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The pandemic has ushered in the next era of enterprise cloud adoption. According to Gartner, spending on cloud services is estimated to reach $482 billion this year. The analyst firm also predicts that by 2026, cloud spending will represent over 45% of all enterprise IT spending.
No doubt, the increased focus on cloud has been accelerated due to the benefits it has been able to deliver in a period of uncertainty for many firms. These being, resiliency, scalability, flexibility and speed. Subsequently, we have seen how the changes in work and business environments have driven firms to adopt new cloud models to help them overcome unprecedented business challenges.
According to Nicholas Merizzi, a principal at consulting firm Deloitte, “Hybrid cloud is increasingly one of the most predominant architectures we are seeing across enterprises today. It provides organisations with flexibility to carve their own transformation path to cloud that aligns with their priorities.”
While organisations are beginning to see the potential benefits of a hybrid cloud approach, its adoption is a demanding project. There are many points of potential failure or possibilities for inefficiency.
Stuck between a rock and a hard place
If there is one lesson that CIOs have learned from the last two years, it’s that moving to the cloud is not a ‘nice to have’, but a must. However, this comes with the challenges of potential spiralling IT costs and unmanageable complexities. On average, organisations globally are 23% over budget for cloud spend.
The modern CIO is responsible for understanding these technology costs and bringing them under control. To do so, they need to be able to have a strategic view of change. This enables the speed and the ability to make real-time decisions based on reliable and consistent data.
For instance, CIO’s can be guided by an Enterprise Architecture (EA) team. By providing detailed planning and clear knowledge of the current and target states, the team can assist in driving a successful move to the cloud fast. This keeps costs low, and ensures minimal risk to data integrity and security.
Getting this last point right in particular is critical. Applications and technologies are highly interconnected, and the smooth flow of data is crucial. Data flows between business processes cannot be disrupted, even a small change in the architecture landscape can have serious ramifications.
This is especially true when we consider that all stakeholders, from customers to employees, expect an “always-on” business, so any period of downtime is a risk. It is estimated that a single hour of cloud downtime costs enterprises anywhere from US$1 million to over US$5 million. However, with careful planning and due diligence, applications and data can be transitioned smoothly.
Another way to bring these challenges under control is with technology roadmapping, which allows CIOs to understand how applications or datasets connect within an organisation. In the case of a cloud migration, knowing the interlinks between operations, tools and processes will be key to the success of the project.
Hybrid Cloud and Hybrid working
During the pandemic, CIOs found themselves having to implement cloud-based video conferencing tools, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, and cloud business productivity tools. This ensured that employees working from home could continue to communicate and collaborate as they did in the office.
But as restrictions were lifted, firms have moved from a remote working model to a hybrid one. Webex’s recent research shows that 77% of employees will embrace a flexible workstyle and 57% expect to be in the office 10 days or less each month.
With a hybrid working model here to stay, traditional set-ups are no longer sufficient to support the modern enterprise. Cloud solutions can ensure the continuation of efficient systems and collaboration, while offering greater benefits in areas such as maintenance, upgrades and subscription-based pricing.
The CIO’s challenge here is to smoothly transition to cloud solutions, without endangering services or data. What’s needed is complete visibility across an enterprise, in order to guide and de-risk this journey, unlocking its full potential. In turn, this can help deliver important business benefits such as giving a competitive edge, reducing operational costs and increasing the effectiveness of IT processes.
The bottom line
With most businesses now adopting hybrid work, the need for the right solutions to enable productivity and efficiency has never been more important. Hybrid cloud is no doubt a crucial step in this process, but adopting it successfully is not an easy path. CIOs need to be equipped with the right tools and visibility to ensure this process is smooth.
Get this part right, and the benefits are endless. Lower costs, greater efficiency and lower risks of failure are just some of the reasons organisations should adopt hybrid cloud today.