moving-to-the-cloud-300x200For many companies, the decision to move to the cloud is motivated primarily by cost-cutting. Keeping enterprise-level IT infrastructure running is expensive, and without the necessary resources and expertise, organizations can lose money through service outages and equipment failure. Yet, what many businesses fail to realize is that moving to the cloud isn’t just something that can save your company money: it’s also something that can increase productivity, extend the life of your legacy systems, and boost the performance of your software.


What Companies Expect From the Cloud

Enterprises often go to the cloud looking for IT solutions that go beyond infrastructure. A recent study commissioned by Microsoft shows that infrastructure hosting only accounts for 31% of enterprise IT budgets, while application hosting (27%), managed services (21%), and security services (21%) together account for 69% of spending.


Unsurprisingly, organizations are looking for more than simple savings from their enterprise cloud services. While lowering costs is a motivation, only 8% of companies cited it as their “highest expectation” for moving to the cloud. Enterprises were more likely to migrate in order to “improve technology quality” (22%), “help grow our business” (18%), “improve availability” (13%), and to get “better business service” (13%). But even with these high expectations, the right hosting partner can sometimes surprise you.


1. Virtualization can give new life to legacy systems. Legacy systems are still common in many industries, including banking, travel, insurance, and the power industry. Organizations that migrate as legacy hardware becomes unreliable are often surprised by the increase in performance that comes with virtualization.


According to Michael Sulis of Summit Energy Tech – a technology company serving the energy industry – moving to the cloud “allows aging systems to continue functioning without a dependency on the hardware it’s installed on, which can be especially critical for older equipment as hardware components fail. Not only that, but these old machines suddenly enjoy a benefit in performance as well.”


2. Managed cloud hosting can improve performance across the board. Changes in system performance can have dramatic effects throughout your organization. Businesses are often concerned about latency issues when moving from an onsite network into the cloud. But the right managed cloud provider can actually make your software faster.


When online healthcare education company, LearnPRN, moved its LMS to the cloud, its managing director Robin Tchernomoroff was just hoping for better reliability and lower costs. She had concerns about security and service outages during cloud migration, but the transition went quickly and smoothly. That wasn’t her biggest surprise, however. “The unexpected benefit has been the speed. We were expecting our LMS to be more reliable on the cloud, but the added speed was a very welcome surprise.”


White label IaaS really can slow down demanding software, such as SAP Hana, but a managed hosting partner can make all the difference. Symmetry offers cloud hosting solutions that give you the benefits of cloud computing without sacrificing performance. Our hybrid cloud hosting allows SAP customers to maintain low latency or high demand applications such as PRD, while moving DEV and QA into the public cloud.


3. Higher adoption. The benefits of better speed extend far beyond time saving and increased productivity. The improved speed and response time can dramatically affect both user satisfaction and adoption. A Yahoo study of search behavior showed that latency decreases user engagement, leading to fewer clicks and fewer queries. In a tight market, having an app that retrieves data just a little faster could make all the difference in end user satisfaction.


4. A better team. Many companies are nervous about “losing control” of their data through cloud hosting, but moving to the cloud doesn’t have to feel like outsourcing. Organizations can — and should — partner with hosting providers that do more than just keep things running.


For Mikael Elley, Vice President of Planning and IT for Fisker Automotive, Symmetry’s SAP Basis managed services go beyond a supplier and vendor relationship. “They always went above and beyond what we asked them to do,” Elley says. In many these cases, businesses need a provider that can understand their highly complex software — they aren’t looking for a provider, they’re looking for a partner.


Greg Olen, Director of IT for healthcare technology company, Abiomed, also expects more out of an IT company than simply maintaining software or infrastructure. He wanted to work with a company that is “proactive,” and willing to approach his company with new technologies and solutions. He chose Symmetry because, unlike  other service providers,  Symmetry manages our customers systems just like we would manage own.  That means he can pick up the phone and get answers — anytime day or night.


Why Move to the Cloud?

It’s clear that there’s no longer a single answer. To stay competitive, organizations need the flexibility and reliability of cloud hosting, with the performance of an optimized, onsite system. Whether your company is looking to cut costs and improve reliability, give their applications a performance edge, or acquire top-notch IT support for complex core systems, Symmetry is a managed hosting partner that will exceed your expectations.

About Kevin Knuese - Vice President of SAP Solutions

As Vice President of SAP Solutions, Kevin Knuese leads Symmetry’s SAP Cloud Hosting and SAP HANA solution development efforts. After decades of problem solving within the IT world, Knuese provides strategic leadership to help navigate the complex world of SAP application management for Symmetry’s valued customers. Working shoulder to shoulder with our customers’ executive management team, Knuese assess business requirements to ensure the IT infrastructure in place is meeting the enterprise needs, while providing operational guidance to leverage emerging technologies. Knuese ensures Symmetry customers are delivered tailored enterprise cloud solutions that are expertly managed, with state-of-the art security and built in scalability to grow as our customers’ businesses grow. He is a sought after thought leader and can be frequently seen presenting on the main stage at leading edge IT conferences in the U.S. and around the world.