How Ground-to-Cloud Strategies Can Lead to Better Outcomes

Arvind Mehrotra
7 min readSep 14, 2023

Organisations seek new ways to reinvent themselves and gain a competitive advantage in today’s economic climate. The pervasive acceptance of cloud computing has been a significant innovation driver.

Today, businesses use over three cloud services and close to four private clouds. As per Deloitte Insights, nearly 85% of companies use at least two cloud platforms. According to the report, 25% of businesses utilise five platforms.

However, the explosion of cloud technologies has brought about specific challenges. As the number of cloud environments increases, so do their administration complexities. It creates several issues, including limited control and transparency, unpredictable costs, and inconsistent compliance and safety processes. Security and Compliance capabilities are a priority for all public cloud providers, and they spend more resources. They also offer various options to customers like:

- For instance, Microsoft Azure offers over 100 compliance certifications, covering global regions and countries like the US, the European Union, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, India, and China. It also has 30-plus compliance offerings specific to the needs of critical industries like health, government, finance, education, manufacturing, and media.

- Azure has tools like Azure Security and Compliance Blueprints to create, deploy, and update compliant environments. It also offers Azure Security Center for unified security management and Azure Policy, which helps us to define and enforce policies that help our cloud environment meet compliance with internal policies and external regulations.

As a result, it can be challenging for businesses to realise the full potential of these multi-cloud ecosystems, impeding the ingenuity and innovation the idea is to empower.

Ground-to-cloud strategies can solve this — read on to learn why.

What is a Ground-to-Cloud Strategy, Anyway?

The running of software-defined variants of on-premises infrastructure within public clouds distinguishes a ground-to-cloud solution. It has been crucial to innovation in countless organisations.

A ground-to-cloud strategy will use IT Ops and enterprise administration tools with which IT teams are already acquainted. The tools transition to a public cloud setting, which provides management uniformity and boosts data migration in multi-cloud computing environments.

Consequently, companies can use their existing skill sets, spend less time handling data and infrastructures and even reduce their public cloud investments.

Cloud-to-ground strategies are becoming increasingly important in today’s business climate for several other reasons:

- Management Consistency and Improved Data Mobility: Ground-to-cloud solutions, which involve running software-defined versions of on-premises infrastructure in public clouds, have been instrumental in unlocking innovation for countless organisations. A ground-to-cloud strategy that leverages IT Ops and Service management tools IT teams already know and trust in public cloud environments can offer management consistency and improve data mobility in multi-cloud settings.

- Simplicity and Agility: Cloud-to-ground services offer your developers the cloud experience’s simplicity and agility, delivered on-premises. Our project experience at Cloud Control tells us that cloud-to-ground solutions help you to run cloud stacks and Kubernetes clusters on-premises while giving developers easy access to their favourite cloud services and allowing them to write once and run anywhere.

- Optimising for Business Outcomes: Designing a cloud strategy that optimises business outcomes, including speed, resilience, and agility.

For example, Dell’s APEX Storage for Public Cloud makes Dell’s enterprise-class storage available in public clouds along with new management tools that centralise management activities across clouds. IT teams can use the same skills, APIs, management experiences, and enterprise-class storage services irrespective of Dell storage location. CIOs can streamline operations by utilising the block and file storage software used on-premises in public clouds.

Ground-to-cloud is the First Step to Multi-cloud by Design.

Most companies begin with a multi-cloud by default approach — i.e., the cloud grows organically, with little planning, as business needs grow and evolve. The alternative is to do it by design.

Spend time examining the proper distribution of your workloads — what should reside in the public cloud versus what can live in-house. This approach is known as multi-cloud by design. It enables you to access all multi-cloud functions without being constrained by their complexities.

Moving containerised apps, for instance, may be overly complicated or risky. However, businesses can carry analytics, AI, and machine learning duties from the public cloud to an on-premises environment. The shift delivers enhanced efficacy and decreased latency, and this attractiveness prompts highly regulated & competitive firms to retain such functions & data locally.

How, then, should you implement a multi-cloud strategy? There are two solutions to this problem. Ground-to-cloud approach:

  • The first alternative is running the technology your company already relies on in the public cloud. It enables your teams to use familiar tools or apps in public cloud settings, helping you leverage existing skill sets, invest less time administering data and infrastructure, and even minimise extant public cloud commitments.
  • Another option is to bring public cloud systems into specific IT environments via a cloud-to-ground strategy. Using multi-cloud tools that may duplicate cloud systems on-premise combines both benefits. You have a link to cloud services inside your data hub or colocation facility, and you can move data in and out of the cloud via the same storage technology without disruptions.

The execution of cloud-to-ground strategies involves several key steps:

  • Understanding Cloud Transformation: Cloud transformation transforms an organisation’s data, applications, software, or IT infrastructure into the cloud. It goes more in-depth with modernising and optimising an organisation’s data management, analytics, and cybersecurity to align with its overall digital transformation objectives.
  • Recognising the Importance of Cloud-based Transformation: Companies have taken advantage of Cloud transformation as a very effective way to complete a mega change of their entire organisation across functional areas — like technology, processes and people. It has helped businesses to streamline operations and drive growth and innovation.
  • Differentiating Between Cloud Transformation and Migration: Cloud migration is one piece of cloud transformation. Cloud migration is focused solely on moving applications, data, and other components from on-premises to a cloud-based infrastructure. Cloud transformation, however, enables a complete evolution of a business.
  • Aligning with Business Strategy: You need to understand and align with the business strategy to have a sustainable and high-value cloud strategy.
  • Implementing Ground-to-cloud Strategies: One way to bring a ground-to-cloud strategy to your organisation is through enterprise-class storage in public clouds and new management tools that centralise management activities across clouds.

Remember, the successful execution of these strategies requires careful planning, clear communication, and ongoing management to ensure alignment with overall business objectives.

Your Multi-cloud Deserves Better

A ground-to-cloud strategy has several attractive benefits.

Developers can use public cloud environments with this method from on-premises, colocation centres, or edge platforms. It will help in combining convenience with technological advances while offering flexibility. Developers can quickly access their favourite cloud services, generating code only once and deploying it anywhere.

These solutions combine the versatility of public cloud computing with safeguards and administration of on-premises systems. This method makes it simpler for developers to zero in on development instead of infrastructure considerations. That is why it often leads to more innovation and better outcomes.

There are scenarios wherein shifting duties out of public clouds makes little sense. Some organisations, for instance, utilise cloud-based AI/ML capabilities, which are challenging to duplicate on-premises or won’t work well there.

Ground-to-cloud makes it possible to move to the cloud by design and assemble the best possible solution for your company. Integrating public cloud-to-ground strategies can offer several benefits:

1. Management Consistency: A ground-to-cloud strategy should leverage Service management tools that IT teams already know and trust in public cloud environments can offer consistency in management.

2. Improved Data Mobility: Such strategies can improve data mobility in multi-cloud settings. For file-based workloads like file shares or home directories, ground-to-cloud solutions provide seamless data mobility between on-premises and cloud with native replication and consistent user experiences with familiar interfaces, identity management, and built-in security features.

3. More Deployment Options: A hybrid cloud platform gives organisations greater flexibility, multiple deployment options, managed security, and enhanced compliance, and they get more value from their existing infrastructure.

These benefits collectively enhance IT agility and speed up time to market.

Were you intrigued by the ground-to-cloud promise? Explore further with me at Arvind@am-pmassociates.com.

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Arvind Mehrotra

Board Advisor, Strategy, Culture Alignment and Technology Advisor