Crossing the Cloud Adoption Gap

The cloud takeover is in full force. According to a recent report by Forrester: cloud adoption continues to accelerate at breakneck speeds, posting big numbers in 2018:

  • 60% of enterprise businesses rely in some way on public cloud platforms
  • 5x growth in cloud adoption since 2014
  • Hybrid and multi-cloud deployments are also on the rise

And that’s across all industries. From retail and financial services to manufacturing and technology, the question today is not if, but how businesses will execute the right cloud adoption strategy to gain a competitive advantage.

Mind the Cloud Adoption Gap

Despite all the growth, when it comes to cloud adoption there is still a significant gap between the have’s and have-nots. It turns out businesses still struggle to fully execute on their cloud adoption strategies. In a recent webinar Jez Humble (Author and DORA CTO) and Electric Cloud’s CTO Anders Wallgren discussed the fact that while most companies have some kind of cloud initiative, only 22% are “doing cloud right”.

cloud native architecture

Among other things, “doing cloud right” means fully leveraging cloud and cloud-native technologies by:

  • Using loosely coupled architectures to optimize resource pooling
  • Dynamically scaling resources in both production and pre-production environments
  • Providing self-service access to end users
  • Managing and metering consumption
  • More

What’s striking is that though the gap is large, DORA’s 2018 Accelerated State of DevOps report found that organizations who are able to “cross the gap” and fully leverage cloud and cloud-native technologies are a whopping 23 times more likely to be elite DevOps performers. That’s a big number.

Going All-In on Cloud and Cloud Native

At Electric Cloud we’re all-in on empowering our customers to execute on cloud adoption and cross the cloud gap! In fact, that’s one of the reasons why we recently joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).

cloud native computing foundation

The CNCF is part of the Linux Foundation and supports cloud and cloud native technologies like Kubernetes. We passionately believe organizations that are able to cross the cloud adoption gap and fully adopt cloud and cloud-native technologies will be at the forefront of innovation and DevOps success. We’re excited to participate in and contribute to the cloud-native community and technology landscape.

“We’re excited to welcome Electric Cloud as a member of the CNCF. As enterprise adoption of cloud native continues to grow, we see continuous delivery and release orchestration as critical to leveraging these technologies. We’re glad to have CNCF members like Electric Cloud that can help enterprise businesses along their cloud native journey, particularly in ensuring security and compliance from development to production.” – Dan Kohn, Executive Director, Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

Participating in the CNCF reflects our commitment to helping enterprises execute on their cloud-native strategy. We see the software release pipeline as the critical tool that will empower enterprise businesses to adopt cloud-native while at the same time modernize their traditional applications so that their journey to the cloud isn’t a silo’d one.

The Only Enterprise SaaS Release Orchestration Solution

Another way we’ve doubled down on cloud and cloud-native is by launching our ElectricFlow Enterprise SaaS offering. This effort represents having embarked on our own cloud and cloud-native journey by developing the first unified enterprise SaaS continuous delivery and release orchestration solution, running on pure Kubernetes. Hosted on AWS and running on Kubernetes, the ElectricFlow SaaS is the only enterprise ARO solution that is:

  • Cloud Agnostic – supports provisioning environments and deploying applications on any cloud, including AWS, Azure, Google, and more
  • Fully Hybrid – run pipeline orchestration and application deployment workloads in the cloud as well as securely on-prem
  • Unified Framework – includes release orchestration, application deployment automation, environment management, and cloud provisioning
  • Enterprise Scale – easily manages pipeline and deployment workloads at extreme scale
  • Governance Ready  – built in auditing, change tracking, compliance support, secretes management, and security for the end-to-end software release process
  • Built on Kubernetes

Empowering Enterprises to Cross the Cloud Adoption Gap

cloud native

We hear many of our customers talk about the cloud adoption gap. For them, the benefits of cloud adoption and DevOps practices are starkly clear. But they consistently tell us that defining and executing a cloud migration strategy is easier said than done. Getting one small team with a single project to use cloud resources and cloud-native tools is one thing. Scaling that across an entire enterprise, with a massive portfolio of applications spanning decades of technical debt, siloed teams distributed across the globe, and stringent compliance requirements is an entirely different matter.

