co-authored by Carolin Russo
Enterprises today rely heavily on the cloud as a backbone of their IT estate. Over time the application landscape gets stretched over datacentres and at least one or more of the hyper-scalers. The challenges to manage the landscape gets more complex over time. So how do CIOs deal with the typical challenges around multiclouds and how do they get the best out of native clouds?
Over the last few years, the adoption of cloud (and multicloud) has been constantly on the rise, and it is predicted that 85% of businesses will embrace a cloud-first principle by 2025 with hybrid solutions as the preferred way (Gartner, 2023). More and more applications are developed in the cloud or directly added to the application portfolio using SaaS. CIOs nowadays have a hard time to manage the complexity that comes with the many different providers, platforms, and extremely fast innovation cycles. But is this a challenge or is it an opportunity?
If customers adopt the cloud in a strategic way and mature it over time, the enterprises can highly benefit from the freedom of choice. If one platform offers the best AI services while the other offers the best serverless options, then companies can leverage the best of both providers. Known as polycloud Selection.
Here are 5 top challenges and opportunities that we can see in the multicloud market today:
- Complexity – Over time platforms tend to increase in terms of complexity and overhead. A good solution is to use policy-based approaches with guard rails, leveraging cloud management platforms, adopt finOps to manage budget/cost and leverage AI & automation.
- Talent shortage – Talent shortage is for sure one of the biggest problems. Finding DevOps experts, Cloud Security Engineers or Cloud Architects/Engineers is a real problem. Managed services and a good Cloud Target Operating Model can let you focus on the core business instead of managing VMs or doing backups hence you as a customer can free up valuable time of your business users and IT to support the business in developing services instead of managing the platform. Another way to address talent shortage is to upskill internal teams or use accredited system integrators to support with the learning process.
- Innovation – If we move the cloud, we will be innovative, right? While the cloud offers innovate services right out of the box ready to use the speed to market can be rapidly increased, but you need to embed the agile mindset, ideation and design-thinking practices into the organisation to be able to deliver innovative new solutions and leverage cloud services as FaaS for instance (Function-as-a Service). Organisational change is equally important as the technology transformation is.
- Sustainability – Cloud energy consumption is often far lower than the consumption of old and often not ideally managed datacentres. A sustainable IT transformation should always look at the current estate and compare it with the cloud to check if there are levers for the sustainability journey. For example, choosing instances that have reduced power consumption on compute CPUs like Graviton-based instances use up to 60% less energy for the same performance than comparable EC2 instances. Cloud enables to be very transparent, and you can even build the ESG-reporting with the cloud.
- Data – We all heard the sentence “data is the new oil”. While this is true, a lot of customers don’t have a good data strategy and data governance in place. Which data can I move to the cloud? How do I tag it? How do I protect the data? Which data is sensitive data? It is very important to plan upfront and describe and communicate clearly within the company which data can move to the cloud and how the data will be protected and used. Leveraging a cloud platform can help you protect the data because the cloud providers offer the services to be compliant out of the box. Your responsibility for the data remains with you as a customer therefore you still need to care about data protection & data residency, data loss prevention, sensitivity labels or information protection. The network as a security boundary is replaced by a zero-trust-model and needs to be adopted.
Overall, we can say while complexity grows (especially on multicloud & polycloud) the options to leverage the cloud to innovate, be greener as a company or to be faster than the competition while having the right strategies in place, would also grow and outweigh the challenges.
Reach out to Infosys Consulting if you want to learn how we can help you overcome the challenges and realise the benefits of cloud to your advantage.