Enterprise software will increasingly reside in the cloud. In some rare situations, on-premise instances of enterprise software will be desirable – for instance in mining or offshore drilling where business operations are in remote areas and not served by reliable connectivity.
By Raymond Jones, vice-president of cloud operations at IFS
For most businesses, however, the objections against cloud are easily discounted.
Organisations are recognising the benefits and are planning to increase reliance on cloud provisioning of software. According to IDC, cloud computing spend is expected to grow at more than six times the rate of IT spending through 2020. Importantly, IDC also predicts that by 2020, 67 percent of enterprise infrastructure and software offerings will be cloud-based. In 2018 alone, IFS has seen a 300 percent increase in cloud and software as a service (SaaS) revenue from its established customer base and net new customers.
The trend clearly indicates cloud provisioning of enterprise software will become the default, replacing the on-premise instances that were the default as recently as five or six years ago. At that point, data security and control over the software environment were the primary concerns executives had with running enterprise software in the cloud.
Security may be less of a concern than it was at the time. Most IT and operational executives have come to realise something like a Microsoft Azure data centre is more secure than their own on-premise server room.
Control over the instance of software in the cloud may appear to be an issue due to the formal change management process required to move software changes into the live cloud environment. But over time, customers found these Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) processes made changes to their cloud instance of software, and that the reason was to preserve data and functional integrity that could suffer if they made changes themselves without proper validation.
Myth: Availability and performance will suffer
For most enterprises, availability and performance will increase in the cloud when compared to on-premise instances of software, particularly for multi-location businesses and for users outside of the four walls of the business.
Organisations often think they must invest heavily to achieve 100 percent availability if they move to the cloud. But 100 percent availability would be cost prohibitive regardless of where software is provisioned. Even if a company has a solution installed in their own data centre, achieving 100 percent availability would involve significant cost.
Myth: Disaster recovery times will be negatively affected
The Spice Works 2019 ‘State of IT’ report found 38 percent of respondents cited enhancing disaster recovery capabilities as a key driver to move to the cloud.
One of the first questions we hear when discussing a move to the cloud is still “how quickly can my data be recovered?” Depending on the size and scale of a disaster, recovery times for an on-premise disaster recovery can range from days to weeks.
IFS currently provides eight-hour recovery of data, or 24 hours to completely recover a full data centre environment.
Myth: Handing over the mission-critical business software to a third-party increases compliance risk
With on-premise solutions, customers trust they have the right infrastructure and people to support key compliance requirements such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the ISO27001 certification for data security management—but these standards can also be achieved in the cloud
As enterprise software deployments move to the cloud, IFS has made software as a service (SaaS) and managed cloud a key strategic focus.
The question of moving to the cloud is a question of “when” rather than “if”.