The recently released IDG Enterprise Cloud Computing Survey showed that 70% of the organizations surveyed had at least one app in the cloud. While security concerns still exist, many enterprises are looking critically at the applications they run and selecting certain apps for cloud migration. Few companies are electing to go “all in” for public cloud services. This accounts at least in part for the mixture of installations which the IDG survey showed as 62% Private Cloud, 60% Public Cloud and 26% hybrid. Some analysts have predicted that hybrid installs will gather strength as more companies “test the water” while private cloud installs will weaken because many companies are not seeing TCO reduced due to scalability alone without the help of reducing cost in organic IT resources.
Market Considerations for Cloud Migration
While an app might be considered technically appropriate for cloud migration, it may not make sense to do so from a business perspective. Here are some considerations:
- Will it be easier to monetize the data managed and/or generated by the app if it is in the cloud?
- Will the app benefit from better scalability?
- Is a reduction in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) enough to justify migration? What is the 3-5 year market outlook for the product or service provided?
- If an app provides an internal service, such as financial analysis or inventory control, what are the plans to replace it? If the replacement is already running in the cloud, would it be better to simply move up the procurement timetable?
Technical Considerations for Cloud Migration
If there is a market justification for migrating an app, then the cost and feasibility of doing so can be considered as follows:
- If this is a purchased app from a third party, is an upgrade available?
- Is a competitive product available that provides an easy cross-migration?
- Will the app require refactoring to work at all in the cloud?
- If refactoring is needed, will the redesign turn the app into a multitenant app?
- If refactoring can be avoided and a simple “lift and shift” is sufficient to maintain functionality, will the app be able to compete with other products already in the cloud?
- Are the programming and support resources available in house to support the migration, or will a Cloud Migration Service be necessary?
- Are the funds available to complete the project?
A successful migration strategy involves a regular periodic review of applications for migration suitability. Market conditions change as does the availability of new competitive products. An app that is not deemed suitable for migration today may be a candidate in six months, because cloud migration is a process, not an event.