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By Gary Thome
Hybrid cloud continues to grow in popularity, fueled by its agility and scalability. Yet, many organizations realize that a hybrid cloud model (a combination of private, on-prem, and public cloud) also introduces complexity, which slows innovation. A hybrid model also makes it more difficult to view global utilization or track and control costs.
Those surveyed use public cloud for nearly a quarter of their workloads – and the majority utilize multiple cloud service providers. They also implement on-premises workloads in the following percentages:
37% of on-premises workloads are run on traditional physical servers.
36% are run on VMs that are still predominantly managed as traditional servers.
27% are run within a private cloud that inherits the core attributes of public cloud services.
Survey results – only 15% are “Transformed”
Based on the results, ESG divided the organizations into 4 groups: Unrealized, Modernized, Automated, and Transformed, ranking them from lowest to highest according to their degree of success in a hybrid landscape. The survey found most organizations fall somewhere in the middle of the multi-cloud maturity spectrum:
These results didn’t surprised me, as successful multi-cloud management involving public cloud and on-premises private is complex – and very few tools that solve the complexity problem are available.
However, I found a couple of results particularly interesting. Respondents could earn a total of 100 maturity points, yet the highest score achieved was only 86. And if an organization earned at least a score of 67.5, ESG included them in the “Transformed” category. ESG noted that the most advanced organizations still have lots of room to grow in terms of improving their cloud management maturity.
Another interesting finding in the report was that even incremental improvements resulted in substantial gains. Organizations that moved from one tier to the next realized substantial benefits throughout the enterprise.
Transformed organizations – what’s their secret?
According to ESG’s research, organizations that want to improve their multi-cloud management maturity should implement four best practices. To join the ranks of the Transformed multi-cloud management organizations, enterprises should do the following:
1. Invest heavily in converged/hyperconverged infrastructure (CI/HCI) for on-premises workloads.
Ninety percent of all Transformed organizations have deployed CI/HCI platforms in their environments to support legacy workloads, while 88% have done so for newly developed applications. Instead of waiting for legacy infrastructure to depreciate fully, it’s interesting that many of these organizations are implementing these newer technologies proactively.
2. Actively automate IT operations so staff can focus on other areas.
Transformed organizations report that they have either completely or mostly automated processes such as VM provisioning (86%), application deployment (88%), and performance/problem monitoring (86%). Once IT staff automates these processes, they have more time to focus on other initiatives such as supporting application development or re-architecting legacy applications.
3. Invest in consolidated hybrid cloud management tools.
No matter where a workload runs (in a public or private cloud), hybrid cloud management tools will manage and monitor cloud costs, as well as provide consistent user experiences. ESG discovered Transformed organizations are twice as likely as Unrealized organizations to consolidate management under one IT team for public cloud and on-premises resources (58% to 23% respectively.) Due to simplified and streamlined operations provided by hybrid cloud management tools, a single management team is sufficient.
4. Make informed workload placement decisions and optimize workloads before moving them to public cloud infrastructure.
Nearly half of Transformed organizations (48%) fully customize applications prior to migration. Just 3% ofUnrealizedorganizations put the same level of effort into workload preparation prior to migrating to the cloud.
The bigger truth
Based on ESG’s research, Transformed organizations are the exception, not the rule. And even those who have “transformed” have not reached the pinnacle, which means that they have the opportunity to improve even more. Additionally, ESG’s research shows even incremental improvements result in big rewards for the organization. For those interested in improving their standing against the benchmarks laid out by ESG, it is important to take a look at the 4 best practices above and begin implementing these suggestions.
Gary Thome is the Vice President and Chief Technologist for the Software-Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). He is responsible for the technical and architectural directions of converged datacenter products and technologies.
To read more articles from Gary, check out the HPE Shifting to Software-Defined blog.