Three common cloud strategies break down assumptions

Cloud Universal: According to Gartner, spending on public cloud services is projected to reach $ 396 billion in 2021 and increase by 21.7% to $ 482 billion in 2022. And by 2026, Gartner predicts that public cloud spending will exceed 45% of all enterprise IT spending, down from 17% in 2021.

But how fully do companies fully understand the potential benefits এবং and potential limitations of the cloud, as they rush to migrate? In an evolving, complex landscape, the current offerings of major cloud players do not allow for the important combination of flexibility and control that today’s companies expect. At the same time, as companies move towards digital transformation, the number of enterprise applications they use in each segment is increasing.

This means that companies need to rethink and re-evaluate general cloud strategy estimates as well as some of their investment decisions. For example, enterprises increasingly don’t want to be locked out using a company’s software, and are more likely to use open source software. A growing number of cloud software services with open source expertise are offering competitive alternatives to portfolios owned by public cloud infrastructure companies.

As a result, the size of cloud services – and the issues that organizations need to consider – is changing. Here, we address general assumptions about cloud strategy and what companies should consider in order to fully utilize the benefits of the cloud.

Myth: Cloud transfers will reduce costs and increase security

The two biggest arguments for moving to the cloud are the opportunity to reduce overall IT costs and take advantage of better security controls. However, although there is the potential for cost savings, in many cases, companies are paying extra for the benefits and costs may increase. For example, out-of-the-box cloud services are usually more expensive than self-hosted, on-premises infrastructure if they are managed like legacy IT infrastructure. In the cloud, companies pay for flexibility for quick provisioning, depreciation and scaling, and have the opportunity to use that flexibility to reduce costs.

This has led to cloud relocation: In 2019, IDC predicts that up to 50% of public cloud workloads will be returned to on-premises infrastructure or private cloud to gain the best option for certain workloads.

In terms of security, the cloud may have more sophisticated controls that are easier to implement than on-premises infrastructure. However, the decentralized nature of the public cloud could open up a more complex security stance – over which the organization may not have sufficient control. A recent IDC survey found that almost every company has experienced some form of cloud data breach. This means that enterprises need to consider and evaluate the goals of their IT security environment in each case of the cloud stack.

Guess: Best for a business that sticks with a cloud provider

While this may be convenient, many enterprise-level companies find that the standard box model of a major cloud provider does not meet its flexibility requirements. Sophisticated IT companies can find opportunities to optimize both cost and time-to-market by flexibly shifting workloads between cloud providers and between the cloud and on-premises.

It is important to understand that “cloud providers” are not limited to the big three cloud infrastructure vendors – over time more and more ISVs are becoming their own cloud providers. For example, an advanced database user can rely on high performance, sophisticated behavior, and advanced configuration that are not available in cloud provider managed offers. In addition, if those advanced database users use an open source database such as PostgrassQL, they may want to have that area of ​​their stack served by a provider that is basically a database company, not an infrastructure company that runs hundreds of other applications and Services. Today, thanks to the trend of unbanding cloud services, companies can regain more control over their database deployment in the cloud.

Finally, while hybrid architectures can reduce costs and increase flexibility, the data-centric nature of enterprises presents additional challenges today. Transferring data and databases is difficult and time consuming, and refraining from and returning to proprietary cloud data services can be particularly challenging. Independent cloud vendors can offer cost savings by unbundling cloud provider services, providing freedom and flexibility through a cloud-agnostic approach.

Myth: Clouds are a mature landscape that will not change

Cloud is one of the fastest growing areas of IT spending across the industry But while studies show that 92% of the IT environment is already at least partially in the cloud, enterprise cloud adoption is at an early stage which will be a profound transformation for all enterprises. Far from a mature, stable landscape, cloud technology is constantly evolving.

A significant technological change in the cloud over the past decade has been the continuous, dramatic reduction in computing and infrastructure costs. It has also become easier to create development tools and use programming languages, which has allowed development tools to go beyond the single scope of IT experts, expanding into the rest of the organization.

Finally, as companies prioritize regaining control over the convenience of a single public cloud, technological cloud expertise in different fields has spread across different service vendors. These providers are becoming more creative with how to create a cloud service offer – such as a database as a service – that changes the definition of unbanded and managed services from a universal cloud infrastructure.

Evolution of clouds: A balancing act

Although there is talk of incredible growth and plenty of energy and clouds, it is still relatively early in the evolution of clouds. What is changing with the emergence of companies from the early stages of cloud acquisition is that companies want to recover high orders of control without going to a single cloud vendor. This is leading to a multi-cloud approach that includes traditional on-premises and more dynamic deployments in the public cloud: according to Gartner’s 2020 Cloud End-User Buying Behavior Study, 76% of respondents reported using multiple cloud providers.

New independent software vendors are stepping into this emerging, evolving landscape, resizing managed services to reflect customer demand and provide more expertise in specific cloud areas and open source platforms. Ultimately, as cloud services go through this unbundling process and move away from exclusive architectures, cloud strategy will become a balancing act between effort control and convenience. Companies need to think strategically about what services to use from major cloud vendors and what services independent cloud providers can offer with the necessary expertise.

This article was produced by Insights, the custom content branch of MIT Technology Review. It was not written by the editorial staff of MIT Technology Review.

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