One of the most popular cloud migration strategies is lift and shift migration. It is simply “lifting” your existing application from its current environment and “shifting” it, essentially unchanged, to a cloud-based infrastructure. However, as the cloud landscape evolves, businesses have realized that this approach is just the tip of the iceberg. Modernization has become a necessity for those looking to truly leverage the benefits of cloud computing. In this blog, we’ll explore why lift and shift is only the beginning, the benefits of modernization, and best practices for a successful transition. 

Why is lift and shift migration so popular? 

Lift and shift migration grew in popularity because It’s the quickest way to migrate and realize cloud benefits. Let’s explore this strategy’s benefits: 

  • It’s quick! Since it involves moving apps from on premises to cloud without modification, enterprises can quickly transition from on-premises infrastructure to a cloud environment 
  • It’s cost-effective! By avoiding the initial costs associated with redesigning or rearchitecting applications, enterprises can save significantly on development and testing 
  • It’s a stable & simple transition! Making minimal changes to the app during the migration process lowers the risk of introducing new bugs or issues 
  • The door’s open for future enhancements! Once applications are in the cloud, they can be incrementally improved, refactored, or rearchitected 
  • It helps maintain current performance levels: Since the core application doesn’t undergo major changes in the lift and shift process, performance characteristics often remain consistent 
  • You benefit from the cloud immediately! Post-migration, enterprises can instantly start leveraging some benefits of the cloud, such as scalability, resilience, and global reach, even if the app hasn’t been fully optimized for the cloud 

Of all the cloud migration strategies out there, the lift and shift approach best balances speed, cost, and risk for enterprises migrating data to cloud. While it might not be the ultimate solution for optimizing cloud capabilities, it is a reliable first step in an organization’s cloud journey, offering immediate benefits and setting the stage for modernization. Businesses can start by migrating less-critical applications, learn from the experience, and then decide whether to refactor more mission-critical systems. 

Is it time for you to embrace cloud modernization? 

Like all technologies, cloud infrastructure and services are not static. To remain competitive, businesses need to modernize their cloud strategies periodically. Here’s why: 

  • Operational efficiency: Cloud modernization streamlines operations, offers automated processes, and integration capabilities, thus helping enterprises become more agile and responsive. 
  • Cost savings: Cloud modernization can lead to better utilization of resources, ensuring that enterprises only pay for what they use. Additionally, newer cloud models often offer more competitive pricing structures. 
  • Enhanced security: As cyber threats evolve, so do cloud security measures. Upgrading ensures businesses benefit from the latest security protocols and tools, protecting their data and applications. 
  • Performance improvements: Modern cloud solutions often have enhanced performance capabilities, ensuring faster processing, better load times, and smoother user experiences. 
  • Advanced features: Cloud providers continuously roll out new features and services. By modernizing, enterprises can leverage these to drive innovation and stay ahead of competitors. 
  • Scalability: As enterprises grow, their cloud needs change. Modern solutions offer better scalability options, ensuring businesses can easily adjust their resources per their needs. 
  • Regulatory compliance: With changing data privacy and protection regulations, modern cloud solutions can help enterprises stay compliant, avoiding potential legal complications. 

Regardless of the size of the business, it may be time for enterprises to move beyond the lift and shift approach by modernizing their cloud to leverage its full potential. 

Best practices for cloud modernization 

To ensure a smooth transition and optimize results, here are a few best practices: 

  • Assessment: Before diving in, assess your applications. Understand which ones will benefit the most from modernization and prioritize them. 
  • Educate and train: Upskill your team. Whether through workshops, courses, or hiring new talent, ensure your team understands the nuances of modern cloud applications. 
  • Incremental approach: Instead of a big bang approach, consider modernizing in phases. This allows for learning and adaptation to ensure business continuity. 
  • Get all stakeholders involved: From IT to business units, involve all stakeholders. Ensure everyone understands the benefits, costs, and timelines. 
  • Leverage expertise: Consider partnering with cloud migration experts or consultants who’ve been down this road before. Their experience can be invaluable. 
  • Embrace automation: From CI/CD pipelines to automated testing, automation can ensure consistency, speed, and quality in your modernization efforts. 

In conclusion 

Lift and shift migration is a straightforward approach, but it’s only the beginning of your cloud journey. Modernizing cloud applications ensures enterprises are better poised to reap all the benefits of cloud technology. With careful planning, proper training, and a comprehensive roadmap, the rewards of modernization can be a game-changer. Aspire’s Cloud Elevator is you fastest route to achieving cloud modernization. With detailed stages and implementation goals, it gives you a failsafe plan for modernization, offering tangible benefits along the way.