Things ISVs need to consider when building their cloud roadmap
ISVs are flocking to the cloud en masse, and for good reason: increased revenues, the promise of a more flexible, scalable cost model, and the ability to reach a global market at a moment’s notice are just some of the benefits of a cloud migration.
However, it’s not that simple. From picking a cloud provider to choosing which workloads to migrate and which to keep on-premises, ISVs are faced with a great deal of choice when it comes to choosing the strategy that’s right for them.
To ensure success, here are five questions every ISV needs to ask – and answer – before migrating to the cloud.
1- What’s best for my customers?
End users expect and require that any service they use is available whenever they need it – no exceptions. Larger Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) ensure this by creating multiple instances of your data so that if one goes down – whether for maintenance or unexpected reasons – your customers’ experience will go unaffected.
Data residency is another concern. Many companies, public sector and banking in particular, need to know precisely where their data is at all times. Others will not want to be subject to regional regulations like GDPR or the U.S. Patriot Act. Therefore, when choosing a CSP, it is essential to know where their data centers are located.
Finally, customers will want to scale seamlessly, whether that means adding hundreds of users to your application at a time or storing terabytes of new data on your platform at a moment’s notice. Providing this level of scalability to users is critical to the long-term success of most ISVs.
2- What’s the most cost-effective cloud option?
When choosing a cloud strategy and a provider, it’s important to balance price with quality and performance.
One of the top reasons ISVs consider a cloud migration is for the scalability provided by the cloud technology. This scalability works best when it comes with flexibility of pay-as-per-use. The cloud providers charge only for the storage and compute power you use, providing a level of flexibility and scalability that was previously unattainable.
But of course, this level of flexibility isn’t free. ISVs need to pick the price-performance ratio that is right for them – and not all cloud providers are created equal. Keeping costs low increases margins and allows you to invest more in innovation and development.
Another consideration is the services that a major CSP provides. With Azure, ISVs get access to dozens of tools when they migrate their data to the cloud that span everything from DevOps to security and compliance to data governance. When choosing a CSP, ISVs need to carefully factor in the cost savings they will accrue when leveraging such tools.
3- Should I consider building my private cloud?
For some companies, building their own cloud makes sense. But for most, this is not the case. A functional cloud infrastructure represents a significant investment, both in hardware and in talent and expertise. If you have the capital and scale necessary to build a cloud, including budget, technology, and skilled resources – the benefits can be substantial. But without resources typically only available to a large enterprise, it probably does not make sense – and even then, enterprises benefit from the scalability and tools that a CSP enables. Therefore, most ISVs are better off looking for a cloud provider to partner with that can help them meet their demands and provide room for growth.
4- Can the cloud meet my regulatory compliance requirements?
Almost every technology company has to abide by at least some data compliance laws and regulations. Some of the biggest examples include PIPEDA for private-sector organizations in Canada, GDPR which covers all European data – regardless of whether your company is based in Europe or not – and the California Consumer Privacy Act, which governs California’s data privacy.
Falling afoul of any of these regulations can result in significant fines, downtime, and damaged brand reputation. For this reason, ISVs need to ensure they remain secure and compliant when hosting data in the cloud. Data centers are often the target of cyberattacks, and so it is crucial to ensure your cloud provider is prepared.
With Azure, company data is protected by military-grade encryption, both in-transit and at rest. Additionally, data is backed up in multiple geographic locations; if one goes down, your operations will be unaffected. Also, Microsoft Azure holds over ninety compliance certifications, making it simple for ISVs to understand and meet regulatory requirements.
5- Do I need a managed service provider?
When migrating to the cloud, it’s tempting to go it alone, especially if you have significant in-house IT resources.
However, there are many benefits to enlisting the help of a cloud Managed Service Provider (MSP). For starters, migrating to the cloud is far more complicated than only moving your data from on-premises servers. A trusted partner who has successfully helped ISVs navigate their cloud migrations can speed up the migration dramatically, as well as ensure its success.
Also, MSPs have in-house teams to help you manage the maintenance and governance of your cloud infrastructure. This frees your team from having to worry about “keeping the lights on,” allowing them to focus on innovation and development.
Additionally, with MSPs like Hanu you can get an exclusive access to Azure Marketplace that can help organizations find, try, buy, and deploy your app or services. Hanu specializes in helping ISVs generate demand and accelerate time to market through Microsoft’s platforms, services, and programs.
If you are looking to create a successful cloud strategy that strikes a balance between value, cost and risk, connect with our cloud experts for an on-demand Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) workshop.