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Virtustream says that 2014 will be a critical year for large enterprises migrating mission critical apps to the cloud

Virtustream says that 2014 will be a critical year for large enterprises migrating mission critical apps to the cloud

The challenges associated with moving mission-critical applications over to the cloud are numerous and often depend on the complexity of those apps, the IT estate, or some combination thereof. But research published today suggests that while over two thirds of enterprises are ready to make the move, security, risk and loss of control are still holding many back.

Virtustream, a provider of cloud software and infrastructure as a service, surveyed 100 medium and large organisations across the private and public sectors and found that 69 per cent are planning to move their mission critical applications into the cloud by the end of 2014, with ERP systems making up the majority of those applications.

As the company rightly points out, organisations running these ERP systems also tend to have a very complex IT estate, which is partly related to the multi-module nature of these applications and the variety of systems they need to tap into. The research suggests these companies manage on average 530 applications, with every two in five being a legacy app not built for the cloud.

Simon Aspinall, chief vertical markets, strategy and marketing at Virtustream says that 2014 will see a big increase in the number of mission-critical apps migrated over to the cloud. “The end of 2014 will be a pivotal moment for the enterprise cloud,” Aspinall said. “ERP and other mission-critical applications have mainly been deployed conventionally – the cuckoos in cloud land. The next 18 months will see these critical applications pushed out of their in-house data centre nests and migrated to the cloud.”

Nevertheless, a number of factors are still preventing large enterprises from making the leap. Respondents cited security (72 per cent), risk to the business (60 per cent) and loss of application control (54 per cent) as the dominant reasons for not moving their mission-critical applications over to the cloud yet.

Interestingly, only 15 per cent of respondents say they won’t shift these to the cloud, and the company says advances in geo-tagging data, chip-level authentication, application-level SLAs and legislation are helping enterprises better manage risk when migrating to the cloud.

Aspall said that most companies see the benefits outweighing the costs, with most IT decision makers aware of the significant budgetary benefits associated with moving to the cloud. According to Virtustream 59 per cent of IT decision makers expect to save £1.5 to £2m in technology costs.

“The research shows that the large enterprise audience in the UK is a more mature one,” said Aspinall. “They need to meet business demands as efficiently as possible and are looking for trusted enterprise class cloud capabilities that meet their requirements on agility, scalability, compliance and security. Performance of such business-critical applications must be guaranteed whilst maintaining cost-effective delivery mechanisms.”