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Ten cloud opportunities you may not have fully exploited

Rens Huizenga

For years, enterprises have pursued radical increases in agility, resilience, and efficiency through the cloud model. But all too often, their vision is obscured by the complexity of cloud transformation.

This four-part series gives you fresh insights into how to plan and execute cloud transformation for maximum business value and minimal cost, risk, and disruption.

We’ll start with a closer look at how to identify new opportunities to accelerate innovation, revitalize your internal processes, and take greater advantage of the cloud model.

Then we’ll discuss common mistakes companies make as they set their cloud transformation strategies.

Third, we’ll examine the keys to success in cloud transformation – what needs to be in place to avoid the potholes on the road to the cloud model.

And finally, we’ll summarize our core beliefs about cloud transformation, which we hope will provide some guidance as you prepare your next steps.

Of course you’re already using the cloud. More than 96% of enterprises have moved workloads to the cloud; 92% even have a multi-cloud strategy.[1]But are you extracting full value? Are you looking beyond the obvious CapEx/OpEx swaps? Are you looking beyond low-hanging fruit such as cloud backup and app migration? Here are a few opportunities you may not have taken full advantage of – yet.

#1: Making infrastructure disappear

When you harness the cloud, you don’t need to worry about where things run; they just run. You don’t need to worry about scaling for spikes in demand; you just scale. And when you move to cloud-based Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), your infrastructure just disappears. The resources you need are right there, but you don’t see them. There is no physical data center; there are no servers, storage systems, or switches to buy, operate, and maintain.

That means you can focus on business instead of infrastructure. You can innovate rather than worry about resource allocation. You can get developers the tools and services they need, when they need them, so they can create better products and services sooner – and deliver immersive experiences for customers and employees. And you can save a ton of money.

#2: Using DRaaS to ward off ransomware threats

Ransomware attacks continue to surge around the world, and companies continue to pay attackers. Unless they have a Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) solution, that is. Cloud-based DRaaS ensures that your business can get back online quickly in the event of a disaster – with all data available and no data compromised, lost, or stolen. That’s because when you have a standby site in the cloud for DR, failover is quick, easy, and complete. There is no villain to pay off, and no need to worry about the next attack.

#3: Diving deeper into big data analytics

Why let big data powerhouses such as Amazon and Facebook have all the fun collecting and analyzing every aspect of consumer trends? The cloud model enables every enterprise – including yours – to collect and understand big data to make decisions on sales, marketing, R&D, and more. Cloud technology isn’t limited to storing and hosting data; it allows you to take advantage of AI-augmented analytics, machine learning, and cognitive computing to drill deeper into data and extract more meaningful and relevant insights. Ask us for examples of how our clients are doing just that.

#4: Building a governance model for DevOps

You’ve probably considered moving DevOps to the cloud, since cloud is the ultimate destination for applications. But DevOps is more than a technology movement. It is a holistic culture and practice that demands a governance model, skills, and ways of working that differ radically from those associated with waterfall development. By building a DevOps governance model in the cloud, IT leaders can facilitate the adoption of a true DevOps culture. And that means you can help the DevOps team embrace rather than fight baseline DevOps best practices. Ask us how to set up cloud-native DevOps governance. We’ll give you all the details and fresh insights.

#5: Boosting performance and security with SD-WAN

By 2024, 60% of enterprises will have implemented cloud-native software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WAN), compared with about 30% in 2020, according to Gartner.[2] That’s because SD-WAN users don’t always have to connect to the corporate VPN to get the experience they expect from enterprise apps. SD-WAN solutions harness the cloud to emerged to resolve the issue of bogged down networking due to cloud applications, and it integrates with your existing network solution to speed up your connectivity, addressing a major issue that is underrated.

#6: Moving to continuous Testing and Development

The flexibility of the cloud allows for environments to be built up, tested, and torn down quickly. There is no need to wait months for the provisioning of a new environment, because the cloud can be spun up in a matter of minutes. The accessibility of the cloud means that your business is more efficient, and time-to-market for new developments can be slashed.

#7: Accelerating innovation with managed Kubernetes

You know containerization solutions such as Kubernetes can help your enterprise simplify development, testing, and deployment. But do you know how to leverage the cloud to accelerate Kubernetes adoption? By selecting a managed service option from a PaaS or cloud service provider, you can focus

on functional applications without worrying about infrastructure components.

You don’t have to run orchestration on your own – no more dealing with storage, complex clustering, networking of nodes and pods, scaling, load balancing, and scheduling. Managed platforms also provide different application-deployment and orchestration scenarios, including cloud-native development, containerization with orchestration, simplified deployment and management of microservices, and a well-defined DevSecOps pipeline using different tool chains.

#8: Implementing VDI/Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS)

With mobile and remote workforces growing, virtual desktops and Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) have emerged as a way for IT departments to standardize security and content access across devices. With cloud-based VDI and DaaS management, you can get better visibility into the desktop environment, cut the complexity of managing the environment, see trouble coming and ward it off, and help curb the effects of a disaster.

#9: Adopting PaaS-based Digital SIAM for service excellence

Digital SIAM (Service Integration and Management) accelerates the transformation of your customer experience by creating an integrated supplier model. By selecting a cloud-based Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution for Digital SIAM, you can deliver superior service quality, because you can create a single line of sight and one version of the truth across your entire supply chain – and manage the whole environment centrally.

#10: Using microservices to radically improve developer agility

Microservices decompose an application into groups of smaller services that are cloud-hosted. This makes the application easier to build, scale, integrate, test, upgrade. It also enables parallel development among small autonomous teams, so they can develop and deploy their respective services independently. Bottom line: microservices facilitate continuous integration and constant innovation, so more great ideas can move from the drawing board into production faster.

Next up in our blog series on cloud transformation: common mistakes companies make on their cloud journeys. Stay tuned.

[1] Source: Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud report.

[2] Gartner Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure, September 2020.