Cloud has become the norm over the last decade, however the adoption has been scattered since the enterprises are still in the process of exploring and learning its benefits. As digital transformation has become one of the core business goals over the last few years, IT executives began initiating strategies for becoming more digital-responsive and elastic.
Apart from allowing to build new apps, cloud helps to enhance customer value propositions, to set up a shared community of resources and greater business innovation. This has meant greater number of companies moving to cloud: an economical alternate to the on-premise computing and “a strategic alternative that can pay big dividends”.
Gradually, we are reaching a point where cloud will be home to more applications and workloads, in contrast to the private data center of companies. At the dawn of 2017, let us look at how tech-thinkers have forecasted the rise of cloud. In the beginning of 2016, Gartner stated that 2016 would see the rise of public cloud services market to a whopping $204B. By mid-year, they announced that a corporate no-cloud policy would be as rare as a no-internet policy. By end of the year, they topped off with the ubiquity of cloud even in developing nations, stating that public cloud services are geared to reach market value of $1.3B in India through 2016. This article provides insight into the coming of cloud-era and how companies can fill their IT-gap to go cloud!
The Omnipotence of Cloud
A recent report “What is the state of cloud computing and its impact on the IT Department?” carried out by ServiceNow, involving over 1,500 mid and senior level executives from about 7 countries across the world revealed the rapid shift towards cloud computing in the IT landscape. Over 50% of the participants stated that they would opt for cloud (SaaS or PaaS) as the platform for their business app, opposed to the on-premise data center. This has brought out the following two insights:
The digital roads lead to cloud: In VMworld keynote, Pat Gelsigner had presented a timeline of over 10 years explicating the growth of cloud computing, amongst other things. The current growth pattern definitely rides over this timeline showing that while mainframes are still in the game, companies are moving towards cloud much faster than most predictions. The Worldwide Public IT Cloud Service Revenue in 2018 is expected to hit over $125B.
IT needs to prep hard: Over 85% of the participants in mentioned survey claimed that their IT staff did not have the required resources and technical skills for implementing a successful cloud-first model. Thus, IT companies need to shift their action plans towards carrying out goals through the cloud, training their staff extensively for the shift.
The Circle of Cloud Adoption
When a company decides to cloud, they are doing a lot more than only selecting a technology. There are four core stages of cloud adoption:
Stage 1: Assess
Begin by evaluating cloud deployment challenges and success rates in the market. Weigh the business value, success determinants and IT feasibility for your enterprise. After you have scanned through the case studies, jot down the risks of cloud adoption. Lastly, investigate the cloud vendors for partnerships. This stage will give you an idea of the benefits and challenges of going-cloud.
Stage 2: Plan
In this stage, you will have to create a cloud adoption strategy tailor-made for your company. Recognize the apps which are critical to business, depending on the customer satisfaction and revenue. Those who are shifting to cloud for the first time can select apps that are stand-alone and have simple migration. This will avoid the spread of any disruption beyond the app and allow them to focus on learning about the cloud adoption. Those who are entering cloud for improving business value will reap well by emphasizing on innovation, agility, efficiency and productivity. This will allow them to apply the experience of cloud towards deploying complex system. The most significant learning in the cloud adoption process is to understand the pros and cons of public, private and hybrid clouds along with the models: IaaS, SaaS, PaaS or their combination. An important step towards setting a successful cloud deployment is to be clear about your expectations. Write down your expected gains from business service-level agreements, the planned deliverables for customer quality-of-service and the ToU (Terms of Understanding) with your cloud vendor. Work with IT architect to produce use cases for cloud deployment.
Stage 3: Adopt
Planning and adoption are intertwined with each other. Consider the process of reviewing collateral when you are planning. While reviewing, you will also have to understand the cloud computing and adoption standards. By now, you should be ready with a cloud deployment architecture. Use it to create app migration strategies, scripts and use cases. Recognize data stores, servers and the software which will move you in the migration roadmaps.
Stage 4: Optimize
This stage is aimed at improving efficiency of your organization and amplifying value to your customers. After every cloud deployment, set up a lessons-learned session to walk through the processes and methods. Make a consistent plan for developing the required skills and also assemble the resources required ahead of upcoming deployments.
In short, begin by assessing how cloud can benefit your organization; plan a junk-free application deployment to start with and then move to plan for enterprise systems; adopt the cloud deployment by constantly learning and manipulating options and lastly, optimize your strategies through your lessons to sync with business goals. While you are prepping for the cloud adoption, remember to ask: “What does 2017 have in store for cloud computing?” Keep an eye on the emerging trends which could impact your adoption. Write back to us with your comments on this blog.