The promise of cloud continues to command the attention of every organisation we speak to. And this enthusiasm is echoed in industry research, as 90% of large enterprises and SMBs increased their planned use of cloud last year. By 2025, 65% of infrastructure strategies will combine on-premises, co-location, cloud and edge delivery options, up from 20% in 2020.
But what’s the best route to cloud? Where can the key advantages be found?
Being cloud-first doesn’t mean moving everything to cloud. In its simplest terms, it means you should consider cloud solutions before, not above, other options when developing new products & services or optimising existing IT spend.
Cloud-first is a measured strategy and one that will deliver the most benefits.
The concept of cloud-first has been around for quite some time, but the game has changed. And with so much talk about the move to cloud, here are the three crucial keys to a successful hybrid cloud strategy that you need to know about in 2022.
Don’t jeopardise your data resilience
Research shows that 80% of organizations surveyed in 2022 have a hybrid cloud strategy yet 72% of these struggle with managing multi-cloud and integrating their data between multiple clouds.
Data is a top struggle for organisations, as it spreads somewhat freely across clouds. And this spread increases your attack surface, exposing an organization to modern cyber risks. You need to ensure you have the appropriate cloud security controls in place to protect and recover your sensitive information.
First and foremost, make sure your business fully evaluates the risks and rewards of integrating data between multiple clouds.
Your data management strategy needs to define where data is stored, who has access to it and how you're protecting it. This is key in adopting hybrid cloud confidently and defending against the proliferation of new generation threats, such as those targeting backups with ransomware attacks.
And when your business has a smaller attack surface, it means you’re in a more defensible position.
But there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. We can help you understand and define the right hybrid cloud security route for your business, with backup, disaster recovery and data protection solutions from partners like Veeam, Rubrik and Druva.
Get the governance right
While digital transformation grabs all the headlines, it’s at the fundamental level where many deployments can fail. In short, you need the foundations in place before you can build your fortress.
A recent study shows that 32% of cloud spend is wasted, with 83% of businesses struggling with a lack of skills and expertise.
It’s vital that you have the right procurement mechanism in place. That includes all the software you’ll need to run on your infrastructure, as well as the ways you’ll connect your locations and users.
Plus, there’s the support requirement, to ensure you continually manage the cost and security baseline of cloud.
Without these foundations, nothing else will make sense. There are key partners in this space; AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, which allow you to deliver the necessary solutions across public cloud.
Transformation follows migration
Many businesses plan to embark on a cloud journey that begins with SaaS, then moves through PaaS and approaches IaaS in the final stages. While this is a well-recognised hybrid cloud strategy, it’s not always the commercially-viable reality that it appears to be.
In our experience, SaaS is used to rip out and replace a traditional business process, along with all the technology that comes with it. PaaS, and particularly serverless technology, is used for net new workloads where it makes commercial sense. Then PaaS and IaaS are combined, usually as databases and VMs, to transform workloads after a migration.
Going cloud-native for net new is relatively straightforward, with skills being the main hurdle. However, refactoring legacy applications is often far more complex. That’s why many Softcat customers begin by focusing on migration as a steppingstone from hybrid cloud to a more permanent transformation.
To ensure a smooth transition, some of our key partners are DSP, Expert Thinking and Xynomix. These provide software automation, application containerisation and database transformation.
A few closing thoughts: data, data, data
Your data is the force that flows freely between platforms in a hybrid cloud environment. It’s also the lifeblood of your organisation, so ensure you have mechanisms in place to secure and protect it.
Never overlook the need to govern what is a complex procurement relationship, either, and always consider how you can streamline your software consumption through services like Marketplace.
Above all, cloud-first doesn’t always mean cloud best. So, make sure you consider cloud solutions in the wider context of your business, its objectives and its environment.
There’s no doubt that cloud can be ideal for your net new projects, but moving everything to cloud rarely happens, and it’s rarely a good idea to move everything in one go.