The race towards the cloud
Cloud adoption has been a top CIO priority, accelerated by the pandemic as organizations speed up their digital transformation initiatives. IDC forecasted worldwide “whole cloud” spending will surpass US$1.3 trillion by 2025.
For technology leaders, the cloud presents significant opportunities to enhance business innovation and competitive differentiation. More than operational efficiency gains, cloud is at the center of digital transformation.
It opens not just cloud-native technologies such as containerization, which are empowering organizations to move to more agile delivery models critical in today’s highly competitive app-centric landscape, but also enables cutting-edge innovations from 5G to AI and IoT.
Complexities dragging enterprise cloud adoption, compounded by lack of cloud skills
We’ve seen organizations wanting to make the move to the cloud yet are held back by the rigidity of legacy on-premises infrastructure. In fact, the larger the organization and the longer the legacy systems have been in place, the more sophisticated it is in customizing the technology roadmap that fits the enterprise.
Another stumbling block despite the strong appetite for cloud adoption is the shortage of cloud skills, which can easily impede cloud transformation projects essential to businesses and is a growing reality for organizations in this region.
This compounds complexities that already arise with cloud adoption across five key areas:
- Engineering for the cloud – How do they modernize and re-platform apps, especially those located on-premises and built monolithically, for the cloud?
- Managing a diverse IT mix – How do they select from a wide range of available tools, run a mix of closed legacy IT together with new, open technologies, and manage them?
- Complying with regulations – How do they cope with the slate of evolving security, compliance, and resiliency requirements?
- Integrating data – How do they break down silos and effectively manage the flow of data across the landscape?
- Ensuring governance – How do they effectively embrace open technologies, operate a hybrid IT environment, and assure stakeholders it aligns with business objectives?
The essential enablers to realizing your cloud aspirations
Cloud transformation is an on-going business, with cloud as an enabler that translates technology capabilities into desired business outcomes whether it is by achieving operational excellence or spearheading innovation.
“For this to happen, an organization needs to establish an architectural blueprint that can fit its maturity level through deep customization,” explained Ernest Lin, General Manager, Kyndryl Hong Kong. “Seek the right entry point or use case(s) for your organization. The blueprint shall then be reviewed and upgraded over time to reflect the continuous alignment with business dynamics. After all, a successful technology roadmap is built upon deep alignment between IT and business.”
But starting out on a technology roadmap is more than just a decision to go hybrid or cloud native. Organizations need to embark on an enterprise-wide cloud journey, and this includes:
- Adopting an agile methodology to foster a culture of change
- Shifting towards a DevOps approach across traditional applications and IT operations
- Standardizing cloud standards across the organization
Ultimately, organizations also need to embrace new ways of working that utilize modern operations such as integrating automation and AI into IT operations and enhancing financial operations for increased cost visibility and optimization.
Against this backdrop of cloud complexities and skill shortage, organizations are turning to service providers with heightened expectations to unlock the cloud’s value creation opportunities. Apart from the deep expertise in cloud migration, management, and engineering, service providers should also come with a security-first mindset, and the ability to align IT initiatives with business outcomes.
Having a service provider that can deliver agnostic and multivendor technology capabilities allows choices and customer-centric solutions. Similarly, robust partnerships with cloud hyperscalers are just as important. This often translates to creation of new business models and means your enterprise workloads can run safely and reliably on multiple clouds as service providers leverage proven approaches to the breadth and depth of their experience .
“IT leaders are coming to us with the expectations of a partnership,” added Lin. “They want a partner with a deep understanding of their organization’s unique requirements based on business objectives and where it’s at in their cloud journey. They also expect partners that can enhance their organization’s IT ecosystem from a strategic, architectural, and governance standpoint to navigate cloud complexities and maximize value creation.”
Locally in Hong Kong, we see this in a bank looking to modernize its multi-generational apps to address inefficient release management cycles and production issues because of on-premises. Partnering with Kyndryl enabled it to modernize over thirty apps and adopt hybrid operations. The company gradually rolls out DevOps and replatforms its banking apps by phases; the plan was well thought-out and assessed with proof-of-concepts and in garage before it went live.
In the example of Viewpointe in the US, it is currently undergoing a full-stack modernization towards cloud-native with significantly-enhanced capabilities alongside 20%-30% expected cost savings. Another example is Krungsri which was able to build a secure and resilient cloud-enabled infrastructure and migrated strategic workloads to cloud—instrumental to realizing its goals of becoming one of Thailand’s most innovative financial institutions.
Breaking away from legacy IT’s hold and overcoming complexities amid cloud skills shortage may be a daunting task, but it is one worth undertaking. The move to the cloud has already proven to deliver significant business benefits, whether it is in enabling operational excellence or driving competitive differentiation, that will assure organizations success in tomorrow’s fast-paced business landscape.
Find out more about how Kyndryl can partner with your organization and navigate cloud adoption complexities here.