The Big Cloud Migration Misstep

In all the different ways we know in order to migrate an application to the cloud, the lift-and-shift strategy is often the first method organizations attempt. It’s a simple concept: take your existing applications and move them, as is, to the cloud. But simplicity can be deceptive. I’ve seen firsthand how this approach can lead to a host of issues, particularly when it comes to the underutilization of dynamic cloud resources.

Migrating to the cloud using lift-and-shift may be the most expensive mistake you make when implementing a cloud migration.

The Illusion of Lift-and-Shift

The appeal of lift-and-shift is clear—it promises a quick and painless transition to the cloud. But this is an illusion. By not re-architecting applications to leverage the cloud’s dynamic capabilities, organizations are essentially moving into a new home but living out of their moving boxes. They miss out on the opportunity to optimize their applications for the cloud environment.

Renting the Office Building

How efficient would it be for a business to rent an entire office building, when it usually only needs a few rooms? This is exactly what you are doing when you move your application, unchanged, to the cloud using static resources.

One of the most significant drawbacks of lift-and-shift is cost. The cloud’s economic model is built around its dynamic nature—its ability to automatically and dynamically scale resources to match demand. Lift-and-shift migrations ignore this model, leading to static resource allocation that often costs more than traditional data center operations.

Applications that could benefit from the cloud’s scalability are left constrained by the fixed resources allocated to them. During peak demand, they can’t scale up, leading to potential performance degradation or service failure. In quieter times, the opposite happens. Applications can be significantly over-provisioned, wasting money on unused capacity.

Scalability: The Lost Advantage

Scalability is one of the cloud’s greatest strengths. Lift-and-shift migrations squander this advantage. They prevent organizations from responding swiftly to market changes and customer demands. In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, this lack of agility can be a critical misstep.

The solution to these problems is to embrace the cloud’s dynamic resources. This involves re-architecting applications to be cloud-native and taking advantage of services like auto-scaling, serverless computing, and managed databases.

It’s a process that requires more effort upfront but pays dividends in efficiency, performance, and cost savings.


Lift-and-shift is a tempting shortcut for cloud migration, but it’s a path fraught with hidden costs and missed opportunities. To truly benefit from the cloud, organizations must go beyond this rudimentary strategy and tap into the dynamic resources that make the cloud such a powerful platform for innovation and growth.


Image by akitada31 from Pixabay.