Channel markets, Multi-cloud management

How to Accelerate, Optimize Cloud Services Value

Moving your applications and workloads into the cloud does not intrinsically make you resilient. Or agile. It does, however, move you forward and give you access to a greater range of capabilities that are more likely to help you respond to disruption.  In fact, 82% of survey respondents from Avanade’s Ready by Design research agree that developing and executing a cloud strategy will increase agility and produce measurable short-term results.

Adam Wengert, Global Applications & Infrastructure Go-To-Market Lead, Avanade
Author: Adam Wengert, global applications & infrastructure go-to-market lead, Avanade

With COVID-19 affecting every organization and industry, the time has come to rethink your approach to the cloud. Most organizations have found that their infrastructure and operations have faced challenges in scaling to meet a new set of demands from employees and customers, and many have struggled to adapt quickly in the face of such disruption. But, you can increase business agility by accelerating and optimizing your Azure migration to make your business more resilient, and more scalable for the future.

There are two ways that we think about helping our clients on their journey to the cloud. On one hand, we have cloud optimization and cost containment, which is crucial for most organizations in responding to the impact of COVID-19. On the other, there’s cloud acceleration, which focuses on getting workloads and data into the cloud faster, as organizations reset their approach to the cloud and renew how they operate. These two are inextricably linked, and they represent the ability to progressively drive more value from the cloud.

When to optimize?

Most organizations will look to optimize their cloud expenditure first. Some will consider increasing agility and scalability, or building new functionality as more important. There is no “right” time to optimize, as organizational priorities will dictate the best mixture of accelerate and optimize. The key to cloud optimization is that it is constant, can be started at any moment, and must be included in both long and short term strategies.

How the cloud can help you to respond, reset and renew: There are three key areas where organizations should focus as they rethink their approach to the cloud:

1. Respond: Optimize Immediately: Many organizations will want to optimize immediately as they face financial challenges brought about by the impact of the pandemic.While quick savings can always be made, the longer-term approach must include visibility and control measures, as well as governance processes. And, while cost optimization is a central element to any cloud estate, there are many other dimensions of optimization to be considered. Your priorities may be focused around security or scalability for example.

2. Reset: Accelerate to the cloud: In an ideal world you’d rebuild every application to be cloud native. But this isn’t an ideal world and you need to move faster to take all your applications, workloads, and data to the cloud. In order to modernize, you need to know where to start – business critical apps maybe, or those that drive the most business value? This is where clients often get stuck in “analysis paralysis”.  Don’t get me wrong – analysis is hugely important, but having the right information is crucial. When you move all applications and workloads to the cloud, you get the opportunity to test and explore ideas that will fundamentally change that analysis while you benefit from the capabilities that come with the cloud.

3. Renew: Accelerate innovation: If you need to build new experiences now, don’t overcomplicate. In order to integrate new functionality or adapt to changing market needs quickly, embrace a “Sidecar” approach to creating new experiences, where the sidecar sits outside of your normal system. Think of it as a way to benefit from cloud native features, without needing to modernize or risk the entire application. In parallel, you should continue your journey to cloud maturity that you started when you moved your applications to the cloud as you build resilience for the future.

The Time for Action is Now

It’s clear that the cloud makes organizations more agile and adaptable, but we know the challenges that many have historically faced in driving value from their journeys toward cloud maturity. It can be complicated, but don’t be overwhelmed - the steps you take during this significant period of change will help to power you through and towards a future as an organization with a renewed confidence in being better prepared to respond.

Find out how to unlock business value from Microsoft Azure.

Adam Wengert is global applications & infrastructure go-to-market lead, Avanade. Read more Avanade blogs here.