Many companies have achieved benefits from moving applications to the cloud, including cost savings and convenient, on-demand access and data storage; however, not every application is a good fit for the cloud.
Putting a stake in the ground
How can a company decide what applications should move to the cloud? And, what deployment model—public, private or hybrid cloud—makes sense? Determining which applications will bring the most value should be the starting point. The considerations can be boiled down to six key categories:
Availability: What is the availability requirement of an application? Can the application be off-line for extended periods? Life-critical systems (e.g., grid systems, medical-related, air traffic control) do not make sense to move to the cloud. What about latency requirements? Applications with moderate transmission, measured in minutes, are a logical fit for the cloud as opposed to applications that require response time in milliseconds.
Security: Some applications need to move to a hybrid cloud, due to data privacy or functionality that prevents them from being fully migrated to the public cloud. How do you ensure data is moved securely to the cloud and protected once it is in the cloud?
Government regulations: Regulations and industry practices may mean that public clouds are not yet a good choice for a subset of applications. For example, some countries mandate that data is stored within their boundaries. This restricts what can be moved to the cloud, given data center locations.
Data storage: Is the data largely decoupled from core applications? Can the data be separated from the applications? Are there extensive data storage requirements? Applications that require significant back-up and recovery to ensure business continuity are a good fit to move to the cloud, and typically require less effort to migrate to the cloud.
Performance: It is important to accurately assess your performance requirements before moving to the cloud. An application with high database transfer rates may prove problematic to move to the cloud. Likewise, an application that has high CPU or RAM requirements may be either difficult, or cost prohibitive, to move to the cloud.
Flexibility: Does the application support integration or new technologies? If the application is stand alone or only doing batch integrations, it probably is a good candidate for the cloud. Also, if all the integrations are based on widely-used industry standards, it is also a probable contender for a move to the cloud.
Every day, companies are successfully transitioning applications and data to more agile environments in the cloud. Before you take the leap, thoroughly evaluate your company’s goals, along with your application landscape, to determine your best approach for each application.