Cloud repatriation isn’t a move away from the cloud – it’s modernisation

17 December 2020

The path to digital transformation is winding, sometimes unclear, and oftentimes companies are navigating it without a roadmap. Even though the global economy was hit by Covid-19 – leading 82% of companies to anticipate revenue drops – for many, the virus has not adversely impacted their digitisation journey. According to recent IDC research, not only do 80% of companies expect their journey to continue, 30% plan to accelerate it.

Anders Elbak, associate director for IDC Nordic, recently hosted a webinar – joined by Jan-Pieter Nentwig, director of strategy and marketing enterprise for Interxion: A Digital Realty Company, and Thomas Ástin Jensen, Denmark country manager for Nutanix – to discuss the role cloud repatriation plays in digitalisation.

Beyond its typical interpretation – moving apps from the public cloud back to on-premises data centres – cloud repatriation is part of a wider shift to suitable deployment models, moving applications between public, private, on-prem, and non-cloud environments, or even deploying new apps and retiring old ones. Regardless of where applications are moving, cloud repatriation remains an important, oftentimes unplanned, part of a digitisation.

IDC reported the share of organisations using cloud infrastructure will grow from 70% to 90% within the next two years. Cloud’s share of infrastructure spending is also expected to reach 48%, a true testament to its weight within business operations. To maximise cloud, companies need to alter their thinking from the “Lift’n’Shift” strategy to a modernised approach, constructing the infrastructure to make it happen. 

Infrastructure Lets Enterprises Get Serious

When deciding where applications should be deployed or whether to undergo cloud repatriation, many organisations, ironically, neglect their IT infrastructure as a whole. For example, Elbak shared that 38% of Nordic organisations don’t have the network and connectivity strategy needed to support cloud strategy.

Nentwig spoke about how enterprises can prepare their infrastructure to better support their digitalisation strategy. Although data centres like Interxion’s seem almost opposing to cloud migration, many forget that clouds require a physical infrastructure. Data centres can provide cloud access nodes, along with important supporting infrastructure, from connectivity to high-level compute.

Many early cloud adopters thought of themselves as cloud-only, when in reality they were operating as hybrid cloud and leveraging a widely distributed IT environment, testing applications between a variety of clouds and physical storage locations in both colocated and on-premises data centres. Now, enterprises are asking themselves how to connect their IT, which requires a greater focus on connectivity and access to the right networks. Without a proper network redesign, enterprises will not be able to reap cloud’s greatest promise: data-driven innovation, including AI capabilities and IoT and edge strategies.

To get serious about the cloud, enterprises need to place their infrastructure right next to it, benefiting from:

  • A network backbone for connectivity
  • Strategic compute assets
  • Data requirement solutions
  • A community of carriers, internet exchanges, other enterprises, etc.

Strategy

Backed by the right infrastructure, enterprises can nail down a modern cloud strategy, one that exploits change and embraces it with speed and skill. Ástin Jensen said that organisations with ever-evolving cloud strategies need to ensure they can sense and respond, create options and keep them open, build capabilities and reconfigure them.

With this outlook in mind, companies can leverage a combination of public and private clouds, making selections based on which environment will optimise security, compliance, cost and network performance, and availability requirements. Cloud repatriation does not mean that organisations are moving away from the cloud; it’s quite the opposite – it’s about allowing companies to shift their applications to create an optimised, multi-cloud environment.

As businesses work toward digitisation, it will be increasingly important to bridge the gap between public, private and distributed clouds and enable a hybrid cloud operation model with clear exit strategies.

View the full webinar to learn more about modernizing digital transformation strategy.