CIOs and the Cloud: Key in the digital transformation

The Cloud, in any form, is an essential part of computing deployment models, becoming the key medium for the digital transformation

Multiple deployment strategies exist: private/public cloud, cloud-first, multi-cloud and hybrid cloud. These can also include re-internalisation in some cases, finally part of a critical process of a cloud that is now mature.

IDC’s Cloud Computing Survey 2018 reveals that 73% of organisations have at least one application or part of their IT infrastructure in the cloud. For most companies, this migration started with BUs adopting services or solutions in SaaS mode, which means they are rented. IT departments started considering cloud migration when they began moving a handful of key applications to third-party service providers.
Today, French companies are investing an average of €31.3 million in cloud services, a figure that the Insight European 2019 Intelligent Technology Index study states is growing constantly. The study also revealed that 44% of French CIOs believe that the cloud has played a key role in digital innovation projects in recent years.

The challenges of adopting the cloud

Cloud adoption has become a reality, and is constantly growing. Still, it’s no small decision for companies, and CIOs have to invest heavily in it. For example, migrating an application to the cloud requires precise planning, adopting and deploying workflow lifecycle management tools, or creating processes for the new model. It also requires training for everyone from development to maintenance. And, while change management is too often overlooked, it is essential because of the paradigm shift and culture change imposed by the cloud.
There are many challenges that have to be faced, but they are sometimes underestimated. Insight Index reveals that while most (69% of French CIOs) consider global IT operations management to be the biggest challenge they face today, the main issue raised by the deployment of a cloud strategy is cost: monthly costs for 48% of CIOs, upstream costs (capital expenditures) for 37% of them, and budget shortfalls for 34%. And security appears to be the issue keeping 57% of CIOs up at night.
But results don’t always live up to expectations. For example, Dynatrace's Top Challenges for CIOs in a Software-driven, Hybrid, Multi-Cloud World found that IT teams spent 33% of their time in 2019 dealing with performance issues, costing $3.3 million annually on average, up 34%. This would seem to promote the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) to drive IT infrastructure, which 88% of CIOs expect. And, of course, we can’t forget that some cloud projects are a failure, especially when CIOs try to do too much, too quickly. As a result, more than one-third of cloud services sit gathering dust...

Toward the hybrid cloud

And so, since the old and the new have to operate together, CIOs wanting different capabilities and to avoid depending on a single vendor, often subject to legal and regional obligations, are turning to the hybrid cloud. Private cloud, public cloud, multi-cloud: the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index 2018 reports that 91% of CIOS worldwide consider the hybrid cloud an ideal answer to their IT needs. And nine out of ten CIOs are already using or plan to deploy a private cloud, SaaS, IaaS or PaaS solution, microservices, containers or server-less computing in the next 12 months.
At the same time, a Netwrix 2019 report reveals that nearly one in three organisations (31%) would consider repatriating data to their on-premise infrastructure. Some see this datum as a failure of the cloud. Instead, mightn’t it be rather a reasoned approach, a sign of a degree of maturity that, ten years after the cloud first appeared in France, is seeing a strengthening of IT strategies? And why are IT departments re-internalising? This movement addresses security, reliability, cost-effectiveness, and high-cost concerns, primarily for business-critical data and applications, demonstrating a mature strategy. CIOs are learning, and cloud consumption patterns are changing with them.