Cloud computing is firmly established as the new normal for enterprise IT. Across industries, cloud continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments of IT spend. With greater spend, however, comes greater responsibility for CIOs to invest budgets wisely, and a bigger impact if things go wrong.
“CIOs looking to prepare their organization to thrive in the upcoming turns must take a differentiated approach to cloud computing,” says Gregor Petri, Vice President Analyst, Gartner. “It will be essential for CIOs to develop a formal strategy that helps to put individual cloud decisions in the context of the enterprise’s strategic goals.”
By 2023, the leading cloud service providers will have a distributed ATM-like presence to serve a subset of their services
In the new era of cloud, cost optimization will be crucial. Multicloud strategies will warrant provider independence and address concentration risk. The presence of in-house cloud skills will be a key indicator of enterprise agility, including the ability to distribute cloud services where customers want to consume them, on-premises and on the edge.
These four factors will impact cloud adoption in 2020 and the steps that CIOs can take to thrive in a cloud-first world.
Cost optimization will drive cloud adoption
Through 2024, nearly all legacy applications migrated to public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) will require optimization to become more cost-effective. Cloud providers will continue to strengthen their native optimization capabilities to help organizations select the most cost-effective architecture that can deliver the required performance.
The market for third-party cost optimization tools will also expand, particularly in multicloud environments. Their value will concentrate on higher-quality analytics that can maximize savings without compromising performance, provide independence from cloud providers and offer multicloud management consistency.
Recognize the need for optimization as an integral part of cloud migration projects. Develop skills and processes early, and use tools to analyze operational data and find cost optimization opportunities. Leverage what cloud providers offer natively and augment it with third-party solutions to maximize savings.
Read more: Take a New Approach to IT Cost Management
Multicloud will reduce vendor lock-in
Multicloud strategies will reduce vendor dependency for two-thirds of organizations through 2024. However, this will primarily happen in ways other than application portability.
Application portability is the ability to migrate an application across platforms without change, and it is seen as benefit of a multicloud strategy. The reality of business practices, though, is that few applications ever move once they have been deployed in production and adopted by the business. The majority of multicloud strategies are more focused on procurement, functionality and risk mitigation than on portability.
CIOs looking to adopt a multicloud strategy should determine the specific issues that they want it to address, such as reducing vendor lock-in or mitigating service disruption risks. Understand that a multicloud strategy will not automatically solve application portability.
Insufficient cloud IaaS skills will delay migrations
Through 2022, insufficient cloud IaaS skills will delay half of enterprise IT organizations’ migration to the cloud by two years or more. Today’s cloud migration strategies tend more toward “lift-and-shift” than toward modernization or refactoring. However, lift-and-shift projects do not develop native-cloud skills. This is creating a market where service providers cannot train and certify people quickly enough to satisfy the need for skilled cloud professionals.
As consulting companies struggle to find a bench of talented people with relevant cloud skills, clients are falling short of their cloud adoption objectives. System integrators (SIs) are the fallback, but clients often do not trust them because many SIs are also still learning and struggle to scale their operations to meet demand.
To overcome the challenges of this workforce shortage, enterprises looking to migrate workloads to the cloud should work with managed service providers and SIs that have a proven track record of successful migrations within the target industry. These partners must also be willing to quantify and commit to expected costs and potential savings.
Distributed cloud will support expanded service availability
By 2023, the leading cloud service providers will have a distributed ATM-like presence to serve a subset of their services for low-latency application requirements. Many cloud service providers are already investing in ways to make their services available closer to the users that need to access them.
This trend will continue as the granularity of the regions covered by these cloud service providers increases. “Micro data centers” will be located in areas where a high population of users congregates, while “pop-up” cloud service points will support temporary requirements like sporting events and concerts.
Equipment supporting an appropriate subset of public cloud services will be housed in locations close enough to the point of need to support the low-latency requirements of the applications that use them. This will enable applications with such requirements to run directly from the cloud providers’ native services without having to build infrastructure. The introduction and spread of ATM-like cloud service points can be thought of as a specific implementation of edge computing, which continues to grow rapidly.
As the new decade begins, CIOs should consider how these trends will influence their cloud adoption and migration plans for years to come, taking steps now to prepare their IT infrastructure for the future of cloud.