What are the steps involved in a tried and tested cloud migration strategy?
Cloud is becoming an integral part of today’s market. More and more companies are adopting it. Commenting on the statistics of cloud adoption, Hosting Tribunal said that “the hybrid cloud is the weapon of choice for 45% of enterprises.” Also, it forecasts that the public cloud service market is expected to reach 623.3 billion dollars by 2023 worldwide. Why is cloud adoption so popular right now? Is cloud necessary in today’s market? What is the best cloud migration strategy for a smooth transition? These questions will be addressed in this article.
Is cloud necessary in today’s market?
“Cloud computing is not only the future of computing but the present and the entire past of computing.”
– Larry Ellison, Oracle.
Not so long ago, enterprises had to establish and maintain their own server to host and run applications on their premises. Today, cloud computing is revolutionizing all operations of the business world. Though relatively new, this technology became the cornerstone for the digital transformation of enterprises. Cloud technology provides companies with on-demand data storage, computing power, and many other cloud services. These services are maintained by service providers at remote data centers.
By partnering with a cloud migration services provider like Fingent, you can easily overcome the challenges that come with sudden operational demands, higher operational expenses, and ineffective processes. This frees your business and employees from maintenance issues.
Read more: Why It’s Time to Embrace Cloud and Mobility Trends To Recession-Proof Your Business?
Here are a few more compelling reasons why the cloud is necessary for today’s market:
Cloud computing is a subscription-based model. That would mean there are no purchasing, labor, or maintenance costs. Since cloud computing is a technology that provides services to companies, you only pay for what you use. This allows you to optimize your budget more efficiently.
2. Digital transformation
The traditional ways of operation are becoming too costly and obsolete. Digital transformation is the surest way to remain competitive in today’s market. Digital transformation occurs when a company uses a cloud migration strategy to migrate all business operations to the cloud.
3. Data backup and recovery
One of the greatest benefits of cloud computing is cloud storage. That means cloud makes data accessible and usable, even remotely. Such accessibility does not expose data to risk because, in the cloud, data is never stored in one place. It is split into fragments and encrypted before it is distributed across various locations. This also ensures that your data is protected from cyber-attacks or natural disasters.
While there are many benefits of cloud migration, you must exercise caution. Miguel Angel Borrega, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner warns: “Through 2024, 80% of companies that are unaware of the mistakes made in their cloud adoption will overspend by 20 to 50%.” What is the solution? A well-planned cloud migration strategy!
Read more: 7 Common Mistakes Non-Tech Businesses Commit While Taking Up Tech Projects
7 steps involved in cloud migration strategy
Having a cloud migration strategy ensures you do not miss any essential steps during your move to the cloud. Use the steps below to create a cloud migration strategy and make your transition as smooth as possible.
1. Understand and select cloud migration options
Each company has its own peculiar scenarios. Understanding these will help you choose from all available options for a smooth migration. These options could range from leveraging an existing application workload environment to rewriting the application partially or even wholly. These options are:
- Lift and shift/rehosting
- Extend to the cloud
- Cloud optimized
- Replace with SaaS
2. Set up a cloud management team
The first step is to create a cross-functional team to oversee the transition. This team should be capable of managing the migration from start to finish. Cloud migration teams serve as a central point of contact. This team includes representatives from each department who would either be hosting or using the applications in the cloud.
They must ensure the following:
- Adjust applications before migration begins
- Monitor each application as it moves to the cloud
- Address any functionality issues
- Collect and implement feedback from users
3. Pick the right platform and provider
Don’t make the mistake of picking the first option you come across. Before making a choice compare different cloud platforms and migration models and then pick the one that best suits your business. Here are the three principal levels of cloud platform services:
- Infrastructure as service (IaaS)
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
- Software as a service (SaaS)
After you choose the level of service, pick the cloud provider that works best for your business.
4. Collect baseline analytics
Ensure to collect baseline analytics before you move anything to the cloud. Such pre-migration data provides you a basis for comparison when you run analytics on your cloud-based applications. This will help you see how speed, user experience, and other metrics have improved. This also allows you to understand when something goes wrong during the transition and correct it.
