Only true cloud solutions deliver undisputed benefits
Unlimited scalability, real agility and lower costs. By Blake Davidson, Customer Success Officer at Magic Orange
The fake cloud market is rapidly becoming a multimillion-rand industry in SA, according to a recent ITWeb article. Fake cloud solutions are those that have not been architected specifically to take advantage of the cloud. They are simply legacy solutions and applications that are moved – as they are – with the same architecture into a hosted environment. This delivers none of the benefits of true, or native, cloud. The resultant solutions are not scalable, lack agility, are difficult and costly to maintain and vulnerable to security attacks.
Businesses wanting to move to the cloud need to understand exactly what this means and interrogate vendors to ensure they are offering native cloud services with all the associated benefits.
Perhaps the major benefits of cloud-based solutions are dramatically increased operational agility and scalability, which translates into an application with unlimited power. Cloud allows rapid response to business demands and feeds a faster cycle of innovation than ever before.
Other benefits are that cost of entry is low, while expensive support and maintenance costs are reduced or eliminated. Businesses can choose the resources they need, and only pay for these when actively using them.
Ongoing maintenance, updates, security and ensuring the stability of the physical infrastructure are all handled by reputable cloud-based software providers. This frees key resources to focus on core business, rather than on keeping the lights on.
The Magic Orange cost transparency solution was developed five years ago as a software as a service (SaaS) cloud application, hosted in Microsoft Azure. This was forward-thinking at the time, as back then, companies were loath to put financial information on the cloud. Key players in the financial services sector viewed it with suspicion due to security and data sovereignty concerns.
Many of these organisations, however, are now realising the benefits. The Bank of America, for example, has seen huge increases in agility and decreases in costs as a result of its move to the cloud.
In South Africa, many of the fears around putting key data into the cloud are evaporating following Microsoft’s opening of Azure data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Several insurers, banks and retailers have now implemented the Magic Orange cloud-based cost transparency solution and are using Magic Orange to track the cost of their cloud migration journey.
The cloud ensures Magic Orange clients are able to scale rapidly to meet increased or decreased demands. If they need more gigabytes of memory, these can be accessed instantly and they only pay for what they use. By using cloud services, they also benefit from the regular release of additional features and major updates that happen instantaneously, without any downtime on the client’s side.
Magic Orange uses four main cloud components, one of which is switched off after hours. Once suspended, it costs zero. If a user logs in, the component resumes within two minutes. Cost savings are passed on to customers. Alerts or service termination can also be set up to kick in when costs run to a maximum level.
Security is properly configured to prevent customer data from ever being leaked. Microsoft Azure offers world-class security and Magic Orange performs regular penetration testing to check for vulnerabilities.
With native cloud solutions, the entire infrastructure is handled behind the scenes so customers do not have to worry about how their solution is hosted. This allows enterprises to dedicate their resources to creating value for their business.