Digital Forum Speakers
How to Supercharge Your Enterprise: Hybrid, Multi-Cloud and Beyond
Event Recap – June 30, 2020
Investments in cloud were already pervasive prior to the pandemic. However, with major transformations being undertaken overnight, the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the need for, and adoption of cloud to drive agility and elastic scalability. The pandemic has proven that cloud is not an option. It is integral to ensure survival and business continuity in this volatile business environment. There is an urgent need among digitally progressive businesses to adopt a hybrid, multi-cloud strategy to effectively navigate this changing and challenging landscape and accelerate transformation initiatives to maximize the benefits to their business while minimizing disruption.
Avasant’s digital forum, “How to Supercharge Your Enterprise: Hybrid, Multi-Cloud and Beyond” addressed the key themes we are currently witnessing as enterprise applications shift to cloud native, and hybrid, multi-cloud deployment models become the norm. Moderated by Naresh Lachmandas, Distinguished Fellow and Principal, Avasant, the forum provided tactical insights from the industry’s leading cloud experts Alan Flower, Senior Vice President, CTO and Global Head, Cloud Native Labs, HCL, Dr. Evaristus Mainsah, General Manager, Cloud & Edge Ecosystem, IBM and Fred Pond, Avasant Fellow, and Former CIO, Columbia Sportswear.
The experts focused their discussions on:
How does one make a business case and start the journey to a Hybrid/Multi-cloud model?
How does the Cloud Native strategy fit into the digital transformation roadmap?
With so many vendor choices and business models, how do you ensure sustainable ROI and alignment with business goals?
What’s the value of partnering with service integrators to ensure a successful Cloud migration?
The future is hybrid.
Most major businesses today are in a hybrid, multi-cloud environment. Fred Pond, Avasant Fellow, and Former CIO, Columbia Sportswear notes that there is no way an organization can select a single cloud solution and be successful in business today. A single cloud model cannot fit the diverse requirements and workloads across all lines of business and application stacks. The demands for businesses are too great, and the needs of how companies deliver services are too vast to not be in the hybrid, multi-cloud environment where they can bring the best solutions to the business in the quickest way possible.
Dr. Evaristus Mainsah, General Manager, Cloud & Edge Ecosystem, IBM adds that hybrid will be the business remedy for clients for a very long time. He notes that hybrid cloud has 2.5 times more value that a public cloud only strategy, driven by the opportunity for companies to migrate the applications on their own time, eliminate duplicate tools quicker, reduce risks and gain architectural flexibility. However, to make this work, Dr. Evaristus Mainsah adds that a robust, horizontal, enterprise grade, secure container-based platform is needed to build, and run anywhere.
The journey to hybrid, multi-cloud environments is complex, but is easier now than it was before.
Alan Flower, Senior Vice President, CTO and Global Head, Cloud Native Labs, HCL, noted that while there are challenges in moving to the cloud, it is much more straightforward now than it was three or four years ago since we can learn from the positive experiences of others.
“The hybrid, multi-cloud journey is a terribly complex journey for any organization to undertake. We are seeing in recent times, a lot of companies trying to achieve 10 years’ worth of transformation in 10 weeks, and even 10 days or less. Organizations can now easily obtain a lot of the enablers for change off the shelf. It’s no longer a case of having to build from scratch. Once organizations have taken a lot of these commoditized components of the shelf, they start thinking about what their journey is going to look like.
One of the most common challenges is figuring out where to apply investment – what applications should be enhanced to support transformation? Where do I want to innovate? While there is a challenge in the journey ahead, this has been done by so many other companies. We can reuse the approaches and patterns that others have applied successfully before. The technology is now readily available. This makes the journey so much more straightforward that it was a few years before.”
Partnerships are crucial for managing complex multi-cloud environments and ensuring successful migration.
CIO’s are struggling to balance innovation with stability, negotiating complexity, grappling with scale, and retaining valuable skills. Selecting the right partners is crucial for helping them in their journey.
Dr. Evaristus Mainsah, noted that:
“The portfolio of companies in a hybrid, multi-cloud environment consist of different cloud providers, different platform providers, different solution providers and different infrastructure providers. If as a CIO you don’t have a service provider to help you through this process, it can feel as if you are the contractor, negotiating with different vendors determining who is fixing what. It is important to have a strong technology partner to help manage end to end.”
Fred Pond adds that he had the luxury of building a team internally and helped them to evolve and learn new tools – adopt devops, adopt cloud and integrations over many years. For those who are late to the game and are now joining, it is essential to leverage partnerships since there is no time to build a team.
“There is too much change going on. There is a much faster pace – which gets faster and faster each year. The last four months has shown that the need for speed and need to react is critical. You need to be ready for these challenges and leverage great partnerships, or even multiple partnerships. If you are getting started now, high on your list needs to be how you are going to partner, and how you will get support.”
