Go Cloud or Go Home: Exploring the Need for Cloud-Native Technologies

• Nov 13, 2020

There’s a common pendulum swing that happens with many innovative technologies. With the cloud, many organizations were initially keen on-going cloud-first, only to take a step back to a hybrid model. The first year cloud went to market, Capgemini found that only 15% of enterprises were working in cloud-native environments. But as the pandemic dragged on, a resurgence of cloud-native sentiments came into effect. By the end of 2020, we’re looking at double the number of enterprise applications born cloud-native.

The Battle between Cloud-Based and Cloud-Native –

For many enterprises looking to upgrade their infrastructure and processes, cloud-native is the goal destination. Digital transformation has been the buzzword of the season, and oftentimes, the cloud has been a core piece in any business’s plan to digitize. Adopting the cloud is only the first step to the greater brilliance of enterprise technology.

By the end of 2020, 67% of enterprise infrastructure will be cloud-based. With tight competition in numerous industries across the world and great shifts in consumer behaviors, this may not be enough.

While adopting a cloud-based model grants enterprises the ability to access infrastructure on-demand through the Internet, businesses can only do so much with it. Going cloud-native will give businesses greater power to personalize their architecture and processes to best fit their business needs and customer demands.

To go cloud-native, enterprises must look to building complete architecture and a company approach that fully harnesses the power of cloud computing. This flexible, open platform will seamlessly allow businesses to build applications, and put together cloud-based components for a cloud environment. This can drive business agility and can speed up development within the enterprise.

Why Go Cloud-Native?

There’s more to going cloud-native than investing in the right technology. Going cloud-native is a big commitment, one many are looking to take. Among the many benefits, it brings to the table, going cloud-native accelerates the process of going to market. In an ever-evolving competitive landscape, time to market separates the innovative from their lagging competitors. Cloud-native also allows for automation across the software delivery lifecycle. This means that the organization as a whole can design, create and release products at quicker and sure-fire rates.

As many works remotely from the comfort of their own homes, a cloud-native architecture will allow businesses to collaborate like never before. It opens up doors to new ways of working, all while maintaining productivity and efficiency in workflow. What’s more, businesses can tweak products based on changing market conditions. Going cloud-native can involve bringing advanced technologies such as data analytics, machine learning, and the Internet of Things into the picture. These will all allow for flexibility and scalability in product offerings, all at greater speed and lower costs.

In the OTT streaming space, going cloud-native can empower enterprises to speed up innovation. This can push services ahead of the race as it’ll allow new ideas to be brought to fruition within a matter of minutes or hours, as opposed to weeks, months, even years.

Going cloud-native will also offer enterprises a greater array of tools, allowing them to break free from legacy offerings that might hold them back. That said, it’ll take more than just migrating legacy systems to the cloud to be deemed a cloud-native enterprise. The road to going cloud-native may be winding, but the copious benefits the model brings make up for it.

The Road to Transforming into a Cloud-Native Enterprise –

Transforming to a cloud-native enterprise is a long and winding road. It’s important for businesses to understand every shortcut and hurdle they may encounter on this journey before they commit to it. Many factors can hinder a successful transition to cloud-native, and lack of education is one of them. Businesses going in blindly may see bottlenecks in successful integration. Lack of awareness from employees can also slow down the process of launching a cloud-native initiative.

It won’t make sense for businesses to go cloud-native when the cloud isn’t at the core of their business transformation plan. According to a recent study by Unisys Corporation, one in three cloud migrations fails due to this exact reason. The same study found that eight in ten businesses who integrated cloud as a core part of their strategy saw improvements from the migration.

Understanding the business case is crucial. Why are leaders investing in cloud migration and how will it help the enterprise as a whole? This must be communicated to the organization prior to taking the first leap. Beyond contemplating costs and productivity for operations, businesses must consider how the cloud will affect areas such as business agility, user and customer experience, and the technical risks involved. A meticulous plan must then be mapped out to ensure clarity across all affected areas.

Beyond understanding the business case, enterprises must also be aware of the many complexities cloud platforms bring. More often than not, transforming into a cloud-native enterprise will require the adoption of multiple components. While juggling these different components, businesses must not forget to take into account areas such as security and operating models, among others.

Above all, adopting a cloud-native mindset is key to a successful transformation. This involves restructuring processes and teams and coming up with products and services with the cloud in mind. Enterprises need to bring all these bits and pieces together to produce an outcome that will drive business growth and create value for the entire enterprise.

Old habits are hard to break and it’s important for leaders to educate teams on the need for cloud transformation. Training has to be offered to equip employees with the skills needed to make the best use out of the cloud, and to reduce the fear of change.

The benefits of cloud-native lie not within the servers, but in the services it empowers businesses to provide for their consumers. It’s only a matter of time before more enterprises embrace the calling to go cloud-native.

Kapil Chaudhry
Kapil Chaudhry

Kapil Chaudhry, Evergent’s Chief Technology Officer, has more than 15 years of engineering management experience, holds an MBA from the University of California, Irvine, and is a technical award recipient, and was formerly with DIRECTV.