Have you considered cloud portability, i.e., the ability to easily move workloads between on-premises systems and across multiple cloud service providers (CSPs)? The idea is that workloads should run in the environment that delivers the most value for your organization, but as that “optimal” environment can change over time, you need to be able to move your workloads accordingly.

The value of portability is understood but not yet realized

According to our recent State of Multi-Cloud Management survey, only 4% of respondents said that they don’t see cloud portability as viable for their business. But just because the vast majority of organizations do see value in cloud portability doesn’t mean they’re able to execute. While 49% of respondents are porting workloads today, about half are in the very early stages. Nearly the same number—47%—see the value but aren’t yet porting workloads, and of that cohort, 40% say it’s a long way off for them.

Top-cited benefits of cloud portability

We also asked respondents to tell us what the top three benefits of cloud portability are for their organization. Overall, respondents are primarily looking to maximize cost savings (58%); reduce risk from changes in CSP quality, performance, etc. (46%); and increase business agility (43%).

As we noted in the survey report, there’s somewhat of a contradiction in the top two benefits. To truly maximize cost savings—rather than simply shift costs—you have to use cloud-specific capabilities, but this locks you into the CSP, making portability more difficult.

The impact of maturity on perceived portability benefits

This led me to wonder whether the perceived benefits of workload portability might depend on the organization’s stage in the journey, so I dug a little deeper into the data and found that the top three benefits pretty much stayed the same, but there were a few interesting correlations. For example, while 66% of those who are a long way from porting workloads cite the ability to maximize cost savings as a top benefit, that number drops to 48% among those who have operationalized cloud portability. In fact, the further along in the portability journey, the less likely that cost savings is named as one of the primary benefits.

On the flip side, there were two benefits that were more likely to be cited as workload portability maturity increased: the ability to take advantage of leading-edge innovations (from 29% of organizations who are a long way off from starting the journey compared to 43% who are comfortable porting workloads today) and data-residency compliance (from 9% to 26%).

The lesson here is that as an organization becomes more adept at cloud portability, the better it is at assessing and capturing its true value for their business.

Considerations to prepare for workload portability

While few organizations have done more than dip their toes into the cloud portability water, this will change as more and more seek to realize the value of easily moving workloads among cloud and on-premises environments. But doing so effectively requires the ability to view, analyze, monitor, and manage their multi-cloud environment holistically. You need to be able to understand the performance, cost, and risk characteristics of your workloads where they’re currently running as well as what they will be in any potential new target locations, and then easily plan for that migration to avoid disruptions and unwelcome surprises.

Get Global Multi-Cloud Visibility With Virtana Platform

Virtana Platform is a highly modular, scalable multi-cloud insights platform that provides unique performance, availability, capacity, and cost information to enable you to better manage your entire IT infrastructure. With Vitana Platform, you can achieve a complete end-to-end view of on-premises, private clouds, public clouds, and modern environments such as containers and serverless to understand your entire multi-cloud infrastructure.

Virtana Optimize, the cost management module of Virtana Platform, enables you to radically simplify cloud cost management by optimizing cost, capacity, and performance in real time. Try Virtana Optimize for free.

Get the survey report: The State of Multi-Cloud Management 2022

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Jon Cyr
Jon Cyr

VP of Product Management, Virtana

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