How moving to cloud can strengthen core business applications

Understanding the risks and rewards of moving enterprise applications to a multicloud environment


Shifting to cloud & the benefits of multicloud environments

4 min read

The average business runs close to 2,000 custom workloads* in their legacy enterprise resource planning systems, yet more than 50 percent of those programs are never used. With 40,000 global consultants dedicated to platforms like SAP and Microsoft, IBM has first-hand knowledge of how to maximize the capabilities of these mission-critical systems.

Why shift workloads to the cloud?

Core business applications are more important than ever, from process planning to CRM (Customer Relationship Management). When this data becomes connected, real-time insights allow you to build a smarter business, make critical decisions, optimize investments to fund innovation and deliver essential customer experiences. While many enterprises begin their cloud journeys by migrating customer-facing applications to cloud-native applications, these only make up a fraction of the total applications run by enterprises.

Currently, only 20% of all workloads have moved to the cloud.

Currently, only 20% of all workloads have moved to the cloud.

Cloud 2.0

In order to complete this digital transformation, organizations need to move to the second phase of cloud adoption, which is enabling and integrating cloud-native applications into hybrid multicloud environments. By bringing a hybrid cloud model to mission-critical applications, including front-office and back-office, your enterprise can work more effectively. You can gather customer, supply chain, sales and marketing data to deliver new services and applications to customers, employees, and partners. This multicloud approach will allow you to optimize your applications and match the right workloads to the right cloud providers, creating more efficient partnerships.

Three benefits of utilizing multicloud environments

The three main benefits of moving business-critical workloads to a multicloud environment are 1) greater scalability, 2) cost savings and 3) flexibility.

Greater scalability
The ability to scale applications allows enterprises to quickly adapt to changing competitive pressures and run workloads in the cloud wherever they fit best, based on strategy and objectives.
Cost savings
A cloud infrastructure has inherent cost savings such as paying only for the computing power required and having the ability to shift costs from capital expense (CAPEX) to operating expense (OPEX). Companies can also decrease cloud spending for critical workloads using hybrid multicloud infrastructure.
An additional benefit of a multicloud environment is being able to choose the right vendor for specific workloads. This allows a company to grow or adapt their application portfolio in a way that may not be possible with one single cloud vendor. With a multicloud approach, you can partner vendors with matching workloads based on capabilities.and avoid the limitations of having a singular vendor.

Challenges of a hybrid multicloud world

3 min read

A hybrid multicloud environment is complex and enterprises can struggle to manage traditional and cloud environments across different infrastructures. In order to have success with a hybrid infrastructure, it’s essential to have a seamless transition of business-critical applications like SAP and Oracle that integrate key functions across a business. Working with multiple cloud vendors helps avoid vendor lock-in, but some companies feel it can result in added complexity.

Additionally, challenges can arise from potential inconsistencies, as well as the lack of in-house management skills and tools. To deliver reliable and responsive IT, organizations need resources that are trained across multiple cloud infrastructures and applications. This requires sourcing, hiring, training and retaining talent to manage the multicloud environment in-house.

The challenge of finding and retaining talent can limit the ability of a company to integrate applications across its traditional and cloud environments, negatively impact user satisfaction, increase risk and decrease IT responsiveness to internal and external customers.

Security and compliance challenges

Forty-one percent of enterprises that currently use multicloud indicate that security is a challenge. Twenty-four percent of surveyed organizations planning to use multicloud state that maintaining compliance is a challenge.

Without a disciplined approach to monitor security and compliance across multiple clouds, IT leaders may experience unplanned system downtime, decreased customer trust and fines due to consumer data privacy violations. Integrated, built-in security is essential to managing enterprise applications across multiple clouds.

The need for consistency across hybrid multicloud environments is another issue among customers, as 36 percent of organizations cite consistent management across multiple platforms as a challenge. Roughly 39 percent of organizations state having a single view into applications as a primary challenge in running non-SaaS applications in a multicloud infrastructure. But how can teams more effectively provide this simplified view?


