Contributor: Brian Cole

Why migrate applications to the cloud? That is a question being posed in many offices and virtual environments as we speak. It seems like everyone’s talking about the cloud these days, but not everyone is on board with using it just yet. Migrating applications to the cloud can have many benefits for a business, though, so it’s well worth considering. If your business is thinking about migrating your applications to the cloud, here are 10 good reasons why you should take the next step:

1. Reduced Expenses

After migrating to the cloud, your business should be able to cut costs in several different ways. Instead of purchasing the networking, storage and server hardware, your team can leverage the cloud provider’s existing infrastructure. Virtual Machines (VMs) can also be powered off when a project is completed, and the need for an extensive IT staff and expensive hardware maintenance contracts is reduced thanks to the server consolidation within a virtual environment.

2. Quicker Time to Market

Thanks to the ability to template and clone existing VMs in the cloud environment, businesses can reduce the time required to deploy new servers drastically – from weeks to minutes. The cloud also allows for self-provisioning of servers, so the need to interact with and wait for IT staff to build out servers is completely removed, further reducing the time to market.

3. Elasticity

Elasticity is one of the fundamental properties of the cloud that drives many of its economic benefits. The cloud provides business users with the ability to expand and contract their environment at will. And since you’re only paying for the computing power you require, instead of purchasing all facets of the expansion, the capital and operating expenses associated with scalability are reduced.

4. Reduced Downtime

Cloud computing enables environment planners to focus on maximizing application up-time rather than on minimizing down-time. The ability to quickly move running VMs between hosts facilitates hardware maintenance on the physical server or storage without causing an outage to the guest OS/VM. Add in the ability to expand capacity on demand (i.e., load balancing) and the risk of single point of failure for an application is virtually eliminated.

5. Reduced Datacenter Footprint

Since you’ll be consolidating servers when you migrate to the cloud, you’ll also be consolidating your datacenter footprint. Computing power and memory are optimized when multiple VMs share the resources of a single physical server, and network connections and cabling are reduced when multiple physical servers are consolidated as VMs on one physical server. Optimizing the server capacity also reduces the amount of rack space, network connections, power consumption and cooling required, which reduces costs, as well.

6. Automation

Cloud providers allow access to the Cloud API, which allows clients to automate such tasks as creating new VMs, powering on or shutting off VMs and deleting VMs. Automating tasks reduces the level of effort required for IT staff to complete tasks and increases efficiency, as tasks can be scheduled to run concurrently or with minimal operator interaction.

7. Mobility

Since most public clouds are accessed through a web browser, you and your team can access your environment from portable computing devices such as tablets and smartphones, as well as from desktops and laptops.

8. Increased Productivity

Development and testing environments can be stood up in hours rather than weeks with little to no upfront investment in the typical fixed costs of physical plant and hardware.

9. Modernization

Migrating applications to the cloud often provides the incentive to modernize. If you’re relying on an application that was built prior to Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) or without SOA best practices, a move to the cloud may be an opportunity to upgrade.

10. Efficient Cost Distribution

IT charge-backs to the business for cloud-based applications are tied more directly to usage creating the potential for lower costs.. Sharing infrastructure and costs lowers the amount of overhead charges typically allocated to business owners, including indirect charges to each application.