Cloud as a Business Enabler – Part 1: Beyond lift-and-shift

What’s your destination?

Cloud is a hot topic today and – just like our climate – it isn’t going to cool down any time soon. Forbes predicts that the number of companies moving away from corporate datacenters to public cloud will continue to grow the following years. Microsoft was clearly backing these numbers at the recent Inspire event in Las Vegas, showing yearly double digit growth numbers in the adoption of their Microsoft Azure platform and expecting no less for the future.

 

FORBES – WHERE WILL WORKLOADS RUN (TODAY VERSUS 2020)

 

The pattern we usually see when companies move towards public cloud is clearly defined as well. A typical first step in cloud adoption is to replace on premise functionality with a popular SaaS (Software as a Service), such as Office 365 for collaboration or Salesforce for CRM. Up next we see companies that want to move workloads away from a data center to IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), following through on the promise that it will result in cost savings. This is the cloud ‘maturity level’ most companies have attained today and mostly referred to as ‘lift and shift’.

But should you stop right there? Not in my opinion.

 

Uncharted territory

Ask yourself this question: will the cloud adoption steps above make you stand out as a company? Not likely. Adopting a SaaS platform is typically something you do exactly because it is something where you cannot make a difference by building your own solution. Moving to IaaS will in the best-case result in a lower TCO and/or improved operational excellence, but there’s nothing more to it than that.

If you want to take it a step further and really make cloud contribute to your business growth, PaaS (Platform as a Service) technology can make a huge difference. For many companies, it’s still uncharted territory however. So let’s take a look at what makes it tick.

 

Paas to the rescue

Let’s make a bold (and quite possibly unpopular) statement here. Why do companies need IT infrastructure? The answer is simple: to build & run applications. Unless you are a hosting company or a (private) cloud provider, there is no inherent business value in IT infrastructure.

So what if you could put an end to the perils of IT infrastructure and just focus on what matters most – building & running the apps that your (internal) customers value? Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

This is basically the promise of PaaS. And the software you build on top of it is called Cloud Native.

 

MICROSOFT – CLOUD SERVICE MODELS

 

In the next part, I will elaborate on three distinct business drivers that will make PaaS and cloud native apps even more appealing. Stay tuned 😊

 

Key takeaways

  • There is more to the cloud than lift-and-shift
  • Unless it is your core business, the only purpose of IT infrastructure is running software – which creates the actual value for your (internal) customers
  • With cloud native development, you no longer need to think about infrastructure, allowing for you to focus 100% on building & running software that differentiates you as a company

 

Written by Tom Callant, Digital Director at LoQutus

 

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