January 16, 2017
Cloud: The next generation
By: Michael Liebow

A version of this post appeared in TMCnet on January 16, 2017.

For today’s businesses, the question isn’t whether to move to cloud—it’s when and how.

But cloud migration isn’t without challenges. A closer look reveals three critical areas companies must manage during this process:

  1. Legacy Applications (and what to do with them)—Not every app can move easily. Which do you keep, and which do you wreck and rebuild?

  2. Application Modernization—What are your options for rebuilding applications so they perform optimally in cloud?

  3. Cloud Management—Once you have moved your applications, what’s the best way to manage them?

There is no single solution for managing enterprise cloud. Developers who prefer native cloud provider tools are typically at odds with IT managers who must secure and optimize the cloud estate. However, both demand advanced technology to maximize their assets.

Despite these obstacles, however, there is help. Many companies are leveraging a cloud management platform (CMP) to enhance governance, control costs and improve policy management. The right CMP can increase cloud migration speeds by up to 50 percent by streamlining the entire process—from data collection to wave planning, migration, cutover and reporting.

Our solution, the Accenture Cloud Platform (ACP), helps clients move assets faster and more efficiently, tapping into a robust ecosystem of leading cloud providers like AWS. With proprietary features that support blueprint and native template management across multiple datacenters, ACP helps organizations decide which apps to move and which to rebuild. Open and scalable, the platform also centralizes enterprise cloud resources—public, private or hybrid—while supporting greater agility and allowing clients to ramp services up or down as needed.

The ACP offers cloud resources in the form of IaaS (virtual machines) or PaaS (building apps as new), as the situation warrants. By answering critical business questions, we help clients distill the complexities of technical configurations, ultimately making them easier to use and deploy. Establishing a rigorous development/test/production cycle, ACP can demonstrate how to apply policies to resources based on tags of a company’s own choosing. Furthermore, ACP allows organizations to manage templates, map and publish, and select and configure applications more easily.

Once a company has successfully moved to cloud, ACP can play an instrumental role in managing its cloud estate more effectively, saving huge costs along the way. Built-in analytics tools, for example, can vastly improve operational governance, transforming an entire IT organization. Advanced analytics can also help control expenses by identifying cost and utilization overruns, saving an organization up to 40 percent on IT spend. And analytics work across all PaaS services, including Lambda—not just VMs or S3.

Other important assets ACP offers include management tools that can help sort out the complexity of cloud bills, errors and chargebacks. Our sophisticated cloud platform also offers centralized tag management at scale using advanced metadata, which enables companies to locate and rationalize tags across datacenters and cloud platforms.

Once you decide to make your move to cloud, two other important decisions will follow: How to manage your migration (and the resulting IT estate); and which CMP will help you do so efficiently, securely and cost-effectively.

Says William Fellows, Research vice president, 451 Research: “Crucially, a CMP should enable operators to access and orchestrate assets that they own, as well as ones that they don’t—a strategy that Accenture embodies by tapping its ecosystem.”

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