Cloud, is probably one of the most overused buzz words. We have all got a little shell-shocked from the bombastic assault this one caused. However, the smoke has now settled and Cloud now permeates most of our businesses, becoming a trusted and accepted deployment model.
As a battle-scarred veteran of the original onslaught, it is interesting to look at the journey. Thankfully we have progressed along the hype-curve quite quickly. After the dizzying heights of the "peak of inflated expectations (hey look, kids, I can see Uber from here), we seemed to hurtle through the “trough of disillusionment and hit the Slope of Enlightenment in record time!
If you are one of the stoical few who is waiting patiently for the technology to mature, then now it is time to stick your head back up above the trenches and see what's what when it comes to Cloud, specifically for the asset-intensive industry.
There is no doubt that Cloud uptake is gathering pace. SaaS is gaining trust as a solid alternative for global deployments across the enterprise.
IDC predicts external cloud adoption will increase from 22% today to 32.1% in 24 months, achieving 45.8% growth. The multiclient study also found that over 70% of heavy cloud users are considering a “hybrid” cloud strategy. Source: IDC’s Latest CloudView Multiclient Study Reveals Attitudes and Strategies of the 58% of Organizations Embracing Cloud, February 26, 2016
And looking specifically at the SaaS Market, Gartner predicts Cloud application services (SaaS) is forecast to grow 20.3 percent in 2016, to $37.7 billion. As software vendors shift their business models from on-premises to licensed software to public cloud-based offerings, this trend will continue.
So what can you expect from a cloud migration? The benefits of SaaS are now widely accepted and with the hype stripped away, here is what’s real:
Reduced Deployment Time - Cloud based software applications are already installed and configured. The user has the advantage of provisioning the server for an instance in Cloud and in a couple hours reducing time spent in installation and configuration.
Reduced costs - SaaS has a differential regarding costs since it usually resides in a shared or multitenant environment. Ongoing maintenance costs are reduced as well since the SaaS provider owns and manages the environment.
Scalability and integration - Cloud environments are scalable and have integration with other SaaS offerings. Comparing with the traditional model, users do not have to buy other server or software. They only need to enable a new SaaS offering.
Upgrades - Costs and effort associated with upgrades and new releases are lower than the traditional model that usually forces the user to buy an upgrade package and install it, or pay for specialised services to get the environment upgraded.
Easy to use – SaaS offerings are easy to use since they already come with best practices embedded, pre-tested and ready to go. Local variables are removed, ensuring a consistency of experience.
But there are always two sides to every coin and Gartner lists the top four reasons why companies don’t choose SaaS as uncertainty if it is the right deployment option (36%), satisfaction with existing on-premise applications (30%), no further requirements (33%) and locked into their current solution with expensive contractual requirements (14%).
Even if you are still on the fence, it seems that the ‘pros’ now out-weight the ‘cons’. The popularity of SaaS is steadily increasing because it simplifies deployment and reduces acquisition costs. With SaaS, developers can support many customers with a single version of a product. This approach, called multitenancy, allows companies to scale as fast and as much as needed without replacing costly infrastructure or adding IT staff.
A recent survey of a thousand IT professionals by Forrester Research found that they are turning to hosted (SaaS) products as a way to offload management of applications. Plus, the subscription-based SaaS pricing model can keep IT budget costs consistent and predictable.
Within the Asset Intensive Industries, my experience is that cloud adoption has been sporadic. With a growing maturity in the market, the bottom line is that enterprises and their need to compete with greater accuracy and speed are driving the cannibalization of on-premise applications faster than many anticipated.
In my opinion, the war is now won, and the time to leverage services such asIBM’s Bridge To Cloud, to build a transition plan for our asset-intensive applications is here.
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