July 6, 2018
Businesses can significantly elevate their organizations through app modernization. App modernization creates new business values through existing applications. Instead of overhauling an entire application portfolio, modernizing elements of those applications is an economical method for bringing your operating systems up to today’s technological standards. This can be achieved through re-platforming, feature extension or simplification.
Cloud Services Definition
One of the best ways to modernize applications is by migrating to the cloud. The cloud offers tremendous value through scalability and flexibility. Cloud computing services provide IT functions over the internet with payment based on usage. Cloud computing services come in a multitude of forms from application development to storage to virtual desktops. In a following post in our Cloud Services Basics series, we will take a deep dive and discuss these types of services in depth.
In this post we’ll explore the five most commonly used cloud service models for app modernization and hopefully provide some clarity for what model will suit your business best.
1. Public Cloud Operating Model
The public cloud is defined by services provided over the public internet. This makes the services available to anyone who wants to purchase them. Customers can pay by usage on services offered on the public cloud. Unlike private clouds, public clouds can save on operating costs since companies don’t need to maintain and manage on-premise infrastructure.
Time to market is much faster for services conducted in the public cloud. It’s also infinitely scalable whereas private cloud models are constrained by proprietary hardware capacity. Paying by usage also mitigates any waste created by excess capacity. A recent study reveals the average utilization level of data centers falls around 10-25%. In other words, companies with private networks often underutilize their capacity. In public cloud operating models, users don’t pay for idle time.
In public cloud models, the service provider remains responsible for managing and maintaining the systems. Applications in public cloud environments can be accessed by any employee with access to the internet.
2. Private Cloud Operating Model
Organizations can leverage some of the same advantages of the public cloud through a private cloud model. Private clouds serve the needs of one single organization which is responsible for owning, building and maintaining its infrastructure. Businesses best suited for private cloud models require direct control over their IT environments. A company may need this level of control due to security, unpredictable needs or for meeting regulatory requirements. Most large multinational corporations operate on a private cloud operating model.
In a private cloud operating model the organization owns the hardware, architecture and maintains direct control over the underlying cloud infrastructure.
With the flexibility and lower costs associated with public cloud operating models, many corporations look to take on a hybrid approach. They can maintain some of their most sensitive operations and data within the private infrastructure but outsource some functionality to third party vendors over the public cloud.
3. Software as a Service (SaaS) Model
Software as a Service or better known as SaaS, licenses a software subscription to a third party vendor. It’s frequently referred to as “on demand software”. Under the public cloud, many businesses see the advantage of utilizing SaaS to outsource maintenance, reduce costs and to speed up implementation. Today, nearly every business software function is offered through these types of services. Common examples include customer relationship management (CRM) systems, collaboration software, accounting software and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
SaaS applications can be delivered through web browsers or desktop applications. When it comes to modernization, companies can choose among a plethora of competitive service providers offering the latest technology through SaaS. In today’s business climate, SaaS via the public cloud is one of the most cost effective and popular ways to modernize applications.
4. Platform as a Service (PaaS) Model
Platform as a Service (PaaS) takes SaaS up a notch. Via the cloud, users can develop, run and maintain using a software platform managed by a third party. Companies can create customized apps in house but don’t have to deal with the complexities and costs associated with hosting their own platform or cloud infrastructure.
PaaS can run on both private and public cloud infrastructures. Organizations can purchase PaaS that operates exclusively inside their firewall. This allows companies to maintain the level of security and compliance they require while still retaining some flexibility for faster app modernization.
5. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Model
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) takes SaaS and PaaS a step further in terms of customer control. With IaaS, the customer controls almost everything except the underlying cloud infrastructure. The customer can create applications and manage their operating systems. Some companies use IaaS in the form of virtual machines (VMs). IaaS cloud providers can offer these resources on demand via their data centers. Companies that utilize IaaS may maintain more control over their applications but will face longer ramp up times when modernizing applications.
When planning your application modernization efforts, consider the priorities of your organization first. Using SaaS on a public cloud model will allow for faster implementation and innovation efforts but may sacrifice some of your company’s needs for control and security. Then think about what applications you want to migrate to the cloud and modernize or redesign to enable your initiatives.