For many independent software vendors (ISVs) the need to move their applications to the cloud has been gathering pace for a number of years. The expectation that an application can be accessed by anyone, from anywhere, means that to compete with competitors a key requirement is to move to a Software as a Service (SaaS) model with applications available from the cloud.
Cloud hosted applications offer benefits to vendors and users alike – new features and fixes can be pushed out to users as they are ready, and subscription-based revenue models can provide greater business stability.
In some cases, software vendors use in house resources or traditional IT support providers to plan and deploy their cloud rather than seeking specialist help. Often this means that the solution isn’t ideally suited to the software and in some cases, that the software isn’t ideally suited to the solution.
In this article, we outline some of the issues facing companies looking to deploy their applications to the public cloud and why they should seek specialist support if they want to see quick return on their investment.
Platforms like Microsoft Azure, can be accessed from anywhere, and using the public cloud gives significant benefits including:
- Hassle free infrastructure management – Because you are sharing infrastructure there is no need to manage and maintain dedicated hardware as this is done by the service provider
- Scalability – As requirements grow then a public cloud allows services to be increased (or decreased) on demand by upgrading a subscription
- Reduced costs – with the Public cloud a business only pays for what they need
- Security and uptime – Public cloud solutions have security and redundancy built in meaning that applications delivered over them are always available
Challenges of moving to the public cloud
The key challenges that need to be considered when offering a cloud-based application often require specialist knowledge of the hosting platform to ensure compliance and compatibility.
All users expect their data to be secure. Every week there is a new story in the media about data breaches, compromised information or hacks that have damaged businesses. Security breaches can lead to lost business and may result in significant financial penalties.
ISVs who use a “do it yourself” solution or use a traditional support supplier often do not get the right level of support and guidance that comes from specialists who have previously set up public cloud hosting. Key issues that are often not addressed include ensuring that identity management, authentication and proper access control mechanisms are in place.
In theory, cloud computing should save businesses money. The ability to increase processing power and capabilities without large infrastructure expenditure means companies can keep costs down but without specialist knowledge they often fail to plan and optimise use.
The key difference between cloud and legacy infrastructure is the ability to change specifications as required. A specification that is designed for peak usage levels rather that one which scales over time means wasted resource and more importantly, wasted money.
Support companies who have experience of setting up and managing public cloud solutions will help customers plan and define their requirements before they deploy to the cloud as well as constantly monitoring and forecasting future needs. This will help improve cost management and business forecasting and ensure that capacity is available only when it is needed.
Lack of resources
One of the biggest challenges faced by companies who want to deploy their applications to the cloud is a lack of in-house skills for ongoing management and change. Increasing reliance on the cloud requires increased understanding of new features and how they can be used to improve performance or reliability.
A specialist cloud solutions provider takes responsibility for keeping skills up to date and brings with them practical knowledge of delivering different solutions for other customers which can then provide benefit across all clients.
Governance and Control
By deploying solutions to the public cloud ISVs do not always have full control over the provisioning, de-provisioning, and operations of infrastructure. This means that they can often struggle to provide the governance, compliance, risks and data quality management required by their own customers and users.
For example, selecting the wrong cloud provider can mean that customer data comes under the control of different country regulations. This may include changes to where personal data about user is stored in the event of legislation changes.
Specialists can help businesses examine the risks and options associated with different solutions and select the right one to deploy to.
If you would like to talk to an expert about the challenges of deploying to the public cloud and how igroup can help you mitigate the issues, contact us on 0203 697 0302.