Ever wonder what the most common customer scenarios are and what apps customers move to the cloud the most? Below I offer my perspective on how and why. See if you fit into some of our common scenarios and apps.
3 Most Common Customer Scenarios
When we talk about common scenarios that cause companies to move to the cloud, I think about how the customer or end-user wants to do business in today’s world.
It really boils down to flexibility and scalability.
Traditionally, when you build an infrastructure to support a solution, you must build your infrastructure to support the maximum demand. If you expect 1,000 users to connect to your infrastructure, your infrastructure must be sized to support all 1,000 users. i.e. you must pay for enough infrastructure, and typically dedicate that infrastructure for 1,000 users even when only 200 or 300 users are typically connected to your infrastructure at a given time. In a traditional data center model, it is hard to truly scale your infrastructure up and down in a cost-effective way.
Because the cloud has built a very stable consumption-based model, you can move this type of solution into the cloud and only pay for the infrastructure necessary to support 300 users when only 300 users need the infrastructure. When the demand for your infrastructure exceeds 300 or even 1,000 users, the cloud can continue to provide additional resources as needed to scale up the infrastructure to meet the demand. Then, of course, as demand subsides, the cloud gives you the ability to scale your infrastructure back down and reduce the cost of the infrastructure so that you are only paying for the resources necessary to meet the current demand.
2. Bring Your Own Device
Let’s talk about the value of the cloud from a user’s perspective.
Fewer corporations are mandating standard devices and standard configurations for their end users because the users have demanded additional form factors and mobility. The cloud makes it easier for corporate IT to reach a happy middle ground. They can allow users to bring their own devices, yet still mandate a common desktop, now it is just delivered from the cloud. This gives companies the ability to still protect their corporate data, even if its accessed from an insecure device like a personal device or even a kiosk device in an insecure location since no corporate data will be stored on the local device.
Users want to be more mobile than they’ve been in the past, and the cloud makes it easy to provide access to the corporate infrastructure from anywhere without requiring the company to build a complex remote access infrastructure. They can place their infrastructure in the cloud and still take advantage of multi-factor authentication to ensure users are connecting with more than just a simple username and password.
3. Client-Server Based Applications
What type of applications will you move to the cloud?
This is always an interesting discussion, what can be moved to the cloud? Really, anything can be moved, but some solutions may be easier to move than others. Client-server applications are good candidates to move to the cloud. Most applications have a client-side component, especially older applications that are not web-based. The cloud lets you take these traditional client-server-based applications and turn them into a cloud-based solution. The cloud also gives you the ability to only move part of your application or data to the cloud but doesn’t necessitate that all the server components must be moved to the cloud. You could build a hybrid approach where some items are in the cloud and others are still on-premises. As mentioned earlier, the cloud also makes it easy to provide additional scale for these client-server applications.
The cloud also provides global scale for your applications. The cloud gives you the ability to market your solution to a larger geographic area because you no longer need to go on-site to manage your customer’s infrastructure since it’s now hosted in the cloud.
3 Most Common Applications
Now I want to talk about some common applications that we see companies moving to the cloud.
We have many customers and partners moving QuickBooks to the cloud as opposed to using QuickBooks’ own cloud-based solution. We have received feedback from our customers that by moving the traditional QuickBooks to the cloud, they can customize the installation to meet their unique demands, while keeping their costs low.
2. Full Office on iOS and Android Devices
Applications that were built for a Windows infrastructure, like Microsoft Office, can now take advantage of Android and iOS-based form factors, like your phones and tablets. Yes, Microsoft released Office for these platforms, but due to the limited processing power in these smaller devices, Office applications for have limited functionality compared to their Windows-based counterparts. The cloud gives you the ability to leverage the full Windows-based versions of Office because all the compute is being delivered by high power CPUs in the cloud and the results are then displayed on your smaller device. As a result, you can access Microsoft Office applications from any device.
3. Custom Written Application
The cloud can breathe new life into older applications. Older applications are traditionally more complex to install and configure. This makes it more difficult for less technical customers to install these applications, especially with the different form factors and operating systems available today. The authors, or companies, of these custom applications usually end up having large support infrastructures to assist with various client configuration issues. The cloud gives the authors the ability to install the application once, or once per customer, so they can ensure their application is in a properly configured environment. This cloud infrastructure allows the customers to log into these installations and use the applications without the installation and maintenance complexities typically associated installing the application on the customer devices. Speaking of maintenance, another benefit of having your custom written application in the cloud is that it makes it easier for the authors to update and maintain the application without having to touch individual devices. Authors are able to deploy updates and even provide different versions of their applications for different customer scenarios.