This is part of Solutions Review’s Premium Content Series, a collection of contributed columns written by industry experts in maturing software categories. In this submission, Veeam Senior Director of Product Strategy Rick Vanover offers four key enterprise cloud strategy trends to be aware of right now.
As Forrester underscores in its latest State of the Cloud report, cloud strategy never has and never will be a one-size-fits-all exercise. Cloud adoption is a journey, unique to every organization that takes part. It requires continuing assessment, reassessment and realignment to get where they want to go.
Today, cloud users are leaning into strategies that will take them into and through a post-pandemic era. They’ve dealt with lockdowns, work-from-home communication plans and supply chain disruptions. Now they’re pushing forward with new strategies to customize, optimize and revitalize their cloud infrastructures to meet the needs of a rapidly changing environment.
The strategies they pursue, of course, will differ according to their situations. What they do will depend on how far along they are in their journeys, what kinds of business pressures they face, and how attuned their cultures are for all-in cloud initiatives. But there are four main principles each should follow. They need to refocus their transformations, optimize on a price/performance basis, embrace new models to facilitate innovation, and prioritize risk mitigation.
Revitalize Using Cloud Services
There is an appetite to innovate and revitalize technology services across the board. Three to five years ago, the buzzword was digital transformation. In that time, the concept basically came to fruition. The thought was that if an organization digitally transformed, it would be positioned for the future. Today the focus has shifted onto what organizations in specific industries can do better to serve that industry, using cloud as a facilitator. The airline industry, for example, has automated systems to track baggage, air gates, jet bridges, maintenance cycles – even flight modes. Every industry needs to find its “aha” moment to get to the next level with cloud services.
Optimize for Price and Performance
Getting costs under control is critically important to the success of any cloud strategy. It’s not economically sustainable to function if you’re not fully optimized in the cloud. Organizations can’t be forced to choose between a level of protection and how much will their cloud bill be. They can’t trade compliance for economics. It’s critical to have a cloud model that works with all these disciplines: economics, resiliency and a service model. Once you implement it, and all three of those not working, it’s a problem. Quality is free when you build it in, but it costs a lot more after a model is in place.
Embrace New Models
Industries are pushing to adopt new cloud-based models for innovation because the old model – lifting and shifting applications into the cloud – isn’t working. As I like to say, lift and shift is like smoking: It’s not a good idea to start. It’s not a proven, sustainable economic IT model. Organizations need to conduct fundamental assessments of what needs to change to make their operations work better.
The best example is Kubernetes and cloud native computing, but not everyone will be ready for that. Kubernetes requires an aggressive transformation of a company’s culture. Any operating model that reduces time to market for an operation is welcome. Whether it’s an application, a platform or a cloud, those are the innovations that will be difference makers. Time is the one commodity that you can’t replace.
Prioritize Risk Mitigation
Resilience has taken on a higher priority as society tries to work its way past the stresses of the pandemic. Some enterprises are investing in cloud backup solutions that ensure business continuity across regions and business functions. Others are revisiting work that was done in 2020 to patch systems and protect against vulnerabilities and refreshing documentation to ensure proper knowledge management amid the great job exodus.
Two years ago, they needed to plug security gaps – to do the job right now. Today they’re going back and doing the job right. They’re reassessing their cloud backups and ransomware protection plans to determine what they need now and what they’ll need in the future. There’s always a balance of usability and security, but there’s no such thing as too much security.
Organizations need to go back to the basics in terms of security because cloud outages are real. If you’re a cloud tenant, and there’s an outage, you quickly realize what you can manage and control. It’s the tenants’ burden to manage, but they’re not doing it.
The cloud has moved far beyond its early-adoption stage. Now users are focused on optimization initiatives to ensure they’re getting the most out of their cloud infrastructures. Some will get it right, and others won’t. The innovators who succeed will compete more effectively and avoid the fate of old-line businesses that missed the chance to evolve with the times.
- Enterprise Cloud Strategy Trends to be Aware of Right Now - September 22, 2022