sunlight through the clouds...
Cloud promised a new era of procuring
and operating IT Services:
Flexibility and fast scaling
Service Catalogue based procurement
From Capex to Opex:
Pay per use and no capital outlay
Our survey indicates that every organization
has made progress on the Cloud. However, we find
different levels of cloud maturity:
Workplace and Productivity: The Cloud has become mainstream very quickly and has had a dramatic impact on collaboration, user productivity and experience. Most organizations have made good progress with cloud.
Datacentre: When it comes to mass adoption of the cloud and moving away from the datacentre, reality has fallen short of expectations.
We followed up our client survey with detailed discussions with experts from cloud providers like Azure and with the service integrators / cloud brokers. We examined the key challenges inhibiting the move from an on-premise datacentre towards the public cloud.
top 3 reasons inhibiting cloud transformation
1. Incumbent legacy applications are not cloud compatible
2. Security and regulatory concerns
3. Inability of the incumbent IT service provider to help drive the transformation
The key barrier remains the incumbent legacy environment
Cloud only supports Linux and Microsoft OS. However, many companies’ mission critical and core applications are custom built applications running on non-Linux, non-Microsoft OS, underpinned by proprietary database technologies.
Custom built applications may often require to be recoded. Most of these applications were developed many years ago with few knowing how they were built and how they interact with each other. This results in higher risk and often a heavy investment.
We start to see some products emerging that offer solutions to overcome some of the operating system challenges - but they are in early phases of maturity.
Regulatory and Legal concerns
Many companies / organizations are bound to specific regulations and legal requirements. It is not always obvious how the move to the cloud will impact compliance to these regulations. One needs to consider how data is stored and ensure that the back up and archiving of data meets regulatory requirements. This is sometimes cited as a barrier to move to the cloud.
Inability of the incumbent service provider to help drive the transition
Incumbent service providers are often not incentivized to help clients move to the cloud as it cannibalizes their existing business. Sometimes while the sales teams are well advanced on cloud propositions, the delivery teams are still rooted in the old way of thinking and working. The large skill gap remains a key hindrance in moving to the cloud.
The transformation from the datacentre to the cloud is not a short-term project, but a multi-year program around re-architecting the IT of the company and about developing new business solutions that leverage the vast potential of the cloud. It is imperative that a strong business case and commitment from senior business leadership is secured.
In order to overcome the financial hurdle and build a sound business case for your cloud program, we recommend the following:
Look for new business opportunities – Digital impact on products and services or business operations can generate tremendous value. These can be the trigger to look at cloud native applications or to recode/rebuild legacy applications.
Take an application view rather than an infrastructure view towards cloud migration.
Consider life cycle events – Major functional enhancements or upgrades can be the justification for investment in an OS migration or recodification of legacy applications.
Moving to the cloud requires a structured program. We highlight some attention points:
Start with an application assessment – What business process does it support? How does it interact with other applications and what are the underlying operating system & database?
Take a SaaS-PaaS-IaaS approach - First check if you can replace the application by SaaS, then modernizing to PaaS (e.g. cloud databases), and as a last resort, fall back on IaaS.
Contract to achieve outcome - Integrate the effective transformation to the cloud into your service provider contract.
And finally the low hanging fruits - start with non-production environments and standalone applications that are not excessively interconnected.