What are Xebia's cloud professionals working on these days, and what do they expect for the future? What advice do they have for companies regarding managing the cloud? And last but not least, how can you get started if you're not working with the cloud yet? We asked our cloud team to share what's happening in their field!
The current state of the cloud industry
At this moment, we're seeing a mix of companies that were born in the cloud, companies that successfully migrated, and those still waiting to do so. When we look at the different challenges these companies face, we see the following:
- Due to a raging war on IT talent, companies struggle to find people who excel at, for example, cloud-native design and engineering.
- They're looking for the right tools to manage cloud resources and spend.
- They want to minimize clutter by modernizing legacy or reducing complexity.
- The cloud natives are searching for ways to accelerate.
The most common challenges when adopting the cloud
What makes moving to the cloud so tricky is the fact that it impacts the way you work on all levels. To work with consumption models and architectures found only in the public cloud, companies need a whole new mindset and new skills. Without them, they're limited to a straightforward lift-and-shift. Secondly, legacy is a major pain point for companies migrating to the cloud. That's why those without legacy - startups, greenfields, and incubators - often have a far smoother journey.
What happens after you've moved your workloads to the cloud?
We would definitely advise you to assess them from time to time! After adoption, we often see consumption increase, which leads to higher expenses (than expected). We recommend reviewing workloads regularly to ensure you're still using the best services for your workload, that it runs efficiently, and it's optimized for the lowest possible spend.
Managing cloud expenses with FinOps
Imagine you're just starting to explore cloud and data. At that point, expenses are still clear. Then, as more employees use more resources, you'll lose track of what's happening, and bills will skyrocket. We advise companies to educate their workforce, create transparency, tag all resources, repeatedly emphasize the value of a positive ROI, and explore how FinOps can help them. FinOps aims to create organization-wide cloud awareness and, by doing so, optimizes cloud usage and spending. For example, if your cloud spend is higher than it should be, FinOps can help you discover what's going on (inform), respond (operate) and prevent (optimize).
"Proper use of cloud services across organizations requires teams to understand the implications and accept the accountability."
What would you advise companies still waiting to move to the cloud?
- Get all teams on the same page, and don't be afraid to make bold moves.
- Embrace the fact that migration is disruptive.
- Learn about the impact cloud will have on every part of the organization and create a shared understanding by, for example, attending a cloud workshop.
- Gather all the available cloud knowledge in a Center of Excellence for faster adoption.
- Depending on your strong suits, select a partner that completes your skills.
- Take rigor in scrutinizing the current application portfolio and invest only in cloud-native solutions.
- Build what sets you apart, and use SaaS for anything else. Focus on creating business value!
What's next? What trends will rule the cloud industry?
- FOCUS ON BUSINESS VALUE: wherever you are in your cloud journey, optimizing your infrastructure to minimize expenses and prioritizing workloads that generate business value is super important to survive and thrive!
- THE NEED FOR TRUSTED ADVISORS: organizations will increasingly partner with cloud specialists who'll bring solution- or industry-specific expertise. These trusted advisors will help companies create a cloud-first work environment that is scalable, flexible, and secure by design. Additionally, they will share their knowledge on more complex topics such as edge computing, serverless, observability, and multi-cloud architecture.
- MORE MANAGED SERVICES: after migration, managing and optimizing the cloud determines the business value it'll bring. We predict that cloud management will increasingly be done by third parties, enabling organizations to focus on building and delivering unique business value.
- PREDICTABILITY: we can see that a certain level of predictability is creeping into the cloud. For instance, receiving a discount on committed usage. This is at odds with the flexibility of the cloud. But, cleverly addressed, you can take advantage of this without compromising on freedom, and we are thrilled to help you do so!
- CLOUD-NATIVE DEVELOPMENT: developers will build less from scratch. Instead, they'll call on existing functions (or code) when needed. This allows them to really focus on creating business value instead of spending a large part of their time on system maintenance.
- CLOUD OPTIMIZATION: 'getting cloud right' isn't done in a day. There are many things businesses need to consider and work on every day, like security, governance, observability, FinOps, a cloud culture, and the right soft skills. We believe the number of companies asking us to help them with cloud optimization will increase over the next few years!