Right Cloud For The Right Workload Models
Cloud computing is a major technology trend that has drastically permeated the market over the last two years. It has emerged as a game-changing phenomenon with a wide array of benefits for businesses and consumers. As predicted, 2015 has been a defining year for cloud and has become an integral, perhaps even the most vital part of an enterprise’s IT Strategy. Next year too we will see enterprises realize a more fundamental understanding of cloud services. A new mature approach to cloud will emerge where IT will use a portfolio of cloud services with offerings optimized for each of the application workload types. For example, the cloud service used to support your SAP workload is different than the cloud service you will use to run your new customer loyalty mobile application.
To date, IT has largely been searching for a single cloud service to meet all its needs. This has always been an oversimplification of the technology. As we see cloud move from the deployment to execution stage it will become clear that there are four types of cloud services IT can choose from. Two are based on moving existing ‘second platform’ investments to the cloud and two are based on creating entirely new ‘third platform’ cloud services and infrastructures. The four types of cloud are:
1. On-premise second platform cloud
2. Hybridized off-premise second platform cloud
3. On-premise third platform cloud
4. Off-premise third platform cloud
It is likely that enterprises are going to have to adopt a cloud strategy that embraces all four types of cloud services. If they do not have a plan for all four they might find they are running workloads in the wrong cloud environment – whether that is from the perspective of economics, efficiency or regulatory compliance.
Any cloud strategy will also need to embrace cloud interworking. It will be incredibly important for applications to able to access data transparently and securely across the four different cloud platforms. And linked to this will be the degree to which applications can treat off-premise cloud resources in the same way they would on-premise resources. This is highly complex to achieve, but is now possible through the use of technologies like cloud gateways, cloud abstractions such as CloudFoundry and Virtustream xStream, software defined data replication, and advanced data encryption services.
As businesses move from simply building clouds to using them, it will become clear what the cloud is really about: facilitating the creation of business applications providing differentiated capability. In terms of the skills required, creating applications in the cloud is radically different to those IT teams currently have in place. This skills gap raises the very real possibility that cloud adoption could begin to slow.
Business cannot afford to let this situation develop any further. The ability to create cloud-native applications is quickly asserting itself as a key – if not the key – competitive differentiator for enterprises. In 2016 businesses need to recompose their ability to create software using the cloud tools of the future. This means re-training their IT teams or looking to third party developers to provide the necessary expertise.
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