lift and shift is a minimal risk approach that can benefit workplace operations.

3. You want to reduce risk: Lift and shift is a simpler and less risky process than other methods such as replatforming or refactoring.

Always look at the larger picture when choosing migration options. Although the lift and shift technique can work well in many instances, you should consider all options and choose the migration type that will keep you functioning at peak performance.

By choosing the right IT support firm to assist with the transition, you can mitigate cloud migration challenges to ensure optimal performance and a seamless transition.

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