Article

Containment, compliance, and control: How to reach your full cloud potential

Sridhar Bhaskarla,

Vice President
Technology (Delivery Leadership)

Published: December 13, 2022

Loud and clear, the cloud has now permeated all walks of life. According to Gartner®, “The worldwide infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market grew 41.4% in 2021, to total $90.9 billion.” [1] Gartner® Research mentions “Worldwide, public cloud services are forecast to grow by 18.8% (23.1% in constant currency) in 2022. Organizations continue accelerating cloud adoption, which is driving a five-year compound annual growth rate of 19.8% (20.1% in constant currency).” 2

While organizations already on the cloud are steadily expanding their cloud footprint, many are still trying to navigate how to maximize the productivity of their cloud usage. This article explores the top five impediments companies face when navigating the cloud landscape and provides solutions to overcome these obstacles to leverage the full potential of the cloud.

Containing cloud costs

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) determines any business initiative’s return on investment (ROI) and should be the top prioritized factor. It is paramount for organizations to keep track of and optimize these parameters when it comes to the cloud. Traditional data center mindset is prone to hoarding resources, resulting in spiraled-up costs. Flexera’s State of the Cloud 2022 Report states that companies are struggling to manage cloud costs. Public cloud spending was over budget by an estimated 13% and is expected to increase by 29% in the next year.3 More than ever, it is critical for businesses to adopt cultural change management, financial guard railing, organized budget planning, and cloud cost optimization to manage these costs successfully. 

Security and compliance posture, a never-ending nuance

The cloud operates within a shared responsibility model, where the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) is accountable for the security of the cloud, and the customer owns the security in the cloud. This combination makes the cloud more secure than your average on-premises environment. However, while CSPs provide a robust perimeter security by enforcing vital cloud monitoring and vigorous policies and controls, security in the cloud remains the weakest link in the overall safety of the workloads. As a result, organizations still need to find ever-changing security and compliance measures suitable for their needs.

Hybrid cloud architecture: A work in progress

Organizations are turning to hybrid cloud architecture as an effective and comprehensive digital transformation strategy. However, achieving fluidity between on-premises and public cloud environments continues to be a challenge due to several issues, including consolidation restraints, security and compliance posture, compatibility constraints, workload mobility limitations, legacy liabilities, latency inadequacies, operating complexities, inefficient operating models, and requirement of increasingly diverse and complex skills. As the hybrid cloud continues to enforce its presence as a permanent player in the cloud space, companies must prioritize creating seamless hybrid cloud architecture.

Innovation: Siloed and half-baked

Cloud catalyzes the need and inspiration to innovate. The benefits of innovation help conceive new differentiating business, technological and operating models, reduce human intervention, promote consistency and provide greater workflow efficiency. The level of innovation and how successfully it encompasses the tech stack determines the quantum of payback.

While the cloud sits at the base, there are many moving parts in the tech stack above, and each layer is handled by different teams operating in siloes. This limits an organization’s ability to innovate across the stack and limits innovation to individual stack layers. Innovation culture is also evolving from best effort to a need-of-the-hour status. Innovation is driven by individual passion and choice rather than organizational efforts and enforcement. 

Skillset gaps and shortages

While the demand for cloud adoption only continues to increase, there is unfortunately an ongoing global shortage to supply these demands with sufficient cloud skillsets.

This acute shortage of cloud skills hinders upon the implementation of a successful cloud strategy. Adopting multi-cloud becomes more difficult as it requires a spectrum of niche skills. To overcome these obstacles, companies are turning to upskilling, cross-skilling, retention, expensive hiring, and other strategies that ultimately result in higher costs and investment. In the dawn of the “great resignation” period, workforce stability is becoming more challenging.

By developing and honing your employees’ cloud skills and building upon that foundation, you can develop a solid cloud center presence within your organization. Start with a base of employees furthest along in their cloud journey. These employees will serve as leaders in helping other employees move ahead in their reskilling journey.

 

Reach your full potential with the cloud

A paradigm shift is needed to embrace and truly thrive in the cloud. Companies can overcome significant hurdles by focusing on the following critical functions: 

  • Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE): A design and architectural authority that ensures technical currency and standardization and spearheads innovation across the organization.

  • Cloud Economics: Continuous and consistent optimization of cloud resources to achieve a maximum outcome with minimal spending.

  • Cloud Governance: To ensure consistent and quality operations, compliance and security posture, quality of service, effective dashboards and reporting, and continuous improvement across all areas using collaboration.

 

You can achieve maximum productivity and value from your cloud strategy by strengthening your cloud environment through governance, security, and continuous optimization. Our next article will discuss these three critical functions and how to leverage them to achieve and maintain cloud excellence. Stay tuned to learn more! 

Transform with cloud today to build your digital enterprise of tomorrow.

 

[1] Gartner Press Release, “Gartner Says Worldwide IaaS Public Cloud Services Market Grew 41.4% in 2021,” June 2, 2022 Gartner
2 Forecast, Public Cloud Services, Worldwide, 2020-2026, 3Q22 Update, Colleen Graham, 28 September 2022
3 Cloud Computing Trends: Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud 

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