COVID-19 has proven to be an accelerator of enterprise cloud adoption and will continue to drive a faster conversion to cloud-centric IT. IDC predicts that by 2021, most enterprises will put a mechanism in place to accelerate their shift to cloud-centric digital infrastructure twice as fast as before the pandemic.
Furthermore, total worldwide spending on cloud services, the hardware and software components underpinning cloud services, and the professional and managed service opportunities around cloud services will surpass $1.0 trillion in 2024 and account for more than 60% of all cloud revenues worldwide.
We recently interviewed John Ezzell, co-founder and Executive Vice President of BIAS Corp., on the strategies needed for every customer-centric cloud transformation. John is an expert in cloud-based managed services and hybrid cloud integrations. He understands precisely what it takes for an enterprise to overcome the complexities of today’s business IT architecture so they can adapt a cloud-first strategy that enables flexible, scalable, and cost-efficient IT.
John is a former Director for Oracle Consulting’s Custom Development, Architecture, and Business Intelligence practices. Before joining Oracle, John worked in finance and investment consulting for Interstate Johnson and Lane. John has received numerous leadership awards and is an active member of the Oracle Partner Advisory board at Oracle.
You can read the full interview below:
1. For the past several years, companies have been moving data, applications, and development to the Cloud in greater numbers. This trend has seen a significant boost since the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a big rise in remote work and eCommerce activities. More and more organizations are either launching or expanding their cloud strategies today, yet determining the right cloud service for the job at hand seems to be a hard nut to crack. How should organizations figure out which services are best for specific tasks?
Absolutely right; there is a myriad of services in all Cloud forms, and finding the exemplary service remains a critical task. There are several sets of guidelines published by research organizations and leading industry vendors – while this is information is precious in the decision-making process. Finding the right business partner to guide an organization through the process is a critical success factor. The partner should understand your business, lead you in the right direction, and has the ability to map requirements to solutions. Technical evaluations, industry-based identification process, and visibility into cloud providers (IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS) roadmaps are critical to identifying the right solution and approach.
This is all based on partners’ experience of implementing such solutions and taking organizations through their cloud journey. These partners usually have greater insight into selected vendors’ capabilities as well.
2. Shifting from legacy IT infrastructure toward the Cloud is daunting for technology and business leaders because of the increasing complexity in which the organizations must attempt to fit all the pieces together as if in a puzzle, to make the transition successful, and to ensure workflows aren’t disrupted. Could you tell us some of the best practices?
Some of the best practices in making a transition to the successful cloud include:
- Commitment from Senior Executives and Upper Management
- Selection of an SI who brings automation as part of the offering
- Conducting initial assessments to assure that plans are devised for minimal business interruptions
- Identifying core and critical components as well as conducting a business impact assessment
3. The fear of vendor lock-in is often cited as a significant impediment to cloud service adoption. Due to the dependency on a single cloud provider, organizations cannot easily move in the future to a different vendor without substantial costs, legal constraints, or technical incompatibilities. How should we handle this?
To avoid vendor lock-in, there are two aspects business leaders should consider when adopting cloud services:
- Business aspect: All the necessary criteria regarding the offering should be reviewed from a legal, jurisdiction, and contractual perspective. SI’s should guide customers towards a full understanding of their assessment programs.
- Technology aspect: solutions and portability are available in the form of new advances in containerization. This works well with infrastructure and platform as a service; however, for SaaS, the early-stage evaluation is critical because while there are inherent benefits, it also creates stickiness to the solution.
4. Cloud transformation is growing but maybe insecure for many. How do we ensure an optimal combination of performance, functionality, availability, resilience, security, and compliance? What is the secret mantra?
- It is essential for organizations to understand the Concept of Shared Responsibility Model. It differs for each type of cloud formation, IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS
- There are three significant areas that organizations must address: Infrastructure, Applications, and Data. Organizations must identify solutions that can interconnect and build a complete Security Operation Control (or SOC.) This provides a holistic approach to security. It is also important to note that not all functions/features are available in all cloud offerings, but vendors are getting to that stage fast.
- Industry regulations and compliance remain critical, so it is vital to understand the needs and then align solutions accordingly.
- Bottom line, principles of security are not changing Cloud or On-Premise; the struggle is to find a solution that can provide a centralized and externalized approach.