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Let applications drive your cloud infrastructure

  • Posted on January 15, 2018
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
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Does the age-old “chicken or egg” question have relevancy in your cloud transformation planning process? How about if we rephrase the question as “which comes first: the apps or the cloud infrastructure?” Now does it create a question to be pondered or do you think you already know the answer? Many think the answer is infrastructure, but my recommendation, which also happens to be our second element of cloud success, is to let your applications drive your infrastructure. 

What's your cloud strategy?
You have been hearing about “the cloud” for years and your organization has been discussing how to take advantage of it and finally the topic has reached its tipping point. The edict comes down and this is the year that you will adopt the cloud as part of your IT strategy. Will you go down an IaaS, PaaS or SaaS path or will it be a combination of technologies? It’s a big decision and it will impact how you run your IT and enterprise for years to come. While this may seem like the right first step, you may be putting the cart before the horse.

Many companies start their journeys to the cloud by scoping their infrastructure—how many virtual machines or compute instances they’ll need and what storage capacity and compute speed they need.

Let your apps drive your infrastructure
But most enterprises would do better to make applications, not infrastructure, their first considerations. That’s because applications are the direct drivers of business processes and value. Everything else—infrastructure, security, efficiency and so on—serves the goal of delivering applications quickly, dependably, securely and cost-effectively.

It’s also important to have some quick wins to validate the cloud journey—and those wins come from transforming applications, not infrastructure. That’s because infrastructure supports the applications, not the other way around. Few on the business side will cheer because processing capacity has moved to the cloud. But when the applications on which those business users depend run faster, scale better, are more reliable and cheaper to run—that is a true win. When updates are more frequent and integrate data and processes in ways not possible before, then you can expect positive feedback from the business. 

When you focus on applications and business results, you also improve your odds of achieving a much greater ROI. You are no longer just impacting the cost side of the equation but are driving the revenue side as well. The combination of reducing costs and increasing revenue provides a significant boost to the bottom line.

Leverage experience to increase your odds of success
If you want to learn more about our 6 Key Elements of Cloud success, check out our CIO Guide to Cloud Transformation or check back on Avanade Insights as I continue my blog series with the following topics:

#1: Transform applications into adaptive services
#2: Let your applications drive your infrastructure – current blog
#3: Create new levels of efficiency in your operations – coming soon
#4: Implement effective governance and compliance – coming soon
#5: Unite IT and finance to promote visibility and accountability for cloud consumption – coming soon
#6: When it comes to security data is the new perimeter – coming soon

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