Various forms of cloud computing are among the top three areas where most global CIOs will increase their investment next year, per Gartner estimates .
At this point, cloud adoption is mainstream. Building, implementing and maturing cloud strategies will continue to be a top priority for years to come for enterprises, as mentioned in a Gartner press release .
We have observed that most of the RFPs (request for proposals) received in the last year at Wipro, whether related to ADM (application development & maintenance), managed services or modernization, have a cloud component embedded in some way or the other.
Looking at widespread cloud adoption, the key challenge for enterprises would be to ensure right cloud strategy creation along with continuous measurement & optimization post implementation to fully realize the cloud benefits. An additional challenge lies in leveraging the latest CSP (cloud service providers) capabilities that get enhanced frequently.
Cloud strategy varies
While Cloud is inevitable, the adoption strategy may vary for organizations depending on various aspects like usage patterns, compliance requirements, nonfunctional requirements, infrastructure investments, technical debt and cloud economics including others.
It is being observed that the expiry term of a data center (mostly third-party owned) contract also affects the cloud strategy making data center exit one of the major forces driving cloud adoption. Time-bound datacenter exit leads to “migrate first and transform later” strategy, enabling a relatively quicker cloud implementation for enterprises. This strategy however doesn’t exploit cloud benefits to the maximum due to associated time constraints and the way cloud services are consumed.
Another widely used strategy of “transform while you migrate” leads to a modernize-first approach, which enables enterprises to leverage cloud wherever it adds value in the modernization journey, through various service models like SaaS, PaaS, BPaaS and others while minimizing the usage of IaaS.
The “Greenfield cloud native” smart application development strategy helps enhance user experience. It also supports the digital business model for a new organization or an existing organization venturing into a new business model or rewriting existing high business-value legacy applications to support/unfold growth avenues. Mobile, analytics, IoT and cognitive capabilities provided through a cloud platform support the shorter time-to-market objective with add-on DevOps tooling for frequent releases of features enriching user experience and new functionalities.
Amalgamation of the above-mentioned strategies is a path generally traversed by enterprises for steady and selective cloud adoption based on characteristics of individual application as well as by evaluating relevance of cloud in achieving business goals. Wipro’s Cloud Studio helps in evaluating the customer’s IT landscape to devise a cloud strategy based on multi-faceted discovery & assessment.
While enterprises create a cloud strategy to focus their efforts on select business goals, they need to continuously monitor and optimize cloud implementation as well as continue their journey toward modernization to realize the envisaged cloud benefits.
Cloud benefits – ‘start with the end in mind’
While large cloud migrations are underway, it is critical to set goals and measure their success to maximize benefits. Benchmarking as-is state and identifying success criteria is essential for making informed investment decisions. Knowing when to expect what benefit and planning investment accordingly is very important for any cloud initiative.
Let us look at typical benefits organizations expect with cloud adoption:
- Reduction in IT facilities and utilities costs
- Reduction in IT compute/network/ storage costs
- Reduction in current technical debt & technical debt growth
- Reduction in cost of new application development
- Improvement in agility, scalability & availability
- Improvement in ability to drive innovation & create new business models
It is not feasible to realize all of these benefits from day one of cloud migration. Moreover, it’s a journey comprising various stages to really maximize tangible and intangible cloud benefits.
Gartner estimates that organizations that have done little or no cloud cost optimization are overspending by 70% or more hence it is critical to keep measuring various parameters.
To measure and realize benefits, one must define goals and measurement parameters for cloud implementation, which would potentially need the following aspects considered:
- Identify key business drivers for cloud transformation
- Define multiple goals across identified business drivers
- Agree on multiple measurement parameters across all the defined goals at the application level
- Define success criteria for each chosen parameter