In a digital organization, technology rules. Once considered suppliers to organizations, information technology (IT) leaders are now shaping corporate strategy and directing investments that will enable companies to compete and grow.
However, with great power comes great responsibility. The most effective technology investments will enable companies to meet their goals for agility, productivity, customer experience, innovation, and shareholder value. Unsuitable investments will mean costly mistakes and more technology debt, which will not bode well for companies or IT leaders.
Furthermore, businesses will not wait for IT organizations to make the right decisions. Line-ofbusiness employees feel increasingly empowered to procure the technology solutions they need to get their jobs done, especially for easy-to-procure Software-as-a-Service applications. Those shadow IT purchases may provide short-term functional benefits but increase businesses’ overall costs and risks.
Unfortunately, mistakes and misjudgments are rampant, particularly when implementing a cloud strategy, the foundation for digital transformation.
- Approximately 62% of IT leaders surveyed by Frost & Sullivan say they have lost the stakeholders’ support because their hybrid cloud implementation failed to meet expectations.1
- The same percentage (62%) says their cloud strategy implementation budget was cut when the cost of early deployments was more than expected.
- Nearly 60% of all organizations say they have moved at least one workload back to their on-premises data center from the public cloud. This wastes time and money.
The source of the problems lies in how companies design and implement their strategies. To ensure smooth implementation, IT leaders should collaborate with finance and line-of-business colleagues, clearly identify goals and success metrics, and let the application — not the infrastructure — dictate optimal placement. This will help them build the foundation of a successful digital organization.
Five considerations or ensure the success of your hybrid or multicloud strategy
Companies must consider 5 critical elements that will determine the success or failure of their hybrid or multicloud strategy:
- Work incrementally: A successful cloud journey is a continuous process. Create and execute a hybrid roadmap (either on your own or with the help of a partner) that allows you to prioritize workload deployments and migrations to improve end-to-end performance. Set goals, measure results, and share early wins to maintain momentum.
- Think like a business owner: A hybrid cloud is a major investment. Build a business case that accurately assesses capital and operating cost options for running a workload on-premises versus in a private or public cloud. If your company prefers flexible operating expenses instead of more rigid capital expenses, keep in mind that the right service partner can manage your on-premises infrastructure (and any cloud) as a service.
- Manage workloads to achieve business outcomes: To understand their goals, collaborate with business application owners who rely on applications or data to do their jobs. Then perform a complete workload analysis—on your own or with an expert—to match applications with optimal deployment models to best meet those goals.
- Include private cloud options: A private cloud (hosted or on-premises) gives you the benefits of the public cloud—including flexibility, scalability, and ease of deployment—on dedicated hardware. The ability to secure and control certain sensitive or critical applications may be important to your cloud strategy. A partner can help you secure and maintain dedicated servers and storage as needed.
- Bring in an expert: Designing and implementing your hybrid cloud is too complex and urgent to expect your team to do it on their own. In fact, 57% of IT leaders say they have insufficient expertise to implement their organizations’ digital transformation strategies. Thus, IT leaders are increasingly choosing to partner with experienced experts.
How can partners support hybrid and multicloud initiatives?
Choosing a partner
When making a selection, you should seek a partner that has a strong understanding of several infrastructures, hybrid and multicloud management platforms. Your digital business (and your reputation) depends on your partner’s recommendations, so you need solid reasons to trust them.
Look for a trustworthy partner that offers the following support:
- Manages and optimizes your existing investments and ensure the best use of onpremises, private, and public cloud environments to achieve your business objectives
- Aligns strategies to your business goals and identifies specific measures of success for each step
- Extends the cloud strategy to workload development and management processes, including DevOps
- Respects your own company culture, helping you gain the support of the chief financial officer and other stakeholders by laying out the strategy in relevant terms
- Uses repeatable processes and proven factory transformation approaches with a 99%+ success rate
Your cloud strategy is the foundation of your digital business. Done right, the cloud strategy ensures your applications run smoothly and consistently, your data remains available and secure, and your business has the flexible building blocks it needs to be competitive. Done wrong or haphazardly, the cloud strategy can drive up costs and keep your business from achieving its digital transformation goals. For IT leaders, the stakes could not be higher.
However, with the right partner, IT leaders can build and execute the optimal cloud strategy that will support business success well into the future.