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Navigating the modernization minefield

September 22, 2021CloudInsights and Outlooks

As we emerge from the pandemic, business leaders are shifting priorities away from business continuity towards business recovery.

Cloud has been instrumental in steering business through the process of recovery and organizations are examining the new reality and adapting their operating models accordingly.

With this in mind, the fourth and final part of Aptum’s 2021 Global Cloud Impact Study – The Modernization Minefield – examines different workloads, and infrastructure environments, to reveal how organizations can ensure their paths to modernization and recovery are fruitful.

Cloud versus on-premises?

According to Forrester Research, the global public cloud infrastructure market will grow 35 percent to $120 billion in 2021. Yet, a considerable number of workloads remain in on-premises environments, with respondents stating on-premises was the preferred hosting option for seven out of nine application categories – Development, Operations, Human Resources, Customer Relationship Management, Bespoke Applications, Employee Productivity Applications, Websites, Disaster Recovery, and Backup.

Despite the prominence of cloud giants like AWS, Microsoft and Google, there are several use cases for the on-premise hosting of workloads, besides maximizing ROI on legacy technology, like faster data processing speeds. But despite the continued utilization of on-premises hosting, respondents want to accelerate the deployment of workloads in cloud environments, with only 39 percent being satisfied with their current rate of cloud transformation.

What are the barriers to modernization?

Respondents cite refactoring legacy applications as one of the top barriers to cloud transformation (35 percent), second only to security and compliance. Often this can be attributed to a lack of planning. Many organizations migrate pre-existing architectures to the cloud and run them unchanged in a virtual environment. This ‘lift and shift’ approach is assumed by some to reduce costs. In reality, it can fail to unlock all the benefits of cloud environments.

To see efficient, agile, and profitable results, it is essential for organizations to refactor applications where appropriate, otherwise, organizations run the risk of making costs more unpredictable.

The DevOps gap

One way organizations can unlock their cloud potential is through DevOps and container services. DevOps and container services can massively improve the agility and adaptability of a business, by speeding up application deployment times, improving productivity, and minimizing production costs. Unlike integrating code in a traditional software development environment, DevOps automates many of these processes which reduces the risk of human error. But despite the clear benefits, deployment of DevOps and container services remains surprisingly low.

Managing infrastructure from a DevOps perspective requires a diverse skill set. Of the respondents, a lack of expertise was a problem for 26 percent transforming their IT for the cloud. DevOps engineers focus on the consolidation of the whole software development life cycle (SDLC). As such, they need to possess well-rounded expertise across virtualization, virtual machines, infrastructure, cloud, coding, containers, and CI (continuous integration) and CD (continuous development).

Hybrid Modernization

Despite higher-than-expected levels of on-premises hosting, survey respondents know the value of DevOps and container services in the modernization process. Those who plan on investing in DevOps anticipate increased operational efficiency (77 percent), improved responsiveness (59 percent), and improved customer experience (58 percent).

To realize those drivers behind DevOps adoption, business objectives should be kept front of mind. To avoid investing in ineffective tools, businesses should rely on seasoned expertise and partnerships, to discern how to use new technologies. Sixty-nine percent of respondents who want to accelerate their cloud deployments realize they need help, which is crucial.

Therefore, it is important to work with a partner to help an organization align their goals, budgets, and technologies, and to determine what workloads would be most appropriate to move to the cloud and when as part of a gradual hybrid modernization strategy. Wherever organizations host their workloads, they need to be in the right location for the right reasons.

Read the full findings from the fourth and final part of 2021 Aptum’s Cloud Impact Study – The Modernization Minefield.

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