In our three-part blog series on cloud-native application, the first blog titled “Is Cloud Native the Answer to Being Customer-Centric?” focused on how a cloud-native strategy helps organizations build a solid foundation for customer-centricity. The second blog, titled “Accelerate Cloud-Native Transformation with HCL SoFy – Analyst Perspective by Quadrant Knowledge Solutions” provided perspectives on how HCL SoFy helps organizations accelerate the deployment of HCL software products across public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. This blog will establish some significant perspectives on HCL Now, a cloud native-as-a-service solution in providing support for hassle-free migration of HCL Software products to the cloud through expert assistance.
The growing innovation, competition, and awareness have driven the cloud-native transformation to emerge as one of the largest trends for application development and deployment for organizations. The research team at Quadrant Knowledge Solutions observes that by 2022, over 75% of enterprise applications are expected to be cloud-native, and this rate is predicted to elevate beyond 90% by 2023.
While organizations have realized the potential of implementing cloud-native strategies, taking the first step is often challenging, requiring significant planning and commitment. HCL Software is helping their customers’ cloud native transformation with their HCL SoFy (cloud-native solution factory) and HCL Now (cloud-native-as-a-service) solutions. HCL SoFy offers complete support from a technology standpoint. It includes a software catalog, product components, REST APIs, cloud-native demos, and low-code tools to design and customize solutions as per the specific needs of the organization. HCL Now further extend the cloud-native support for organizations looking at professional services and technical support with managed cloud-native services.
HCL Now is Designed to Eliminate Barriers and Streamline Cloud-Native Transformation
The cloud-native trend is becoming stronger each year with continued awareness and establishment of its benefits and its ability to provide a competitive advantage. However, organizations often require significant technical and operational support for long-term planning and strategy in ensuring a seamless and risk-free implementation.
Unlike the traditional environment, a cloud-native approach with tools such as automation, auto-scaling, integration, and deployment requires considerably less complex change management from a technology and infrastructure point of view. Additionally, cloud-native approach follows agile and DevOps principles with continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) processes, allowing organizations to follow iterative deployments for new services, features, and customization. However, the cloud-native transformation is associated with many complex challenges which can significantly slow down the overall transformation projects.
Some of the primary challenges faced by the DevOps team on their cloud-native transformation projects are:
- Qualified Talent, Skills, and Expertise: Lack of skilled resources with necessary domain knowledge and expertise poses one of the primary challenges for most digital initiatives and cloud-native transformation projects. As per the several studies conducted by Quadrant Knowledge Solutions, a lack of qualified cloud and IT professionals’ results in a slowing down of cloud transformation and expansion projects. It impacts competitive preparedness and causes numerous security and compliance risks.
- Industry Experience, Best Practices, and Standards: Cloud-native transformation is an emerging trend, and it is gaining momentum every year. The effective transition from a traditional multi-tenant cloud or on-premises environment to the cloud-native application requires significant transformation across technology-stake and organization culture. With a lack of industry experience, architectural standards, case examples, and best practices, organizations across industry verticals face challenges in accelerating their cloud-native transformation initiatives.
- Change Management: Cloud-native is associated with significant cultural shifts, and it requires leadership buy-ins. It involves organization-wide change management associated with application development and deployment, impacting business and operational processes. A successful transformation requires a robust change management strategy to handle technology and operational risks, security vulnerabilities, and compliance requirements.
- Cloud-Native Complexities: Compared to traditional monolithic architecture, cloud-native with microservices requires managing complexities of service connectivity, API management, and API security. Additionally, organizations are expected to manage complexities associated with multiple technology platforms, business models, operating models, governance infrastructure management, and cloud security. Most organizations utilize professional services and support to ensure a risk-free and smooth transition towards a cloud-native environment.
HCL Now is designed to help organizations overcome the above challenges in accelerating cloud-native transformation projects. HCL Software offers robust technical expertise, domain knowledge, and industry experience – all put together into HCL Now solution for delivering SLA-driven managed services to its customers in their journey towards cloud-native transformation. The solution incorporates end-to-end services, including software, implementation, customization, automatic software updates, and infrastructure operations. Customers gain the flexibility to choose the cloud-native environment of their choice, including public, private, or hybrid cloud. While the cloud-native projects will be managed by HCL Software, customers will retain the ownership of data, implementation, and necessary control on the overall transformation project.
Significant Challenges in Adopting Cloud-Native Strategy
Quadrant Knowledge Solutions recommends that organizations thoroughly evaluate their cloud-native transformation strategy considering a multi-dimension approach. The strategy must involve the consideration of mapping existing technology stakes and understanding business and technology impact. Organizations must identify and develop industry best practices, define cloud-native architecture (product versus architecture-first approach), in-house expertise and requirements, technology and operational costs, vendor lock-in, compliance requirements, security perspectives, and business and operational risks.
HCL Software is well-positioned to help organizations transform their digital commerce and digital experience strategy with a cloud-native approach. With the combination of HCL SoFy and HCL Now, the company is well prepared to extend end-to-end support in ensuring a risk-free cloud-native transformation.
Quadrant Knowledge Solutions is closely observing the cloud-native space. With a robust portfolio of the cloud-native solution, HCL is well-positioned to cement further its leadership in the overall digital commerce and digital experience solution market.