As we are aware, organizations have been rapidly embracing cloud technology to meet evolving customer and market demands. Yet, amid this modern-day gold rush, particularly evident during the pandemic-fueled cloud boom, a vital component was overlooked: a comprehensive cloud strategy.
This oversight often resulted in unforeseen costs, resource challenges, and untapped potential. Once-effective "quick fixes" are waning over time. A new trend has emerged as a result: the 'cloud boomerang' effect, where businesses withdraw workloads due to initial oversight in areas like skills and security during cloud adoption.
That isn't to say that cloud computing is devoid of benefits; quite the opposite. The scale of innovation that cloud providers bring is unmatchable, with key benefits ranging from scalability, flexibility, disaster recovery, resource optimization, efficient energy management, and faster deployment of applications and services.
The success of the cloud is unquestionable, with Gartner's recent projection revealing public cloud end-user spending to surge to nearly $600 billion in 2023.
However, rushing into cloud adoption without a thorough assessment can lead to costly mistakes. The cloud hype has often fueled impulsive decisions, overshadowing the need for functional and technical considerations. Hence, being specific and intentional about cloud deployment is crucial.
Navigate Wisely to Reach Your Destination
The allure of the cloud is undeniable. As a case in point, the important area of sustainability can be used to highlight why the cloud is progressively overshadowing conventional infrastructure.
Environmental impact has become an increasingly pertinent subject – and for good reason. Data centers, by themselves, are estimated to account for around 1% of worldwide electricity consumption.
By incorporating appropriate DCIM software technology, businesses can monitor and enhance energy efficiency, integrate renewable energy sources, and attain a more comprehensive understanding of overall energy use. As a result, data centers are slowly but surely going green.
The cloud holds immense appeal to businesses, and ongoing advancements in DCIM software further enhance its value proposition. Yet, these advantages only become attainable through a cloud transition that’s guided by a well-defined destination and a thought-out roadmap.
The onset of the pandemic triggered unprecedented changes in business operations. Virtually overnight, businesses were confronted with implementing a remote working model, managing a surge in e-commerce and online services, and navigating an uncertain economy.
Amid this urgency, businesses adopted a "lift and shift" strategy, swiftly relocating existing applications to the cloud with minimal modifications. As the post-pandemic landscape took shape, companies began recognizing the merits of strategic cloud strategies involving a more thoughtful assessment of workloads best suited for on-prem or cloud environments. Consequently, a hybrid IT environment has been turning more than a few heads.
What's Driving the Hybrid IT Model?
It has been near impossible to escape the headlines of a global talent shortage and historically low unemployment rates. The skills shortage has intensified, with only 65 potential workers for every 100 job openings, down from 85 for every 100 in the pre-pandemic.
In light of this, businesses, especially SMEs competing with tech giants for talent, have embraced cloud services as a seemingly straightforward solution to their staffing challenges.
However, a dependence on off-premises solutions has compelled enterprises to confront the IT skills shortage in new ways, particularly when it comes to efficiently managing their cloud infrastructure.
As substantial upgrades become due, the absence of suitable IT expertise becomes a bottleneck. Striking the right balance between on-prem, colocation, edge, and cloud solutions is imperative to navigate this dilemma.
In the current landscape, businesses are showing a growing commitment towards their data management practices overall, with a strong emphasis on understanding data cataloguing and quality. The concept of data hygiene is progressively taking center stage as enterprises strive to optimize valuable storage resources by purging redundant, outdated, or inconsequential data.
Recent events have amplified the value of essential infrastructure, driving an upsurge in security requirements and regulations for both businesses and the providers they rely on. As a result, businesses are maturing in their decision-making process, making a clear distinction in the classification of the type of workload and where it should reside.
Advice For Businesses in Their Cloud Approach
- Be specific and intentional
Clearly outline your objectives, classify workloads appropriately, and make choices aligned with your organization's demands and long-term aspirations. This purposeful approach guarantees efficient resource allocation and lays the groundwork for scalability down the road.
- Invest in expertise
Amid the allure of cloud solutions, it is crucial to resists the influence of marketing hype. While cloud providers offer cutting-edge features and services, it is important to invest in internal expertise, particularly around DevOps, to manage and work around any potential deficiencies that may arise.
Forming a skilled team capable of fully harnessing the capabilities of cloud technologies ensures the long-term success of cloud initiatives and maximizes the value derived from the adoption of cloud solutions. This is akin to going to the moon and flying to space. Humans did that in the 1960s and waited 60 years to plan a return. For an area to become a core competency, continuous engagement is required.
- People, processes, tools, measures
To guide any future cloud adoption choices, employ the “people, process, tools, measures” framework. Ensure that the team is dedicated to the project, a comprehensive understanding of the decision-making process, clarity on the tools involved, and a well-defined measure of project success.
Jad Jebara is CEO and President of Hyperview, a cloud-based data center infrastructure management software provider.