First, let's clarify what would drive businesses to consider moving cloud on-prem:
- Regulatory demands to meet custom compliance, sovereignty, and data requirements with the same code that is being used in the cloud.
- Preserve legacy data in systems like the mainframe with tight links to core business process applications while leveraging the latest services from the cloud.
- Harnessing the power of cloud at the edge while disconnecting or operating over low-latency connections to the Internet.
- The freedom to write once and deploy code anywhere with the choice and flexibility of a multi-cloud strategy.
If a business has one or multiple of these drivers, IT turns next to trying to figure out who they can strategically engage with. Note: At this point in the market, the discussions are going to happen at a business level with executives from all parties involved. The investments tend to be significant and tied to strategies that are crucial to the business.
Who Can Land Cloud On-prem?
Currently, these market leaders have (or have planned) capabilities to land cloud on-prem:
A couple points of clarification here. These solutions are all relatively new, with Microsoft Azure Stack being in market for the longest amount of time. Additionally, it is important to clarify that these solutions are not about being able to more optimally run VMs—rather, they are created by the gravitational pull of modern code, DevOps best practices, and tapping into new technology (specifically cloud services).
10 Questions to Help Organize a Plan for Cloud On-prem
Now that we have a common understanding of the business drivers and market landscape, here is an initial list of questions to start discussing why these solution may be of value:
- What's the preferred application strategy and/or migration pattern? Think the 5 Rs: re-locate, re-purchase, re-architect, re-host, re-platform.
- Do you expect to extend existing security and governance tools, practices, and policies or implement new ones?
- How do you plan to retrain people to adopt to the presence of cloud on-prem?
- Do you plan to tweak designation of personnel responsible for supporting cloud on-prem?
- How important is integration with your existing environment?
- How frequently do you plan to move applications and/or data back and forth between on-prem and public cloud services?
- What's your organization's current and planned commitment to containers?
- How will the presence of cloud on-prem and diversity of technology impact the complexity of systems management?
- Does your organization have plans to use the performance management and analytics capabilities of an on-premises management tool(s) to help automate placement of workloads?
- What delivery model do you prefer for a cloud management solution? Locally installed? SaaS/ cloud-based?
At ESG, we understand that every business has unique requirements, but these questions can begin to capture how and why cloud on-prem may be important to the business and to further embracing the cloud. Now that these cloud on-prem solutions are entering the market, we expect to see healthy competition in the market landscape heat up as businesses choose their on-prem cloud strategies. Please plan to check back in with ESG as we share market research that provides additional visibility and analysis into how organizations are addressing these top 10 questions.