This is part two in a multi-part series introducing a framework for assessing multi-cloud use maturity. A comprehensive eBook on the framework can be found here. At the end of the blog, you’ll find a link to all other blogs in the series.
Cloud adoption paths
In assessing the maturity of an organization in this area, the organization should consider how broadly the practices below are being adopted across the entire organization. They should consider the average level of achieved competency (or proficiency) in these areas for any teams that are responsible for building or running business critical applications.
Typical areas of competency related to cloud adoption paths:
- Using a public cloud to backup up or support disaster recovery for production apps that currently run in the data center
- Using a public cloud to provide extra capacity for production apps that run in the data center
- Migrating production apps from the data center to a public cloud
- Refactoring production apps that were first migrated to a public cloud
- Building and deploying net new production apps on a public cloud
- Running one or more production apps where the app has been architected to have components deployed on two or more public clouds (a hybrid app)
- Leveraging two or more clouds to support the needs of a specific team (data center + one or more public clouds – OR – two or more public clouds)
Different paths solve different problems
Leveraging the cloud to support DR or application back-ups is often thought of as a fairly painless way to begin using the cloud. Assuming that the application architecture is amenable, another way to increase the functionality of applications that run in the data center is by leveraging the public cloud to provide capacity on demand.
In terms of developing a portfolio of apps that run in the cloud, last summer, Kit Colbert, CTO for VMware’s Cloud Platform Business Unit published a multi-part blog series titled “The Counterintuitively Fastest Path to App Modernization”. In that blog, Kit looked at application modernization through the lens of 5R strategies: Retire, Replace, Rehost, Re-platform and Refactor (and build new).
Apps running on the cloud are there because they either were 1) migrated to the cloud (rehost, re-platform) or 2) they were born in the cloud (built net new). For those apps that were migrated to the cloud they run “as is”; or were refactored where part or all of the app was re-written to conform with modern app principles.
From one cloud to n number of clouds
The practices discussed above, so far only require the use of a single cloud. Getting good at one cloud will definitely help increase fundamental capabilities that will help an organization tackle multi-cloud use. But while getting good on a single cloud is a great pre-requisite to the use of multiple clouds; you can’t really excel at multi-cloud use without actually being on more than one cloud.
Two of the practices in the list specifically look to at the question of whether teams (not the organization overall) are actually using multiple clouds. The first practice to consider is whether any teams have undertaken the development of apps that were specifically designed to run across two or more clouds (a hybrid app). The second practice considers whether any teams are already using two or more public clouds to support the apps in their portfolio.
There are a lot of different ways cloud adoption happens. While not every organization will need to leverage all of these practices, most organizations will need to develop competency across many of these areas. When you consider the full extent of your application portfolio, you’ll likely realize that you’re your organization is or will be doing many of these activities’ multiple times.
For those activities that you expect to be highly utilized, it’s in the organizations self-interest to build up strong competencies across the teams that rely on these processes. Building those competencies will in turn result in positive benefits such as continuously lowering the cost and risk of these activities as well as improving the quality of the software used to run the business.
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