The cloud has been mainstream now for over a decade, but adoption has been spotty as businesses experimented and learned what kind of benefits it can provide. Over the past couple of years, digital transformation has become a top initiative for business leaders, causing IT executives to look for ways to be more agile and dynamic. This has increased the adoption of cloud as not just a cheaper alternative to traditional, on-premises computing but rather a strategic alternative that can pay big dividends.
We are rapidly approaching a cloud “tipping point” where there will be more workloads and applications in the cloud than in an organization’s private data center. This week ServiceNow, a company that has enabled many organizations to make the shift to cloud, announced some interesting survey data, as well as a new solution for businesses that are thinking cloud-first.
ServiceNow’s 2016 Cloud Computing Tipping Point Survey highlighted the following interesting data points:
- The time for cloud is now. Fifty-two percent of respondents said they would utilize either SaaS or PaaS for new business applications over traditional on-premises data centers. This is significantly faster and more realistic than the timeline of 14 years that Pat Gelsigner gave in his VMworld keynote earlier this year. I’m certainly not saying businesses won’t use legacy platforms. After all, mainframes are still kicking around, but the growth is headed to the cloud.
- The cloud is coming fast. Seventy-seven percent of businesses will complete the migration to the cloud within two years. This number seems aggressive, but it is an indicator of where the mindset of IT leaders is today. The cloud is coming and coming fast, and businesses need to be prepared.
- DevOps is spearheading the cloud-first initiative. A digital business gains a competitive advantage through constant innovation, and DevOps enables that. The survey found that 94 percent of respondents are embracing DevOps, with 76 percent stating that the shift to DevOps has contributed to the decision to move to a cloud-first model.
- IT isn’t ready. Eighty-nine percent of respondents that have shifted to a cloud-first model stated the current IT staff lacked the necessary skills to be successful.
- IT has never been more important. A couple of questions were asked regarding IT relevancy. Seventy-two percent of respondents said the cloud raised IT’s relevancy, and 68 percent said it will be completely essential in the future.
The last few data points were very interesting: IT has never been more important, but they don’t have the necessary skills to be successful. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
Overcoming the cloud skills gap
Help is on the way, though. In conjunction with the survey, ServiceNow announced its IT Business Management (ITBM) suite designed to help overcome the skills gap and ensure that organizations have a successful journey to the cloud. ITBM can be thought of as the cloud command center where IT leaders have a view over resources, projects and costs related to cloud migrations. Think of the service as being the bridge on the Starship Cloud.
ITBM brings together project and portfolio management, IT financial management and application portfolio management and delivers them as a single, cloud deliver command center. The tool shows critical information about the assets, services, risk profiles and other factors related to an application and connects it to the customer’s configuration management database (CMDB). IT executives can use this information to understand their application environment and where spend is going, then prioritize and rationalize investments as they shift to the cloud.
ITBM enables IT to increase its level of agility and breaks down the hard line that separates the two halves of bimodal IT where resources are dedicated to running the business or changing the business. IT leaders get a single place to see cost, resource, project status data regardless of development method. Business can take this information and make the right decisions about the cloud while minimizing risk.