Amongst all the hype about the cloud there are some pitfalls, however, there is also often serious business benefit in leveraging the right cloud solutions for the right applications in the right situations.

There are many factors that determine whether or not a particular application or workload should live in the cloud or on premise.

Where are your users?

Where your users require access to the application is often the major factor in choosing whether to adopt a cloud solution. The increasing trend toward flexible or remote working arrangements and demand for knowledge workers to be always online is increasing the use of cloud services. But this is not every business, a single site manufacturing company for example is often better off keeping their key line of business app on premise.

What is your level of dependency on the application and the data?

Building a high level of redundancy into on premise systems is typically very expensive, particularly when you consider the cost of generators and expensive multipath private networks. Cloud services use the scale economies of multi-tenanting to offer levels of redundancy that would have been prohibitively expensive for the majority of small and medium business in the past.

Is On-demand scalability important?

Cloud services are typically billed in the same way as utilities, that is, you pay for what you use or need on a month-to-month basis allowing the business to react and respond to market conditions rapidly. When scoping an on-premise system there is a need to “overspec” the system to allow for the growth expected over the coming years. This often leads to wasted spend or if its underdone leads to unexpected, unbudgeted mid-term upgrades.

What is the application and how is it delivered?

There are any number of business software applications around the world. Most of the prominent software companies have a cloud strategy or cloud delivery model. There are applications that were created as cloud delivered, applications that have been converted and applications that leverage presentation technology like virtual desktop or publishing technology like Citrix.

Your answers to these questions are a good start at determining whether an application should be deployed in the cloud or on-premise.

For most businesses, it will make sense to at least have some applications in the Cloud. An increasing majority of our Managed IT Support customers are leveraging what we affectionately call Hybrid Multi-cloud solutions! A typical environment has a combination of multiple cloud offerings and some on-premise equipment.

The table below depicts common business workloads and where we are commonly deploying them for our clients;

Public Cloud- SAAS Private Cloud- IAAS On-Premise
-Email
-Collaboration tools, Skype for Business
-Intranets
-Customer Relationship Management
-Websites
-Line of business web applications
-Small business accounting packages
-Business Intelligence tools
-Team/ Project management applications
-Service management applications
-Development Systems
-Seasonal or fluctuating demand solutions
-Resource Intensive Legacy line of business applications (Non Web)
-Mid-market or enterprise accounting packages
-Enterprise Resource Planning
-Local File Caching
-Legacy line of business applications (Non Web) (single or one major site)

In summary when it comes to cloud services it’s definitely not a case of one size fits all. However, every business should be considering what applications should go to the cloud and why.

From a Forsythes Technology Customer:

We first moved our business to a private cloud environment a number of years ago. It worked ok but was expensive and we now know wasn’t the right fit for our business.

When Forsythes took over they moved us to a Hybrid design of Office 365 and a small on-premise server. This delivered significant cost savings for the business and has made working from home or remotely a seamless experience. Wherever I am I have access to my email and all my client documents as if I was in the office.

David Minehan, Financial Planner & Director, Novatax Financial Planners