4 Best Practices to Help Organizations Succeed in a Hybrid Cloud World

ESG Research Insights paper describes behaviors organizations should adopt to improve multi-cloud management.

Hybrid cloud continues to grow in popularity, fueled by its agility and scalability. Yet, many organizations realize that a hybrid cloud model (a combination of private, on-prem, and public cloud) also introduces complexity, which slows innovation. A hybrid model also makes it more difficult to view global utilization or track and control costs.

A recent ESG Research Insights Paper, Multi-cloud Management Maturity, Tangible Reasons Management Excellence Is Required in a Hybrid Computing World, details how organizations are managing heavily hybridized environments. In the paper, ESG surveyed 600 IT decision makers in organizations of at least 1,000 employees to determine a multi-cloud management maturity score.

Those surveyed use public cloud for nearly a quarter of their workloads – and the majority utilize multiple cloud service providers. They also implement on-premises workloads in the following percentages:

  • 37% of on-premises workloads are run on traditional physical servers.
  • 36% are run on VMs that are still predominantly managed as traditional servers.
  • 27% are run within a private cloud that inherits the core attributes of public cloud services.

Survey results – only 15% are “Transformed”

Based on the results, ESG divided the organizations into 4 groups: Unrealized, Modernized, Automated, and Transformed, ranking them from lowest to highest according to their degree of success in a hybrid landscape. The survey found most organizations fall somewhere in the middle of the multi-cloud maturity spectrum:

  • 15% Unrealized
  • 35% Modernized
  • 35% Automated
  • 15% Transformed

These results didn’t surprised me, as successful multi-cloud management involving public cloud and on-premises private is complex – and very few tools that solve the complexity problem are available.

However, I found a couple of results particularly interesting. Respondents could earn a total of 100 maturity points, yet the highest score achieved was only 86. And if an organization earned at least a score of 67.5, ESG included them in the “Transformed” category. ESG noted that the most advanced organizations still have lots of room to grow in terms of improving their cloud management maturity.

Another interesting finding in the report was that even incremental improvements resulted in substantial gains. Organizations that moved from one tier to the next realized substantial benefits throughout the enterprise.

Transformed organizations – what’s their secret?

According to ESG’s research, organizations that want to improve their multi-cloud management maturity should implement four best practices. To join the ranks of the Transformed multi-cloud management organizations, enterprises should do the following:

  1. Invest heavily in converged/hyperconverged infrastructure (CI/HCI) for on-premises workloads.

Ninety percent of all Transformed organizations have deployed CI/HCI platforms in their environments to support legacy workloads, while 88% have done so for newly developed applications. Instead of waiting for legacy infrastructure to depreciate fully, it’s interesting that many of these organizations are implementing these newer technologies proactively.

  1. Actively automate IT operations so staff can focus on other areas.

Transformed organizations report that they have either completely or mostly automated processes such as VM provisioning (86%), application deployment (88%), and performance/problem monitoring (86%). Once IT staff automates these processes, they have more time to focus on other initiatives such as supporting application development or re-architecting legacy applications.

  1. Invest in consolidated hybrid cloud management tools.

No matter where a workload runs (in a public or private cloud), hybrid cloud management tools will manage and monitor cloud costs, as well as provide consistent user experiences. ESG discovered Transformed organizations are twice as likely as Unrealized organizations to consolidate management under one IT team for public cloud and on-premises resources (58% to 23% respectively.) Due to simplified and streamlined operations provided by hybrid cloud management tools, a single management team is sufficient.

  1. Make informed workload placement decisions and optimize workloads before moving them to public cloud infrastructure.

Nearly half of Transformed organizations (48%) fully customize applications prior to migration. Just 3% of Unrealized organizations put the same level of effort into workload preparation prior to migrating to the cloud.

The bigger truth

Based on ESG’s research, Transformed organizations are the exception, not the rule. And even those who have “transformed” have not reached the pinnacle, which means that they have the opportunity to improve even more. Additionally, ESG’s research shows even incremental improvements result in big rewards for the organization. For those interested in improving their standing against the benchmarks laid out by ESG, it is important to take a look at the 4 best practices above and begin implementing these suggestions.

Read the full report: Multi-cloud Management Maturity, Tangible Reasons Management Excellence Is Required in a Hybrid Computing World. HPE can help organizations simplify their hybrid IT experience with modern technologies and software-defined solutions. Additionally, Cloud Technology Partners (CTP), a HPE company, will work with the IT team to enhance learning, conquer cloud, and accelerate a successful digital transformation.

About the Author

To Speed Development and Time to Market, Empower Your Developers TechNativeGary Thome is the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for the Software-Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). He is responsible for the technical and architectural directions of converged datacenter products and technologies. Over his extensive career in the computer industry, Gary has authored 50 patents.

To read more articles from Gary, check out the HPE Shifting to Software-Defined blog.