Recently I had an opportunity to sit down with one of our customers – a large multi-national bank – to talk about their cloud journey in Enterprise Information Management. Like the transformation that so many organizations are on today, the bank’s journey is taking them out from behind the corporate firewall to a place where workloads are deployed and managed in the cloud. While that’s interesting, it’s not new or surprising. In fact, getting to the cloud is a goal that I talk to customers about every day.
What did stand out in this conversation, however, was how far beyond simply “getting to the cloud” the bank was in their thinking. During our conversation, they asked questions like:
How much control are we comfortable giving up in the transition away from deploying these systems in our own data centers? Which cloud is the best fit for us – a public cloud, private cloud, or a hybrid? How do we leverage the value of a true SaaS solution with a managed service solution? Lift and shift to the cloud is only step 1. How do we get beyond that? How do we innovate? And what new skills and tools will we need to operate successfully once we get there?
Customers are becoming increasingly aware of the issues of moving to the cloud, which has created meaningful and focused discussions that enable both cost savings and co-innovation options. For example, we talked about how we could build a single information layer for the entire bank where all information, regardless of application type, is stored in one single layer. We also explored how this will allow the bank to unlock an Information Advantage by leveraging insights, collaboration, compliance and other common uses which otherwise would be difficult to implement.
Based on this and other discussions with companies on a similar cloud journey, we created this simple pattern of cloud adoption:
Pattern 1 – Products on premise or, as we like to call it, “off cloud”. This has been the pattern in most companies for decades.
Pattern 2 – Managed service deployment in a Private Cloud – in this case, OpenText Cloud. There’s a lot for customers to like in this approach. With OpenText, we deliver the EIM application as a fully managed service from our data centers with a top-to-bottom SLA commitment and unified support model.
Pattern 3 – EIM software from OpenText, but in a 3rd party public cloud like AWS, Azure or the Google Cloud Platform. This pattern is good for companies that have an Enterprise License Agreement with a public cloud provider for all their applications to move to the cloud. And EIM applications are a subset of that. However, the drawback here is that companies end up dealing with at least three or more SLA contracts – one with the infrastructure provider, one with an SI and one with OpenText.
Pattern 4 – EIM software from OpenText in a 3rd party public cloud but delivered with a single SLA. This pattern leverages the best of Pattern 3 and eliminates its drawback (multiple contracts). At OpenText, our most recent announcement with Google Cloud Platform now allows us to offer this pattern to our customers. The interest in this pattern has been very strong and we believe this continues to provide customers choice, which is what we believe is essential in this “cloudy” world.
Pattern 5 – Native cloud EIM applications and services which are self-provisioning and dynamically scaling. No cloud migrations here. These applications and services are born in the cloud. For OpenText, this is reflected in the OT2 family of products.
As we discussed this, the obvious question from the bank was, “Where do I fit into this pattern?” As they realized they were in Pattern 3, the next question was, “How do I get to Pattern 5?” And that was where the conversation turned into a partnership, which is still going strong.
What is your pattern?