Luckily, having the right Application Release Orchestration (ARO) solution in place will help overcome cloud adoption challenges. An ARO solution acts as the assembly line of your entire software delivery process – integrating all your tools, controlling and optimizing your release process (whether traditional or CI/CD), managing cloud and on-prem environments, and enforcing security and compliance policies.

That’s why we’ve been aggressive about releasing critical capabilities that directly address our customers’ cloud migration challenges. We’ll cover many of these in more depth in upcoming technical blogs, but here are some key ones:

1. Dynamic, Cloud Agnostic Environments

Beyond just supporting all the major cloud platforms (AWS, Azure, Google, and others), we advocate a pure model-based approach that decouples your cloud infrastructure, environments, applications, and release processes / pipelines. So you can target any cloud you like (or on-prem) without changing your pipeline, release process, or application configurations.

Plus, every cloud resource model supports dynamic deploy and tear-down provisioning, so you can deploy environments (like QA, Test, etc.) on-demand, and tear down when they’re not in use. This dramatically reduces the cost associated from moving from one cloud to another or from on-prem to the cloud.

2. Cloud-Native Alongside Traditional

Inevitably containers and Kubernetes will be part of your long-term cloud strategy. Even our most conservative customers are dabbling in K8s. It’s critical that your ARO solution treat containers, microservices, and container platforms as first-class citizens – just like traditional apps. ElectricFlow’s model-based approach supports targeting any container platform, including Kubernetes cluster (direct), Openshift, Azure Kubernetes Services, Amazon EKS, Amazon ECS, and Google GKE, the same way you would cloud or on-prem.

You can mix traditional cloud/on-prem resources in the same environment as container platforms. No need to change your application, microservice configuration, pipeline, or tooling. Of course, it also means providing native support for pulling images from container repos, as well as configuration tools like Docker Compose, Kubernetes Yaml files, and Helm Charts.

3. Supporting Different Release Cadences

During your cloud adoption, cloud-native teams may be releasing software faster than your traditional teams. Plus, moving to a cloud-native approach will likely mean more pipelines, releases, and products. We’ve made it easy to model complex and hierarchical pipelines and releases, so that when the time comes for having to perform a major, cross product coordinated release, you’ll be able to release with confidence.

4. Self-Service Catalog and Pipeline Templates

One of the simplest ways you can leverage the cloud is to give end users on-demand access to cloud resources and cloud automation. Give developers and testers one-click access to preconfigured cloud environments with quotas and tear down built in, or your sales team quick access to dynamically provisioned demo environments. This is what self-service is all about and we’ve put a ton of effort providing standard self-service catalog templates for getting started quickly. Th self-service catalog makes it easy to promote reusable release templates, with built in support for best practices like gating and security integrations, while allowing applications and environments to be specified independently.

These are just a few of the many ways that a good ARO solution will eliminate the friction that comes with executing a full-fledged cloud migration strategy. We’ll cover these and others in more depth in upcoming blogs and webinars.

Are You Ready to Turbo Charge Your Cloud Migration?

ElectricFlow is the leading Application Release Orchestration and Continuous Delivery framework that is most consistently recognized by industry analysts as a market leader. Our powerful, easy to use, and unified platform is helping the world’s largest organizations make the leap to cloud and cloud-native.

We’re super excited about closing the cloud adoption gap and driving the next generation of cloud-native innovation. If you are too – let’s talk! Or you can join us for our upcoming webinar “Getting to Cloud Nine: Container, Cloud and Serverless Migration Strategies” with John Willis where we’ll talk cloud strategy, architecture, CI/CD practices, and more.

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Hans Ashlock

Director Technical Marketing at Electric Cloud
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