Lower capex is why many companies move applications to the cloud. But did you know you might also sharply lower opex by moving application management to the cloud too?
The economics of moving applications to the cloud are well known. You avoid large “forklift” infrastructure investments while always making sure the technology running your applications stays up to date. In addition, a cloud-based infrastructure is almost infinitely scalable, and scalable on demand, which means you always have as much compute and storage resources as you need without paying for resources you don’t.
So one of the economic benefits is reduced capex. Another is shifting a lot of capex to opex, which many organizations find easier to absorb and manage.
But depending on your particular situation, there may also be significant opex savings you can derive from a cloud migration, especially if you migrate — in addition to the application itself — also some of the tasks involved in managing that application as well. Those tasks include handling application upgrades, tweaking the application (e.g., changing business rules or constructing new reports), recovering data from a particular period in the past, and maintaining a compliant environment.
Most of these tasks come under the heading of making sure your software stays in sync with your current business needs and challenges. Those tasks can carry significant costs if they either: a) are not performed correctly when needed, or b) require expensive in-house talent that may be needed at a critical moment, but may not be fully utilized at other times. In an Oracle Hyperion environment such costs can be particularly high given the application’s high level of complexity both financially and technically and its impact on the organization (whether for good or bad).
Benefits of Managed Application Hosting (MAH)
Cloud-based application management offers technical support and administration for the applications hosted in the cloud — in other words, services such as you might expect an in-house admin team to provide. However, cloud hosted management offers benefits that on-prem application management might not, including:
- Business continuity. Relying on in-house teams requires that these individuals be available as needed, which may not always be the case. But if application management is hosted, along with the application itself, then both the application and its management are guaranteed to be available according to the terms of your hosting contract.
- Knowledge continuity. IT staff churn is legendary especially if technical professionals are not challenged in their current work situation, which they may not be if they are underutilized. When your IT staff walks out the door each day (or permanently) their knowledge of your EPM solutions may go with them. These applications are especially vulnerable to the negative consequences of knowledge gaps caused by staff leaving. Hosting application management in the cloud ensures that historical as well as up-to-date knowledge of your Hyperion environment remains available.
- Ready access to experts. Because hosted teams are 100% engaged in Hyperion they have the most advanced and current knowledge of the application. That means they can quickly address complex issues that can have serious financial impact on a business — such as how to retrieve lost data from a particular period in history or to make the adjustments to the application that are needed to maintain compliance with SOX, PID, or other regulations.
- Scalable expertise. Hosted application management is scalable just like the underlying cloud infrastructure. That means that the cost to provide this management infrastructure — just like the cost to serve the application — is shared among many customers, keeping the cost per customer low. It also means that customers get as much or as little management as they need as they need it. That enhances business agility and also reduces costs.
- Better use of staff. Once application management tasks have been offloaded to the cloud, your staff can spend more time analyzing financial reports and acting on the data.
It’s Not Just about Keeping the Lights On
Spending less money to achieve the same result is good for business. But most managers would prefer to spend less money and also achieve a better result. That’s the upside of managed application hosting — that it’s not just about keeping the lights on. Depending on the support services you choose, your hosted management team is always on the job, reviewing system metrics, recommending process improvements, achieving efficiencies, and protecting you from vulnerabilities — so you constantly get the maximum return on your Hyperion investment.
Of course, every organization’s situation is different — and so is the extent to which they might benefit from hosted application management — including saving significant opex dollars. But most organizations will. To find out for sure, you can contact Strafford for a free consultation. We’ll review your situation and tell you frankly where and how managed application hosting will benefit you.