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The hybrid way to cloud value
Like most world-changing technologies, enterprises did not take to cloud immediately, and those that did adopt cloud did so mostly in a piecemeal manner. The TCS COVID-19 Business Impact Survey1 showed that only 27% of organizations have core enterprise systems on cloud. This implies that many enterprises fell for ineffective, on-off strategies, leading to disjointed adoption with each business function collaborating with different cloud vendors. This also spurred siloed initiatives leading to higher, redundant costs with little ROI.
What can leaders do to correct this? Adopting an effective hybrid cloud strategy can ensure optimum cloud management and offer great results.
Take this leading beverage company headquartered in Japan but boasting of more than 300 related businesses worldwide. When it needed to quickly streamline its mergers and acquisitions IT to keep up with continued growth, a hybrid cloud solution blending scalable public cloud and flexible private cloud helped it consolidate, optimize, and standardize its IT —and got the entire organization spread across multiple countries working on one unified and flexible hybrid cloud system.
Or take the case of a global shipping enterprise that stores and transports essential items such as edible oils, petroleum products, and industrial acids to its worldwide customers on a 24/7 basis. When the cities and workplaces were shut down due to Covid, the enterprise had to step up its IT infrastructure almost overnight to enable remote working for its employees and keep its global supply chain up and running. Remote working was enabled for over 2,500 people in two phases without disruption to business by leveraging Citrix's virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).
Four steps to a robust hybrid cloud strategy
A future-forward hybrid cloud strategy is crucial to gain a competitive edge, empower your business to continually evolve, and keep up with changing needs. So, what can you do to make your hybrid cloud strategy strong, sound, and adaptable? We recommend four steps:
Make it scalable and agile: To benefit from advanced and emerging capabilities such as AI, analytics, machine learning, blockchain, and IoT, you need a customized strategy that can easily flex. Also, a scalable solution often translates to more efficient processes and thousands of saved hours. Like it did for a Dutch multinational human resource consulting firm that leveraged hybrid cloud to scale applications and benefited from an 80% reduction in time to provision infrastructure for 38,000 employees across 5,000 offices.
Define your industry-specific business needs: No two industries, or their needs, are the same. Your cloud solution should seamlessly integrate with your needs. For example, a retailer’s cloud strategy might focus on supply chain and replenishment, while airlines may prioritize online customer experience and real-time pricing. Once you have identified your needs, teaming up with a partner with the contextual expertise can help you meet your needs and get to value faster. Which is what this global provider of aerospace and defence products did after it announced the separation of its business portfolio into two enterprises and had to complete the division of IT assets, applications, and infrastructure within a year. Since its business needs were clearly defined, TCS ensured a smooth cloud-based transition covering all business areas, including core ERP systems, applications remediation, infrastructure, and global network separation.
Have a clear roadmap: Like any successful journey, you must have a destination in mind. Clearly define your hybrid cloud goals and list out what success looks like for your company. And remember, your cloud journey should be as unique as you are and your growth journey. Back up your roadmap with a perfectly aligned strategy and IT plan in accordance with emerging technologies, data privacy, and evolving security.
Focus on economic sustainability: Enterprises must aim for cost predictability and economic sustainability. You need to meticulously plan to ensure no ad hoc or unpredictable expenses arise during transition or post-adoption, leading to cost overruns and jeopardizing the commercial efficiencies of your cloud journey. Leverage cloud FinOps services for hybrid multi-cloud cost optimization—they can help check ungoverned consumption of cloud services that can lead to spiralling costs.
Having a competent strategic partner as an advisor to anchor the complete cloud journey for enterprise cloud adoption is crucial. Multiple managed service providers (SPs) and cloud SPs could result in redundant costs as various providers use different data centers, operations centers, and tools that can make the overall cloud journey inefficient.
From strategy to execution
Once you’ve defined your hybrid strategy, implementation is next. Here’s how to make the process as smooth as possible:
Analyze your business’ digital strategy. Does it extend to the entire business ecosystem? Are there issues you might not fully understand how to mitigate digitally? Again, this is where an expert partner can help.
Collaborate and communicate. Adoption rates increase when all stakeholders feel included. So, make sure you don’t leave people out and that critical communications reach everyone.
Measure cloud strategy effectiveness. Look at short and long-term goals, and measure your progress against them to continuously define the best path forward. Some of the critical measurement parameters you should keep track of are agility, modernization, sustainability, and resilience.
YOUR CLOUD, YOUR JOURNEY
Clearly understanding your company’s business strategy, including its position in emerging and industry ecosystems, is imperative to determine the right cloud architecture and partner who will help you move to the future with confidence.