Open Telekom Cloud for Business Customers

Cloud native approach: Bringing the public cloud into play from the start

by Editorial team
Power button embedded in a digital network
Cloud migration: Go cloud native from the start

In this article, you will read about,

  • why going cloud native is critical to successful cloud operations,
  • how cloud native approaches play to their strengths with modern technologies like artificial intelligence, and
  • why lift and shift often falls short in cloud migration.

Digital natives are those who have grown up with digital technologies. So, does cloud native refer to someone who has grown up in the cloud age? This is what 8 percent of the IT decision-makers surveyed in the fall of 2021 the ISG study "Status quo of the cloud native market in Germany" believe. But they are wrong: Cloud native stands for an approach to software development that uses cloud computing to create and run scalable applications in dynamic environments. Developers work with various tools and techniques – including container technology and microservices.

Booster for the digital transformation

Bottlenecks in supply chains, geopolitical tensions, or rapidly-changing consumer behavior: In times of great dynamism, companies must be able to respond quickly to new demands and flexibly design their business models. The cloud supports them in mastering these many challenges. According to the market analysts at IDC, 80 percent of German companies already rely on various cloud solutions. "Above all, it is the companies that firmly integrate a cloud native approach into their digital transformation that are able to exploit the full potential of the cloud," says Andreas Falkner, Vice President Open Telekom Cloud. This is because the development model is tailored to cloud infrastructures and is able to harness the resilience and flexible resources of the public cloud.

A cloud native application landscape makes companies more agile, which gives them faster time-to-market and easier access to digital ecosystems. They can also quickly and easily leverage modern technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate digitalization in the company. The reason? AI-based applications have been developed primarily as cloud native apps in recent years, because automatic adaptation to the load required at any given time takes place (cloud scaling) and only the computing power actually consumed has to be paid for.

From the greenfield start ...

The market for cloud native solutions is gathering momentum in Germany, according to ISG research. Around 20 percent of companies are already implementing cloud native approaches, and another 50 percent are planning to do so in the future. Only a few respondents deemed the topic to be not relevant.

For some organizations, the cloud native approach is firmly anchored in their corporate DNA from the very beginning. This is often the case with start-ups, for example: They usually start out on a greenfield basis with public cloud solutions. Many start-ups use the Open Telekom Cloud to develop cloud native digital business models or software-as-a-service solutions. The background: Although systems and software are initially manageable for start-ups, they still need an architecture that can be scaled quickly and reliably as they grow. At the same time, start-up entrepreneurs don’t want to concern themselves with IT operating models or IT capacities, but rather be able to concentrate fully on their core business.

... to the complex legacy

Unlike start-ups, SMEs and larger companies have an established IT infrastructure and application landscape simply as a result of their history. The operation of these is often business-critical, as they form the backbone of all digital business processes along the value chain.

Companies can resort to various methods to migrate existing legacy to the cloud. In a lift and shift, for example, all applications and data are moved to the cloud without first changing code, design, or functionality. However, this also means that a cloud native approach isn’t part of the process.

At first glance, the one-to-one transfer to the cloud seems to work out easily and cost-effectively. A second glance, however, reveals weaknesses: If applications and systems are not "cloud ready," high availability cannot be guaranteed. Problems can occur during operation and services can fail completely. In addition, these types of applications cannot be scaled automatically, but only manually. The operation of load-dependent applications that require enormous computing power in the short term – such as creditworthiness checks in the financial sector – costs a great deal of time and effort.

Although there is no magic formula for the switch to the cloud, the following applies in principle: "A cloud migration with a cloud native approach usually takes longer, is more complex, and is therefore also more expensive than a lift-and-shift. In the long run, however, this approach pays off," says Falkner. Companies with a cloud native application landscape can adapt more quickly to new requirements and develop digital business models – and thus secure their business success into the future.

Guide for cloud transformation

The Open Telekom Cloud supports companies in setting up and operating a cloud native application landscape. The experts accompany customers on every step of their cloud journey and support them with individual advice. In particular, when it comes to taking the right path to the cloud.

The first step is to analyze the customer's IT landscape in a cloud assessment and work with them to determine how individual workloads and applications can best be mapped in the cloud. The Open Telekom Cloud team then provides migration support and accompanies the entire cloud transformation. The cloud specialists’ many years of accumulated know-how is an advantage here. That’s because proven cloud experts are currently in short supply. According to the ISG study, almost 40 percent of respondents named a lack of specialist staff as the most frequent obstacle to implementing their cloud strategy.

To enable customers to benefit even more from cloud services in the future, there will be a new digital marketplace in the Open Telekom Cloud. "Customers can use this to offer applications they use in the Open Telekom Cloud to other companies," says Holger Schultheiß of T-Systems International GmbH. These are particularly "enriched" services for artificial intelligence, for example, that go beyond the basic Open Telekom Cloud offering.

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