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Delivering on a Cloud-First Mandate
Gartner predicts that by 2021, more than half of global enterprises that are currently using cloud will adopt an all-in cloud strategy. It's no surprise that this prediction is fueled by the cloud-first announcements from C-suites and directorial boards around the world. And while going all-in with cloud will save operating costs and streamline budgets, cloud-first is about much more than saving dollars. It’s really about enabling innovation.
While the C-suite might dictate cloud-first, for the IT departments who have to fulfil the mandate, moving everything to the cloud isn’t easy. Applications need to be rewritten, environments configured, and data migrated. For many organizations, fulfilling a cloud-first mandate can take years. But this dynamic changed recently with the introduction of Azure NetApp Files.
Going All-in With Cloud
Because realizing a cloud-first mandate isn’t easy, some enterprises end up supporting parallel environments without realizing the benefits of cloud. “Sometimes when customers try to move to the cloud, they have said, 'wow, that's very expensive.’ That's because they’ve got one leg in and one leg out,” says Dan Armistead, Portfolio Director of NetApp. “If half of your data center is still on-premises and the other half in various clouds, then you are on the fringe, and that can be very expensive. It all adds up to a lot of technical debt.”
When a company achieves a cloud-first mandate, they significantly decrease that technical debt. It's estimated that going cloud-first reduces IT overhead by 30%-40%. Savings is obviously one compelling reason to go cloud-first and is one reason why Azure NetApp Files is seeing such massive adoption. Clients simply add the capacity they need and dispose of it when they no longer need it. They pay an hourly, prorated billable cost per gigabyte.
Scalability has always been a big selling point for cloud services. But, until Azure NetApp Files came along, there hadn’t been a good, viable enterprise storage solution available on-demand in the cloud. Before Azure NetApp Files, companies still required storage architects to facilitate and configure their cloud environment—just as you would on-premises.
Azure NetApp Files brought the best of NetApp right into the Azure cloud, alongside hundreds of other Azure native services. “From a customer experience standpoint, it delivers true elasticity like any other Azure service. There are no skills required – you simply provision what you need, when you need it. Similar to turning on a tap. You don’t need the plumber to install the pipes and connect it to the water supply and attach the chrome faucets. You just turn on the water when you want water, and turn it off again when you don’t,” says Armistead. “This is really the first time you can follow the cloud paradigm of just pay for what you use or consume for data and storage for enterprise applications.”
Speed + Agility = Competitive Advantage
But, the top reason for an all-in cloud strategy is agility. It’s speed. David Mitchell Smith, Vice President and Fellow at Gartner, says, “Cloud computing is increasingly becoming a vehicle for next-generation digital business as well as for agile, scalable and elastic solutions.”
Achieving a cloud-first mandate means ditching the long and slow corporate chain of infrastructure approval. Imagine the very commonplace scenario in which, once a year, the IT department would get their share of the corporate budget and then proceed to order hardware and arrange logistics. And then, there was the resultant frustration when vendors sent partial orders, when there were missing cables. Not to mention the delays in scheduling set-up, mount, and configuration. All of this is of course followed by the scrutiny when too much or too little was ordered. Sometimes this process could take a year to complete.
An entire year.
In the digital era, that might as well be a decade.
Azure NetApp Files Enables Innovation
Azure NetApp Files allows developers to test more quickly and to access storage whenever they need to. Data is the lifeblood of elite applications. It’s counterproductive for developers to lack quick access to the data they need—for them to sit around waiting for the storage team to spin up capacity. If developers can test faster, if companies can develop more apps with the same amount of talent, that’s agility moving towards business innovation. “Agility means there’s less likelihood of getting out-innovated as an organization,” says Armistead.
This is why speed and agility are the primary motivators for cloud-first. Because if it takes a year to build the right environment to host a new, elite application, you’ll be left behind in the market.
When companies make cloud-first announcements, what they are really saying is they’re becoming more agile and competitive as a company. They’re leaders who are going to change the game.
Want to Be a Game Changer?
Register for Azure NetApp Files, see what the excitement is about, and start preparing your own cloud-first announcement.