CIOs across the globe already know the value of implementing hybrid cloud environments. The migration of applications to both public and private clouds provides a previously unheard-of amount of business agility.
Yet all that has a digital glitter is certainly not technical gold. The shift to the cloud brings challenges: Financial models aren’t always as accurate as they appear to be; shoddy oversight can render cloud software to actually be more expensive than on-premise operations; and it can be tough to maintain pace with the latest cloud services and architectures.
That said, a well-executed cloud strategy can deliver many benefits – as long as you keep an eye on the trends. Which means facing reality. For starters, many enterprises are having a hard time getting the most from their cloud investments. In fact, less than 40% of IT executives are seeing the results they expected. And less than 30% feel confident that their cloud migration plans will provide value within their timeframe.
Much of the problem is that organizations aren’t moving fast enough, and with the right focus. For example, some devote too much upfront energy to moving peripheral services instead of their most vital services. As such, cloud migration doesn’t deliver much value, at least initially.
On a brighter note, consider the growth of Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). This year, we will see more movement for business services via platform-as-a-service (PaaS), microservices and APIs. To illustrate the point, APIs allow banks to team up with gig economy companies to entice customers with deals and discounts. What’s known as “Cloud 2.0” will mean more reliance on cloud-native apps built with microservices.
Another trend is all of the innovation occurring around the cloud. To drive even more value for cloud migrations, organizations are partnering with cloud vendors and consultants to create capabilities with mutual benefits. It’s turning out that innovation can have greater results when two enterprises join forces on the idea.
All of this innovation, however, can be a double-edged sword, since it makes the cloud even more complex. Keeping up with newer models is challenging as it is, and managing even more fresh-off-the-line cloud deployments will pose additional difficulties: There will be more virtual servers and storage needed to support more applications, along with myriad connections and interdependencies. The lesson here: When developing your cloud strategy, always be cognizant that the cloud architecture landscape is in a constant state of change.
Any strategy must consider costs, and that’s no different with your cloud migration project. Many CIOs have struggled to operate their cloud systems without going over budget. Don’t let this trend get in the way of your plans. Consider using a combination of proven business management practices and analytics software to accurately assess the costs of your total cloud operation. Automation will surely help you better manage the dollars that go to your cloud effort.
CIOs, like everyone else, like to get a good night’s sleep. Which is why they’ll be happy about the most important trend of all: The cloud has become something on the minds of everyone in the C-suite. That’s because the cloud is central to any company’s digital transformation. CIOs no longer have to go at it alone when selling the value of the cloud. Other executives are now participating in – and taking responsibility for – strategic decisions around their company’s cloud migration.
No one can deny the power of the cloud. The more a business makes the migration, the better the business results. That’s a trend that will make any executive happy.