Companies Drastically Underachieving Cloud Potential [Continued]

Underachieving Potential

Note: To read Part One of this article, please click HERE.

  • Additional Obstacles to Cloudification
  • The Migration Process
  • Why Cloud-First? Public Sector Success Stories

Additional Obstacles to Cloudification

#3 – Failure to flexibly adapt

As McKayla Maroney will tell you, you can’t achieve your dreams of winning an Olympic medal in gymnastics if you can’t flexibly adapt. Flexible adaptation is critical with cloud too. It must be a fundamental shift rather than an isolated project. Think of initial planning as your floor exercise and migration as your vault; and stay hydrated.

The Bain team found that operational changes can amount to 50% of potential cloud value.

It helps to have cloud service providers (CSPs) supporting and monitoring the system. However, the greatest benefits are realized “when business and IT align on ‘cloud-first’ guiding principles for future workloads, vertically integrated teams take project ownership from beginning to end and staff is empowered to access the resources it needs,” explained Bain.

For cloud to proceed as smoothly as possible, it also makes sense for businesses to try the following tactics:

  • Simplifying and standardizing development
  • Deploying automation apps
  • Making any self-service options available
  • Strategizing how to optimize agility
  • Building a DevOps model to directly integrate new technology with operations
  • Holding a staff barbecue featuring a bonfire of all legacy systems

#4 – Lack of momentum to fully assess cloud potential

Early adopters of cloud have obviously become increasingly convinced: they have gradually transitioned almost two-thirds of processing to CSP’s. The typical company is different, though, with just 18% of tasks in cloud. Internal IT departments still may believe that their datacenter skills are preferable to cloud companies. Bain commented that was a more reasonable perspective a decade ago. Now, other than specific compliance concerns or utilizing previous hardware investment, in-house control is generally not considered worth the trouble.

Some technologists believe that on-premises virtualization will deliver as much value as cloud. Virtualization is not all bad. By itself, it’s not as affordable or fast as cloud. However, it’s a good steppingstone.

“We find that well-run IT organizations with 60% to 75% of their traditional server environments virtualized can migrate faster than those that are less reliant on virtualization,” explained Bain.

Some IT leaders still think that security and privacy struggle in cloud, but they should consider that CSP’s invest heavily in security and stay abreast of any changes to the threat landscape – which is just not possible for overworked staff in many organizations. Look at Sony Pictures and JPMorgan Chase: both companies carefully watched over their own servers, and their protections proved insufficient. The Sony case was particularly devastating. It was beyond malicious to the point of almost sadistic – with employees still being disrupted more than 90 days after the red skeleton announcement.

Another issue that’s keeping people at 18% cloud migration rather than 50% is that they think too much in terms of immediate budget reduction. Cloud arguments are more convincing when they include ongoing cost benefits, such as leaving behind the need to maintain data centers.

Actually, cloud speeds up application deployment and has other benefits related to speed. Although it’s challenging to figure out the exact numbers, acceleration advantages are essential to optimizing time-to-market, so decision-makers should consider that element.

The Migration Process

If you want to move smoothly to cloud, it helps to assess your current costs so you understand the savings. You also want to better delineate your exact objectives, such as how much of your infrastructure should be transferred. Additionally, you want to review the was your IT system operates and modify to suit the introduction of cloud.

Many companies transition their systems to cloud haphazardly. Look at all the IT needs of your organization to see what might be right for cloud, along with privacy (private/public/hybrid) and service (IaaS, SaaS, PaaS) stipulations.

A better way is to start with a comprehensive understanding of an organization’s workloads, application portfolios, data centers and other infrastructure,” explained Bain, “and then use a framework to identify which loads are suitable for the cloud.” The report added that organizations can look at all systems through an objective, standardized lens that includes consideration of the following criteria:

  • Security and compliance
  • Performance – servers, network, and software options
  • Agility and scalability

Why Cloud-First? Public Sector Success Stories

In top industries facing an increasingly competitive marketplace, cloud is no longer optional: cloud-first should be the norm if you want to outpace rivals.

What is cloud-first IT, and why might that approach make sense to your organization? “Cloud First” was a rule issued to federal departments by the United States chief information officer in December 2010. It simply meant that cloud technology should be considered the priority when transitioning or developing new systems.

Success stories from the federal Cloud First effort include:

  • ATF – “The ATF, with 4,700 employees, was able to save $1 million a year after it moved email to the cloud.”
  • USDA – This agency’s hybrid cloud has saved $75 million in its first three years.
  • RATB (Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board) – This agency, which monitors stimulus spending, has saved $855,000 in two years with Infrastructure as a Service.

Need Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)? Looking for a partner for a Cloud First initiative? Go Cloud First with a CSP that puts credibility, compliance, and standards first: Superb Internet.

By Superb Internet

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