While making the perfect match is never easy, the answer is usually based on simple equations. The term “Matching Theory” is defined by a unique mathematical framework that results from ideal pairings. It’s the process of two elements coming together to advance their combined potential. This is becoming especially important as the world goes digital.

Digital transformation means the old way of doing business no longer exists. Cloud computing is redefining how organizations work – allowing them to quickly adapt across market changes, specialize customer service, and scale to match evolving requirements. And when correctly paired with the appropriate workload, cloud computing is the foundation upon which successful transformations are built.

Analyst firm IDC predicts more than $1 trillion is being spent on digital transformation technologies this year alone. As one of the fastest-growing digital categories, cloud infrastructure investments are accelerating to nearly 30 percent CAGR during the next five-years. IDC also notes expenditures in cloud are growing 7x as quickly as typical IT spend. These investments are essential components in accelerating business agility. Supported by cloud, organizations have the potential to move at the speed of business – driving innovation and responding to customer demands in real-time.

But determining the right match isn’t easy. While each business is different, a range of critical questions must be answered:

What considerations are required in migrating workloads and applications to the cloud?

Not every workload is meant for cloud migration – and these flexible models don’t necessarily fit all applications. It’s important to identify, inventory and rank applications by migration potential. Given the ultimate goal is ensuring full availability, it’s best to target “always on” applications for cloud transitions. These are characterized by operations requiring quick ramp up to match demand – as well as those necessitating near-zero downtime.

Is there a difference between hybrid, multi-cloud, and managed cloud?

As no two strategies or migration projects are the same, there’s more than one approach to cloud – ranging from hybrid and managed implementations to multi-cloud. Hybrid cloud leverages two types of cloud (such as public and private) in a single organization running similar workloads. However, multi-cloud solutions integrate and manage disparate clouds across multiple providers running separate tasks. In this scenario, orchestration is essential. As another alternative, managed solutions build economies-of-scale, with providers directing computing, storage, networks and operating systems.

Are these implementations interchangeable?

A hybrid or managed strategy is often best designed for those seeking to migrate legacy infrastructures and rapidly advance speed, flexibility, and efficiency of specific applications and workloads. Multi-cloud is becoming more common as organizations acknowledge many different clouds are better suited for leading innovation across a range of unique projects. In this scenario, success relies on automated platforms to orchestrate infrastructure, applications and services. Larger companies are already anticipating broad-based adoption of multi-cloud, with IDC estimating the number of cloud IaaS providers in a single implementation rising from five to nine during the past two years.

Taking the Next Step

As infrastructure complexity increases, alignment with an experienced service provider just makes sense. The best choice is often a partner able to address the entire lifecycle of cloud investments. Whether it’s migrating a few applications or extending into multi-cloud, team with experienced professionals capable of maximizing investments at every stage of the growth trajectory.

These issues and many more are explored in the IDC report Matching Workloads to Cloud Platforms: Finding the Optimal Fit by Group Vice President of Worldwide Telecommunications Research, Courtney Munroe. Take the time to download the full report – and then sign up for a strategy session with CenturyLink to help facilitate your cloud migration journey.

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