IFS cloud solutions: overview and principles blog

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Live blog coverage from the IFS World Conference 2018 breakout session, “IFS cloud solutions: overview and principles.”

Session speaker: Tim Jenner, Global Program Manager, IFS Managed Cloud

More and more organizations are moving their operations into the cloud. By 2025, about 60 percent of all computing will happen on cloud platforms. It’s common in the consumer space, but getting more common in the enterprise as well.

But is it right for everyone?

The key questions:

  • Where will you run it?
  • Who will run it? You? Or someone else?
  • How will you pay for it? Upfront? Lease? Subscribe?

There’s a sliding scale from on-premises hosting, through cloud hosting, managed cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS). Each step along that path take more management responsibility away from you. It’s not a binary situation.

On-premises is difficult to scale and to plan for growth. If you get it wrong, you ruin into flexibility issues. It takes time to procure and install new hardware. You need to worry about security – and finding and keeping good people is hard and expensive. Yes, you can solve all these, but it costs money.

Cloud hosting takes many of those issues away. It’s much easier to scale and you get flexibility. But you still need to manage the solution, and you need the people to do that. You have three companies involved at least: your hoist, your software provider and your own company. There may be more. Each is only responsible for their own pieces of the puzzle, and so things will get missed.

Managed cloud takes all the jigsaw pieces, and gives them to IFS. The relationship comes down to just you and IFS. We run all the technology for you, but you buy and own the license for the software.

SaaS extends this further to subscribing to the software rather than buying a license to use it.

How to pay

With on-premises hosting, hosting, operations and software are all capex. Managed hosting makes hosting and operations opex. That’s also true of IFS Managed Cloud, but SaaS makes it all opex.

So, you need to go ask: How much control do you want? How much flexibility do you need? What balance of opex and capex is best for you?

The hardware

IFS uses Microsoft Azure as its platform of choice. There’s a close working relationship between IFS and Microsoft. Azure is a good fit because they focus on the hybrid cloud, which is not a “rip up and replace” for your existing IT landscape, but something that can enhance it. Some systems will stay on-premises for the foreseeable future.

Azure has huge scale and absolutely outstanding security, and Microsoft is investing heavily in it.

IFS cloud solutions: overview and principles

The management

If you adopt our managed service, we have a full-service 24x7x365 operation. We operate from a limited number of locations, with a dedicated team. Because with are the OEM, we can create some really tight integrations with the rest of the business. You can have one agreement with us for everything – with a single point of contact.

In SaaS, we’re dealing with an outcome. You’re really buying an SLA from us, with financial penalties if we fail. It’s a simple per user, per month fee. With the managed cloud, you own the software license and we charge you a monthly fee for cloud services, based on size.

We work with a number of standardized solutions, which you can add a number of templates others solutions. You then configure these – and customize if you really have to. We support access via open internet, VPN and ExpressRoute. Microsoft has 50 data centers – and you can choose any of them.

The key advantage is that you have one responsible party for everything. We have incident owners and a unified case triage function. You raise a request, and we figure out which team needs to deal with it.

We’re not trying to force everyone onto the cloud. It’s not right for everybody, and that’s why we have license portability. But, for those who it’s right, we have lots of options.

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