5. Gauge and Address Security Risks
Implement cybersecurity to protect sensitive data. Ensure security at your end and in the cloud. Most importantly, ensure that the migration itself is secure. According to Forrester, 43% of internal data breaches were from accidental mishandling of sensitive information. You must evaluate and address any security issues before migrating any applications or data. This will prevent data breaches.
Read more: Safeguarding IT Infrastructure From Cyber Attacks – Best Practices
6. Initial strategy: Move a single application as a test
Now that everything is in place for a smooth migration, you must be eager to make a complete shift as soon as possible. Hold on! Starting small is a wise cloud migration strategy. First, move one application or a group of applications that do not have a lot of dependencies. Once it starts running in the cloud, evaluate its performance. That first app will help you make pre-migration changes to the rest of the applications.
7. Refine and finalize your strategy: Measure post-migration performance
Once the migration is completed, measure the performance of all your applications with the help of KPIs. Comparing the performance data will help you see how performance changed after cloud migration. That data can be used to make logging improvements and to detect problems. At this point, if you notice errors or low-performance levels, you can address these quickly before they cause any significant downtime.
Cloud computing is called a “no-brainer” because it offers enhanced security, stability, and greater flexibility. To completely benefit from it, companies must have a successful cloud migration strategy. The success of migration depends on meticulous planning and consideration of every aspect of your business. The seven-step cloud migration strategy given above will ensure an easy migration for your organization. Partner with us to ensure that your cloud migration strategy goes without a glitch and propels you to success.
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6 Hot Technologies that Handhold Businesses Amid COVID-19 Impact
The COVID-19 pandemic has had wide-ranging ramifications for several businesses. Forrester predicts that the retail sector will endure a 2.1 trillion-dollar loss in 2020 due to COVID-19. It also said that it will take four years for retailers to experience the growth seen before the pandemic. As COVID-19 continues breathing threats down the neck of businessmen, hot technologies are emerging as a relief to counteract them and lead businesses towards their goals. We will discuss a few of these specific technologies such as cloud, eCommerce, eLearning, automation, virtual collaboration, and contactless services that can help you minimize the effects of COVID-19 on your business.
1. Cloud Adoption During COVID-19
With physical interaction no longer being an acceptable form of communication, organizations and institutions have had to swiftly shift to digital solutions to retain productivity. The domino effect of COVID-19 was seen in various sectors, accelerating the adoption of facilities for seamless remote work. Cloud computing has emerged as an essential technology for critical application and scalability of infrastructure in this regard.
Companies from various sectors are now starting to realize the benefits and value of cloud computing as far-reaching beyond the scenario created by the pandemic. As a result, businesses will have to scale up their digital transformation efforts and invest in cloud resources without delay. If anyone had reservations about investing in cloud computing before this, COVID-19 has proved that its necessity is indisputable.
CCInsights reported that as of 21 April 2020, US and Canadian e-commerce orders have seen a 129% increase.
With restrictions on the number of people that can be gathered in one place, gone are the glory days of shopping malls and brick and mortar stores. COVID-19 has changed shopping behaviors overnight, necessitating brands to adapt and be flexible to meet changing needs.
For example, the Buy Online Pick up In Store (BOPIS) capability has become vital to maintaining sales volume with the restrictions in mind. A good example of this is the mobile phone industry. When foot traffic is curbed, then Mobile Point of Sale programs can be set up to take orders and payment at the same time for business continuity. Membership or Loyalty cards can be now digitalized through mobile applications.
3. Virtual Collaboration
Many developed nations are now stipulating that employees of non-essential businesses work remotely for an indefinite time, making video conferencing vital. Schools, colleges, and universities are also leveraging video conferencing platforms through live or recorded lectures.
This has brought many virtual collaboration solutions to the forefront that facilitate video conferencing, instant messaging, task and calendar management, work collaboration, file sharing, attendance tracking, and so on. A few examples include Zoom, DingTalk, WeChat Work, Zoho Remotely, and so on.
