Enterprising Developments

Where Cloud Does and Doesn’t Work

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, May 2, 2012

Cloud has been taking the business world by storm (no pun intended), and many insurers are increasingly facing decisions whether or not to move applications to the cloud. For anyone seeking a quick-read primer, HP just published a mostly objective white paper (with only a smidgeon of product promotion) that outlines some of the fundamental cases for and against cloud deployments.

Like many things, cloud isn't suitable for every part of the business, and there may be cases where its better to leave well enough alone. Here are some places where cloud may not fit:

- Migration costs: When the cost of moving applications is too great.

- Hardware lock-in: If an application uses specific hardware, chips, or drivers, it might not be a good candidate.

- Data issues or security: “Some data is better left where it is.”

In addition, there are at least five fundamental cases that can be made for cloud. Here's where cloud has the best fit:

- Unpredictable workloads: “Cloud provides capacity to handle workloads that are unpredictable since cloud can tap into shared resource pools to scale instantly if workloads exceed forecast.”

- Variable demand: “Similar to unpredictable workloads, those workloads can tap into a shared pool as needed. When not needed, the pool can be used for other purposes.”

- Repeatable applications: “This is a classic cloud use case for service providers and enterprise development environments with services that need to be provisioned over and over again within the enterprise.”

- Singularity: “Services that don’t need a lot of integration into other enterprise apps are good candidates for cloud, such as travel and expense management.”

- New applications: “Many new applications are being developed to take advantage of cloud-based functionality that abstracts away many aspects of middleware/infrastructure management and scaling.”

Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Joe using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He can also be reached at joe@mckendrickresearch.com.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

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