Multi-Cloud Adoption Challenges for the Enterprise & SMB
The Soufflé Rises: Increases in Multi-Cloud adoption bring new challenges for Enterprises and SMBs
Apparently, the collective noun for a group of clouds is a ‘soufflé’. When I queried Google, I can safely say that wasn’t even close to the list of words I thought might pop up in response. However, you might want to remember the word as it could soon come in handy.
According to RightScale’s annual State of the Cloud Report™ for 2016, 82 percent of enterprise companies have a multi-cloud strategy (or ‘hybrid cloud’, if you prefer). It isn’t just the big end of town, though. Including technical respondents from SMBs, the research finds overall multi-cloud adoption has risen from 58 percent to a staggering 71 percent year-on-year.
Wow, that’s a lot of soufflés. On average, companies are working with three public and three private clouds (including experimental programs).
A Challenging Recipe with Delicious Results
Companies report a number of benefits from moving to a multi-cloud strategy, including:
Faster access to infrastructure (62 percent)
Greater scalability (58 percent)
Higher availability (52 percent)
Faster time to market (52 percent)
Of course, there always has to be a ‘but’. By its very nature, a multi-cloud strategy is more complex. Each public or private cloud added to your ‘soufflé’ multiplies the various constantly moving parts to be managed including geographical concerns, evolving pricing structures, changing technologies, and security implications.
Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that the most common challenge cited by respondents to the Report is ‘Lack of resources/expertise’ (32 percent), overtaking ‘Security’ (29 percent) for the first time since 2013.
Security concerns have steadily decreased year-on-year as respondents have grown in experience and cloud maturity. Meanwhile, the need for more resources and more specialised expertise is recognised as the number one challenge across all respondent groups, regardless of cloud maturity.
“As more organisations are placing more workloads in the cloud, the need for expertise has grown.”
RightScale State of the Cloud Report 2016
So, taking full advantage of the opportunities provided by a multi-cloud strategy will depend on powerful automation and optimisation tools, as well as acquiring or outsourcing the necessary expertise.
The Right Ingredients at the Best Price
Another significant challenge to rise each year of the annual report was ‘Cloud cost management’, now impacting 26 percent of respondents.
A multi-cloud strategy can present an opportunity to actively reduce costs by optimising when and how each cloud or zone is used in response to price changes, fluctuations in demand and other factors. However, as the report concludes, “…few companies are taking critical actions to optimise cloud costs, such as shutting down unused workloads or selecting lower-cost clouds or regions.”
“As adoption grows, cloud bills and cost concerns are also growing, but most organisations are doing little to implement cost management and optimisation strategies. This represents an opportunity to reduce costs and further improve cloud ROI.”
RightScale State of the Cloud Report 2016
There are a number of methods companies can use to control and optimise their cloud costs, but many again require streamlined automation, careful configuration and specialised expertise to be truly effective.
These new opportunities and challenges are precisely why a large proportion of Offis’ multi-cloud business is now in cloud brokerage. As companies seek to maximise business benefits with more agile and portable cloud strategies, our clients are looking for cloud-independent (unbiased) consulting services, including:
Cloud implementation assistance
Orchestration and automated infrastructure provisioning
Private and public multi-cloud management services
Moving to a streamlined, software-defined data centre with complete environment orchestration and automated provisioning brings a number of business benefits, including:
Improved business agility
Increased operational efficiencies
Much quicker time-to-market
Better cost control
Reduced risk from single-vendor points of failure
No vendor lock-in.
Businesses truly appreciate the ability to confidently move into the cloud(s) retaining complete control, while able to change direction at any stage. Now that’s agile! And as this flexibility simply re-uses and redistributes what has already been set up, their investment isn’t wasted.
The trends are clear: multi-clouds are hot and the temperature is rising. While technical professionals are under increasing pressure to prevent their soufflés from collapsing, an experienced multi-cloud team knows how to mix the right ingredients and manage the heat to achieve great results every time.
Franck Demoiseau is the CEO at Offis Multi-Cloud Services