For all businesses, agility, flexibility and the ability to evolve with technology is crucial. Cloud computing has emerged as an essential part of any IT strategy, as cloud services have improved organisational agility and greatly lowered the burden of IT infrastructure and cost.
“It’s no longer a question of ‘if’ when it comes to moving to the cloud,” says Richard Vester, Group Executive for the Cloud division of EOH. “It’s a case of ‘when’ and ‘how’. The majority of organisations are embarking on cloud journeys in phases, staggered over time.”
He says the cloud has matured significantly over the past decade. “Initial adopters had a greater appetite for risk, running cloud-native workloads on private or public clouds. However, today large enterprises are looking to move complex and enterprise-wide workloads to the cloud, which has seen a rise in multi-cloud adoption.”
The objective for all businesses is clear, Vester says: Gaining more value from technology investments, realising business value more quickly, and having the ability to respond to constantly shifting business needs. “It’s no longer about sending low-risk services to the cloud, it’s about offering speed and performance for complex, critical enterprise solutions.”
This is why many organisations are going the multi-cloud deployment route, as it helps them reach their various business goals. Different cloud providers can help fulfil different roles that are optimised for specific workloads and applications. “While one cloud platform may be ideal for high-volume data transfer, it might not be suited for other tasks. In this way, a business can use one cloud for sales, another for data, and another for mission-critical workloads.”
However, as much as enterprises appreciate the practicalities and benefits of the cloud, they still need assurances that these mission-critical workloads will run as well, or better than their internal processes. Moreover, the chances are they run multiple solutions from a variety of vendors, and need to know that these can all be managed, without disruption.
Vester says it’s about integration, resilience, smooth operations, security and reliability, and cloud providers need to manage all of these and more. “It’s not about a single technology or solution, but the management of the infrastructure, platforms and applications, and understanding the business goals and hurdles, and making all of this work together, and be supported together. It’s what the customer expects today.”
Today’s customers, he explains, are choosing cloud providers based on their ability to offer a total solution and 100% support. “They are not looking to deal with a slew of providers, making separate decisions across multiple clouds and platforms. A provider who can manage complex enterprise deployments across the entire technology stack and multiple clouds is a compelling proposition.”
And on top of this, cloud providers need to offer solutions that are easy to understand and consume, and are on point from a cost perspective. “Services structure and pricing need to be straightforward, transparent, and must be able to be scaled up or down according to the company’s needs.”
Multi-cloud deployments involve an organisation choosing one or more cloud vendors, such as Azure, Google, or AWS, and putting different workloads into each platform, or assigning various tasks or volumes to multiple cloud services. “This way of working brings many benefits for organisations, as it offers them options when it comes to handling a particular aspect of IT operations. But they still need to manage all of these clouds and platforms from one place. This is where having a good cloud provider comes in.”