Enterprises seeking to digitally transform their business and operating models face numerous challenges: overcoming organizational inertia, contending with applications sprawl, finding the required technical expertise/budget, and driving the modernization agenda alongside innovation.
Thanks to their flexible, scalable and reliable nature, hybrid cloud environments help IT play the role of strategic enabler by creating a highly virtualized enterprise systems architecture that spans the legacy infrastructure and the public cloud. However, hybrid cloud comes with challenges of its own. From infrastructure and app modernization, to integrating all elements of the IT stack, there are multiple parameters for a successful implementation.
Here are some core pillars that can make or break your hybrid cloud migration roadmap:
- Application centricity: App-focused cloud adoption, or app-centricity, takes on an important role in defining the strategy. Given the cloud’s highly distributed nature, it’s important to take into account end-to-end application profiling, performance management, app monitoring and cloud-native concepts such as containerization. Enterprises that embrace these constructs have radically overhauled their application strategy, for instance, by building apps as microservices and functions rather than in a more costly traditional monolith structure.
Challenged by a fragmented IT landscape, a leading utilities provider was struggling to keep pace with digital disruption. By helping the company adopt an application-centric cloud migration approach based on a software-defined infrastructure, we helped reduce provisioning time from weeks to minutes for 130-plus business services, resulting in accelerated business innovation.
- Governance, security & compliance: Organizations must conform with both local and global data protection guidelines – a mandate that Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has only served to strengthen. Compliance is an ongoing process, and as data processors, a business’s cloud vendors should take care of compliance obligations, not just from a technology standpoint but also from a people, process and documentation point of view.
We helped a Netherlands based enterprise application provider become GDPR compliant through initiatives such as setting up an empowered data protection office, and re-engineering the product development process. Doing so has ensured the company’s software products also support its customers in their respective GDPR journeys.
- Enterprise integration and automation: As multi-cloud provider environments become the norm, enterprises need to establish comprehensive integration frameworks. Automated workload orchestration, unified monitoring and operational analytics across legacy, digital and the hybrid cloud environment are key tenets of a successful enterprise cloud integration plan.
We helped a leading U.S. retail chain overcome challenges with store responsiveness by improving fault isolation and resolution times through a machine learning-based engine that provides recommended actions to isolate faults accurately and automate resolution across the IT stack.
- Cloud economics & legacy debt: Assuming that cloud infrastructure is more cost-effective than traditional on-premise models, enterprises can make a business case for migrating to cloud, but only if they can eliminate legacy system costs post-migration. Legacy assets have book value or license issues that can’t always be depreciated or sold. To achieve a positive ROI, companies should ensure these costs are eliminated and that cloud computing resources are not under-utilized.
Comprehensive cloud economics tools help customers define a cloud roadmap by comparing different cloud options and configurations while benchmarking their costs against to-be retained legacy investments and their existing spend. Case in point is a global animal health services provider that is using a cloud economics assessment tool to monetize cloud and accelerate business decisions over cloud budgets.
Thinking and Working Proactively to Propel Change
Enterprises adopting cloud often overlook the risks and depth of changes that inevitably follow their shift to the cloud. Businesses should be clear on how a cloud migration can affect IT budget, security and infrastructure, and ensure they have the right migration strategy in place.
Hybrid cloud is the springboard for accelerating digital business change, and a well-defined roadmap allows enterprises make the most of it by accelerating innovation and agility, and allowing them to anticipate market needs, instead of reacting to them.
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