Understand what works best for your application requirements
Cloud based solutions are very popular and have become the standard for deploying business applications. Analysts predict companies will continue to drive double digit growth in adoption of cloud-hosted solutions for years to come. But there are a number of factors to consider for users and buyers of cloud based solutions because there are the different types of cloud infrastructures and implementations which could have a big impact on the availability, performance, and security of your application and data. Know what your options are before choosing where and how to deploy your applications in the cloud.
First, lets take a look at the main types of infrastructures for cloud based solutions: Private Clouds, Public Clouds and Hybrid Clouds.
Private Clouds: Private clouds are clouds that are hosted on servers that your organization controls and may be housed on your intranet or a third party data center. Your IT team team is responsible for management and maintenance of both the infrastructure as well as the application. Access to the applications and data is limited to assigned members of your company. The benefits of a private cloud is that performance, especially when dealing with very large volumes of data, is generally better and security of the data is generally thought to be greater, although many would dispute that in light of recent successful cyber attacks on some high-profile private clouds. The drawbacks of a private cloud is it can come with large capital expenditures to stand up the cloud and the ongoing responsibility to support and upgrade the infrastructure and applications fall on your internal IT department. Depending on the hosting environment, security may be an issue as well.
Public Clouds: Public clouds are the most common and widely used. The infrastructure is stood up, housed and maintained by the cloud service provider at one of their data centers. Two of the more common and widely used cloud service providers are Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft’s Azure, although there are many more. The cloud service provider is responsible for the management and maintenance of the cloud infrastructure. In public clouds multiple applications may be housed on the same servers and access to those applications may be shared among many different companies and users, although that is not necessary. Public clouds are proving to be very secure despite some early concerns.
Hybrid clouds: These cloud structures becoming more ubiquitous because they can deliver some of the benefits of both private and public clouds. Often certain sensitive data or very limited use applications, i.e., legal will often by housed in a private cloud while more frequently used without the need for extra levels of security can be more cost effectively deployed in a public cloud.
These descriptions are very high-level and there are many nuanced differences between cloud configurations that may impact your decision when choosing a cloud platform to host your companies applications. You can do a Google search to learn more or reference this article for more information Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds
This leads us into the next point you should consider when selecting cloud based solutions. What type of configuration and implementation best fits your application requirements. In recent years, cloud computing has become increasingly popular as businesses of all sizes seek to streamline their operations and reduce IT costs. When it comes to cloud solutions, there are two deployment models: single-tenant and multi-tenant. While both approaches have their pros and cons, choosing the right one for your business requires a clear understanding of their differences.
Single-Tenant Cloud Solutions
In a single-tenant cloud solution, each customer or tenant has its own dedicated instance of the software, hardware, and infrastructure. This means that the resources of the cloud provider are dedicated exclusively to a single customer. As a result, single-tenant solutions offer greater flexibility for customization since each customer has complete control over their instance.
Single-tenant solutions are typically used by businesses with specific customization needs, complex security requirements, or regulatory compliance obligations. Since each customer has its own dedicated infrastructure, there is no risk of data leakage or unauthorized access. Additionally, single-tenant solutions can be a better fit for businesses that need to maintain strict control over their data.
However, there are also some drawbacks to single-tenant solutions. Since each customer has its own dedicated infrastructure, the cost of implementation can be higher. Additionally, managing and maintaining a single-tenant cloud solution can be time-consuming and expensive.
Multi-Tenant Cloud Solutions
In a multi-tenant cloud solution, multiple customers or tenants share the same instance of the software, hardware, and infrastructure. This means that resources are shared among multiple customers, resulting in lower costs for each individual customer. Additionally, multi-tenant solutions typically offer easier maintenance and upgrades since all customers are running on the same infrastructure.
Multi-tenant solutions are typically used by businesses that require a cost-effective solution with minimal maintenance requirements. Since all customers are running on the same infrastructure, the cloud provider can offer a more streamlined approach to maintenance and upgrades. Additionally, multi-tenant solutions can be a good fit for businesses that require flexibility and scalability as they grow.
However, there are also some drawbacks to multi-tenant solutions. Since multiple customers are sharing the same infrastructure, there is a risk of data leakage or unauthorized access. Additionally, customization options may be limited, as the cloud provider needs to ensure that the solution can support multiple customers.
Choosing the Right Cloud Solution
When it comes to choosing between single-tenant and multi-tenant cloud solutions, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The right solution for your business will depend on your specific needs, priorities, and budget.
If you require specific customization options, complex security requirements, or regulatory compliance obligations, a single-tenant solution may be the best fit. On the other hand, if you are looking for a cost-effective solution with minimal maintenance requirements, a multi-tenant solution may be the way to go.
Regardless of the deployment model you choose, it’s important to partner with a solution provider that has a proven track record of delivering reliable and scalable solutions on proven, secure platforms like AWS or Azure for example.. By doing your due diligence and choosing a reputable solution provider, you can ensure that your business is well-positioned for deploying necessary business solutions in the cloud.
The financial and operational benefits of cloud-hosted solutions are well documented and well established at this point. As you evaluate different cloud-hosted options for your business applications consider the infrastructure, tenancy, cost, security and configurability/flexibility of each option so that you make an informed decision that works best for your organization and your users. ICG deploys our solutions in a variety of cloud-hosted configurations that efficiently deliver our clients application requirements. Back-office applications such as: vendor portal and supplier portal, vendor onboarding and supplier onboaring, accounts payable automation (AP), dynamic discounting, workflow management, PO dispatch & update, data capture & document assembly and many more are great candidates for cloud-hosted solutions. Contact ICG today to learn more about our suite of cloud-hosted solutions or to schedule a demonstration for your team. Watch this short video on ICG’s business process solutions.