Written by Special Contributor Katrine Ellingsen, Cloud Sales Specialist at VMware Canada.
Right now, cloud is everyone’s favourite boardroom buzzword — thanks in part to growing recognition among executives that cloud is the critical key to enabling a business to succeed in its broader strategy.
In my conversations with leaders, they tell me that they see cloud as a path to better IT alignment to business requirements, increased reliability and speed. Executives also see its potential to open the organization up to new functionality that delivers revenue growth opportunities and improves the customer experience.
Due to the investment in infrastructure that is required to continue to add new applications to the on-premise data centre as well as refresh aging infrastructure, the scalability of the public cloud environment seems especially attractive – you plan to use what is needed, when it’s needed.
While it’s great to see this enthusiasm from corporate Canada, several misconceptions also prevail in the cloud conversation. The most prevalent among them is that the business should indiscriminately move workloads to the public cloud, without considering the need to re-factor and re-architect applications.
Research from ESG estimates that it takes more than seven years to refactor and migrate 100 applications to the public cloud. In my experience, organizations simply don’t have this time to spare, and the investment required can be prohibitive.
This brings me to a further misconception – that of cost. It’s understandable that organizations find it difficult to consider the full cost picture because the impact of the cloud on the bottom line needs to be viewed from multiple angles. At VMware, we speak about cloud economics. This refers to both the economies of scale that come from moving to the cloud and the role that cloud can play in abstracting the location of computing resources.
In order to make cloud economics add up for your organization, consider these factors:
Right workloads + right environment = most benefit
Don’t make the mistake of adopting an all or nothing approach. Yes, the public cloud offers transformative benefits to your organization, but so does your existing on-premise data centre. You need a sophisticated cloud strategy that puts the right workloads in the right environment and makes everything work in perfect harmony. Through VMware Cloud on AWS, we bring VMware’s enterprise class Software-Defined Data Centre to the AWS Cloud. This allows you to run applications across VMware vSphere-based private, public and hybrid cloud environments – seamlessly.
Agility has a value, just as being slow to react has a cost
Today’s competitive environment doesn’t allow organizations the luxury of endless amounts of time to get their technology right. Unless the correct solution can be put in place quickly, projects slow down or grind to a halt, and frontline staff are left without the tools they need to support customers. With a hybrid cloud approach, and by adopting an application-based view where only suitable workloads are moved over to the public cloud, you are giving your business the flexibility it needs to respond to growth opportunities as they arise. This agility has a value that becomes especially evident when you consider the alternatives – the long lead time needed to expand the on-premise data centre, or the lag time involved in re-factoring applications for specific, native-cloud architectures, which may not ultimately be portable to other clouds should the business ever want to consider further migration.
There’s a cost for talent re-skilling – and a benefit of empowering your people
Consider the cost and time it has taken to hire and train your IT staff. Swapping your existing approach for the unfamiliar environment of a native cloud platform raises the prospect of retraining your people. With VMware Cloud on AWS, a key benefit is familiarity. It’s a simple, consistent common platform. What’s more, because we take care of the lifecycle updates to hardware and software, your team is freed up from low value maintenance work and can be empowered to apply their skills in the service of business strategy.