Considerable Factors while Accepting Cloud and SaaS Applications

By CIOReview | Thursday, March 9, 2017
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In the current epoch, there is no doubt that the world is moving towards cloud and SaaS applications as it offers multiple business benefits. In a business environment where enterprises need to spend large capitals in setting up operational frameworks, this approach is beneficial as it reduces cost on the IT infrastructure. SaaS is an alternative to the traditional model where enterprises do not have to build servers, install the application and configure it. In cloud technology and SaaS applications, the user does not pay for the software itself. Instead, it works like a rental. They have the authorization to use it for a period of time and pay for the software that they are using. However, there are certain outsourcing considerations that are unavoidable, before setting foot in leveraging these environments.

Because each cloud model and SaaS application offers varying degrees of flexibility, efficiency, data security, and cost structures, the customer must select appropriate models to meet their specific needs and manage the associated risks. A peep into the factors to be considered:

Catalyst

Enterprises should come up with a plan to see whether the outsourced service is business critical or not. For enterprises requiring outsourced services, public clouds works better. This can also be applied if the outsourced data is not sensitive.

Complexity

Depending on the complexity of situations, businesses can decide on whether they need to hire or rent the services they need to fill any IT operational gaps. Considering vital questions like is the processes relatively isolated and straightforward, do they overlap and intertwine, do they represent multiple versions and/or vendors or are they homogeneous? Further, they should also look into the challenges that come along with integrating with the other systems in the enterprises. Application dependencies are often discovered too late in migrating workloads, resulting in unplanned outages and limited system functionalities. Understanding the relationships between applications is critical in planning the sequence and manner in which cloud migrations occur. The application’s existence on the cloud in isolation while other systems are migrated, and requirement for stand-alone services are the IT frameworks that companies could select accordingly. Less complicated workflows with easy-to-use interface are always to be chosen from the many for seamless IT operations.

Data security and Compliance Support

Security should always be a prime concern. Securing data is imperative in cloud-based outsourcing agreements. Businesses need to tie confidentiality obligations that encompass company data, data encryption requirements, and rights to audit security procedures and data centers. The service providers should also agree to immediately notify in the wake of any incidents that may compromise data and security breaches. Audit rights to assess controls and procedures for storing, handling, and transmitting data should also be considered. Company managers should also ensure that the services they select is compatible with legal requirements.   

Cost

The cost of the service subscription and the migration of data to the SaaS/cloud offering should be reasonable and cost-effective, while incorporating such IT transformations. The applications should be licensed per VM, per core or for the total infrastructure solely depending on the client specific needs. They need to pay increased costs if the licensing model requires all available resources to be taken into account even if not allocated to the client—in case of migrating to a public cloud. Further, if the application licensing is based per core and the cloud provider does not offer the ability to configure enterprises’ cloud environment per core will have an adverse impact on the licensing costs. Furthermore, the soft costs associated with complexity, culture, and compliance should also be controlled and selected wisely.

Bottom Line

There are a myriad of considerations to be included while migrating to cloud infrastructures and SaaS applications, although they are mainly driven by the specific needs of varied customers and the nature of their business. But as a whole, the factors mentioned above are almost common for every IT infrastructure, which can have a lot of impact on the operational efficiency and profit outcomes.