What’s the optimum cloud model for digital transformation?

Cloud maturity is developing rapidly, as companies from growing digital start-ups to established giants seek to leverage public and private cloud services to gain agility and drive new operating models. The cloud can be a powerful force for transformation, yet organisations find themselves at different junctures. While some are still scoping out their options and defining their strategy, others are actively moving mission-critical workloads. All understand the cloud’s importance – 42% of IT decision makers rate it as one of the most critical technologies for their digital innovation initiatives – yet questions linger. What sort of cloud strategy should they implement, and what cloud operating model?

This second episode of new series of CIO Podcasts, in association with Dell Technologies, VMware and Intel, looks at these questions and how CIOs might answer them.

Finding the right operating model for your business isn’t easy. A recent report by IDG found that defining and optimising a new cloud-based IT operating model was one of the top three IT modernisation challenges for nearly half (48%) of UK IT decision makers. Establishing new governance strategies and processes was another for 45%, while 41% placed optimising their current cloud environment amongst their top three.

What’s more, as their cloud usage matures, more businesses are re-evaluating where different cloud operating models fit, both within their existing IT landscape and their future plans. While the pace of change for public cloud has been incredible, some of the old arguments about cost efficiencies and performance no longer consistently hold water. Meanwhile, on-premise technology is evolving to offer similar capabilities, as Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI) uses virtualisation, modern hardware platforms and solid-state storage to delivers cloud-like benefits but with more consistent performance and control. There’s even evidence that, over the long term, HCI can run many workloads at a lower cost.  

Different CIOs are finding different answers. Some, like The Trainline’s CTO Mark Holt, are migrating their entire infrastructure to the public cloud, looking for the ability to scale and innovate at speed. Others, like Experian CIO Barry Libenson, have adopted a hybrid cloud model in order to deliver powerful compute and storage resources, yet maintain the ability to scale out on demand. Approximately 41% of the IT decision makers in the IDG survey have developed or launched a cloud-native strategy, while 27% have adopted strategies based on multiple clouds. Some 26% have increased their workloads in the private cloud. Developing new applications using cloud-native technologies isn’t always practical for every organisation. It’s arguable that more are looking to refactor existing workloads, or simply lift-and-shift them to the cloud.

In the podcast episode above, the second of the series, we aim to demystify the choices facing CIOs, so that they can make decisions driven by their data and performance requirements and find the right cloud solutions to meet their goals. With a panel of experts from Dell Technologies, VMware and Intel, we look beyond the hype to the benefits and challenges of different operating models and how to battle cloud complexity cost. We also talk about how the cost advantages of hyperscale public cloud work out in comparison to the security and control of hybrid cloud, and how the functionality of new hyperconverged on-premise architecture gives companies the chance to retake control. Most of all, we look at how considering performance, economic and regulatory factors can help you find the right cloud operating model for you.