At Fingent, we use InfinCE, a powerful cloud-based enterprise collaboration software that offers support for remote work.
Read Our Case Study: How Fingent enabled a smarter digital workplace solution for Sony Mobile
During this time of crisis, the entire education ecosystem is coming together to ensure that students do not suffer. Educational applications, platforms, and resources offer functionalities across multiple categories such as:
- Resources to provide psycho-social support
- Digital learning management systems
- Digital systems designed for use on basic mobile phones
- Massive open online course platforms
- Self-directed learning content
- Mobile reading applications
- Tools for teachers to create digital learning content
Automation has been helping businesses mitigate disruption by enabling them to stay connected across teams and systems while maintaining customer support in times of uncertainties such as this pandemic.
Robotic Process Automation improves the efficiency and reliability of work outcomes and automates the time-consuming, repetitive tasks that weigh down intelligent workers. The benefits are:
- Digital workers do not need to have the weekend off. They can work 24 hours a day, 24/7 to respond to spikes in business activity.
- They do not have travel restrictions nor are they at the risk of COVID-19 infection or affected by physical office closure.
During the pandemic, companies that have already invested in automation technologies are doing exponentially better than those who did not. It is obvious, that automation can pave the way for a better future.
6. Contactless Services
The coronavirus pandemic has driven a preference for self-service purchasing, boosting contactless services. Consider a few examples available now and upcoming in the future:
- Dining experience: Technology can take care of everything: reserving a table at the restaurant, pre-ordering your food, digital valet services, contactless seating, contactless payment, and online feedback.
- Contactless payment: It lets shoppers integrate their payment information to their loyalty account through an app and then use a QR code for payment through self-checkouts.
- Contactless delivery: This ensures end-to-end hygiene because a customer places an order, makes the payment online, and gets the food delivered without ever coming in contact with the delivery agent.
Grab a Slice of Hot Technology
While the end of the pandemic remains elusive, capturing even a slice of these hot technologies could make a huge difference to businesses. They can even help smaller businesses gain a stronger foothold during this pandemic and into the future. Get in touch with us and help us guide you through this pandemic by implementing the right technology solutions for your business.
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A Look Into The Cloud Computing Trends for 2020
“Fewer, but larger, public cloud platform providers and a maturing SaaS ecosystem will dominate enterprise cloud spending” – The Public Cloud Market Outlook, 2019 To 2022 Forrester Report.
Organizations are recognizing the importance of cloud computing and are adopting the technology steadily over the past few years. With recent technological advancements creating new excitement around the idea of cloud computing, the adoption is now skyrocketing!
According to Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market will gain a positive growth of 17% in 2020. That is an increase from $227.8 billion in 2019 to 266.4 billion in 2020. This makes it vital for organizations to identify the forces that will shape the cloud computing market this year. This article will help you with this as we discuss five specific trends that will transform cloud computing in 2020.
Why Keep Up with Cloud Computing?
Aggregated mostly around Amazon, Google and Microsoft, the cloud market underwent a profound change in the recent past. The pace for cloud adoption and innovation will inevitably continue to accelerate across industries and regions providing new opportunities, and new levels of quality and efficiency. The question you must be asking is: What is in store for the cloud computing market and how should you prepare for it in 2020?
1. Shifting Gears from Multi-Cloud to Hybrid-Cloud
2019 has seen how organizations routinely deployed workloads across multiple clouds. In order to achieve expected outcomes in business, organizations will have to adopt the right and appropriate cloud strategy. A hybrid cloud computing structure uses an orchestration of local servers, private cloud, and third-party public cloud services to achieve desired results. According to The RightScale 2019 State of The Cloud Report, the hybrid cloud adoption rate was estimated at 58% last year.
In this transitional era, the hybrid-cloud will become an integral part of the long-term vision for industries on how they will meet their needs. It can provide a seamless experience to enterprises and help them solve complicated challenges around latency. Customers too won’t have to deal with two different pieces of infrastructure; on-premise and public cloud. Thus, the shift to a hybrid-cloud will make things easier for both the organization as well as the customers.
