Recently, research firm Gartner offered companies a range of suggested models that could help ensure a secure migration for services and applications going to the cloud. According to the company, each option comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
The Gartner report named five models of cloud deployment – rehosting on Infrastructure-as-a-Service; refactoring for Platform-as-a-Service; revising for IaaS or PaaS; rebuilding on PaaS and replacing existing applications with Software-as-a-Service.
Richard Watson, research director at Gartner, said IT decision-makers should consider their options carefully before implementing a cloud computing solution.
"When the CIO issues the simple directive, 'Move some applications to the cloud,' architects face bewildering choices about how to do this and their decision must consider an organization’s requirements, evaluation criteria and architecture principles,” Watson said.
"However, no alternative offers a silver bullet," he added. According to Watson, all of the alternatives require that IT professionals implementing the cloud solution "understand application migration from multiple perspectives and criteria, such as IT staff skills, the value of existing investments and application architecture."
The option of replacing existing applications with new, commercially-available SaaS solutions is one that many companies have chosen to implement. Like the other approaches, this option has significant benefits, as well as some challenges.
According to Gartner, the SaaS replacement approach helps companies avoid the investment needed to mobilize a development team when business requirements evolve. On the other hand, it can involve challenges around application-to-application interoperability that can be avoided by adopting the cloud in other ways.
Regardless of which approach they choose, many businesses are expected to adopt cloud computing in the coming years. According to a recent IBM study, approximately 60 percent of CIOs consider their companies ready to adopt cloud computing during the next five years.