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Unlock deeper business transformation with hybrid cloud

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Hybrid cloud is the new reality for enterprises. The question for enterprises today is how to move from mere adoption of hybrid cloud to a way to truly unlock transformative business value. This was at the center of a “fireside” chat discussion between John Granger, senior vice president of consulting at IBM, and Ted Schadler, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research.

Together with Aparna Sharma, Managing Partner for Hybrid Cloud Transformation at IBM Consulting, they tackled this problem and provided guidance to companies looking to move from simply adopting the cloud to unlocking greater business value from the hybrid cloud. provided practical advice along with key steps.

“Almost 97% of organizations operate in multiple clouds,” Sharma said in his opening remarks. “The pandemic has accelerated the hybrid move to the cloud, creating an opportunity for many companies to go digital. It meant that it was mixed with

Architecture challenges

Following the rush to add additional workloads to the cloud, we created the “frankencloud” approach of using multiple cloud platforms, which led to complexity and lack of interoperability.

“The problem is not just the myriad of cloud assets themselves, but also the lack of consistent structure,” said Granger. “It’s like building a car, with random sets of parts scattered all over the garage floor. It’s nowhere near driving a car out of the garage.”

To help companies overcome this challenge, Granger suggests three key actions. The first is moving from many clouds to a single hybrid he cloud platform. This provides streamlined service provisioning through the marketplace for cloud services. Second, design your architecture from a client-centric perspective to make sure your platform is convenient, intuitive, and people will use it. Third, ensure that your architecture works in line with your business transformation agenda.

“Once these three things are done, enterprises are well on their way to moving beyond pure cloud adoption and mastering this hybrid cloud reality,” Granger added.

Talent and operational challenges

The “frankencloud” approach can also create complications with regard to people and skills.

“From a people perspective, we have to scale up differently,” says Schadler. “Previously, we had siled expertise and a siled operating model. We need a system that can benefit from interoperability between them.”

These skills aren’t exactly new, but the demand is reflected in the huge number of job openings for some kind of cloud skill right now. One of his opportunities to make the most of talent is in the way companies organize hybrid talent.

“One model we frequently see and recommend is the Center of Excellence, which consists of multiple subject matter experts, people with different cloud expertise deployed, and domain skill set sets. Be it AppDev, security or cloud operations,” added Schadler.

A Center of Excellence enables CIOs, as technology executives, to bring all moving parts together into a coherent whole. This creates a unity that makes it easier for businesses to engage, easier to hire and skill, and easier to partner with. We are working towards a more tightly integrated hybrid cloud structure.

financial challenges

The economic impact of building clouds on clouds has not been ideal for businesses.

“Companies manage their cloud costs in isolation, but they need a single view of those costs,” says Granger.

An IBM survey found that 81% of executives say they’re struggling with cloud costs, and it’s easy to see why. In the early stages of moving to the cloud, significant savings were expected, but in many cases the costs actually rise when additional, unexpected costs are incurred for the enterprise.

Mastering hybrid cloud is about truly managing all your cloud costs in one view, optimizing costs, and seizing opportunities to reallocate resources.

“We also encourage companies to build FinOps capabilities — finance and procurement practices that help control costs,” says Granger. “To understand end-to-end how services are being consumed across the enterprise, to enable the enterprise to make decisions, to understand the costs, and to understand the costs to overcome. that is very important.”

security challenge

With new cyberattacks in the news almost daily, it’s no surprise that security is a top priority for organizations today. As companies expand their cloud estates, the number of locations where potential security risks exist increases significantly.

“The number of security challenges is huge,” said Schadler. “Whether you are in a regulated industry or not, you earn trust, which is very important to maintain. We have customers with expectations that are very important to maintain. A threat is coming.”

Therefore, building a bulwark against threats is very important. Companies cannot do it piecemeal. We need a unified approach.

“Being proficient requires a unified understanding of where you are in the process and how to mitigate that risk. We monitor and monitor where it’s going south,” added Schadler.

Creating a cross-cloud security model is critical to ensuring secure connectivity and safe use of both data permissions and protections across hybrid cloud estates. That way, companies can decouple the foundation and infrastructure from actually building new business value on top of it.

Partner Ecosystem Challenge

Another potential challenge to an enterprise’s hybrid cloud journey is the diverse cast of ecosystem players that can seem overwhelming. However, according to an IBM survey, 88% of executives believe ecosystem collaboration is critical to successful multicloud management.

“The default option is to manage contracts and relationships with those partners,” said Granger. “But to master the hybrid he cloud, we need to bring all these partners together into a voluntary multilateral ecosystem.

“A key recommendation we have is to create what we call the Captain’s Table, which is a very clear line-up of each of these ecosystem partners to help our customers move forward. It’s what you bring around the table,” added Granger. “It creates value for our ecosystem partners because they are not only articulating what you as a client want and where the opportunities are, but also for the benefit. Because you can be very clear about how you’re facilitating collaboration between those ecosystem partners to what you’re trying to achieve.

“This is really a team effort,” added Sharma. “It takes an entire village to make this change, but it is critically important if we are to be successful through this orchestration and collaboration.”