Cloud migration in a hybrid world: How enterprises are mapping post-pandemic Azure investments

April 20 2021

Large enterprises, including those in regulated industries, have worked for years automate and digitize more work, and to increasingly move it to cloud services. But companies vary widely in their embrace of the cloud, with views shifting noticeably since the start of the pandemic.

Cloud automation and migration consulting provider, Hexaware, is on the front-lines of these shifts. The company partners with Microsoft and three of the other largest public cloud providers and has grown quickly in recent years to $800 million in revenue. The company makes heavy use of Microsoft services, from SQL Server Migration Assistant to Azure tools, as well as building its own IP on top of Azure services for discovery, assessment and migration of workloads.

Milan Bhatt, the company's executive vice president and head of healthcare and insurance, spoke with MSCloudNews about their approach to cloud migration and optimizing workloads.

The company first began to partner with Microsoft around 2015 and formalized a strategic partnership two years ago. They often build data warehouse migration pipelines, a segment that has accelerated during the pandemic due to a need to move legacy systems to the cloud. Bhatt explained:

In the last six months, we have signed a dozen new customers, mostly Fortune 500s. We think this trend will accelerate. Unlike transactional systems, analytics infrastructure [for instance] tends to be relatively isolated and hence general customers are able to take that as a single project and move it to cloud unlike transactional systems with multiple dependencies.

Customers are increasingly concerned about the methods of moving to the cloud as well as the security of those migrations as they opt to move more workloads. Notwithstanding some breaches, though, many customers see major public cloud providers as able to provider stronger security. Bhatt foresees migrations and hybrid cloud needs expanding:

For most large organizations, it will be a hybrid environment for the foreseeable future. There are still pockets in organizations that believe they need to own their data and have it in own premises. Some mission critical workloads are extremely hard to move to the cloud and they tend to be biggest concerns. Companies want to move crown jewel apps but can't because they've evolved over several decades: there are not enough subject matter experts and considerable technical debt.

Our main suite is actually purpose-built for this specific problem. When customers have legacy data warehouses and databases, they can use AI and ML to be able to get really deep insights often without having access to subject matter experts and documentation and come up with a reasonably accurate picture of what are the risks, how to remediate and move customers to public cloud.

The prime candidates for hybrid are large companies in regulated industries, with huge data estates, according to Bhatt. These organizations increasingly adopt a hybrid and multi-cloud approach. This is commonly accompanied by adoption of SaaS solutions. But when it comes time to move to the cloud, Bhatt cautions that a simple lift-and-shift approach often results in greater costs.

[Many apps are hard to move and may need monolithic architectures broken up]. Mainframe apps, AS-400 applications--a lot of banks and insurance companies are still running on mainframe. Other examples are organizations running SAP, Java and .NET.

Hexaware has added two dozen new customers in recent months and is working on new IP to try to leverage AI and ML as alternatives to more traditional cloud service provider tools.

Post-pandemic, [organizations] have no choice but to use the storage and network capabilities of cloud together with more advanced capabilities. Companies are doing greenfield development and shifting workloads to the cloud. All new capabilities will be built on cloud. We think our main suite is well positioned to help our customers make that digital leapfrog.

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About Eamon McCarthy Earls

As the assistant editor at MSDynamicsWorld.com and MSCloudNews.com, Eamon helps to oversee editorial content on the site and supports site management and strategy. He can be reached at eearls@msdynamicsworld.com.

Before joining MSDynamicsWorld.com, Eamon was editor for SearchNetworking.com at TechTarget, where he covered networking technology, IoT, and cybersecurity. He is also the author of multiple books and previously contributed to publications such as the Boston Globe, Milford Daily News, and DefenceWeb.

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