What is Cloud Continuum and How Businesses Can Leverage it?

By Veritis

What is Cloud Continuum and How Businesses Can Leverage it?

Change is constant. Many organizations are reimagining their business models by migrating to the cloud. Some are migrating to innovate and re-engineering knowledge work. Others want to save costs and boost efficiency.

Regardless of their objectives, every organization is migrating while the business needs are ever-changing. And the juice is worth the squeeze – many are realizing impressive results from cloud migration strategy.

As of January 2024, approximately 5.54 billion individuals worldwide are utilizing the Internet, constituting 70.4% of the global population. Projections suggest that this figure will continue to rise steadily over the year. (Source: Worldometer)

The global cloud market is projected to achieve a valuation of USD 623.3 billion by the year 2024, experiencing a notable growth rate of 23.1%. This expansion is primarily fueled by heightened demand for remote work solutions, data storage services, and cloud-based applications across various industries. (Source: Statista)

Although the cloud has been in the limelight for decades, the pandemic has significantly boosted cloud adoption strategy. The cloud managed services aren’t just about on-demand computing power and storage, as they were during the pre-pandemic period.

Instead, it’s an innovative platform for discovering opportunities and options for meeting the ever-changing needs of the business. Moreover, the cloud is no longer a single, static, siloed technology. Instead, it’s a dynamic continuum of capabilities and features called ‘Cloud Continuum.’

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What is Cloud Continuum?

Cloud Continuum seamlessly integrates various cloud capabilities and services, including data center, private cloud, public cloud, hybrid cloud solutions, and multi clouds. These capabilities are unified and supported by advanced connectivity, such as 5G and SDNs. This aspect enables access to the cloud from virtually anywhere and eliminates the silos among services from public to edge.

5 Stages of Cloud Continuum

The “Cloud Continuum” refers to the evolutionary stages of cloud adoption and maturity within organizations. Here’s a breakdown of the five stages:

1) Ad Hoc Cloud Usage

At the initial stage, organizations typically have ad hoc cloud usage. This involves sporadic and uncoordinated utilization of cloud implementation resources, often driven by individual departments or teams. A lack of centralized governance and strategy results in inefficiencies and potential security risks.

2) Cloud Awareness and Experimentation

In this stage, organizations become more aware of the benefits of cloud computing and start experimenting with cloud managed services. They may pilot projects or migrate non-critical workloads to the cloud to test their capabilities. However, the cloud adoption strategy remains limited, and there’s a focus on learning and building internal expertise.

3) Cloud Integration and Optimization

Organizations integrate cloud service providers into their IT infrastructure more strategically as they progress. There’s a shift towards optimizing workloads for the cloud environment, leveraging automation, scalability, and cost-efficiency. This stage involves rearchitecting applications for cloud-native environments and adopting DevOps practices for faster delivery.

4) Cloud-centric Operations

At this stage, the cloud implementation becomes the primary platform for running business operations. Organizations fully embrace cloud-native technologies and practices, such as microservices, serverless computing, and containerization. They prioritize agility, innovation, and scalability, leveraging advanced cloud services like AI/ML, IoT, and Big Data analytics.

5) Cloud-driven Transformation

In the final stage, the cloud adoption strategy drives fundamental organizational transformations. Cloud becomes ingrained in the company culture and business strategy, enabling new business models, revenue streams, and customer experiences. Organizations achieve unprecedented agility, resilience, and competitive advantage through cloud-centric approaches.

Each stage of the Cloud Continuum represents a progression towards greater cloud maturity, with organizations evolving from initial experimentation to fully realizing the transformative potential of cloud computing in driving innovation and growth.

Technologies enabled by the Cloud Continuum

How Cloud Continuum Benefits Businesses?

A recent global survey of about 4,000 business and IT leaders by Accenture found that around 12-15% of respondents benefit from their continued cloud engagement. These businesses are gaining an edge even amidst the global crisis as they embrace the cloud as an innovative platform for discovering new ways of operating.

Organizations working in this Cloud Continuum are termed Continuum Competitors as they leverage the cloud not just as a siloed, distributed destination but as a seamless operating model. The continued cloud engagement transforms how businesses engage with customers, employees, and partners, develop and deliver their products and services, and operate their IT systems. In a nutshell, the Cloud Continuum is reimagining the way businesses operate.

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Cloud Continuum empowers organizations to gain an edge over their competitors. Some substantial benefits are:

Benefits of Expanding on the Continuum

  • 2-2.7x more cost reduction than typical cloud migrators
  • 2-3x more likely to innovate and re-engineer operating models
  • 3x more likely to realize sustainability goals through cloud

Adoption of cloud and cloud-enabled technologies

Cloud Continuum also enables organizations to choose the appropriate types of cloud technologies and services and harness the full potential of those technologies. This technology foundation strong-arms the organizations to reimagine and reinvent their business through continuous innovation.

