Migrating to the cloud? Do it for the right reasons!

Migrating to the cloud? Do it for the right reasons!

22 February 2023

Products & licensing
Technology review
Hybrid Cloud

Migrating to the cloud simply to save costs is probably not a great idea. However, the chance to modernize your applications can be a wonderful reason to finally make that strategic move into the cloud. Research agency IDC polled Benelux organizations in twenty different industries to discover how they viewed the various cloud deployment models. We were there when they shared their findings at their Future of Infrastructure event in November and December. The results present a mixed picture. These are the most important observations.

While many companies – one in three in the Benelux (33%) – still view the cloud as a way to cut costs, this should not be their only or even their main reason for investing in cloud technology.

Importance of cloud in Benelux in 2022

Fortunately, most Benelux companies (38%) are already opting for cloud computing for other reasons, for example, to modernize their applications. One in four respondents (25%) sees the cloud as a platform for the development of new products and services. And for nearly one in three (30%), the cloud even serves as a foundation for new business models and revenue streams.

Application modernization and operational optimization: an inseparable combination

Like IDC’s researchers, we cannot repeat this often enough: a migration to the cloud offers more than just a technology upgrade. It can help lay the foundations for your digital business. Make the move to the cloud for the right reason: to help your business. Besides a desire to invest in digital innovation, such reasons may include the promotion of sustainability, improving data management or modernizing applications.

The benefits of application modernizing also go beyond cost savings. For companies in the Benelux, the greatest draws are the promise of greater resilience and security (26%) and increased agility and efficiency for their business (24%). They see the main challenges or hurdles in application modernizing as getting the migration process started (30%), a shortage of talent with the right skills (29%) and the difficulty of determining the resulting business results (27%). Companies are mainly thinking about applications such as Business Analytics & Big Data, Front-End Development, Human Capital Management, Finance & Accounting, Sales & Marketing, Data Warehousing & Data Lakes.

However, application modernizing (and innovation) can also affect a company’s underlying infrastructure and operational management. “Our customers have new and higher expectations in these areas, too. They see this as an opportunity to improve efficiency, security, availability and flexibility,” explains Stefan Smeets, Business Line Manager Multi-Cloud & Data and Integration. Obviously, application modernizing and innovation go hand in hand with infrastructure and operational optimizing.

Cloud continuum

Still, as is generally the case with the cloud, investing in application modernizing is not an all-or-nothing matter. It needn’t mean moving locally running applications entirely to the cloud in the next instant. It’s more of an evolutionary process. In a way, you could see it as a cloud continuum, where organizations can actually make different choices for individual applications, data systems and platforms.

At one end of the spectrum, organizations can keep applications on-premises (11% in the Benelux, according to the IDC study) or even bring them back on-premises (3%), while at the other extreme they may choose to completely adapt their existing applications to fit the new cloud environment – to modernize them, in other words.

Application modernisation Benelux 2022

They may be cloud native applications, custom designed to fit an organization’s needs (16%), or SaaS applications (Software-as-a-Service) purchased as a service (12%). 

Somewhere between these alternatives is the so-called lift-and-shift or rehosting method, i.e., placing existing applications in the public cloud without making any substantial changes (8%). It may also be that applications have already been partially modernized in order to reap the benefits of the public cloud (25%), an approach known as "replatforming". Finally, existing applications may be substantially, but not entirely, modernized within a cloud-based development environment (18%). This is known as "refactoring" or "rearchitecting".


Every application modernizing strategy will involve a certain amount of effort in terms of time and expense, but will also offer opportunities to optimize applications and operational processes to fit a business’s current and future needs.


“Obviously, the cloud is not a goal in itself,” says Stefan Smeets. “Instead, organizations should make the right choices for their applications and data, based on their business wants and needs. Of course, these should also take their environment and IT department’s operational choices into account. IDC and other analysts see Cloud 3.0 as business-oriented. Business results are what matter most. There is no silver bullet, in other words.”

Hybrid sets the tone

A similarly varied picture emerges from IDC’s enquiries into attitudes towards the use of public cloud services. A meager 2% of respondents rely exclusively on the public cloud. Approximately one in eight (13%) still prefer to maintain their own infrastructure, either on-premises or in a location shared with a hosting provider.

Most noteworthy, however, is that over four out of five companies (84%) have currently opted for a hybrid approach. A third of respondents (35%) indicate that they prefer their own infrastructure, but don’t hesitate to use the public cloud when necessary. A much smaller number of companies (6%) have opted for the opposite approach, generally relying on the public cloud, but maintaining the option of working locally. The majority (43%) are hedging their bets for the time being and are searching for an optimal balance between an infrastructure of their own and the public cloud.

Best of all worlds

“We have only barely made a start on our journey to the cloud,” IDC concludes. That may explain why so many organizations are still holding on to their old, familiar landscape while also experimenting with the new. That is not necessarily a problem, though – especially with a good partner to guide you on your journey. “Depending on the cloud solution you want, you can mix and match four different cloud types.

  • Public cloud: running your solution on a hyperscaler infrastructure such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS);
  • Regional cloud: running your solution on an external partner’s infrastructure, such as Inetum-Realdolmen’s rCloud;
  • Private cloud: running your solution on your own data center’s centralized infrastructure; and
  • Edge cloud: running your solution on local infrastructure close to or where it is most needed, such as production facilities or a hospital operating theater.

YrCloud: a hybrid solution

As IDC’s study shows, quite a few companies are still holding on to on-premises data centers, for reasons both practical and at times legal. To meet this continued demand on our customers’ part, Inetum-Realdolmen has developed a new option: YrCloud, our new managed services offering for the private and edge clouds. Specifically, it enables you to combine the benefits of the public cloud with those of your own, on-premises data center. We are basically bringing our rCloud (Regional Cloud)  to your doorstep. You switch from CapEx to OpEx. You no longer buy the servers and storage you need for your on-premises data center yourself. Instead, we will provide you with the infrastructure and manage it for you. We offer you a public cloud consumption model and experience, but within your own data center. Thanks to our new cloud service, it is no longer necessary to force yourself to choose between the public cloud and an on-premises infrastructure.

Want to find out more?

Curious about the many benefits of our pay-per-use model for managed private cloud services? Read this blog post to find out more. Or are you considering how your organization could benefit from the potential of a hybrid cloud? Our experts won’t just tell you about the various possibilities, they can also actively help you find the best solution, perfectly tailored to your needs. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@inetum-realdolmen.world or ask your usual contact person.


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