Related Reading: Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure: How It Benefits Your Business
2. Serverless Computing
“Serverless computation is going to fundamentally change not only the economics of what is back-end computing, but it’s going to be the core of the future of distributed computing,” says Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer at Microsoft. This comment clearly shows what the future of serverless computing is.
Serverless computing ensures that developers must only focus on their core product without worrying about operating and managing the servers. This is an advantage that moves enterprises to adopt serverless computing. According to Gartner, more than 20% of global enterprises will deploy serverless computing technologies by 2020.
3. Cloud Security will Become Paramount
Many organizations feel that cloud computing could pose security issues. They might have concerns about regulatory and privacy issues, along with compliance and governance issues. Consequently, security features of public data have become the key focus in 2020. It will not be just about access controls or policy creations. Aspects such as data encryption, cloud workload security, and threat intelligence will gain priority as part of an organization’s security measures. 2020 will also see security features such as privileged access management and shared responsibility models.
According to Kristin Davis of 42crunch.com, 2019 became the year where API Security threats came to notice. As the year progressed, we have observed a lot of high profile API breaches and vulnerabilities, including the ones at Facebook, Amazon Ring, GitHub, Cisco, Kubernetes, Uber, Verizon, etc. In their October 2019 report, Gartner estimates that by 2021, exposed APIs will form a larger attack surface than UIs for 90% of web-enabled applications. In 2020, we expect API security getting to the top of the agenda of a chief information security officer. Also, DevOps tools and processes are expanding to DevSecOps, to lower the risks and implement security by design.
Mihai Corbuleac, Senior IT Consultant at StratusPointIT predicts security acquisitions to make more headlines in 2020, it has made the headlines over the last year. It is because all cloud companies that can’t develop in-house modern security solutions have to look to buy them.
Related Reading: How Secure is Your Business in a Multi-Cloud Environment
4. Digital Natives
As the workforce evolves, the expectations of the workers will definitely increase. Those joining the workforce will be well-acquainted with cloud computing and its advantages. Such workers are called ‘digital natives.’
Organizations will have two sets of workers as a consequence: those who have adopted digital best practices and those who have not. This would call for a need to train the second set of workers, which is called ‘reverse mentoring.’ The adoption of cloud computing and related technologies will enable organizations to integrate both the workgroups into one unified workforce.
5. Quantum Computing
Quantum computing requires massive hardware developments. This opens up the potential to exponentially increase the efficiency of computers in 2020. It allows computers and their servers to process more rapidly than ever before. Quantum computing also has the potential to limit energy consumption. It requires lesser consumption of electricity while generating massive amounts of computing energy. Best of all, quantum computing can have a positive effect on the environment and the economy.
Are You Keeping Up the Pace?
Whether you are a large organization or a small one, cloud computing will remain a compelling, fast-moving force in 2020. Adopting cloud computing technology will enable organizations to mitigate risks and capitalize on opportunities. Ultimately, organizations will have a number of decisions to make with regards to cloud computing. It will include deciding when and how to adopt cloud computing technology, as well as for deciding on the specific model they would like to adopt.
Related Reading: Cloud Migration: Essentials to Know Before You Jump on the Bandwagon
With years of experience in helping clients transform their business by the power of the cloud, Fingent can help you understand and implement this technology seamlessly in your business. Contact us to know more.
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A Quick Guide on the Cloud Service Models – Saas, IaaS, Paas!
The future of computing is in the cloud. What it implies is that you adapt your business to fit in the cloud model. Missing out on it can leave your business behind, especially in today’s world, where technology is imperative and unavoidable.
Once you sign up for cloud service models Saas, IaaS, and Paas, you can leverage its wider possibilities to bring the flexibility and efficiency that pushes your business growth. An enterprise cloud platform like InfinCE can always help you seamlessly embrace the power of the cloud to streamline and run a business efficiently, within a secured environment.
Over the years cloud services have witnessed exponential growth worldwide. The global public cloud services revenue in 2018 alone, is estimated to be over 305.8 billion dollars with 411.4 billion dollars growth projected in 2020.
