Can and Should Your WLA Solution Live in the Cloud?
Consider the benefits of hosting your WLA solution in the cloud as you decide if it's the right option for you.
If you’re thinking about getting a workload automation (WLA) solution—or if you already have one—one of the key decisions you have to make is which installation option you’ll choose—either on prem, in the cloud, or a hybrid of the two. Historically, automation tools and solutions have been installed on prem, housed in the same place as your core and other critical systems and servers. What more and more financial services organizations are finding, however, is that it’s becoming increasingly costly and laborious to manage all their business-critical applications, systems, and servers on prem—making the cloud a more attractive option.
Can my WLA solution live in the cloud?
When it comes to your WLA solution, you now have the option to host it in the cloud. Specifically, it can be hosted by a reputable, audited cloud provider like Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS). With a cloud installation, the server for your WLA application lives in the cloud and connects to any application agents via VPN, making the connection secure. OpCon Cloud, for example, is hosted in Azure with single-tenant installation.
Should my WLA solution live in the cloud?Every organization has a different appetite for the cloud. Some want to avoid it at all costs because they think it would compromise their security measures and come with too many unknowns. Other are starting to have conversations about moving some business-critical applications to the cloud, and some businesses have already started that process. Finally, some organizations are fully committed to hosting all of their business-critical applications in the cloud and are working to make this happen if they haven’t already.
Wherever your organization sits on this spectrum, here are some factors to consider when deciding to host your WLA solution in the cloud:
- You won’t be compromising on security.
Reputable cloud hosts like Azure and AWS provide a level of security that simply can’t be replicated on prem. That’s because these providers have more financial resources and staffing than almost all other organizations, so they can actually offer enhanced security for any applications you host with them in the cloud.
Think about how much physical security you have to put in place to prevent the theft of your on-prem servers, like guards, traps, and locked cages. Cloud providers are able to afford physical security that’s state of the art to protect their data centers, making physical theft almost impossible. On top of this physical security, cloud providers also invest billions of dollars in cybersecurity every year, providing a level of protection that can’t be matched. This includes a 24/7 security operations center (SOC) comprised of highly trained specialists who monitor your entire infrastructure for any possible attacks, as well as military-grade, 256-bit AES encryption to prevent data exposure.
You also get the benefit of full-time teams that are dedicated to patching your software, which is something that most organizations struggle to manage on their own. Given the significant security risks posed by poorly patched software, a cloud-hosted WLA solution that takes care of patching automatically can give you peace of mind and eliminate the downtime required to do this on prem on a regular basis.
- You can reduce infrastructure costs and save even more time.
With a cloud installation, you no longer have to manage a data center and all the operations and costs that come with it. You’ll save on the overhead costs for maintaining machines as IT hardware and software licensing fees are expensive and add up quickly.
When your WLA solution is hosted in the cloud, you also get the benefit of always having the latest version of the software because upgrades are taken care of for you. That means you don’t have to subject your systems to any downtime for manual software upgrades. You also don’t have to worry about upgrading your processing and storage capacity to accommodate increased workloads, which will you give your IT staff even more time back to focus on more strategic work.
- You’ll improve your business continuity and disaster recovery preparedness.
If you experience a natural disaster or major disruption with an on-prem server, your applications and data can be left vulnerable. If your WLA server is hosted in the cloud, the cloud provider can securely back up and protect your data and applications, so you can continue running your mission-critical operations as normal, even if there’s a crisis.
That means your members and customers won’t experience any disruptions, which can boost their trust in your business to handle disasters and crises without members feeling any negative effects. You’ll also be able to prevent your employees from having to spend inordinate amounts of time recovering data or getting applications or servers back online. Instead, they can continue their work as usual, knowing that your cloud provider has everything handled.
Consider the numerous benefits of hosting your WLA solution in the cloud
When it comes to the installation type for your WLA solution, the choice is ultimately yours. If you’re thinking about a cloud installation, consider the numerous benefits this option provides. You’ll be able to preserve—and even boost—your security measures, save on or completely eliminate certain costs, and get even more time back.
With that time back, you can focus on the innovative work your business needs to continue evolving and remaining agile as your industry grows more competitive and as your members and customers demand more personalization and digital banking tools and services that will ultimately fall on your IT department to create and manage. With a cloud installation, you can take your automation and its powerful, positive impact on your business even further.