An honest debate about on-premise vs cloud-based monitoring

Let’s have an honest debate about on-premise versus cloud app monitoring!

Application monitoring is a modern necessity for technology-based businesses across every vertical.

No matter whether you’re serving end customers or enterprise clients, a complete view of your applications and operating environment will help identify any problems before they escalate into serious customer service issues.

This has become especially true as more and more organisations have migrated to the cloud or adopted new working methods like DevOps.

However, there’s still a significant number of businesses who operate an on-premise technology environment.

This could be for several reasons, from legacy systems from which they aren’t ready to move from yet, or long-term business plans that require an on-premise solution.

A single pane of glass

There is a common misconception that because your technology is on-premise, your monitoring should be close by.

However, while it might make sense to go on-premise for your technology, it rarely makes sense to go on-premise for the actual monitoring of these applications.

In fact, many of the widely known benefits of cloud-based systems still hold true when it comes to application monitoring.

Fundamentally, a cloud-based monitoring system lets you see your application performance from a single screen, no matter if your IT team is based near or far from the line of business team using the on-premise technology.

This is especially true of increasingly global businesses who have teams split across time zones and continents. It is also incredibly rare that an enterprise would only be working from a single, on-premise application with no exposure to the cloud – so it doesn’t make sense for teams to limit themselves to an isolated, siloed monitoring approach.

More critically, a cloud-based monitoring system allows you to size your monitoring solution to your application and scale your monitoring system easily and effectively as your business needs dictate.

Whether you are growing fast consistency or if you have an extremely spiky business, dynamic scaling is a core advantage of cloud-based monitoring systems.

Selling it to the C-Suite

While the benefits to IT teams on a technical level may be clear, introducing a cloud-based monitoring system will need the buy-in of the entire C-Suite.

They need proof of wider operational, financial and other business benefits.

At first glance, on-premise might appear to make more sense – if it’s closer to the action then surely, it’ll be operationally more efficient?  Thankfully, digital transformation is already on the minds of business leaders across different departments.

With the right language, the benefits can become clear:

  • Selling it to the CFO – cloud-based monitoring services will typically bring greater cost efficiencies across the entire product lifestyle from installation to ongoing servicing requirements. Additionally, many platforms can be used to keep tabs on the costs of the technology they’re monitoring, bringing another layer of cost savings
  • Selling it to the COO – your chief operating officer is probably already thinking about how the technology in the business today will cope with the growth challenges of tomorrow, so it makes sense they’d be reluctant to invest in something that can’t scale. The value proposition of a cloud-based monitoring service is that they can be rapidly scaled up or down as the business grows and operations change
  • Selling it to the CTO – the CTO is concerned with the amount of time their team spends on day to day tasks and projects. Cloud-based solutions bring a clear advantage of being easy to set up and install, that can cut IT time commitments from months to just hours. Over the long term, the quicker upgrade cycle and ease of installing new features can boost team performance and free up time for more complicated tasks
  • Selling it to the CEO – with an eye on the next 20 years, future-thinking CEOs will be looking at the bigger picture around their company. Cloud-based monitoring solutions will ensure that over the long term the business can adapt to whatever comes down the road, as opposed to costly, inflexible on-premise solutions.

Embrace cloud-based monitoring now

With all this in mind, it is no wonder that the market is shifting to cloud-based monitoring systems. From costs, to scale to visibility, it’s a superior delivery model. The benefits aren’t just for the IT team either.

Across the business, there will be operational and service benefits that the entire team will appreciate.

Cloud and on-premise are increasingly integrated in day to day operations, and it is vital that monitoring keeps up.

Lee Atchison, senior director of strategic architecture at New Relic