3 steps to smarter application management
Essential capabilities for managing applications a hybrid multicloud environment
For the last decade or so, cloud has been the driver for business innovation and agility, an answer to increasingly complicated IT challenges. But despite its problem-solving promise, many organizations still hesitate to move their ‘core’ applications to the cloud.
Gartner predicts, ”By 2025, 90% of current applications will still be in use, and most will continue to receive insufficient modernization investment.” 1
Parallelly, organizations have tried some sort of ‘lift and shift’ approach giving them infrastructure efficiencies. In the process, they have realized moving most of the core applications would require rearchitecting to leverage full value of containerization. Moreover, they perceive the need for ‘hybrid multi cloud’ reality rather than a single cloud. Whether it is to support various types of applications, or to be future ready with M&A activities etc, there is a consensus to establish an IT ecosystem, which enables ‘managing’ the hybrid multi cloud environment.
This has constrained clients ability to adopt cloud as originally projected. Even today, more than 80% of these applications are still not on cloud2, because of the complicated nature of managing applications in a hybrid multi cloud world where enterprise portfolios reside both ‘on-premise’ and across different clouds. The traditional methods (on-prem based) of application management have become outdated, ineffective, costly, and uncompetitive for the ‘hybrid multi cloud’ reality.
Following three capabilities are essential for you to reinvent your business processes and manage applications in a combination of on-premises and multi-cloud environments, striving for greater agility and building ‘Smarter’ next-generation applications.
1) Manage the “complex” hybrid multicloud environment with enhanced visibility
It’s critical for your IT team to have a single-pane view to manage how business processes behaves from start to finish as it cuts across cloud stack, middleware and applications. Capabilities such as AIOps, FinOps, and SmartOps will be essential to monitor, control and optimize your application portfolio and provide transparency for effective management of multicloud platform.
The platform also need to enforce operations policies that ensure compliance across applications and hybrid infrastructure. Moreover, Covid-19 has necessitated, that this single-pane needs to be fungible and enable application management from anywhere in the world thereby reducing the concentration risk and need for collocation.
2) Transform your software engineering processes and upskill talent
Blurring lines between ‘continuous modernization’ and ‘management of applications’ requires your IT talent to adopt software engineering practices which are more holistic. These include –
- Experience of Agile delivery methods for improved throughput
- The ability to use DevSecOps and Automation platforms to ensure continuous adoption of self healing and recovery
- SRE principles to infuse focus on quality, availability and resiliency to realize zero-touch operations
- Finally, ensuring security of data, code and environment at all levels
Covid-19 has further accentuated the need for ‘virtualized workforce’ and its talent to adopt ‘smarter’ ways of managing, using hybrid labor (i.e. Human and Robots together). Digital enablement is critical—adapting processes to not only allow for remote work, but to actually embrace it. When training and onboarding team members, virtually or otherwise, make sure they have the right tools and skills to deploy specialized management and testing processes for next-generation applications like blockchain, Internet of things (IoT), Edge Services and big data.
3) Achieve the full value of cloud through digital transformation
Use ‘smarter application management’ as a catalyst to accelerate modernization and digital transformation within your organization. Organizations should drive ‘self funding’ modernization opportunities thereby making application management sustainable. Insights coming from service integration and management will be key to prioritize continuous modernization and help reduce technology debt by keeping the application landscape current. In the hybrid multi cloud world, use event-based telemetry architecture and quality engineering for open source to increase operational resilience, enhance reliability and encourage cloud adoption.
Approaches for Smarter application management in the new ‘hybrid multi cloud’ environment needs to be holistic. The approach should weave through all three essential capabilities to be ‘future ready’. As your IT environment gets more complex, so do the challenges your business faces. See how smarter application management can help you lead and innovate in a hybrid multi cloud world.
 Gartner, “Application Modernization Should Be Business-Centric, Continuous and Multiplatform,” Thomas Klinect, Stefan Van Der Zijden, 15 August, 2019.
2 Virginia M. Rometty, “Chairman’s Letter.” 2018 IBM Annual Report. COL03002-USEN-18. IBM, 2019. https://www.ibm. com/annualreport/2018/letter.html.