Traditionally, I don’t like to talk about return on investment… it was something that I always felt was used to justify a purchasing decision by pushes vendor salespeople. My bullsh*t meter always came out when they started talking ROI… however as conversations mature at higher levels, it’s clear that IT Decision makers are always looking out for the best way to stay ahead of the game whilst finding the best return for any technology investment. Kubernetes is a black box as the best of times, and understanding its complexity mixed with the potential it has for your business and how to integrate it into current IT practices is crucial moving forward.
What should IT leaders be considering before jumping on board the Kubernetes train?
As more organizations across the world start to migrate their workloads to Kubernetes or acquire net new workloads, leadership teams and executives are being forced to start weighing up the costs of switching from the incumbent, legacy infrastructure platforms to the modern platform architecture that Kubernetes and containerization brings. Meanwhile, at the other end of the IT spectrum, start-ups are looking at their modern application choices are likely to opt for Kubernetes to keep up with comparable businesses whose technology is leading edge, but also to ensure they can run their workloads as they are being developed in more cloud native ways.
With applications increasingly moving to the cloud driven by their development and the devs that create them, expectations are that cloud native spending will outpace non cloud IT infrastructure spending for the first time by the end of this year, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). That said, IDC also reported a significant rise in spending on computer and storage infrastructure products for cloud deployments in Q1 of 2022. The IDC notes that this growth is a continuation of year-on-year spending increases in shared and dedicated cloud infrastructure products, despite supply-chain obstacles such as component shortages and transportation network disruptions.
It’s a fast-moving trajectory that’s tantamount to “jump on board or you’ll miss your train”. But the train isn’t that fast moving at the moment… in fact it’s only just left the station.
Adopting a new infrastructure requires a big spend on time, allowing for education, risk analysis and then, in turn, the money to spend on aligned products development cycles to ensure enterprises are getting the best out of its new technological base. This holds especially true in with the Kubernetes conversation. While many elements of traditional IT, such as compute, storage, network etc still exist there is hidden complexity in managing a Kubernetes cluster which requires education and experience… all of which impact costs and in turn ROI.
Given Kubernetes and its containerised cloud-based approach is an entirely new language for many, the education piece for an entirely new business technology like Kubernetes is substantial. But essential learning should be viewed as an investment that reaps the bigger rewards in the future… in much the same way we invested in Microsoft technologies and then VMware technologies. Investing in new technologies in any enterprise is valuable in that spending results in more knowledgeable IT allowing for a smoother transition to modern platforms like Kubernetes when the need arises for workloads to be homed there.
Any investment into Kubernetes now should yield efficiencies that the platform offers by way of the scalable cloud-based infrastructure and a modern cloud native way to develop, deploy, manage and run applications. An investment now will save time and money in the long run and save organizations from the scramble that might otherwise occur. This all leads to boosting future productivity, alleviating any headaches around technical investment and confidence that applications will function as expected when it comes time to modernize.