Navigate the Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Future

  • July 14, 2021
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To quickly address changing employee and customer needs during the pandemic, companies rapidly moved to the cloud. And, in the process, they proved cloud’s value proposition. So much so that Gartner noted in a recent press release that, “the proportion of IT spending that is shifting to cloud will accelerate in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, with cloud projected to make up 14.2% of the total global enterprise IT spending market in 2024, up from 9.1% in 2020.”

Yet, for many, this rapid transition wrought out of necessity created a hybrid cloud situation – and in some cases a multi-cloud environment – that is now being revisited to ensure that what was built provides the best long-term strategic support for the business.

Build the right strategy

Implementing hybrid and multi-cloud environments across a large enterprise can be challenging, let alone factoring in support for strategic business objectives. Start on the right path by: 

Planning and assessing. Determine your starting point and desired end goal and use the exercise of connecting the dots to develop your cloud strategy.  Make sure you maximize your cloud and on-premises resources by determining the best strategy for each workload. (On-premises or cloud migration; retiring an application or moving to a COTS SaaS application are also always options.)

While cloud’s pay-as-you-go approach is ideal for many workloads, cases exist where it makes sense to maintain an on-premises presence. Conversely, it’s important to assess for a multi-cloud strategy. Consider elements like cost control, internal skills, geographic resource availability, the ability of the workload to run in the cloud and more. (For a full list of workload assessment questions, see our Guide to Navigating a Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Future.)

Designing a map. With a cloud strategy in hand, create a map for success by implementing a consistent approach. Outline what, if anything, you’ve already built and what remains to be done. Determine if there are applications that share common infrastructure and deployment pipelines, or patterns, that can be used to streamline the cloud migration and application modernization process.

Building to plan. Begin building your cloud architecture with a multi-cloud landing zone that standardizes cloud environments for naming, security, operational controls and more. This execution engine can operationalize your cloud map, enforcing a holistic approach to governance. To avoid future rework, pre-plan for: 

  • Unforeseen eventualities such as the need to expand to additional cloud platforms 
  • The ability to support new environments due to M&A
  • Technological innovations like IoT or ML/AI that your organization may want to take advantage of in the future
  • Emerging security threats and/or evolving regulatory needs.  

Four steps to cloud strategy

Creating a cloud center of excellence (CCoE). A CCoE is central to long-term success, as it helps upskill teams and ensure consistency. The team also captures best practices and other learning to effectively serve as evangelists to the rest of the organization.

Maximize cloud resources

For workloads moving to the cloud, think beyond lift and shift. Once you’ve determined that moving a workload to the cloud is the right path, engage in a holistic strategy that examines each for the best cloud approach – lift and shift, refactor or rearchitect.

Consider questions like:

  • How strategically imperative is this application to the business? 
  • Does it contribute to revenue and should therefore be invested in? 
  • Is it a business necessity and should therefore be sustained at the lowest possible cost? 

While not all workloads have a cost-benefit analysis that pencils out, in our experience between 25-35% do benefit from a cloud-native modernization effort. To make the most of your hybrid and multi-cloud efforts, work to ensure you have determined the best strategy for your portfolio.

Cloud increasingly supports a hybrid strategy

Cloud providers realize that business and technology constraints will inevitably result in hybrid environments. As a result, they are increasingly offering services that help you manage your hybrid cloud environment. For example, Amazon Web Services offers AWS Outposts, a managed service that allows you to run AWS infrastructure and services on-premises. Similarly, Azure Stack is designed to help you run Microsoft cloud services on-premises.  

With almost 70% of organizations using cloud services planning to increase their cloud spending post-pandemic, the time to ensure you have a solid hybrid and multi-cloud strategy is now. Remain competitive with the right strategy that will help you grow agility and future-proof your operations for greater efficiency, improved employee and customer experiences that provides greater competitive leverage.
For additional reading: 
Or, delve even deeper with our Guide to Navigating a Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Future.



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NTT DATA Tech Blog editors curate content from across our cloud experts to bring you the latest insights, best practices and strategies from hundreds of cloud implementations.

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