When cloud first arrived it transformed practically everything about existing IT. Organisations were offered a plethora of new and innovative tools, which, through the years, have changed not only processes and business structures, they have also revolutionised aspects of everyday life as we now know it. But despite its popularity, research from IDC suggests that most organisations are not multi-cloud ready.
Granted, the cloud faces criticisms, such as, its correlation with cyber risk, but from a business sense, having a dynamic strategy that can enable engagement with new and ever upgrading cloud applications is generally viewed by many industry experts as a positive. After all, the cloud allows organisations to do so much that could not be done before. Furthermore, the ability to be dynamic reduces reliance on a single vendor and allows organisations to build a best of breed infrastructure.
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Despite this widely shared consensus, research from IDC shows that many European organisations are far from prepared for the inevitable multi-cloud future of IT. Key findings from the survey show that the majority of European organisations (around 80%) are stuck in the transition process from hybrid cloud environments, while 10% are considered “Bystanders” with little multi-cloud progress.
About a third of European organisations reported no plans to move workloads from current cloud providers over the next 12 months. While nearly half (42%) of European organisations cited management and control of cost as their most pressing multi-cloud data management priority. This is highest among large European enterprises, with 51% selecting it as a top concern.
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According to Michael Ceroici, research analyst, European Multi-cloud Infrastructure at IDC: “While the perception of multi-cloud infrastructure as an end goal certainly resonates with European organisations, there remains uncertainty over what a multi-cloud strategy looks like and how this strategy should be disseminated within an organisation”.
This observation is accurate, and there is likely to be more than one reason for the holdup. But perhaps it would be best to first point out the obvious.
The proliferation of cloud services may make many business processes and activities easier and more user-friendly, but they also bring with them their complexities. For example, CIOs and IT leaders are now expected to deal with more SLAs and T&Cs, which need careful consideration in order to mitigate relinquishing control of their data. Lacking the ability to hire and retain all the expertise they need to manage complex IT environments is a common problem, which links significantly to cost control of cloud infrastructure. Cyber risk must also be taken into account, 2017 hosted some devastating cyber attacks such as WannaCry and Petya/NotPetya alongside a number of cloud services leaking data. Arguably, with the coming arrival of GDPR, it is understandable IT leaders want to be slow and cautious, as they could be liable to huge financial penalties for failure to protect their data on the cloud.
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Onus needs to also be put on cloud vendors, given that every organisation is different, there seems to be no fix-all solution when it comes to multi-cloud strategies. As different companies procure different cloud services for different reasons, consequently there is nothing to bridge them together. Of course, cloud providers are fully aware of this themselves – to be fair, in some instances, various cloud providers are trying to bridge the divide, take for example; the partnership between VMware and Amazon Web Services (AWS). However, as they regularly compete over the same space, partnerships like are unlikely to be the saving grace.
Whatever the solution, the cloud is going to become evermore predominant, IT leaders and vendors need to adapt to multi-cloud strategies or they risk drifting off into obscurity.