The ability to manage clearly, with the right set of management tools in an automated fashion is integral, especially for this COVID-19 world.
In managing complex multi-cloud environments and ensuring successful migration, Dr. Evaristus Mainsah suggests that it is important to have a good set of management tools.
“CIOs are really looking for open architecture that can help you integrate with other data sources. This allows you to manage and move workloads between clusters. You can manage applications both which are in container based and those in a virtual machine environment, giving you a common plane from which you can observe if your applications are meeting or exceeding your quality of service standards, SLA, security and governance requirements, etc.
The management plane becomes important. If you think about having edge installations, dealing with hundreds of thousands of different devices, the management problem gets much more complex. It is important to have a good set of management tools which provides you with single pane of glass through which you can see whether you are meeting your requirements or not. When you get into the COVID world, the ability to do more with less has never been greater, and the ability to manage clearly from in an automated fashion becomes even more important.”
Transitioning applications to a cloud native posture is no longer an over-the-horizon ambition. It can be done today.
We live in a world where our businesses expect a completely different experience from IT, and where our customers expect a different experience with us. Speed, agility and innovation are the core of what we do. Alan Flower discussed that these tenets as well as elasticity, scalability and the ability to survive and flourish are driving the need for a cloud native application.
“There are certain architectural styles that define what makes a cloud native app. Some of these changes can be relatively straightforward, others are more challenging. There is now so much more capability available to organizations that massively simplify the journey of applications to cloud. Being able to run tools across your entire estate of legacy applications and then being able to identify those apps that you want to invest in, and treatments and transformations that you want to apply – being able to get these questions answered rapidly transforms the journey for everyone and hence, the ambition to transition applications to a cloud native posture is increasingly within reach.”
Time to Supercharge Your Enterprise
Like any major initiative, companies need a business driver – a reason to justify the change and establish a realizable strategy and roadmap to ensure success. They need to select the right partners to help them in their journey and they also need to manage risk, manage people and ensure proper project governance and oversight. It’s not just the technology aspects of the hybrid, multi-cloud transition and support. There is also the people and the process components and change management which are drivers to success.
The business wants change and needs to change. It is about survival and staying ahead of the competition. The saying goes, don’t let a crisis go by without taking advantage of opportunities. Let us leverage this crisis to knock down those typical old-school walls of resistance. We need to focus on details, the choices, to successfully supercharge the enterprise.
Avasant is a leading management consulting firm focused on translating the power of technology into realizable business strategies for the world’s largest corporations. Specializing in digital and IT transformation, sourcing advisory, global strategy, and governance services, Avasant prides itself on delivering high-value engagements through industry-focused innovation and flexible client-based solutions.
Our seasoned professionals have an average of 20 years of industry-honed expertise, having conducted 1000+ engagements in over 50 countries. Avasant’s next generation consulting and advisory methods have made it the top-ranked firm in its class, with recognition from numerous organizations, including: Vault, NOA, IAOP, and Wall Street Journal.
Avasant’s engagement in the global market has inspired a strong commitment to community and purpose. Avasant Foundation supports technology and skill development programs to create employment opportunities for youth across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America.
For more information, visit https://www.avasant.com.
About HCL Technologies
HCL Technologies is a next-generation global technology company that helps enterprises reimagine their businesses for the digital age. Our technology products, services, and engineering are built on four decades of innovation, with a world-renowned management philosophy, a strong culture of invention and risk-taking, and a relentless focus on customer relationships. We offer an integrated portfolio of products, solutions, services, and IP through our Mode 1-2-3 strategy, built around Digital, IoT, Cloud, Automation, Cybersecurity, Analytics, Infrastructure Management, and Engineering Services, amongst others. With a worldwide network of R&D, innovation labs and delivery centers, and 149,000+ ‘Ideapreneurs’ working in 45 countries, HCL serves leading enterprises across key industries, including 250 of the Fortune 500 and 650 of the Global 2000.
For more information, visit www.hcltech.com
Follow HCL on Twitter at https://twitter.com/hcltech, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HCLTechnologies and LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/hcl-technologies/
With over $20B in annual cloud revenue, IBM has built a leading enterprise hybrid cloud business. This includes a comprehensive range of as-a-service offerings, software, hardware and professional services that enable IBM to advise, move, build and manage cloud solutions across public, private and on-premises environments. Through its global network of more than 60 cloud data centers across 19 countries and 18 availability zones across 6 regions, IBM public cloud helps enterprises in all industries to meet security, resiliency, performance, and global deployment requirements. Built on an open source, multi-tenant environment, clients have secured access to an enterprise-grade IaaS and a leading PaaS that provides them with the latest developer capabilities and ready-to-go innovation engines. This includes more than 190 cloud-native APIs, such as AI, blockchain, IoT, serverless and quantum computing, and consistent function all the way to the edge.