Our previous blog focused on the challenges and opportunities for businesses undergoing application modernization and cloud transformation (the latter required for the former), and the role IT services and infrastructure providers play in facilitating that journey. But that’s a high-level view, and the fact is that practical implementation is going to be unique for every organization and require a wide range of solutions to interesting problems. Every application has a different set of requirements to perform at maximum efficiency, including requisite infrastructure. This is a concept 451 calls the best execution venue; it’s shorthand for deciding where to deploy specific workloads.
Percentage of Workloads Running in Cloud
Source: 451 Research Voice of the Enterprise: Cloud Transformation, Workloads and Key Projects 2017
After more than a decade of rapid growth in cloud computing, some trends in workload placement are shaping up. For example, web and media applications are highly represented in the cloud, with 58% using cloud today and 72% expected to be using cloud in two years. Infrastructure as a service is the largest part of that share – it just makes sense to put online content out in the cloud. Data analytics, on the other hand, is 42% cloud and much more evenly split between software as a service (SaaS), public, hosted and private cloud. Email is heavily weighted toward SaaS.
Another consequence: finding the best execution venue for applications is why so many businesses end up with multiple service providers and cloud platforms, all of which need to be utilized and managed and require expertise.
The role of managed infrastructure and IT service providers here is twofold: first, the provider should have the requisite expertise and experience to understand the application requirements and the (often complex) business needs associated with each workload. Many providers today offer consultative services to assess and plan migrations, for example. Second, the IT service provider should have access to the best execution venue in each case and can bring them along. It can also bring new choices into the mix that a midsized business would otherwise find out of reach.
For example, customer-facing applications are being distributed onto more edge and mobile devices, capturing a growing amount of data. More and more of this data needs to link back to your centralized databases (likely running on a separate platform), so it can be analyzed and acted on. Having a service provider thread the needle from ‘Internet of Things’ platforms such as Google or AWS and edge devices to managed application resources to the business datacenter could allow a business new insights and operational efficiencies it would never get on its own. That’s what an IT service provider should offer today: new ways to think about business IT.
Finding the best execution venue for a legacy application is reliant on a number of factors, many of which are not technical. 451 Research outlines considerations and next steps in this Pathfinder report.