This year, Gartner forecasted the worldwide public cloud services market to grow 6.3% by the end of 2020 to total $257.9 billion, up from $242.7 billion in 2019. Desktop as a service (DaaS) is also expected to have the most significant growth in the coming years, increasing 95.4% to $1.2 billion in 2020. Here’s a peek into the Worldwide Public Cloud Service Revenue Forecast Table put up in Millions of U.S. Dollars.
Fig.1: Worldwide Public Cloud Service Revenue Forecast (Millions of U.S. Dollars)
Fig 2. Global Forecast of Public Cloud Services Revenue, Source – Gartner
What these reports signify is a steady adoption of cloud services by businesses across the world to tackle the entire range of operations that they do. Application development in cloud computing provides an extensive, flexible, and affordable way to implement cloud service models. Meanwhile, numerous leading players in the information technology sector now compete to deliver flexible cloud services for both the public and enterprises.
Increasing competition means better delivery of services and innovations, which can deeply benefit scaling up your business. Hence, now is the right time to deploy a cloud model into your business infrastructure.
- An Overview of Cloud Benefits
- Cloud Service Models Saas, IaaS, PaaS
- Adopting Cloud – Choosing Between SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS
- What Should You Know About DaaS?
- Cloud Service Models SaaS, IaaS, or PaaS: What Fits your Business?
An Overview of Cloud Benefits
You must be wondering! Why do you need to adopt cloud service for your enterprise and what could it possibly do to widen the scope of your operations? Well, the pros of cloud adoption far outweigh its cons, which is one reason why you should consider it in the first place. Here are 3 major advantages of cloud adoption.
Scalable – A cloud service allows quick scaling up and down of computing resources to accommodate your changing needs.
Affordable – You pay less for a cloud service, as it eliminates unnecessary costs involved in hardware upgrades and maintenance.
Secure – By signing up for a cloud service, you are essentially making your data more secure using their industry-grade security protocols.
If you have envisioned a goal of making your business more dynamic, then the cloud is the way. And the question comes down to this: what type of cloud service model would you implement and which one will fit your unique business requirements?
Cloud Service Models Saas, IaaS, PaaS
Cloud computing services come in three types: SaaS (Software as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), and PaaS (Platform as a Service). Each of the cloud models has its own set of benefits that could serve the needs of various businesses.
Choosing between them requires an understanding of these cloud models, evaluating your requirements, and finding out how the chosen model can deliver your intended set of workflows.
The following is a brief description of the three types of cloud models and their benefits.
SaaS or Software as a Service is a model that gives quick access to cloud-based web applications. The vendor controls the entire computing stack, which you can access using a web browser. These applications run on the cloud and you can use them by a paid licensed subscription or for free with limited access.
SaaS does not require any installations or downloads in your existing computing infrastructure. This eliminates the need for installing applications on each of your computers with the maintenance and support taken over by the vendor. Some known examples of SaaS include Google G Suite, Microsoft Office 365, Dropbox, etc.
IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service is basically a virtual provision of computing resources over the cloud. An IaaS cloud provider can give you the entire range of computing infrastructures such as storage, servers, networking hardware alongside maintenance and support.
Businesses can opt for computing resources of their requirement without the need to install hardware on their premises. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Compute Engine are some of the leading IaaS cloud service providers.
Platform as a Service or PaaS is essentially a cloud base where you can develop, test, and organize the different applications for your business. Implementing PaaS simplifies the process of enterprise software development. The virtual runtime environment provided by PaaS gives a favorable space for developing and testing applications.
The entire resources offered in the form of servers, storage, and networking are manageable either by the company or a platform provider. Google App Engine and AWS Elastic Beanstalk are two typical examples of PaaS. PaaS is also subscription-based and gives you flexible pricing options depending on your business requirements.
Adopting Cloud – Choosing Between SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS
Going through the details of what SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS may have given you a general understanding of these three cloud models. Each of them differs and has a range of advantages and disadvantages that may or may not fit in with your business model.
By correlating each of these cloud models sides by side, you could derive at a conclusion whether it suits your business requirements.
