When companies hear about all the benefits of cloud computing, they want to get on board, but often they have many questions: What clouds are there? Which one is the most suitable for our company? Is it secure enough for our data? Choosing a strategy for moving applications into the cloud can be daunting because your organization’s application portfolio contains tens, hundreds or even thousands of different applications. By considering the following questions you can decide which applications to move into the cloud.
Security and compliance assessment
Companies are often subject to IT security policies and compliance requirements that affect the ability to run applications on a shared infrastructure. These questions will help you identify which applications and data sets to move to the cloud, and which ones to keep in-house:
— Do you classify any of your data as public, internal, confidential, or secret and do any of those classifications prohibit placing the data on a shared or outsourced infrastructure?
— Are there any regulatory or contractual obligations to store data in a specific jurisdiction such as a specific country or state?
— Are there any concerns about intellectual property protection or legal issues regarding specific applications or data?
Technical and functional assessment
A typical company uses a variety of applications, each with its own functional and technical design characteristics that make them more or less suitable for migration into the cloud. Ask these questions to determine which applications can be moved into the cloud initially:
— Which applications are dependent on other applications? For example, your ERP systems may be dependent on other systems and vise versa. On the other hand, your customer Website may be completely independent.
— Do your applications use any under-utilized assets, such as hardware that has a lot of unused capacity?
— Does the software used in your applications come with restrictive licenses prohibiting it from running in the cloud? Most major vendors offer a ‘Bring Your Own License’ model with regard to the cloud.
— Which applications have an immediate business need to scale and are running out of capacity?
— Which applications require specialized hardware to function? Applications that need specific CPU architectures or specialized encryption hardware cannot be readily moved to the cloud.
— Are there any applications that need to be rolled out on a global scale?
The next steps
For many companies, it is a giant step to outsource their infrastructures and the management of complete platforms to an agile, high tech and evolving technology like cloud computing. But if you ask the right questions and work with a competent provider, moving to the clouds can be a positive and successful experience.
About the author
Arjan de Jong is Marketing Manager of Jitscale and has been working in the Internet industry since 1997. Jitscale offers full management and optimization of business-critical IT infrastructures with an autonomous view on usage of technology and soft- and hardware. Jitscale’s engineers are specialized, experienced, certified and trained in supporting complex internet-related platforms; from operating systems to database and application clusters. More information about Jitscale can be found on www.jitscale.com.