Digital Transformation: Intensifying Cloud Strategy

If there is no longer any need to evangelize on the cloud, there is still a lot to do in this area within companies.

The implementation of new organizations of the information system, project management and even the financial side of cloud exploitation still requires a certain number of adjustments and strategic options for companies.

In this context, the coming years will see the emergence of two main trends: the move to “cloud only” and the verticalization of offerings.

Choose a ‘cloud only’ strategy

The ‘cloud only’ (or ‘cloud at the center’) approach can be seen as a logical end, following the ‘cloud enable’ (migration, transformation of existing system) and ‘cloud first’ (new cloud projects by default) phases.

The “cloud only” strategy, which concerns all services and systems, faces many difficulties: cybersecurity, reliability of services, integration, data migration, lack of experience, availability of bandwidth, etc.

These hurdles are related to the huge advantages of adopting cloud computing. The companies that are most mature in the cloud approach are also those that have had the least drop in productivity during the transition to containment.

The first “cloud only” businesses are small businesses, new businesses, or both. But others will follow, “in places” becoming the exception, tolerating certain regulations.

Adopt vertical cloud solution

The cloud was initially adopted quickly because it offered a very general approach. Today, the core computing, networking, and storage services of Hyperscalers are distinguished primarily by their marketing, not their features.

This commodification means lower revenue for cloud service providers. In 2022 and beyond, they will compete to provide vertical solutions, focusing on highly regulated sectors, such as banking or healthcare.

For buyers in the cloud, it will not be the differentiation factor that provides the most services, but rather it provides compatibility while enabling application developers to perform their jobs faster and more efficiently in their industry.

Prefer a hybrid cloud approach

Clouds implemented by companies are often mixed. Whether it’s on two different clouds, or on one or two – or more! – In addition to the local infrastructure. Some companies cannot do without on-premises infrastructure due to high value-added business applications that cannot migrate to the cloud. The cost of maintaining non-portable business segments will be increasingly high, so it will be necessary to strive to reduce their scope to a minimum.

Compliance with multiple cloud standards

Multicloud is part of the business roadmap. Modern IS consists of solutions hosted on one or more clouds (AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, OVHcloud, Scaleway, etc.), as well as applications in SaaS mode (Salesforce.com, Workday, Snowflake, etc.). It is imperative and urgent for organizations to consider the integration of all these components. Especially as managed multi-cloud solutions are emerging, in Snowflake, Confluent, Google (Anthos and BigQuery Omni), AWS (EKS Anywhere)…

It is these multi-cloud technologies such as Anthos or EKS that make it possible to take advantage of the expertise of a particular cloud provider in its own data center or from a certified partner (see for example the agreement between Google and OVH made possible thanks to Anthos).

It will also be necessary to address a new problem: the need for reliability and non-compliance adds additional costs, which must necessarily be compensated for by the created value.

Prioritize the trusted cloud in case of sensitive data

In order to ensure the security of sensitive data and instances, it is now possible to use a trusted cloud. This idea is governed by a flag from Anssi, the national information systems security agency. This designation is based on the security requirements set by Anssi, the SecNumCloud visa, supplemented with a legal component that ensures complete independence from external laws, such as the American Patriot Act and Cloud Act.

This protection comes from three simple conditions:

● The servers must be based in France,

● The company that owns the servers must be European,

● The company must be owned by Europeans.

Some see the arrival of the trust cloud as the entry of technology into the age of nationalism. Perhaps, but technological nationalism has always been there. It was practiced by the United States and China. It is time for France and Europe to be less naive about this.

Others prefer a true European sovereign cloud. While waiting for such a project to materialize, this trust mark allows companies and departments that handle sensitive data to consider the migration to the cloud more quietly. Now is the time to get ready for it.

environmental insurance

Deploying “cloud first” or “cloud only” strategies requires a very high level of responsiveness from infrastructure teams. On demand and in near real time, they need to be able to provide secure spaces where teams can develop, test, and deploy their applications.

This response should not come at the expense of safety. Landing zones, or “landing zones,” are there for that. They provide a preconfigured environment, parameterized by code, to accommodate any type of project.

Native cloud scaling

Adopting a cloud-first or cloud-only strategy also means rethinking the way applications are developed and deployed. These applications should be designed to get maximum benefit from the cloud, this is called cloud-native applications.

These applications run in a container and/or serverless environment, and the scalability is done horizontally. They are deployed in the form of microservices by adopting DevOps methods, exploiting managed services provided by cloud providers and exposing APIs.

In other words, it is as much a technical development as it is a cultural change.

Automation of certain processes

The best way to deploy and maintain cloud infrastructure is to code and manage it as you would application code. At the heart of cloud-native architectures is the idea of ​​IaC (Infrastructure as Token). This is what brings responsiveness, but also security: the code can be checked and debugged at the time of publication, to ensure compliance with the company’s “cloud policy” (cloud security policy).

Automation tools are essential when you want to manufacture your cloud approach. Terraform, in particular, has become a market standard; Its publisher, Hashicorp, made an impressive listing on the Nasdaq, which was valued at $15 billion.

Use GitOps to manage infrastructure

GitOps is an operational framework that takes DevOps best practices used for application development, such as version control, collaboration, compliance, and CI/CD, and applies them to infrastructure automation. Once the infrastructure is practiced as code, the GitOps approach becomes intuitive.

The cloud has become the digital base for creating or transforming businesses. However, the uses and technologies are constantly evolving and require constant monitoring so that businesses can take full advantage of the benefits that the cloud offers.

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