- Affordable – SaaS is affordable as it eliminates the costs involved in the purchase, installation, maintenance, and upgrades of computing hardware.
- Anywhere Accessibility – With SaaS, you can access the services from anywhere using any device such as smartphones, which eliminates the constraints set by on-premise software.
- Ready to Use – You can quickly set up SaaS services so that they become functional in no time. All it takes is that you sign up for the service to get access to fast and powerful computing resources.
Why Should One Opt SaaS?
With SaaS, communication, transferring of content, and scheduling meetings are made easy. SaaS is the ideal choice for small-scale businesses that do not have the necessary budget and resources to deploy on on-premise hardware. Besides, companies that require frequent collaboration on their projects will find SaaS platforms useful.
Studies reveal that Supply Chain Management, Business Intelligence, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Project and Portfolio Management will see the fastest growth in end-user spending on SaaS applications, through 2022.
Things to Consider Before SaaS Implementation
- Opt for configuration over customization within a SaaS-based delivery model. The configuration will allow you to tailor without changing the core product, whereas, customization will make it challenging to scale with the constant updates and documentation.
- Understand the adoption and usage rates carefully, and set clear objectives to be achieved with the SaaS adoption.
- Compliment your SaaS solution with integrations, and security options to make it more user-initiated.
- Minimize Costs – Deploying an IaaS cloud model eliminates the need to deploy on-premise hardware that reduces the costs.
- Enhanced Scalability – As the most flexible cloud computing model, IaaS allows you to scale the computing resources up or down based on demand.
- Simple Deployment – IaaS lets you easily deploy the servers, processing, storage, and networking to make it up and running in no time.
Why Should One Opt IaaS?
IaaS being the most flexible of cloud models gives the best option when it comes to IT hardware infrastructure. IaaS is the right option if you need control over the hardware infrastructure such as in managing and customizing according to your requirements.
Whether you are running a startup or a large enterprise, IaaS gives access to computing resources without the need to invest in them separately. However, the only downside with IaaS is that it is much costlier than SaaS or PaaS cloud models.
According to Gartner’s latest report, the worldwide infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market grew 31.3% in 2018 to total $32.4 billion, and in 2019 it’s projected to be worth $38.9 billion. This growth will continue well into 2022, where it’s expected to be worth $76.6 billion.
Things to Consider Before IaaS Implementation
- Clearly define your access needs and the bandwidth of your network to facilitate smooth implementation and function.
- Plan out thorough data storage and security strategy to streamline the process.
- Ensure a disaster recovery plan so that your data remains safe and accessible at all means.
- Minimal Development Time – PaaS reduces the development time since the vendor provides all computing resources like server-side components, which simplifies the process and improves the focus of the development team.
- Multiple Programming Language Support – PaaS offers support for multiple programming languages, which a software development company can utilize to build applications for different projects.
- Enhanced Collaboration – With PaaS, your business can benefit from having enhanced collaboration, which will help integrate your team dispersed across various locations.
Why Should One Opt PaaS?
PaaS is the preferred option if your project involves multiple developers and vendors. With PaaS, it is easy to create customized applications as it leases all the essential computing and networking resources. Being a different model, PaaS simplifies the app development process that minimizes your organizational costs.
Besides, it is flexible and delivers the necessary speed in the process, which will rapidly improve your development times. A typical disadvantage with PaaS is that since it is built on virtualized technology, you will have less control over the data processing. In addition, it is also less flexible compared to the IaaS cloud model.
A study by Market Reports World estimates that the global PaaS market will grow at a CAGR of 24.17% during 2019-2023 and will get valued at 28.4 billion USD by the end of 2023.
Things to Consider Before PaaS Implementation
- Crucially analyzing your business needs, decide the automation levels, if it needs to be self-service or fully automated.
- Clearly determine whether to deploy on a private or public cloud.
- Plan through the customization, and efficiency levels.
What Should You Know About DaaS?
