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Most organisations still run a large majority of their IT applications, services and workloads within their own onpremises data centres (81%). This leaves significant scope to realise potential operational and efficiency improvements achievable by migrating some or more of those processes into external, off-premises managed hosting or cloud service environments.
Greater reductions in server and storage hardware/software installation, upgrade and maintenance costs, for example, are one potential benefit associated with pay as you go, or computing on demand services, that tie costs more closely to usage, compared to often low CPU utilisation rates associated with running on-premises systems. A study from research firm IDC conducted in 2012 found that moving onpremises hosted applications into cloud environments could save a company 70% on the total cost of ownership (TCO) associated with a single application over five years, though those costs will vary considerably according to the specific cloud service provider.
Indeed, IT staff routinely identify flexibility rather than cost savings as the bigger attraction of switching applications and services into a cloud-hosted model alongside the opportunity to free themselves from daily operational and infrastructure management tasks to focus on other projects by outsourcing the latter responsibilities to a third party.
Many, but not all, types of application are suitable for offpremises cloud provision for a variety of reasons however. Certain latency sensitive applications which demand responses in milliseconds, real time web applications with high performance demands or those with strict data security requirements may be better off either kept in-house, or hosted within hybrid cloud environments which tightly integrate, protect and secure dedicated, single tenanted off-premise and on-premise systems. However, given the potential benefits, companies should at least be analysing existing workloads to evaluate if and where operational efficiencies can be improved by switching to a cloud-based delivery model.
A significant majority of applications and services remain in-house
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