Like most CIOs you’ve no doubt leaned on ROI, TCO and KPIs to measure the business value of your IT investments. Maybe you’ve even surpassed expectations in each of these yardsticks.
Those Three Big Acronyms are still important for fine-tuning your IT operations, but success today is increasingly measured in business outcomes. Put another way: Did you achieve the desired results for your IT investments?
For more than a decade, IT departments derived business value from cloud computing—public, private and maybe hybrid. Of late, concerns about the public “cloud-first” approach have emerged to challenge business value and skewer ROI, TCO and KPIs. And it drew the curtain on a critical reality: IT profiles are much more complex.
A more thoughtful approach to procuring and managing assets is needed to help hurdle the challenges posed by those diverse estates. To understand how to get there, it helps to first unpack how we got here.
When Diminishing Returns Become Budget Busters
For years enterprises scrambled to build applications in public cloud environments; there was legitimate business value in rapid innovation, deployment and scalability, as well as unfettered access to more geographical regions.
“Cloud-first strategy” became a cure-all for datacenter impediments, as well as an IT leader’s tentpole for digital transformation.
More recently some organizations have reported diminishing returns from their public cloud implementations. Some companies calculated savings after moving from public clouds to on-premises—or cloud repatriation. Others conducted apples-to-apples comparisons of public cloud versus on-premises costs.
In some instances, poor implementation and faulty configurations were the culprits for deteriorating ROI, TCO and KPI values. Collectively these factors have dulled the initial sheen of agility and innovation around the public cloud.
The reality is the decision to put applications in the public cloud or on-premises systems is not an either-or argument; rather, it requires a nuanced conversation, as consultant Ian Meill points out in this sober assessment.
Smart Workload Placement is Key
Meill is right. The real argument about where to allocate applications to generate business value is around the most appropriate location to place each workload. Because, again, IT environments are far more complex these days. They’ve become multicloud estates.
To accommodate an accrual of disparate applications, you’re likely running a mix of public (probably more than one) and (maybe) private clouds in addition to your traditional on-premises systems. You might even operate out of a colo facility for the benefits cloud adjacency affords you in reducing latency. Maybe you manage edge devices, too.
Workload placement is based on several factors, including performance, latency, costs, and data governance rules, among other variables. How, where and when you opt to place workloads helps determine the business value of your IT investments.
For example, you may elect to place a critical HR application on-premises for data locality rules that govern in which geographies employee data can run. Or perhaps you choose to offload an analytics application to the public cloud for rapid scalability during peak traffic cycles. And maybe you need to move an app to the edge for speedier data retrieval.
Of course, achieving business value via strategic workload placement isn’t a given. There is no setting them and forgetting them.
As you navigate the intricacies of workload placement, you face many challenges such as: Economic uncertainty (the market is whipsawing); deficit in IT talent (do you honestly recall a time this wasn’t an issue?); abundant risk (data resiliency, cybersecurity, governance, natural disasters); and other disruptions that threaten to crimp innovation (long IT procurement cycles and slow provisioning of developer services).
You can try to tackle those challenges with a piecemeal approach, but you’ll get more value if you deploy an intentional approach to running workloads in their most optimal location. This planning is part of a multicloud-by-design strategy that will enable you to run your IT estate with a modern cloud experience.
A Cloud Experience Boosts Business Value
As it happens, an as-a-Service model can help deliver the cloud experience you seek.
For instance, developers can access resources needed to build cloud-native applications via a self-service environment, freeing up your staff from racking and stacking, provisioning and configuring assets to focus on other business critical tasks.
To help you better align cost structure with business value, pay-as-you-go consumption reduces your reliance on the rigorous IT procurement process. This cloud experience will also help you reduce risk associated with unplanned downtime, latency and other issues that impact performance and availability SLAs aligned to your needs.
Leveraging such a model—and in conjunction with trusted partners—IT departments can reduce overprovisioning by 42% and support costs by up to 70%, as well as realize a 65% reduction in unplanned downtime events, according to IDC research commissioned by Dell1.
Dell Technologies APEX portfolio of services can help you successfully manage applications and data spanning core datacenters to the edge, as well as the mix of public and private clouds that comprise your multicloud environment. This will help you achieve the business outcomes you seek.
Regardless of where you opt to run your assets, doing so without a modern cloud experience is bound to leave business value languishing on your (or someone else’s) datacenter floor.
Learn more about our portfolio of cloud experiences delivering simplicity, agility and control as-a-Service: Dell Technologies APEX.
 The Business Value of Dell Technologies APEX as-a-Service Solutions, Dell Technologies and IDC, August 2021