XaaS (“anything as a service”) is a catch-all term for the proliferation of “as a service” cloud technology business models that have sprung up in recent years. According to a survey by RightScale, 94 percent of companies are now using one or more cloud services.
While there are many benefits when migrating to the cloud, it’s not a move to take lightly. This article will discuss 9 key questions that you need to answer before making a final decision about the XaaS platform you’re considering.
1. Is everyone on board?
Due to the possible disturbances to your workflow, moving to a SaaS (software as a service) platform requires buy-in from multiple factions: the C-suite, managers and department heads, and the end users as well. Otherwise, IaaS (infrastructure as a service) is a less disruptive back-end option.
2. Does it fit your reporting needs?
Before committing to an SaaS solution, be clear about what you need in terms of analysis, reporting, and decision-making. Pick an application that simplifies the task of extracting and processing raw data.
3. What will you gain and lose vs. on-premise?
Mature cloud solutions such as Oracle EPM Cloud have achieved relative feature parity with their on-premise equivalents. Even if the cloud option is less mature, however, the benefits of having access to new features and functionality may be worth it. Most cloud providers are now focusing their R&D efforts on the cloud, with on-premise versions 18 to 24 months behind.
4. Who owns your data?
Most large IaaS providers stipulate in the fine print that any uploaded data belongs to them, protecting them against possible liability in the event of data loss. However, it’s important to ensure that you retain ownership of your information and that you can easily migrate it to another provider if necessary.
5. How much grunt work can you delegate?
Delegating grunt work is one of the big advantages of a hosting or AMS environment, rather than a large IaaS platform. Projects like cloning an application environment are complex and detail-heavy, and it makes sense to hand them off to a vendor with experience doing them.
6. Where can you keep your data?
Before you migrate even a single file to the cloud, or even to another on-premise data center, make sure that you’re able to do so. Some industries face legal and compliance issues restricting your data to particular physical locations.
7. How well is your data backed up?
Backups are meaningless unless you’ve verified that they actually work in the event of a disaster. Rather than taking your vendor at their word, test the recovery process so that you can guarantee minimal downtime.
8. Do you understand the fine print?
The vendor’s contract often includes details that can sink or complicate your cloud deployment. Don’t skip over the fine print, and don’t assume that the salesperson is giving a comprehensive and definitive explanation of what it means.
9. What are the data integration requirements?
Many companies operate in multiple clouds as well as hybrid on-premise environments. Understand how the new service will affect your existing infrastructure in terms of data integration, and which database applications will need to be connected with your new platform.
Although migrating to the cloud may seem the obvious right move for your situation, questions still remain about when and how to do it and which providers to use. To learn more about the options available to you, check out Datavail’s white paper The Cloud Matrix: Which XaaS Should You Choose?
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