GxP Cloud Part 1 of 5: The Allure of Cloud Hosting

GxP Cloud Part 1 of 5: The Allure of Cloud Hosting

Cloud infrastructure and application hosting solutions are practically ubiquitous in the modern technology landscape.  In the early days of these offerings, the market was somewhat hesitant to embrace this model due to concerns around reliability, security, availability and scale-ability, but those days have long since passed and adoption of cloud and hosting has been embraced by small and Fortune 500 organizations alike.  With initial concerns more than alleviated and market venerability established, the benefits of this model were quickly realized across a number of industries and teams. 

IT Operations and Infrastructure teams have been able to offload much of the burden and cost associated with managing complicated and robust internal infrastructure.  Of course, most companies will not be able to offload their entire infrastructure needs but leveraging a hosting provider for even a portion of their infrastructure demands can drastically reduce year over year expenses.  Hosting reduces the cost of the physical infrastructure itself, but also in the sometimes difficult to account for variables that go into supporting an infrastructure.   

Handling internal support requests for issues, management and maintenance, administration, spinning up new environments, dealing with latency or outages, ensuring backup and disaster recovery health, outage protections, etc.  In a hosting model, all of these tasks can be directed to and managed by the hosting vendor, freeing up internal resource availability and reducing cost of supporting these activities internally. 

Software teams and application owners can focus on development, software quality and software delivery, instead of having to commit resources to application administration.  End users can focus on utilizing the applications for what they were designed for, rather than dealing with the yard work of application ownership.  No more chasing down internal IT resources for service requests or admins for setting up new users, setting up new projects, or making changes to the application.  Just the pure ability to perform the job functions that they were hired to do. 

Leveraging third party cloud infrastructure and application hosting providers also often allows customers access to more robust infrastructure capabilities than they would be able to buy, implement and manage on their own.  This ensures better protection for disaster recovery, access to data retention without the storage overhead, multiple server locations, backup protection, as well as avoiding risk of application down time with multiple outage guards in place. 

All this at a cost that is nominal relative to internal infrastructure and application ownership.  Costs, by the way, that can often be absorbed via OpEx budgets vs CapEx budget, leaving CapEx available for other initiatives.  

As the benefits being to add up, it becomes easy to see why so many teams have shifted to the cloud model. 

Yet one industry in particular has had difficulty embracing this model and it certainly isn’t from a lack of desire to utilize it.  Life Sciences organizations are expected to uphold rigid infrastructure qualification and application validation requirements that aren’t adequately accounted for or provided by most cloud and hosting providers. 

Unfortunately, this lack of attention to niche industry requirements has left Life Sciences teams forced to manage both complex internal infrastructures, as well as the applications that reside on that infrastructure, all to maintain the necessary control to satisfy regulatory requirements. 

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