Why a single view across your infrastructure is essential

3 min read

Inconsistency, inability to manage costs, as well as security and compliance risks across platforms can create operational inefficiencies for organizations. A single view across vendors can help solve these challenges. Seven out of ten enterprises state having a single view of their applications across public clouds as important. Surprisingly, only 42 percent of multicloud users have a central console for a single view. Enterprises using a single view of applications experience benefits such as greater efficiency, improved cost and more effective performance management.

Having a single point of responsibility was cited most often as an advantage by current multicloud users. Transparency is not easy to achieve across multicloud providers, but one unified view can provide teams with clarity across mission-critical workloads, help develop repeatable standards and optimize cloud use and spend. By using a single vendor, 30 percent of enterprises decreased their need to retrain in-house staff and 27 percent had the ability to redeploy resources to other strategic priorities.

Ultimately, a single point of responsibility provides a simplified, consistent user experience that can help increase the efficiency of your organization and accelerate the impact of digital transformation.

When planning for the evolution of their IT infrastructure, 89 percent of IT leaders plan to use artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics, 83 percent plan to use the Internet of Things (IoT) and 59 percent plan to use blockchain.

Effective implementation of these technologies in a multicloud infrastructure can radically change day-to-day operations and deepen your competitive advantage through smart data use. The ability to choose the right cloud for the right workload is vital and can create opportunities for simplified management, security, governance and data leveraging. Appropriate guidance helps ensure that your organization uses the advantages of AI and analytics to help increase your ability to scale.


The value of IBM and migrating critical applications to a cloud environment

4 min read

As businesses progress along their digital transformation journey, the right multicloud strategy and deployment can enhance business results. A flexible, hybrid multicloud model can provide controlled access to managed applications and cloud providers, increase visibility to costs and reduce risk with built-in security features. By aligningworkloads with optimal cloud infrastructures, you can more efficiently optimize your cloud deployment. A single view of your applications across cloud providers and infrastructure helps manage complexities, amplify insights and increase return on investment (ROI) through technological advances like AI.

Begin the transformation of your core business processes by co-creating your strategy with an IBM design thinking workshop.

Why IBM?

The IBM point of view on managing hybrid multicloud IT environments is based on a strategy that offers clients enabled workloads, cohesive user experiences, application-level SLAs and consistency. With its services and solutions, IBM can partner with your business to accelerate your digital transformations wherever you may be,and deliver business value through cloud transformation. Enterprise applications management helps manage enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications across a growing number of cloud providers. IBM can connect your expertise and business solutions to help you achieve the following business goals:

  • Provide insights into consumer behavior and security threats
  • Connect global supply chains with demand chains
  • Transform business best practices with client-centric approaches
  • Increase sales
  • Accelerate product development
  • Enable consistent global pricing and offerings

By providing a single portal view independent of the cloud platform, IBM can simplify the management of your multicloud environment and help protect your core application data with integrated security. Backed by a worldwide delivery team, IBM solutions have comprehensive support across the globe.

Research Methodology

IBM® Services™ commissioned IBM Market Development & Insights (MD&I) to pursue a deeper understanding of the challenges and benefits of migrating and managing non-SaaS enterprise applications across multiple clouds. MD&I surveyed 204 business and technology leaders. Of the respondents, 58 percentwere chief information officers (CIOs), chief technology officers (CTOs) and 39 percent were IT directors or IT managers. Sixty percent of respondents said they used a multicloud environment. The other 40 percent reported they planned to adopt to a multicloud environment. Most of these organizations viewed multicloud as a distinct advantage for their enterprise applications that allows companies to achieve cost savings, flexibility and scalability. However, these organizations acknowledged some resulting challenges, such as added complexity, consistent management and integrating legacy platforms. Most respondents indicated that successful IT management requires a single view of the hybrid multicloud estate for monitoring and management.

Next steps

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