Cloud is an operating model, not a destination

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The cloud is not a destination, but rather a series of operating models, according to cloud experts addressing a webinar hosted by VMware, in partnership with Strategix Technology Solutions and ITWeb this week.

Enterprises were most likely to adopt hybrid cloud models, they said. A poll of webinar participants underlined this, finding that 84% said private cloud with hybrid public cloud was their ideal cloud strategy.

Sumeeth Singh, SSA Cloud Provider Manager at VMware, said that while consumer expectations were driving the scaling of applications at an unprecedented rate, legacy applications would remain in place for the foreseeable future. 

“The need for millions of new applications, most of them being developed with some form of cloud native container-based technology, is driving cloud adoption. So, if 95% of new apps will be container based, why are we still running legacy systems of record applications? This is because these are often crucial for business and require a robust, resilient and secure platform, and cloud native applications will leverage the existing application footprint."

This is where complexity emerges, he said. "Organisations still need to spend time and resources managing the legacy applications, while also developing new applications in the cloud. In addition, not everything will reside in one cloud – organisations will consume from multiple hyperscalers as well as maintaining a predominantly private cloud footprint.”

Singh noted that with the cloud migration organisations faced challenges such as incompatible non-interoperable stacks, cross site networking and security issues, application dependency mapping delays and business disruption. Concerns about government regulation/data sovereignty, industry regulation/compliance and latency considerations, security, cost, platform reliability and application performance were also among the factors influencing workload placement, he said.

If 95% of new apps will be container based, why are we still running legacy systems of record applications?

Sumeeth Singh, VMware

The journey has to start with organisations asking why they are doing this, he said. “Is It about taking your business to the cloud, or about bringing the cloud to your business?”

Steve Dalgarno, MD of  Strategix Technology Solutions, said: “Cloud is an operating model that requires constant review.” 

The cloud journey needed to include mapping and understanding dependencies in the environment, strategic decisions on which applications and processes should remain on premise, and a roadmap on which should move to cloud, Delgado said. There should also be below the line transformation across the enterprise in areas such as finance, marketing, sales, IT, DevSecOps, security and networking.

“There are many factors contributing to success or failure, and many organisations fail in their first attempt at cloud migrations,” he said.

Many companies were not on a journey to become fully digital enterprises at this stage, the panel said. Depending on their level of maturity, many businesses were now looking to virtualisation, some levels of automation, IaaS or PaaS, while others had goals of becoming fully transformed digital enterprises.

Liezl Van Staden, sales manager at Strategix Technology Solutions, said: “In South Africa today, we see customers looking to optimise what they currently have, before they incur additional costs.”

Van Staden said infrastructure optimisation and digital transformation had to be approached strategically.

“It’s very important to have the end goal in mind and then work backwards. As a VMware certified partner, we assist customers in assessing their business outcomes, and take them from as-is to desired end state using the Strategix Cloud Blueprint. However, there is no one road leading to success, because every business has different needs and goals. Our methodology starts with identifying and assessing, then we consult and advise, design and plan, migrate and integrate, secure and protect, and finally wrap the environment with managed services. In cases where there are multi-cloud environments clashing and adding complexity, VMware’s approach can help at any stage – wherever your business is at any given moment. Our goal is to reduce the effort it takes to deliver multi-cloud to your organisation, coupled with intrinsic security."

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