Cloud boomerang can be avoided by having expert assessment and a holistic cloud strategy
The majority of IT decision-makers plan to increase their organization’s use of public cloud (78%) and private cloud (72%) infrastructure over the next 18-24 months, according to a study published by Aptum titled Hybrid: Why and How – Applying lessons from digital transformation.
A vast majority of the respondents also recognized many of the benefits the cloud delivers to their organizations, with the majority agreeing it has delivered on expected efficiencies (90%). Respondents also cited the rate of cloud transformation in their organization has had a positive impact on the following areas:
- Innovation (71%)
- Operational efficiency (71%)
- Workforce mobility and enablement (63%)
- IT expenditure (63%)
- Customer experience (63%)
The report further highlighted that eighty-six percent (86%) of respondents said their organization has adopted a hybrid or multi-cloud approach to cloud deployment.
Indeed, when presented with 12 application categories, respondents said the cloud is the preferred hosting option for all of them, compared to just two out of nine categories. However, despite recognizing the benefits of the cloud, not all workloads are destined for cloud platforms, and some organizations are experiencing a ‘cloud boomerang effect’ among specific applications. Almost half (47%) of respondents anticipate an increase in their organization’s use of traditional (non-cloud-based) infrastructure over the next 18-24 months, up from just under a quarter (23%) in 2021.
The study identifies that one of the causes of the shift back to legacy infrastructure is rooted in lack of strategy. Only 20% of respondents said they have a holistic cloud computing strategy. Additionally, integration of cloud with on-premises systems was cited as the top challenge an organization would face when operating in cloud environments, tied first with data privacy and security challenges.
“Contrary to widely held belief, the cloud boomerang effect isn’t simply about moving workloads from cloud platforms back to traditional infrastructure. More accurately, the boomerang is the movement of applications between development and operations teams,” explains Chris David, Aptum’s Senior Cloud Product Leader.
The primary focus of development teams is on the creation of new versions of applications, meaning limited time can be spent on administrative duties required to refactor workloads for the cloud. Due to this, the onus often shifts back to the operations teams to manage administration. Unfortunately, operations teams often lack the necessary skills or resources. If they lack skills, tools, cloud governance policies, or operational practices to enforce operational standards, these workloads will often come back to legacy platforms.
“To overcome these challenges, organizations need to have a holistic cloud strategy guided by an experienced Managed Service Provider (MSP),” says David. “They can help businesses understand the characteristics that need to be assessed when deciding where each application should be hosted and help them avoid the mistakes that lead to a cloud boomerang.”
The survey results call for organizations to look at ecosystems, with business objectives and optimization in mind, to avoid placing workloads in inappropriate locations. To save time, money, and resources and to increase interoperability, businesses should look to hybrid and multi-cloud specialist providers, with the skills and experience to assist in those decisions.