In today’s digital transformation era, you won’t find it surprising that a vast majority of companies declare using at least two or more distinct cloud providers. But in fact, the way companies are sourcing their infrastructure is not so different than what they did ten years ago. The reality is that selecting a cloud vendor is generally a functionality-based approach. Evaluating capabilities, performance, and reliability, organizations choose the cloud technology that fits the best with their business expectations. So that explains why you can quickly come to adopt multiple cloud vendors, mostly because of technical or functional reasons – and not necessarily because of an economic imperative.
But there is another good reason your company may end up working with multiple cloud vendors. While organizations are shifting their focus from technologies to outcomes, they tend to implement a solid Enterprise Business Capability (EBC) strategy. Referred by Gartner as the emerging fourth generation of ERP, the EBC trend aims to move away from monolithic ERPs, back to less integrated tools. It does not mean your company stops using a core ERP, but instead of using it for everything, you adopt additional cloud solutions for selected functional needs (like HR, CRM, BI …). As a result, modern IT environments look like a hybrid of loosely coupled services; some services still running on-premises and other services operated by various cloud providers.
So, as you plan to accelerate your move to the cloud, adopt more platform-as-a-service, or software-as-a-service, you also need to plan moving and transforming your existing business processes. Of course, this cannot be done without facing three typical automation challenges:
Migrating existing business processes
Migrating your existing automated processes to the cloud is your first challenge. Like most companies moving to the cloud, you do not start from scratch. You aim to mitigate any side effects from a doing a big-bang. For that, you have to transition a broad set of existing business processes, and migrate hundreds or thousands of workflows from your on-prem infrastructure to the cloud. The lack of existing visibility into these processes is the biggest hurdle. It is difficult to map complex processes that can span across multiple technologies and multiple workload automation vendors. Poor visibility prevents you from accurately evaluating the impact of the migration on your existing application workflows, which then damages your SLAs in production.
Automating complex and hybrid workflows
The second challenge is related to the management of complex workflows into hybrid and multi-vendor cloud infrastructures. As you modernize your application flows, introducing new solutions supporting your EBC strategy, some critical workloads will be distributed across different environments. It can be in your private cloud, or your legacy infrastructure, such as the mainframe. But of course, a significant proportion of your workloads will be hosted in the public cloud, across multiple cloud vendors. To manage these modernized business processes, you will have to deal with orchestrating new types of workloads and tools, including data movements, cloud and container-based IaaS infrastructures, web services and APIs controlling SaaS and PaaS services.
Delivering services on-demand
The last challenge is intrinsically linked to the fact that your business users are already used to cloud services. Cloud is all but new to them. In their private life, they value instant messaging, immediate response, customer portals, self-service. They just expect that same level of service in their business life. The reality is your business users are not willing to wait for getting access to IT services, you’re expected to deliver faster than before. It means while you’re moving to the cloud, you also need to provide IT services at the speed of the cloud. In the event you cannot deliver services at pace, you may leave the door open to shadow IT. Frustrated developers, testers, and business users might pick third-party providers, ruining your compliance policies, and weakening your corporate IT strategy.
Looking to the future, it will become essential for your automation capabilities to align with your multi-cloud strategy, serving your digital business transformation goals. Broadcom, as a proof of its commitment to help companies evolving their traditional workload automation toolset, is referenced as a representative vendor in the latest “Market Guide for Service Orchestration and Automation Platforms (SOAP)” from Gartner. SOAP is a new category of automation solutions that can act as a single point of orchestration for workflow orchestration, run book automation, and resource provisioning across on-prem, private, and public cloud environments. Broadcom’s automation solution enables the management of complex and hybrid workloads that sit both on-premise and in multiple clouds. Broadcom enables end-to-end visibility and orchestration that simplifies the migration and the fast deployment of business services into multi-cloud infrastructures. As a result, you can address all three automation challenges hindering your multi-cloud strategy.
A direct effect of digital Darwinism impacts organizations that do not respond in a timely manner, leaving a significant competitive advantage over those that do. That’s why it is probably the right time for you to extend the traditional practice of workload automation and adapt it to cloud-native infrastructures and applications.