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Why CIOs should approach cloud differently in 2020

By , ITWeb
Africa , 27 Jan 2020

Why CIOs should approach cloud differently in 2020

In 2020 CIOs should adopt a different approach to the cloud and develop a formal strategy that links individual decisions with enterprise goals, according to Gartner.

The company says cloud continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments of IT spend and in the new era of cloud, cost optimisation will be crucial.

This is one of four factors Gartner believes will impact cloud adoption this year.

"Through 2024, nearly all legacy applications migrated to public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) will require optimisation to become more cost-effective. Cloud providers will continue to strengthen their native optimisation capabilities to help organisations select the most cost-effective architecture that can deliver the required performance. The market for third-party cost optimisation tools will also expand, particularly in multi-cloud environments. Their value will concentrate on higher-quality analytics that can maximise savings without compromising performance, provide independence from cloud providers and offer multi-cloud management consistency," the company states.

Gartner's advice to CIOs is to develop skills and processes early, and use tools to analyse operational data and find cost optimisation opportunities.

"Leverage what cloud providers offer natively and augment it with third-party solutions to maximise savings."

Another factor listed by the company is that multi-cloud will reduce vendor lock-in.

Gartner claims that multi-cloud strategies will reduce vendor dependency for two-thirds of organisations through 2024 – but this will happen in ways other than application portability.

"Application portability is the ability to migrate an application across platforms without change, and it is seen as benefit of a multi-cloud strategy. The reality of business practices, though, is that few applications ever move once they have been deployed in production and adopted by the business. The majority of multi-cloud strategies are more focused on procurement, functionality and risk mitigation than on portability. CIOs looking to adopt a multi-cloud strategy should determine the specific issues that they want it to address, such as reducing vendor lock-in or mitigating service disruption risks. Understand that a multi-cloud strategy will not automatically solve application portability," Gartner explains.

Insufficient skills

In addition to cost optimisation and application portability in the context of multi-cloud strategies, Gartner has also highlighted the likely impact of insufficient cloud IaaS skills.

The company says that through 2022, insufficient cloud IaaS skills will delay half of enterprise IT organisations' migration to the cloud by two years or more.

"Today's cloud migration strategies tend more toward "lift-and-shift" than toward modernisation or refactoring. However, lift-and-shift projects do not develop native-cloud skills. This is creating a market where service providers cannot train and certify people quickly enough to satisfy the need for skilled cloud professionals. As consulting companies struggle to find a bench of talented people with relevant cloud skills, clients are falling short of their cloud adoption objectives. System integrators (SIs) are the fall-back, but clients often do not trust them because many SIs are also still learning and struggle to scale their operations to meet demand," adds Gartner.

Gartner advises businesses to seek out the services of MSPs and SIs with proven track records of successful migrations and those willing to quantify and commit to expected costs and potential savings.

The fourth factor identified by the company is that distributed cloud will support expanded service availability.

Gartner predicts that by 2023, leading cloud service providers will have a distributed ATM-like presence to serve a subset of their services for low-latency application requirements.

"Many cloud service providers are already investing in ways to make their services available closer to the users that need to access them. This trend will continue as the granularity of the regions covered by these cloud service providers increases. "Micro data centres" will be located in areas where a high population of users congregates, while "pop-up" cloud service points will support temporary requirements like sporting events and concerts. Equipment supporting an appropriate subset of public cloud services will be housed in locations close enough to the point of need to support the low-latency requirements of the applications that use them. This will enable applications with such requirements to run directly from the cloud providers' native services without having to build infrastructure. The introduction and spread of ATM-like cloud service points can be thought of as a specific implementation of edge computing, which continues to grow rapidly," the company continues.

Gregor Petri, Vice President Analyst, Gartner, adds: "CIOs looking to prepare their organisation to thrive in the upcoming turns must take a differentiated approach to cloud computing. It will be essential for CIOs to develop a formal strategy that helps to put individual cloud decisions in the context of the enterprise's strategic goals."

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