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Going beyond Infrastructure Migration with Data Center Transformation

Going beyond Infrastructure Migration with Data Center Transformation
October 20, 2021

Data center transformation is not just about replacing traditional ones with cloud data centers. It also involves transforming your IT workload (application and infrastructure) residing in multiple data centers. While many organizations understand the benefit and value of cloud migration and are in the process of migrating workloads to the cloud intermittently, they are not looking at it comprehensively. Organizations have struggled to implement cloud migration because of not having the right strategy in place. As a result, they could not bring any differentiation to the overall business or enhance the customer experience.

In the past few years, we have worked with many F500 customers to enable data center transformation. The key is to devise a strategy that works for almost every industry or vertical and adds the desired business value. It involves finding the right balance between transforming and transitioning the workload, evolving the operating model, curtailing financial expenses, avoiding wastage of ideal resources, supporting new business demands and growth, and providing new platforms and budgets for the future modernization roadmap.

How is HCL helping customers embarking on this journey?

Here are the key questions you should ask

Can we shut down our data centers completely? Does this make business sense?  

The cloud has evolved a lot in the last few years. We can migrate almost any workload to the cloud. It’s just a matter of time, motivation, and cost. The HCL Cloud Smart strategy, based on industry and business-down approach, has helped our clients gain benefits from HCL’s cloud-specific reusable industry solutions, frameworks, and cloud acceleration IPs. We classify applications into three different buckets for leveraging this approach.

First, business differentiating applications that generate revenue need to be transformed from business processes to application functionality. Second, non-business differentiating applications that are important for business but may not be the right candidates for modernization can be transitioned to the cloud. Third, legacy applications that may fall in either of the above categories but because of their legacy nature can’t be transformed or migrated easily should be transitioned. After classifying the workload, we assess each of them using our 7R approach leveraging HCL Cloud Assessment Framework EXACT. The assessment output provides an insight into the current environment. This helps to execute the digital transformation and achieve the desired state mapped by business functions and technical solutions, including new target operating model, security, and compliance.

Cloud Smart  strategy helps to find the right balance between transformation and transition approach, which eventually achieves the business value to make this shift. The business case needs to consider other benefits, such as enhanced customer experience, speed, agility, growth opportunities, and an improved operating model.

CloudSmart strategy

Figure 1: HCL's CloudSmart strategy

What is the right cloud and target solution for me? 

The answer to this most important question depends on the business requirement and which cloud platform provides the right business, functional, and technical solution to meet the requirements. There are, however, a few guiding principles for choosing the right cloud platform, such as avoiding vendor lock-in solutions, looking for out-of-the-box integration, innovation, flexibility, and transparency.

As part of our HCL CloudSmart strategy, we believe the Google Cloud Platform provides the right capability to meet any unique business and technical requirement. Recently, we have helped many of our F500 customers by enabling digital and data center transformation through the Google Cloud Platform. The Google Cloud Platform provides best-in-breed solutions for every customer, whether it is to modernize, migrate, or build enterprise-grade applications and infrastructure, process and analyze petabytes of data. The platform also helps customers get real-time business insights, enable hybrid cloud management, develop cloud-native applications, build machine learning models, design industry-specific solutions, and more. 

How will we migrate? 

By following the above steps, you will gain a complete understanding of application dependencies, treatment type, target cloud, architecture, and solution. You might have to refactor, rearchitect, replace, re-platform, rehost, retire, or retain an application to align with the business strategy. You will have an opportunity to redesign network, security, compliance, monitoring, IAM as part of landing zone setup through HCL OneClick Foundation. It is built on the principle of DevSecOps and IaC, which will automate landing zone and provide a declarative environment that is scalable and future ready.

For migrating workload, the HCL Factory approach (Modernization factory and migration factory ) helps accelerate cloud transformation using HCL IPs and Framework, which are specially built for the Google Cloud platform. HCL OneClick automation suite has multiple modules to automate the cloud transformation journey. Key features of OneClick are:

  • Application modernization studio 
  • Infrastructure studio
  • Data studio
  • SAP studio

How will this impact our operating model? 

The most important aspect of data center transformation is your approach toward changing the existing IT management. Unless you have a clear understanding of how your operating model will evolve, you wouldn’t be able to reap the benefits of the cloud, such as speed, agility, scalability, automation, and more. Cloud Operating Model comprises people, processes, and technology, and it will change how IT services are built, supported, managed, and governed, including our siloed team structure.

As a part of the HCL Cloud Smart  approach, we have developed an AI Ops cloud operating model on the principles of agile and SRE that helps our hybrid and multi-cloud customers to unlock the value of cloud and reduce toil. Some of its key pillars are:

  • Automation
  • DevSecOps as a culture
  • Site reliability engineer 
  • Cost management (FinOps)

It is the right time to look at data center transformation through the lens of innovation, agility, and digital transformation. As outlined in this post, we must have the right strategy in place and look at it comprehensively to ensure it is aligned with the business objectives and goals.

Data center transformations are large and complex projects that require experience, expertise, the right skillset, and tools. That’s why it is important to partner with HCL and Google Cloud to make your digital transformation journey a success.