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Virtual Instruments 2019 Predictions: Organizations Take Pragmatism to the Cloud

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Tim Van Ash, SVP of Products, Virtual Instruments

Organizations Take Pragmatism to the Cloud

In this space last year, we offered a variety of predictions for the IT industry in 2018 - and of course, a few of those predictions touched on the cloud. For this year's predictions, we're going all-in on cloud - as it's such an integral part of every organization's business strategy. And with IT becoming increasingly intertwined with organizations' broader business strategies, the cloud-centric decisions they make in 2019 could determine whether their business thrives or withers.

"Cloud-First" Becomes a Thing of the Past

In 2018, we reached the point where the cloud became mainstream. The cloud is no longer an ethereal concept, or just a technology - in fact, we're willing to bet that regardless of your organization's industry, you're using the cloud as we speak. Consulting outfit Capgemini put it very plainly in this post in February: " company, old or new, of any size, can ignore the significant impact of the cloud on its production processes, its structure or even its economic model."

It became abundantly clear in 2018 that organizations now know they need the cloud, but many still don't know what that really means in the context of their business. We had several conversations with customers this year that amounted to, "we know the cloud is essential, but we don't know what we're trying to achieve with it." In the past few years, one of the ways this thinking has manifested has been through a "cloud-first" strategy: the concept that for any new IT project, the first instinct should be to think about how the application could be moved to and managed in the cloud.

There's nothing inherently wrong with a cloud-first strategy. But what does cloud-first really mean?  Does it mean moving all your workloads to the cloud? Or simply focusing on cloud for new projects, particularly customer-facing applications and services? When most people think of cloud, they intuitively think of public cloud providers like Amazon, Microsoft or Google. The highly varied (yet very specific) needs of application workloads means not all workloads are a natural - or even good - fit for the public cloud, whether it be for performance, security, privacy or regulatory requirements. Today we're witnessing our customers starting to take a more balanced approach to cloud, having evolved their own internal private clouds to be elastic and cost competitive. Their strategy may be cloud first, but not necessarily public cloud first. In 2019, we'll see a more pragmatic approach to the cloud, supported by intelligent workload placement decisions. 

Workload Placement Decisions Take Center Stage

Speaking of the "public cloud versus private cloud" debate, the concept of workload placement will continue to come to the forefront in 2019. If organizations embrace a measured approach to the cloud as we've predicted, many decisions will have to be made when it comes to the placement of their workloads.

In 2019, the trend of organizations placing new apps or capabilities in the cloud to accelerate time-to-market will continue; however, it's not as simple as clicking the mouse and calling it a day. After all, every organization's IT environment is a big game of dominoes, and almost every change will have a cascading effect on another IT layer. This cascading effect will drive the need for greater visibility across the hybrid infrastructure, and we are already hearing this from customers desiring a single pane of glass across their hybrid application workloads. It stands to reason, then, that organizations need to understand how those apps will perform in the cloud - because if there isn't clear understanding of the resources and their associated performance, the apps will underperform, and the organization will not meet critical SLAs or customer expectations. But determining whether your organization needs to move apps back from the cloud (also known as repatriation) can be even more of a headache than keeping them on-premises in the first place.  

Other considerations include resource provisioning (over and under-provisioning), and navigating vendor lock-in by thoughtfully determining which cloud provider(s) is best for specific applications and services. To avoid these headaches, Global 2000 organizations will need to develop workload analytics and simulation capabilities as part of their overall workload placement strategy.

Cloud will be integral part of every organization's IT strategy in 2019, and we expect to see organizations becoming more strategic about their workload placement decisions. To assure success in 2019 and beyond, it will be worthwhile for every organization to invest time and resources into developing a comprehensive strategy approach to workload placement and cloud deployment.


About the Author 


With over 25 years in the IT industry, Tim Van Ash is responsible for the strategic direction of Virtual Instruments’ products, along with the day-to-day product design, management and marketing. Tim joined Virtual Instruments in 2016 as part of the merger with Load DynamiX, where he led products and engineering for Load DynamiX. Previously, Tim held executive positions at CA Technologies, Nimsoft and HP, where he led teams developing products for the cloud and within the data center, covering the entire spectrum of IT management – from APM and infrastructure, to service desk and ITSM.

Published Tuesday, January 08, 2019 9:36 AM by David Marshall
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