The reality is that for many businesses the cloud has already yielded great value, from cost savings, greater agility and being able to get to market quicker. For other businesses migrating their processes, systems and data to private, public or hybrid cloud is inevitable.
This is certainly the long-term outlook; over the next 10 years most workloads will make that move to cloud.
But what about in the meantime? How can businesses still extract value from their current hosting models and optimise their investment in existing technology?
Look at colocation as an example; it is an ideal way to begin the cloud journey, staging the approach until the business is ready to migrate. Organisations can take advantage of the lower costs and improved security, with their datacentre provider supplying connectivity and power requirements. The right provider can even deliver dynamic connectivity to cloud fabric to accelerate the journey to cloud.
Increasingly businesses are turning more towards hybrid hosting environments because it enables them to leverage their current investment in existing hosting methods, while also being able to take advantage of newer options, such as public cloud. This is especially true when assessing the maturity of cloud adoption in relation to business change.
Some organisations need a slow progression to public cloud and similarly there is a limit to how much they can use. As a result, a hybrid approach will add more value. Many businesses have hybrid environments already, making use of cloud in some form, be it a SaaS application or Microsoft Office 365; on-premises hosting and colocation.
To begin this journey, organisations should consider a cloud readiness assessment to help analyse their entire IT estate to determine which systems, processes and applications are best suited to migration.
This can also help answer three key questions: First, why does the business want to move? What are the technical and business goals, and are they aligned? The second question is how are they going to move? Consider the impact this will have on infrastructure, staff, processes, and business overall. And finally, when will this happen? Will they evolve at their own pace, using a hybrid approach; or transform completely?
There’s little doubt that cloud can deliver value to business, whether that’s immediately, in the longer term, or in the form of public, private or a hybrid model. The most important thing to consider is that each organisation is different, as are their requirements and objectives. As such, it’s up to them and (preferably) a vendor-agnostic cloud partner to develop the best roadmap to enable them to reach those goals.