The path to hybrid cloud that was already taking place in companies has accelerated dramatically due to the circumstances and uncertainty of recent years. But the speed of this transition has introduced challenges that may hinder your success.
Many organizations are realizing the need for certain sensitive applications and data to be kept in private or hybrid clouds to continue to have greater control over privacy, security, cost and performance. They are facing this “discovery” at the same time that they are already developing their migration plans towards the cloud. This has made cloud management more complex than expected.
In general, many organizations have realized that the costs could be higher than estimated at the beginning of this process, and have also realized that there is a shortage of skills in their IT departments to lead it successfully.
This challenge is faced by any company in the world in any sector. Therefore, when working with them, it is essential to acquire the client’s point of view, especially when beginning the arduous process of establishing the most appropriate strategy.
Looking at the concerns of top IT leaders from companies in different industries reveals that companies are in very different stages of this journey. While some have been running apps first developed in the 1960s for decades, others use a mix of modern apps with legacy apps.
At the other end of the scale are companies founded in the last few years that are already cloud-native and fully operating in the cloud. Although it would seem that they would have a lot of advantage, the reality is that all companies, old or modern, have points in common.
For example, they are all very aware that it is very difficult to move legacy applications to the cloud, and all, to a greater or lesser extent, have them. This challenge becomes especially difficult for organizations that use legacy applications for business testing, ensuring process compliance, or documenting their activity.
They all want the solution to be a simple and agile data center with a modern cloud operations model, but if done without taking the necessary precautions, it can happen that, in the process, different parts of the organization move to different parts of the organization. different rhythms and in a different way for a long time. For example, business applications are more likely to move more smoothly and quickly to hybrid cloud due to the adoption of SaaS applications than other more specific applications, which will face more complications. This issue is shared by most companies, very diverse and from any sector.
The flexibility of hybrid cloud models enables organizations to break down data silos at work
For example, a company that develops parts for the aircraft industry has to document every test during the development process. Normally you will have information stored for years with certain tools and processes that have to be changed. Considering that in that industry a single engineer can produce a terabyte of test data per day, the challenge they face is enormous. There will be data that due to regulation must be kept for decades because in the aeronautical industry, once the product is launched, it is monitored and adjusted in flight for 20 or 30 years. This gives a measure of the amount of information accumulated in different ways and with different tools that such a company can possess. Something similar happens with the pharmaceutical industry, because the development of a new drug can take 10 years to happen and, during that entire process, each test that is carried out must be documented and stored internally for legal reasons.
The cloud is not the destination
However, the cloud is not the end in itself for most companies, but rather the means to a solution: a simple, agile and modern data center. With this, they want to activate tailored services for their customers taking into account old data and legacy applications while serving as a platform for developing new cloud applications for the future. This is evidence that for most organizations, the ideal model is a hybrid cloud platform that supports multiple clouds.
In addition to their functionality, the flexibility of these hybrid cloud models allows organizations to break down data silos at work. Silos can hinder projects and lengthen the duration of implementations. For example, a network team that doesn’t talk to the server, storage, or security team creates a disjointed architecture that can be very disruptive to operations.
It’s important to have a single set of tools that allows you to use any combination of cloud or on-premises applications that’s right for your business. Once the silos between teams are broken down internally, the new goal is to avoid creating new silos between cloud providers.
a modern future
After all, the modernization process of any organization requires a strategy that is already being applied in all sectors. This is causing companies in industries that in principle are remote from the IT sector are beginning to redefine themselves. Today, a classic company focused on offering any product or service is inevitably also a software company.
We have seen an explosion of “first-party” applications as an increasing number of organizations are pushing the development of their data-centric applications. Since the main innovation engine for companies goes through these applications, it is very likely that the number of business applications created in the next five years will exceed that of the last 40.
As is known, this process is arduous and requires time, but the results, which are seen throughout the process, are tremendously positive. Ultimately, since modernizing an organization’s applications can take decades, the best digital approach involves bridging the gap between the legacy and the new. And the best way forward is to design an agile hybrid cloud model that allows you to simplify, automate and consolidate the resilient, versatile and affordable data center.
By Valentín Pinuaga, CEO of Hitachi Vantara
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism