Architecting Versus Lift and Shift to the Cloud

Architecting Versus Lift and Shift to the Cloud

A well-designed cloud architecture will always triumph over a lift-and-shift strategy

Fazal Mohammed

Federal agencies are moving to cloud computing for good reasons. However, many “lift and shift” their apps and infrastructure to the cloud, looking to take what works currently and drop it into the new environment. Then reality hits: unforeseen instabilities and even failure of mission-critical apps and services.

It is tough to fault organizations, under schedule and budget crunches, for taking a seemingly straight-line cloud migration approach. Even if the lift and shift is technically sound, it could still cost them more money in the long run. Why? Because without a true redesign, they are not fully harnessing cloud computing’s capabilities and benefits.

A solution based on a well-designed cloud architecture will always triumph over a lift-and-shift strategy. It goes to the root of solving an agency’s business, technical, security, and disaster recovery requirements.

By architecting a best-fit cloud-based environment, focused on those design pillars, a good system integrator ensures that the solution results in:

  • Real operational efficiencies
  • Performance enhancements
  • Lower costs
  • Greater security
  • Enterprise resiliency


A lift and shift does not optimize apps for leveraging the operational advantages of cloud computing.

During architecture design, the system integrator modernizes and streamlines applications and consolidates data centers, eliminating redundancies. It also tailors the exact kinds and levels of resources the environment needs and tackles challenges using modern and innovative technologies and techniques.

Modernized apps automatically scale up and down the resources they need from the cloud in order to satisfy users’ demands, as the enterprise flexes and pivots. In a lift-and-shift solution, where the apps are not optimized, an agency misses out on this auto scaling opportunity, resulting in paying for unused resources.

By smartly leveraging managed cloud services via a good architecture solution, an agency can finally free itself of ongoing O&M issues and focus its IT budget and workforce on things that truly advance its mission.

Many organizations expect the benefits of cloud will greet them right when they arrive; the key to unlocking them is how they get there. Without thoughtful architecture design and execution, they could encounter pain instead.

MORE FROM FAZAL MOHAMMED: Cloud-native development brings app agility


Posted by: Fazal Mohammed

Director of Cloud-Native Software Solutions

Fazal Mohammed has more than two decades of software and application development experience. His areas of expertise include cloud native application development, agile and SAFe, DevSecOps, and mobile. He has professional certifications with respect to AWS, Azure, Splunk, DevOps, PMI Agile, and SAFe. Fazal is an SAIC Fellow, helping the company steer the technology landscape, and has been involved in numerous company R&D projects. He earned his bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Madras University and master's degree in information systems from Virginia Tech.

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