Cloud is not a destination
Chief Technology & Strategy Officer, Kerv|Kerv
Published 03/11/22 under:
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A massive shift to the cloud
Over the last fifteen years we have witnessed a mass migration to the cloud. It has revolutionised the way we think about deploying and managing the IT applications that form the fabric of today’s businesses.
“We are missing the real advantage of cloud, which is the democratisation of technology”
So, it’s very tempting to think of cloud merely as a destination, where once you’re there, your work is done. After all, the advantages of moving workloads to the cloud are compelling, no problems with capex, hardware refresh cycles, air conditioning or power continuity. If there is a need to increase capacity, it is no longer a painful out-of-budget-experience.
But there are also a whole host of additional benefits that can be derived from a cloud environment. These include, letting the cloud provider manage operating systems, servers and utilisation. Then, the only worry is how much does it cost, because as the workload scales so does the bill.
The case for cloud is clear, it’s more cost-effective and highly flexible and frees up people resources to work on business improvement projects.
Cloud has levelled the playing field
That is all true, but by thinking about it in this way, we are missing the real advantage of cloud, which is the democratisation of technology. This completely changes the competitive landscape for smaller businesses.
No longer do organisations need to be enormous, to be able to get the absolute latest and greatest benefit of the new technology that is out there.
Before the widespread availability of cloud, only the largest organisations could afford the significant compute resources and specialist data scientists required to develop advanced applications. Now, even small companies can rent the resources they need for short periods. Smaller organisations are developing ground-breaking technology at a much faster pace than ever before, by harnessing the AI and machine learning capabilities of cloud platforms.
Cloud environments are also great at helping to drive innovation, indeed whole development communities have grown up around these platforms. They are developing the tools, services, APIs and integrations that allow organisations to more easily collaborate and drive even faster development of new ideas.
A platform for innovation
So, my advice is to stop thinking about workloads. Look instead for a platform approach. Consider the ecosystem your cloud provider offers and seek the additional benefits that their environment can bring. Collaboration and ease of integration should be the norm rather than the exception, once you are in the cloud these things get much easier.
However, adopting a platform approach needs to be considered carefully and is not a one size fits all strategy. You are typically committing to a single provider. So, if they have a bad day, you will have a bad day. Conversely, if you take a workload approach you can run your own virtual machines which can be deployed across several providers and significantly improve your resilience.
In a recent report, Accenture identifies that companies that embrace the cloud not just as a static destination, but as a future operating model, enjoy 1.2x-2.7x greater cost savings than those that simply migrate their application. Additionally, they are also 2-3x more likely to innovate.
“Stop thinking about workloads. Look instead for a platform approach”
Simply put, if you haven’t already moved your applications to the cloud, you should actively consider it. If you have already migrated, use the time that you have gained by handing off day to day tasks wisely. Explore all the advanced capabilities such as AI and machine learning, which cloud platforms have to offer. These cutting-edge technologies may be exactly what you need to drive innovation and competitive advantage for your business.