Desktop as a Service or DaaS is desktop virtualization provided through the cloud. DaaS is similar to the server deployment done in IaaS. However, it strictly specializes to offer desktop operating systems. As mentioned earlier in this blog, according to Gartner, DaaS is expected to have the most significant growth in the coming years, analyzing the 95.4% increase in Worldwide Public Cloud Service Revenue in 2020.
Providing device accessibility from anywhere and at any time, DaaS enables workforce mobility and enhances flexibility. Its offerings are mostly simple pay-as-a-go subscription models which makes it easy to scale up. With DaaS, an organization can rely on data security, disaster recovery, optimum performance, cost savings, and mobility. Enabling an easy to manage and simplified IT environment for desktop solutions, DaaS is now widely adopted amongst small businesses.
- Security – Along with easy accessibility and simplified management of desktops and applications, DaaS ensures enhanced security of data.
- Flexibility – As mentioned earlier, DaaS enables easy accessibility from anywhere allowing maximum flexibility. Seasonal or remote workers and contract employees can stay productive at all times with streamlined access to applications, remote desktops, and data on any cost-effective device.
- Cost savings – Providing easy monthly and yearly subscription plans, DaaS reduces the capital expense and makes operational expenses more predictable.
- Business continuity – Providing disaster recovery support, and easy access to apps and desktops to the workforce, DaaS helps running a business at all times, even during natural disasters and pandemics.
Cloud Service Models SaaS, IaaS, or PaaS: What Fits your Business?
The growing adoption of cloud services is a sign of the rapidly changing business environment. The forecasts and reports shed light on how the cloud is going to become the primary computing resource for enterprises in times to come. So, that suggests that your business should quickly adopt a cloud platform to leverage its wide-reaching benefits and in turn help you grow.
But, what cloud model would be apt as a solution that delivers the results that you are looking for. The above-mentioned details about SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS may have provided you with a peek into the nature of these cloud models. Each of them differs and it is up to you to address your business requirements and select one that you find apt for your needs.
Summarizing, SaaS would suit your business well if you need cloud-based software like email, CRM, and productivity tools. IaaS is the perfect option if you require a complete virtual computing platform with powerful resources. If your requirement is a platform to develop and test your software and applications, then it is better to opt for PaaS.
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Businesses, especially small businesses, these days are increasingly adopting cloud service technologies. Why?
It’s the flexibility, scalability and value features of the cloud that are apparently driving this growth in its adoption. The basic aim is to allow employees to work better and promote an efficient work environment, with their offices available everywhere, now that telecommuting is becoming more prevalent as a trend.
Here are some facts that prove how rapidly telecommuting is becoming mainstream:
- By 2020, cloud spending in terms of IT and services is likely to exceed half a trillion dollars.
- 70% of software revenues are based on cloud code – SaaS, PaaS or on-premise as ISV’s base on-premise on cloud platforms.
- Tweet: Almost 50% of large enterprises are looking to double up software and services development staff for cloud projects.
But, as a general fact,
do all businesses stand to gain from using cloud services?
Will all businesses reap equal and extensive benefits from using the cloud?
Is it beneficial for you to use the cloud?
The answer to all these questions depends on the size of the business as well as preferences in terms of data, storage, security and the like.
Before you jump on the bandwagon, you need to analyse your business scenario and your preferences to make an intelligent decision.
Is cloud migration the right way to go for you?
Cloud migration (or moving your apps and services to the cloud), is more of a long term trend. While it may have several benefits of its own, there are several factors that you need to consider before going for it.
When should you consider moving to the cloud?
- If your applications are experiencing an explosive increase in traffic and it is practically difficult for you to scale and arrange resources on the fly, in order to meet the rising demand.
- If you are a software solutions provider and your clients are increasingly demanding faster application development and deployment, and you want to facilitate that while cutting down on infrastructure overheads.
- If your clients are looking to expand their business and diversify geographically and you think it might be a challenge for you to accommodate a multi-region infrastructure system, including its due maintenance, time and human resources.
- If you are looking to reduce your operational costs and increase the effectiveness of your IT.
- If you are looking to set up a disaster recovery system for an entire data center, while still having adequate control over resources and keeping costs under check.
