The Key to Moving Applications to the Cloud is in your Code

Posted by Dan Pigat on Mon, Sep 21, 2015


So you have an application, and cloud is all the rage. Just put it up there, right?

If only things were that simple.

Why Move to the Cloud?

First, let’s ask why should you move to the cloud (no matter your definition of “cloud”). Of the various preaches and promises, the cloud computing benefits boil down to:

  • User mobility: Anytime, anywhere access on mobile devices (phones, tablets, browsers) to things that were previously locked to desktops. It also opens these applications to new users as well as new places.
  • IT cost and flexibility: Savings are estimated at 30% to 40% between traditional IT and public cloud services (depending who you ask), mostly by not hoarding capacity “just in case”. Central management of deployments and updates are another big saving.
  • Power: The flip side of limiting your spend is easily and cheaply amplifying your hardware as required. You might not need a supercomputer in minutes, but running more and faster iterations means faster decisions.

Put these together, you get lower running costs and higher performance, all available on whatever is in your pocket. Another benefit is connecting people to each other once you connect them to their tools and information online.

Sounds great - but how to move to the cloud?

This is where things get fuzzy, as it will depend on who you are.

The IT View

If you buy applications, tools like VDI can run them from a cloud or your own datacenter. This includes new “no or low code” options which try to adapt the VDI approach to mobile devices, with mixed success. But these tools are temporary fixes because:

  • There are limitations to running Desktop software remotely (the car-boat of software deployment – not a great car, or a great boat, but it can do both).
  • Most software will become proper web or cloud applications in time.

Eventually, independent software vendors (ISV’s) will be forced to provide web, cloud and mobile options for their applications. This will be forced by user demand or competitive pressure (the former if you’re innovative, the latter if you’re not). Their applications will run from the cloud so their customers won’t need a kludge to run old applications in new ways.

The Software View

Making web versions of their software puts the problem squarely on developers, although they’ll need some help from their new friends in DevOps. Do they have to start over? A complete rewrite is scary, and new cloud tools don’t automatically make what the application does any better, just better deployed. Ideally you’d PRESERVE the core of the application that is PROVEN through years in development and testing. It already does what you want, just not where you want.

This will take effort and investment, but there’s a strong ROI for it. The billions spent on VDI can go towards better software, where the problem should be solved. Customers and users save time, money and inconvenience, which they’re willing to pay for.

As for where to run this new software, you have several public, private and hybrid options. We won’t endorse any one vendor, but be wary of lock-in. Think of clouds like a bank . It may be a pain to switch, but you need the ability to move your money – or your data – where it is the most secure and convenient for you.

When is all this possible? It’s been happening with the easier lift-and-shift software for a while, but now new technologies can take even the most data intensive, graphical and interactive applications to the cloud. Try some live examples in medical imaging or CAD now.

Industries like medical, design and energy have the most expensive applications with the biggest data sets. In other words, the ones with the most to gain from the benefits of cloud computing. Their users deserve better software, not quick fixes.

See how PureWeb® takes data intensive, graphical and interactive applications to the cloud, 


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