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Which applications should move to the cloud?

June 6th, 2013 by - 2,348 views

As the business world shifts attitudes to adopt cloud computing, decision-makers need to understand the potential benefits associated with migrating applications to the hosted environment. While the majority of solutions will experience at least some level of performance improvements from being deployed in a cloud-based environment, the degree to which services are enhanced varies between providers. For this reason, companies need to map out their cloud projects, ensuring that applications which will experience the most dramatic upgrades are the ones that are being moved to the cloud.

Which applications should move to the cloud?

Which applications should move to the cloud?

In the past, executives embraced the “everything cloud” philosophy, which encouraged them to move every possible solution to the cloud. After a short time, companies began to realize this wasn’t the most cost-effective or efficient way to operate, forcing decision-makers to develop new cloud adoption and deployment strategies.

Today’s biggest cloud challenge is simply finding which tools will operate the most efficiently in the cloud without introducing any unnecessary complications throughout the rest of the infrastructure. A recent TechTarget report highlighted how organizations should look at three separate points when assessing which solutions should move to the cloud: the labor benefits associated with moving those applications, the optimistic financial opportunities and the agility improvements associated with the migration.

Understanding the cost of labor
If using a cloud-based application saves workers’ time, the cost of labor is generally equivalent to the value of the time that is saved, TechTarget stated. If specific solutions enable organizations to be more productive, for example, those tools are more likely to provide a significant return on investment, strengthening the long-term success of enterprises.

At the same time, however, decision-makers also need to consider how many employees certain applications need to support, as reinforcing the operations of too many individuals can put a strain on the overall performance and availability of that service. In other words, businesses should assess their IT landscape to determine the solutions that will save time after being moved to the cloud, but are not jeopardized by increased attention and use.

The real financial benefits
TechTarget highlighted how many business decision-makers believe the cost advantages of using the cloud are based on the technology’s economies of scale. This means that executives believe larger data centers will be able to run applications more productively. While this is partially true, it is not entirely the whole story, as many small businesses can create a small footprint in a public cloud and still introduce substantial cost savings. In other words, the true financial benefits associated with cloud solutions is how efficiently those tools consume resources.

By employing advanced server monitoring tools, decision-makers can assess whether applications are under-utilizing resources, TechTarget noted. This is important to determine which services are most appropriate for a cloud environment.

A recent study of more than 300 senior finance executives by Google revealed that 71 percent were able to experience reduced hardware expenses by migrating to the cloud, while another 64 percent experienced lower operational costs from the move. Approximately 54 percent of respondents were also able to shrink labor costs by relocating specific applications to the hosted environment.

Looking at agility
In today’s fast-paced business world, organizations need to operate as quickly and efficiently as possible if they want to compete. For this reason, TechTarget said decision-makers need to assess the “agility value” associated with migrating specific applications to the cloud. As the cloud computing market evolves in the coming years, it will become increasingly important that executives only migrate applications to the hosted environments that will provide substantial savings and performance improvements. If solutions do not introduce any performance or speed improvements after being moved to the cloud, executives should look at other tools.

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