Taking the Complexity Out of the Cloud Journey

According to a study by Wakefield Research, 92 percent of organizations are either in the midst of app modernization or are planning to. Unfortunately, many of these modernization projects run into trouble. As they progress, the projects grow more complex, more expensive, and riskier. 

Around 80 percent of software developers and architecture engineers admit to a failure in an app modernization effort. Three out of four of survey respondents complained about cost—many reported that typical application modernization project costs nearly $1.5 million. Another 58 percent said such projects usually take around 16 months, with 27 percent saying they can run for two or more years. Developers, too, felt that a lack of integration tools was holding them back. 

These reports aren’t discouraging organizations from migrating more applications to the cloud. Instead, app modernization teams are seeking tools that automate and simplify the cloud journey. Such tools must be able to connect and integrate applications between clouds, as well as between the cloud and those applications that must remain on-premises. This is a lot harder than it sounds, as many in IT have discovered. 

Hyperscaler envy

Many organizations hear about how Google Cloud, Amazon, Facebook, and other hyperscalers have a cloud-only architecture. They admire the flexibility this offers and become envious of the capabilities, performance, and cost-efficiency these providers build into their data centers and application portfolios. Businesses want that for themselves, and they often rush headlong into the cloud in their digital transformation efforts.

But they are forgetting one major point that explains why the hyperscalers make it look easy: starting with cloud-native applications. Hyperscalers had the luxury of being able to architect everything for the cloud, so they weren’t bogged down in decades-old legacy applications. 

Most established organizations are coming from a very different position. Many of their apps were designed for on-premises deployment. Even when they develop newer apps for the cloud, they often discover that these apps still need to interact with legacy on-premises systems. 

For example, banking systems that are cloud-based and customer-facing typically suffer from dependencies that require data to be passed through a legacy system or at least interact with that system for verification purposes. There are also a great many regulations that require data to remain on-premises, not leave the country, guarantee privacy, and meet other standards. 

Financial services requirements can get particularly complex: regulations about how and where money can be moved, the many taxation jurisdictions and responsibilities, data sovereignty rules, etc. These factors tend to mire down application modernization efforts. 

All of this makes the move to the cloud far more challenging. When you then factor in the complexity within modern IT itself—Kubernetes clusters, virtualization, software-defined computing, and other factors—it’s no wonder so many digital transformation projects and cloud enablement projects are stalling. 

Also read: Top Cloud Computing Companies

Automated integration 

Fortunately, several providers are coming to bat for those wanting to move to the cloud. Companies like vFunction and Ori are developing tools to eliminate this complexity and automate the cloud journey. Ori, for example, offers the Ori Global Cloud as a service. It functions as a kind of middleware or automated orchestration/integration platform that promises to take apps to the cloud at Internet speed. 

“It is now possible to deploy a single app to the cloud in minutes and as many as 30 common apps to the cloud within a day,” said Rick Taylor, CTO at Ori. “The Ori Global Cloud reduces the need to develop in-house technology expertise by abstracting away any complexity and eliminating time-consuming manual plumbing. This allows staff to focus on higher-level IT functions.” 

The software achieves this efficiency via a combination of automation and intelligent orchestration. AI built into Ori Global Cloud administers application compute destinations based on criteria such as availability, operational cost, location, and performance requirements. 

Plus, the supporting automation features take the manual labor out of the move to the cloud. Ori automatically manages the underlying networking, security, and installation processes for all deployments. IT only has lay out a few application requirements and the platform takes care of the rest. 

If such platforms deliver what they promise, this could bring a new lease of life to the world of digital transformation and cloud migration.

Read next: Creating a Cloud Strategy: Tips for Success

Drew Robb
Drew Robb
Drew Robb has been writing about IT and engineering for more than 25 years. Originally from Scotland, he now lives in Florida.

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