However, Cloud Continuum success is easier said than done. While Continuum holds massive potential to bolster businesses, making it work for you is tough.

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What are the Impediments for Cloud Continuum Adoption?

Key challenges that are bogging down companies from rapidly expanding cloud adoption strategy and leveraging the Continuum are:

  • 42% Changing business and operating models
  • 42% Security and compliance risks
  • 35% IT and business gaps
  • 34% Complex legacy systems
  • 32% Data concerns and regulations

Then, how can organizations overcome these obstacles to derive maximum business value from the Cloud Continuum? Read on to learn the leading practices for Cloud Continuum success.

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5 Key Practices to Unlock the Potential of Cloud Continuum

Before you start, however, the first step is understanding the nature of the Cloud Continuum: Speed and change are its fundamental facets. Continuum practices that can harness the continual improvements and expansion of cloud implementation capabilities are crucial.

Firstly, one must understand the nature of the Cloud Continuum before getting started. Speed and change are its USPs. Moreover, one must know that it’s imperative to have agile practices that can leverage continual developments and expansion of cloud data platform capabilities. With that in mind, here are five crucial practices to achieve Continuum success:

5 Key Practices to Unlock the Potential of Cloud Continuum

1) A Real Vision

To start the Cloud Continuum adoption journey, the organizations must know where they want the voyage to take them. Given the continually expanding nature of Continuum, its imperative to hammer out clear priorities which would act as guardrails for the organization to move in the desired direction.

A right Continuum strategy encompasses the following aspects:

  • A vision that clearly defines the core objectives
  • Competitive vulnerabilities and shortcomings
  • Present capabilities of the organizations and future aspirations

2) Enhance Your Technologies

Cloud migration strategy is not a destination. It’s an ongoing journey. Migrating and sitting back to enjoy the ride will take you nowhere. After the migration, organizations must work on extra steps such as using edge to develop on the cloud data platform, leveraging PaaS services to realize new capabilities, or adopting AI/ML to glean insights from your data and processes.

Otherwise, you fail to realize the full potential of the cloud that your competitors enjoy. Organizations ought to establish cloud practices that bolster their existing technologies. This aspect enables you to improve your non-technological areas on par with the computational amendments.

3) Prioritize People and Culture

Continuum competitors pay heed to people and culture as part of their cloud transformation. They use the cloud data platform to improve customer experience, employee productivity, organizational agility, and innovation. To achieve this, one must align, invest, and adopt.

Organizations ought to align C-suite executives, shareholders, and partners to promote a combined understanding of the value and potential the Continuum adoption brings forth. Then, one must invest in improving cloud skills and digital fluency across the organization. The last puzzle piece is adopting new operating models to improve working methods, eliminate bottlenecks, and improve innovation.

4) Embrace the Hybrid Cloud Solutions

The Cloud Continuum offers limitless opportunities. However, organizations can adopt hybrid cloud services from multiple platforms across the Continuum to optimally fit their business needs. To achieve this, one must shift from siloed cloud models to integrated platform strategies that embrace multiple clouds and new technologies.

5) Reinvent on the Continuum

Migrating critical systems and data to the cloud is the crucial step of a successful cloud journey, but it’s just the start. No matter where you are on the cloud, continuous improvement is possible.

Companies must ask themselves how to leverage cloud and cloud-based technologies like AI/ML, edge, 5G, and PaaS to position their business for sustained growth in the years ahead. One must be ever ready to exploit every opportunity that comes their way with the Cloud Continuum.

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Though Cloud Continuum holds massive potential to bolster business, organizations must balance their Continuum objectives with strategic priorities that drive the business. Organizations must define business objectives, establish feasible levels of risk-taking, and promote a culture of agility and innovation. This is easier said than done.

As Cloud Continuum is still unchartered territory, it’s practical to say that complexities and challenges are lurking at every corner, which could potentially bog down the organization’s Continuum initiatives. This is why one must seek help from Cloud Managed Services Providers Like Veritis, for they are well-versed in navigating the cloud managed services.

Veritis, the Stevie and Globee Business Awards winner, brings deep domain knowledge and industry expertise to chart a course for every organization looking to advance on the Cloud Continuum. As a leading Cloud Services Provider, we help you unlock the full potential of your business in the cloud. Partner with us and plug into future potential.

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Tags: cloud continuum, veritis blog, cloud services provider, cloud journey, cloud transformation, cloud migration, cloud technologies and services, private cloud, public cloud, hybrid cloud, multi clouds, cloud services, cloud solutions

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