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Don’t get left behind - cloud and the dangers of feet-dragging

By Ben Moore
Wed 14 Feb 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Many businesses are moving to the cloud in a half-hearted way and are missing out on the full benefits that it can offer. "Lifting and shifting" a few applications to the hybrid cloud is simply not enough according to 500 large and small enterprises we surveyed across the US and Europe.

These findings mirror the state of play in large and small businesses in Australia.

To take full advantage of the benefits of cloud computing organisations must update their applications to use the dynamic capabilities of the cloud. Only then will the full benefits of scaling, resource allocation, and cost-saving be realised.

Currently, most businesses are at one of three stages when it comes to cloud adoption:

1. Traditional data center use - most strategic applications are still running in a private data center.

2. Static cloud use - an initial lift-and-shift stage of cloud migration, essentially using the cloud as an additional data center to help reduce costs and sharpen the focus on core business.

3. Dynamic cloud use - exploiting the cloud in a dynamic way, automatically allocating and deallocating resources on the fly for maximum agility to deal with spikes in demand and accelerate time to market.

There are big differences in the cloud usage patterns of these three groups, as well as the benefits realised.

Automation

Dynamic cloud users are much more likely to be using automation than static cloud users. We can see this in the types of technology they use: dynamic cloud users were 23% more likely to use serverless technologies like FaaS (such as AWS Lambda), and much more likely to use containers and container orchestration. They’re also taking a more holistic view, with a portfolio of DevOps and continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) tools. Automation enables much faster and more stable processes so it’s clearly an advantage for the businesses that are embracing it.

Strategic workloads

Dynamic cloud users are also moving far more of their strategic workloads to the cloud than static cloud users. 82% of dynamic cloud users have an equal mix of strategic workloads running in the public cloud and in private data centers, compared with just 19% of static cloud users and 14% of traditional data center users. Over half of dynamic cloud users also plan to shift the majority of their strategic workloads to the public cloud.

Improved metrics

Dynamic cloud users consistently report significant improvements across a number of tangible metrics, from application uptime to client satisfaction. The dynamic allocation of resources makes it easier to scale to handle load spikes. Easier, faster access to cloud services speeds development. Overall, dynamic cloud users say they’re able to operate faster and use resources more efficiently.

To take advantage of many of the most important benefits of cloud computing, organisations need to do more than simply move all or part of their application to cloud-based servers. While maintaining some of your applications in the cloud and some of them in your own data centers can be an effective part of a migration strategy, it’s not a long-term solution to maximise the benefits of the cloud.

For the retail industry to compete with Amazon vendors need to future-proof their digital supply chain and increase their resilience. One local company that has been aggressive in “future proofing” is online fashion and sportswear retailer, THE ICONIC. 

THE ICONIC has an incredible warehousing strategy that allows the company to deliver in Sydney’s Central Business District within three hours from a customer order. The company is also highly innovative and agile with events - it can easily set up promotions, codes etc., all thanks to extremely intelligent software.

Organisations that drag their feet on fully moving to the cloud and exploiting its dynamic capabilities will eventually suffer competitive disadvantages. Our survey findings show that the dynamic cloud provides the foundation for better, more efficient application performance. It’s a stark choice: either move to the dynamic cloud or face disruption by faster, more agile competitors who have already made the move.

By New Relic Asia Pacific technical manager Jill Macmurchy

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