- If you are planning to expand your development team and make it widely distributed so as to allow even remotely located employees to work easily.
These are just some common situations where you could consider cloud migration. There may be more. If you can relate to at least some these, then you can probably start planning.
Small and medium businesses are more likely to be experiencing one or more of the above scenarios. They are the ones who are constantly undergoing rapid and drastic changes in terms of scale, profits and business size. Hence, the obvious features of the cloud like scalability and accessibility can come in very useful.
Large enterprises may have more sustained developments in their business, in which case, they may not necessarily need the cloud. There are other options for them which we’ll be getting into, in a while.
Now let’s see some possible consequences that follow cloud migration. You might want to consider the flip side of things as well, before getting into it.
- If your application uses, stores and sends back a lot of sensitive data, then you might not be able to use the cloud. Even compliance regulations restrict you from maintaining such data, in sources like the cloud.
- If you are using proprietary software or technology, and you are looking to move to the cloud, then you have a problem. It might not be legally possible for you to move or deploy such software into the cloud.
- You might have to deal with transparency and control issues, as your hardware is being controlled by someone else.
- You might encounter latency or dormancy issues with certain operations when using the cloud.
- If you want to retain ownership of certain data in your application, then cloud might not be the thing for you. When you migrate your data to the cloud, you have no control of where your data gets stored.
- Shared resources can lead to occasional disturbances in terms of performance and efficiency.
- Your application’s design or architecture might not be suitable as such to fit the cloud architecture. Hence you might need to make certain modifications.
Again, these are only some limitations of cloud migration to get you started on the thinking process. The most common ones are listed above. You may have to deal with other minor issues as and when you migrate.
To make a judgment…
On a normal case, where you already have a setup, which is satisfactory to your employees as well as customers, and you don’t really need much scaling and maintenance at the moment, then you could very well continue as such. It would not be worth these limitations for you to disturb the existing smooth process.
If you are a startup company in the manufacturing industry, it might not be feasible to maintain in-house servers and applications for internal uses. You also might not encounter a lot of the above-mentioned issues as you don’t use the cloud to serve customers directly. In such cases, opting for cloud services might be the best way to go.
For those of you who own large business enterprises in the software industry, it might be better to go for a hybrid model – one which combines the best of cloud services as well as in-house servers or private servers. For applications that involve a lot of sensitive data, or for proprietary software, you could use your own servers, and for other applications, you could use cloud services. That way, you don’t have to compromise on security or data ownership issues while at the same time, attain the flexibility and scalability of the cloud.
You also have the option of private clouds. More on that soon.
The cloud computing model
From a broad perspective, you could go for one out of three cloud computing models – Iaas (Infrastructure as a Service), SaaS (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service).
In case of IaaS models, you don’t have to take care of storage, networking, CDN and virtualization. They can all be left to the IaaS provider.
In PaaS, the application platform, the development, and the database are all handled by the providers.
SaaS models take care of business management, CRM, security as well as tools.
It is important to choose the model once you have decided to for the cloud.
The cloud options
Large enterprises also have the option of choosing a private or a hybrid cloud model.
Private cloud is where you can create your own cloud using specific platforms like Openstack. That way you can access the benefits of the cloud, while still retaining data security and ownership. It is apt for businesses using secure and confidential information and core systems.
A public cloud is where all of your resources are hosted by a separate cloud service provider. It supports more number of customers and is better suited for companies having lesser confidential information, as all the resources are publicly shared and virtualized.
A hybrid cloud model is one in which your resources are spread over private and public clouds. Specific resources can be used in the private cloud, whereas those which do not need a high level of security can be hosted by the public servers. Large software enterprises can benefit from using this model as they can have the best of both worlds. It is a perfect blend of reliability, availability, security and reduced operations costs.
It is extremely important for business enterprises, whether large, medium or small to analyze their business and choose the appropriate cloud solution. If your business scenario demands cloud migration, then your next steps should be in choosing the right model. Once you know exactly what kind of cloud services you need, you can be sure you are doing the right thing.
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