5 Questions Enterprises Ask About Moving IBM i Apps to the Cloud

Cloud ApplicationsWhen our IBM i series clients start thinking about tech upgrades, disaster recovery or higher availability, the conversations typically head to the cloud – fast. These are the five questions enterprises tend to ask, and the answers we give to help them make smart decisions about the future of their app hosting.

  1. Do you offer cloud services?

The short answer here is “yes.” The slightly longer answer is that our KeyCloud is a managed, highly scalable, SAN-backed cloud that can enable clients to better support their legacy applications.

  1. How much fill-in-the-blank are we talking about?

That “blank” gets filled in with questions about bandwidth, disk space, memory and more, but all the varieties of this question eventually end up on the same topic: money. Whether or not the cloud is cheaper depends on the goal of your applications. How much performance do you need? If you’re spending two hours to run reports on premise and that costs X, but you want to run them in an hour in the cloud, which will cost Y, is the change in performance worth the change in expense to you? Individual enterprises need to determine those value equations.

  1. Will we get expert support?

If you’re moving homegrown applications to the cloud, our expertise – quite frankly – won’t help you too much with those specific apps. No one will replace the developers who created those apps when it comes to in-depth knowledge. However, if you’re putting the big five applications in the cloud, we have the knowledgebase to support you.

In terms of platforms or use cases, like for disaster recovery, the expertise enterprises get from the right services provider is a key driver for moving to the cloud. Nine times out of 10, clients cannot match that in house, and it becomes a compelling reason to move to the cloud. We can help enterprises put the targets, network, interface and data portions in place – and prepare them to continue down the road toward the cloud. With so many IT teams understaffed and overworked, this support is attractive.

  1. Will we gain access to new technology?

This is the point in the discussion when clients start thinking about other benefits, like instant access to evolving technologies. They want the fastest drive or a little more memory. With apps hosted in the cloud, they can pick off a menu and see the instant performance returns from, say, SSD or Flash. 

  1. Yeah, but…what about security?

There’s no magic button for security. You’ll still need to look at the security around your own hardware and networks if you move your apps to the cloud, and you should study the security policies of any cloud provider before you sign on. However, the IBM i series is virus resistant, and if you put that machine in the cloud, you can expect exceptional business resiliency – that’s a huge benefit.

Recently, we had a client ask about an upgrade. They wanted to know what it would cost to run X app on Y box with Z memory. We ran through all the scenarios, and showed that it would be cheaper to put their app in KeyCloud, with a monthly fee instead of an equipment upgrade outlay. Once the client saw how much faster its app could run and how much more mobility it could offer in the cloud, the enterprise began looking at what other doors it could open, and soon after built a whole disaster recovery infrastructure in KeyCloud.

This is a typical experience for enterprises. They come to us with questions. They dip a toe into the cloud. Then a whole foot. Then they’re knee deep. Immersion is a careful, considered, sequential process, and we guide enterprises through every step.

Learn more about hosting IBM i applications in KeyCloud.


Terry Boulais
Director of Business Development

Key Information Systems, Inc.