By: Varun Chhabra
Today, organizations of all types and sizes have shifted much of their data and applications to the cloud, attracted to its apparent ease of use and simplicity. And yet many find themselves struggling to get full value from their massive investment in the cloud. Why?
CIOs face daunting multi-cloud complexity
The single biggest cause CIOs face with cloud is multi-cloud complexity. When we say a company has “gone to the cloud,” we are really putting a simple label on something much more complicated. That company will typically have distinct workloads across at least two public clouds, with different teams attempting to support and optimize those deployments. Every cloud has its own control layer, its own operational standards, and its own experts. This is the dominant reality for companies today, with almost 93% of enterprises deployed across multiple clouds.
The cloud was supposed to be the cure-all for enterprise IT complexity. Instead of simplifying and streamlining, however, today’s cloud investments are often introducing more layers and silos for companies to deal with. The challenge of operating and optimizing across multiple public clouds, each requiring a unique management and operational approach, has proved a greater hurdle than expected.
This challenge is aggravated greatly by the uncoordinated path most enterprises took to cloud adoption. For most companies, the move to the cloud was less an intentional journey and more of an unplanned organic shift. Typically, IT leaders and teams were swept aside by line of business stakeholders, who took the initiative and adopted cloud services at a rapid rate. Most of the time, business units, or even small teams, acted independently. The cloud might have made it easy for them to scale quickly, but it also allowed them to create their own disconnected silos, operating independently and sometimes at cross-purposes.
Even as these companies must contend with this cross-cloud complexity, they must also sustain their data centers. Any expectation that all workloads would move to the public cloud has been disproved, with most companies continuing to include private clouds in their future plans. Organizations have realized that certain workloads are best run on premises, in their own datacenter or edge locations. So, they must sustain both their cloud deployments and on-premise capabilities and attempt to make it all work together.
An incredible source of value and innovation
Despite these challenges, the cloud is an incredible source of value and innovation to most companies. The ultimate goal is to make all of an organization’s IT investments work together – to create a connected, optimized structure that spans public and private clouds, delivering a consistent hybrid experience for all their workloads.
While companies have their own unique challenges, almost all share a few common objectives in our increasingly digitized economy. They want to become more agile, able to respond quickly to take on new competitors, business models, and customer needs. They need to be able to move faster and more nimbly across their global organization, something that is impossible with fragmented, siloed systems that require constant intervention and administration. To make the business more responsive they first must make their technology more agile.
CIOs need new tools that simplify their administration and control, automating and standardizing resource-draining management functions. They need to be able to move workloads and applications across environments quickly and easily. They want to improve their security profile, locking down the exposure points that create risk. Most of all, they need to slash complexity while connecting their entire environment, breaking the silos that hold them back from customer impact and productivity.
It’s important that IT leaders start expecting more from their cloud providers. If the first phase of cloud computing was about providing enterprises with raw scale, innovation, and flexibility, the next phase must be about empowering the digital enterprise across all environments.
And from the part of the cloud provider, at the core, this is about customer experience, helping enterprises to be freed from the complexity that holds them back from achieving full value from their cloud deployments. When businesses are empowered, they can tap the full value of the cloud to innovate and drive their business.
(The author is Vice President, Product Marketing at Dell Technologies Cloud and the views expressed in the article are his own)