How to overcome the final barriers to multi-cloud success

Optimum results depend on an agile methodology to guide application reforming, cloud environment preparation, and automating application requests.

How to overcome the final barriers to multi-cloud success

Optimum results depend on an agile methodology to guide application reforming, cloud environment preparation, and automating application requests.

Dushan Ratnam
Dushan RatnamSenior Product Manager, Hybrid Cloud

It’s a well-known fact that most organisations have moved their operations to a multi-cloud environment, so does this mean cloud migration issues are a thing of the past?

Although most enterprises use at least two clouds, including public and private cloud services, are they all getting optimum results?

Clearly, organisations are still struggling to get all their applications to run natively in the cloud. For many, especially with their smaller projects, performance is like buying a sports car, but only being able to drive it at 30mph any time. They still have a long way to realising maximum cloud maturity.

Here are three distinct issues holding organisations back from unlocking the benefits of multi-clouds:

1. Challenges in reforming legacy applications

Many organisations have had their quick cloud transformation wins and are now tackling the heavy lifting of more complex migrations.

They’ve done the straightforward ‘lifting and shifting’ of some legacy applications. They have also done the more challenging ‘lift, tinker and shift’ of making minor changes to other applications before migrating them to the cloud.

They’ve weeded out and retired any applications that aren’t needed anymore. In some cases, they’ve made the straightforward decision that an application isn’t viable for the cloud and needs a ‘drop and shop’ approach – where a replacement service is bought directly from a cloud provider. Most organisations have probably left a few applications on the back burner to wait for a later migration stage.

That leaves the legacy applications that would require a significant rebuild to run natively in the cloud.

These huge applications require reshaping radically, and organisations are discovering they don’t have the skills to do it. They don’t have the necessary detailed understanding of public cloud or of how to transform the applications to maximise cloud benefits. Refactoring these applications demands intricate levels of planning and strategising.

2. Failure to prepare for arrival in the cloud

Organisations are struggling to prepare their cloud environments for the migration of their applications, and to achieve the speed, consistency, and secure environment they’re looking for.

Moving to the cloud is like a newly built house – the utilities need to be connected, and the home must be furnished and made comfortable before you can move in.

Similarly, you must test and prepare your cloud environment to create a ‘landing zone’ or ‘migration factory’ before your applications can be moved. This involves lots of decision-making to define and standardise how the application will support your business strategy, security and compliance requirements, backup frequency, monitoring systems, access control, and other things. Only then will you be able to welcome your application through your cloud’s front door.

3. Hold-ups to operating in the cloud

Moving to the cloud should increase flexibility and agility – so why does requesting a cloud service from a global organisation’s IT department take three weeks on average?

I think it’s because traditional Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) waterfall decision-making is still in place. It’s designed to protect the system as a whole with a process that doesn’t move onto the next stage before the current one has been signed off.

But organisations don’t have to operate like that in the cloud. Instead, they can bring in automation to fulfil requests within minutes. However, this takes a complete change of mindset and a new approach to service delivery.

Organisations must change their mindset across all enterprise levels to achieve speed, innovation and agility.

At a strategic level, they should look at breaking down historic silos and retraining their infrastructure teams to converge development, network, security, and operations into a single team.

At a technology level, they should invest in multi-cloud management platforms which can operate across multiple cloud infrastructures.

From a customer experience level, they should start building outcome-based, customer-facing teams that focus on an experience-level agreement (instead of a service-level agreement), persona-based support, and a self-service infrastructure.

Use our blueprint to overcome your cloud optimisation barriers

You’ll see the maximum benefits of the cloud, only when you can refactor the remaining applications after you’ve achieved the easy cloud migration wins. At that point, your costs will go down, and you’ll be able to scale rapidly and go to market fast. But this must be supported by the right operating environment and automation.