Reports of the demise of on-premises infrastructure in favor of public cloud are greatly exaggerated. On-premises data centers remain the dominant infrastructure deployment platform in 2020, according to TechTarget’s 2020 IT Priorities Survey.
When asked to describe their top infrastructure deployment methodologies for 2020, 45% of IT decision-makers cited on-premises data centers. Hybrid cloud was the next most common answer at 27%, followed by public cloud, software as a service, multi-cloud and on-premises private cloud.
What these numbers show is a new reality: Even though there might be a push by business leaders to follow the path of “cloud-first” or “cloud-only,” moving key applications and workloads to the cloud can be a complex undertaking that must be given proper time, consideration and investment.
In fact, one of the other important trends in cloud infrastructure is the repatriation of applications from the public cloud back to the data center. According to IDC, 86% of enterprises are either considering or executing repatriation of workloads.
This move to repatriation can be a huge waste of time and money. More to the point, it does not have to happen—if IT teams choose the right technologies and partners when migrating to the cloud in the first place.
That means investing in infrastructure—from on premises, to multi-cloud, to edge locations—that is cloud-enabled, cloud-integrated and cloud-ready, with consistent tools for data management and workload optimization across public, private, hybrid or multi-cloud environments.
In 2020, as organizations look to invest in on-premises infrastructure that supports cloud economics, agility and scalability, what key factors will empower seamless IT modernization and successful digital transformation? Here’s a brief checklist:
- A consistent cloud operating model: 93% of organizations deploy workloads across two or more clouds. This can create management complexity and silos due to differences in the underlying infrastructure, management tools, policies and APIs. IT teams require agile infrastructure solutions that eliminate silos, reduce complexity and provide a consistent cloud operating model across hybrid cloud and edge locations.
- Automation/intelligence: One of the promises of the cloud is to reduce complexity for IT teams that are maximally stretched with manual deployments and “keep the lights on” functions. A consistent cloud operating model delivers pervasive use of automation and intelligence. By using automation and intelligence to eliminate routine manual tasks, IT can enable self-service capabilities for business users, while freeing up IT personnel to support innovative initiatives and new business opportunities.
- Flexible deployment options: Cloud is not a one-size-fits-all panacea for IT modernization or digital transformation. Neither is cloud infrastructure. In 2020, IT teams need options based on their applications and workload requirements, whether hyper-converged infrastructure; cloud-enabled infrastructure with faster, more efficient server, storage and network technologies; cloud-validated designs; simplified VMware migrations; and consumption-based, as-a-service delivery models.
- VMware for mission-critical apps: The next phase of cloud migration will be to modernize mission-critical applications with cloud attributes such as rapid development cycles, self-service, deployment simplicity, elastic scalability and mobility. Nearly 70% of enterprises plan to migrate ERP workloads to the cloud. In particular, SAP is encouraging customers to migrate to S/4HANA in the cloud when support for SAP Business Suite ends in 2025. Since the vast majority of mission-critical apps already run on VMware, enterprise IT teams are looking to maximize their investments in technology, knowledge and experience when migrating these apps to hybrid cloud environments.
- Security: Security remains the top concern in moving workloads to public cloud. According to the 2019 Cloud Security Report, 75% of cybersecurity professionals say they are very concerned or extremely concerned about cloud security. In multi-cloud environments, visibility and control are necessary from the data center to public clouds to the edge. Look for solutions that emphasize capabilities such as encryption, hardened infrastructure, multi-factor authentication and distributed security features and protections that can be applied independent of underlying infrastructure.
The decisions you make today will impact your IT modernization and digital transformation efforts for years to come. You don’t want to be in a situation where you are migrating applications and workloads to the cloud, then pulling them back when costs spiral out of control or there are issues with security, performance or any other enterprise-grade requirement.
You want to develop a long-term strategy that enables your organization to reap the benefits of the cloud, without the risk of losing control or consistency. The trends outlined in this article point to the need to work with suppliers you trust and technologies that are proven to help guide your cloud journey.
In the accompanying articles and resources available in this special site on “Multi-Cloud 2020: Better Outcomes Through A Consistent Platform Across Cloud and Edge Locations,” you will discover the benefits of working with proven providers Dell Technologies and VMware as you confront your cloud challenges and transform them into business opportunities.