Defining the Public Cloud Platform for the Next Wave of Application Transformation

4 min read

Organizations in Europe are overhauling their application delivery infrastructure and respective organizational setups to improve a series of business metrics and sharpen their competitive edge.

Four in ten organizations in Europe invest in their application delivery capability to become more agile in the way they conduct business and drive value for their end customers. Delivering digital experiences comparable to those in popular consumer applications and at the pace of digital startups has become the north star, while the application delivery posture will dictate whether organizations will be able to make it through this decade successfully or not.

42% of European organizations recognize that enhancing customer experience is a prime motive for scaling investment in the application development and deployment capability.

To push application functionality in production at speed and scale, organizations are moving towards cloud native application development and deployment. IDC sees that cloud native application delivery programs are rapidly becoming strategic as organizations in Europe are racing to ready their IT capability for a hyper-agile, hyper-elastic business world.

In 2019, cloud native app delivery was happening merely in innovation labs or in siloed business pockets for half of European organizations. By 2021, over 60% of the European organizations will be driving cloud native application delivery programs in an integrated fashion.

Yet, while the shift to cloud native is very clear, a series of challenges await the application development and infrastructure operations teams on this transformation journey. Transforming vast estates of applications to cloud native demands a comprehensive application infrastructure strategy where public cloud platforms have a role to play in defining the new delivery blueprint.

While there is no one-size-fits-all formula, IDC has observed a series of hurdles that affect IT delivery and that organizations need to consider when defining their public cloud platform strategy.

An inclusive platform that does not discriminate between the old and the new

Being able to onboard and unify older and newer application environments onto a platform is paramount if organizations are aiming for agility. In the absence of a public cloud platform strategy capable of accommodating application estates of different ages, application modernization is not truly being realized.

Furthermore, organizations need to plan for public cloud platforms that can withstand and address a rapid accumulation of technical debt. As new software frameworks, languages, and code repositories are emerging, organizations need to put in place cloud platforms that can sustain a rapid retirement and reenactment of application artifacts.

7 in 10 organizations in Europe identify integration into legacy application environments as the biggest bottleneck in accelerating application delivery.

Particularly within a cloud native application development and deployment context, getting the cloud platform architecture right is hard. Reconciling the coexistence of—and later integration of—cloud enabled and cloud native application environments onto the cloud platform is key.

It is also important to seek expert advice and support from outside the organization in planning and executing on the transformation journey. Access to parties with proven consulting expertise can facilitate the transformation and lower program risks.

35% of organizations in Europe indicate that they are struggling to define the adequate architecture for cloud native app delivery.

Compliance-, governance- and security-first cloud platforms

Governance, compliance, and security need to wrap around the modern application delivery pipeline—this is an essential requirement for enterprises These dimensions are recognized as major bottlenecks affecting application delivery teams who are trying to push code swiftly through the app release pipeline.

50% of organizations in Europe cite security, governance, and compliance as top hurdles impacting application delivery.

Architecting security, governance, and compliance as intrinsic capabilities within the cloud platform enables the onboarding of sensitive and mission-critical application workloads. Cloud native application delivery creates substantial challenges in relation to enforcing security, observability of IT operations, and governance.

These challenges are being addressed where adequate security, governance, and regulatory compliance mechanisms are put in place in order to help organizations realize their vision to transform core business applications on public cloud platforms.

1 in 4 organizations in Europe recognize security, IT Ops observability, and governance as big pain points in cloud-native app delivery environments.

Hybrid is a reality in cloud native too

Organizations in Europe run their cloud native application delivery equally balanced between private cloud platforms and public cloud platforms, and this approach is not expected to change in the short to medium term. To maximize the benefits of doing cloud native application delivery on top of private and public cloud platforms, data and app dev and deploy processes need to work fluidly between environments. For this reason, organizations must build a comprehensive provisioning strategy where hybrid designs and capabilities are key in the wider delivery blueprint.

In Europe, in the short term, half of the cloud native app delivery will happen on top of private cloud platforms and half on top of public ones.

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IDC data source: "Cloud-Native Application Delivery in Europe: 2019 DevOps, Developers, and Cloud Platforms Survey"

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