As 2017 ends, it’s clear that while the enterprises (public sector and commercial) are increasingly moving to the public cloud, they face significant challenges. Earlier in the year, I wrote about bridging the chasm between the expectations from an enterprise regarding cloud capabilities and the actual out-of-the box features offered by cloud providers. Additional challenges include the foundational culture shift to cloud governance, DevOps and automation, security and compliance, and mapping an enterprise’s application portfolio to a complex array of cloud service options.

Here are five things you can do next year to better assist enterprises adopt the public cloud:

#1 – Become familiar with the guidance around governance.

This includes naming conventions, subscription management, networking, storage and security. Learn how to customize this guidance to meet each enterprise’s unique needs. Additionally, improve your understanding of established governance tools, like ServiceNow, Telos Xacta and Cloudyn. (And of course, AIS recently published our own Service Catalog to AppSource.)

#2 – Improve your understanding of the latest in PaaS options. 

Most enterprises are looking beyond “lift-n-shift” of their existing applications to IaaS. Instead, they are willing to undertake a minimal amount of refactoring for their existing applications to run in PaaS, greatly lowering overall TCO.  Therefore, it is important to improve your understanding of the latest in PaaS options, especially as managed Kubernetes and Docker are gaining acceptance within the enterprise. Kubernetes also offers us a consistent approach to PaaS for both Windows + Open Source workloads.

Transform your business into a modern enterprise that engages customers, supports innovation, and has a competitive advantage, all while cutting costs with cloud-based app modernization.

#3 – Not every application needs to move to IaaS or PaaS.

Low-code or no-code environments like Flow PowerApps and Power BI, combined with SharePoint and Dynamics 365, offer the potential for developing powerful solutions. SI should learn to work around limitations that are invariably part of a low-code solution. Here is an example of using serverless computing to add custom logic to a PowerApps.

#4 – Both Amazon Web Services and Azure now support bare-metal machines.

This allows big enterprise applications like SAP HANA to be hosted in the cloud. Gaining a deeper understanding of how these applications are optimally hosted in the public cloud will be a key differentiator in the years ahead.

#5 – For enterprises, the “hybrid” cloud is often synonymous to the “public” cloud.

Building experience with hybrid-enabling tools like OMS and Site Recovery can ease enterprise adoption. Finally, Azure Stack is now shipping and is another area that will be important to understand.

And finally, last but not least, the cultural change — embracing a DevOps spirit of collaboration and a constant learning culture — will not only be the key to your success, it may be the most important advice your enterprise customers may be seeking from you.

I wish all the readers of this blog the very best for 2018! We look forward to hearing from you.