Due to the pandemic, the demand for new technology has sky-rocketed and companies are facing challenges developing new technological resources while still offering high-quality services. More consumers are beginning to work from home, which has resulted in an increase in people using virtual platforms for work, education, and online shopping. Now, firms are fast-tracking to create new and more effective ways to store data and meet the rapidly growing demands for better technology. Continue reading below to learn more!
The digital revolution has been decades in the making. Organizations and individuals have made progress digitizing. However, one of the lessons of 2020 is that, despite progress, we have a long way to go. As organizations shifted to remote work, families shifted to everything from home.
We saw the rise of virtual platforms; meeting and classroom services became everyday essentials. Endpoint hardware sales soared by nearly 50% across vendors, supporting the notion that families executed technology upgrades to keep up with this changing world.
We’ve found that many enterprises are in the process of multiyear cloud migrations and application modernization efforts. During the pandemic, many of those same companies pulled forward plans to compensate for the lack of easy data center access and, in some cases, the delayed supply of compute, storage and networking enterprise infrastructure hardware.
According to research by Gartner, Inc., “the worldwide infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market grew 40.7% in 2020 to total $64.3 billion, up from $45.7 billion in 2019.” The heart of digital transformation is mission-critical applications. Applications are being created and relied upon for basic company and individual productivity. We recently saw these applications fulfilling the need for Covid-19 support efforts.
Exponential Growth In Applications And Supporting Technology
We expect organizations to continue the momentum in accelerated cloud migration and application modernization. In fact, Microsoft estimates that in the next five years, there will be more applications launched than in the previous 40 years. I’ve found through my experience that many organizations have theorized that a modern digital organization would potentially thrive in a homogeneous public cloud provider strategy or an otherwise single-vendor IT environment.
However, this theory has not held up. In 2021 and beyond, organizations I’ve worked with will continue with the typical IT practice of heterogeneity of platforms, cloud providers and application stacks. We see this in the growth of all major cloud platforms and the lack of standardization of a singular cloud provider. The collective business and technology requirements of the different groups involved with bringing applications to life — developers, data scientists, IT operators, cloud architects and security teams — drive the proliferation of separate environments, infrastructure and tooling.
Are Cloud Transformations Creating New Silos In IT Organizations?
Is the practice of giving different cloud teams access to the cloud services they need across individual and potentially incompatible platforms creating the latest IT problem? This “cloud expansion” in multiple directions, with many teams with different needs, is now becoming commonplace for enterprises. This proliferation makes it difficult to rely on multiple public cloud providers, private cloud environments, edge cloud providers and data centers at the same time.
Within each environment is an ecosystem of proprietary tools — security, automation, training, analytics, disaster recovery. Each of these services often requires a dedicated IT team, creating conflicting interests and barriers in the enterprise’s organizational processes. For the sake of this article, let’s call this the multiple cloud evolution. The result: Enterprise organizations are finding that the same agility they pursued with a cloud strategy is now reduced by the overhead in managing new silo structures.
Controlling Costs And Regaining Agility
As you can imagine, the above costs — including financial costs, barriers to collaboration, operational inefficiencies and inherent security liabilities — will need to be controlled. In addition, these same organizations are asking if there is a way to maximize the value of their investment in existing tools, talent and techniques. What is the path forward as they look to gain agility without compromising in other areas? Enter the multi-cloud strategy — a fresh approach to non-consistent environments.
IT leaders increasingly look for converged, connected tools that are built and deployed on a variety of different architectures and hosted in different environments. They need and want to unify applications, integrate cloud services and deliver flexible and deployable consumption models. Sometimes, this means slowing down to ultimately move more quickly. In a unified multi-cloud world, the desire and goal would be for all key personas to be empowered, inclusive of their specific technology and business requirements.
For example, a single organization may have a developer that would have access to the cloud services and applications they need, a data scientist with the flexibility to store and process data in the cloud or on-premises to resolve latency issues, the cloud architect able to take a holistic approach rather than a piecemeal approach to the problem, the chief security officer can ensure their requirements are met and the IT operator has a birds-eye view and control over everything.
Specifically, an enterprise organization in the insurance market I work with directly has experienced initiatives driven by an executive directive to reduce run rate by moving to a cloud operating model and eventually close data centers. To align with this directive, this enterprise has taken the next step to further reduce its already optimized cost by moving to a fully managed solution with a cloud procurement model, as it often faces challenges moving its Microsoft VDI environments to the public cloud due to licensing requirements and wanting to keep workloads handling sensitive customer information on-premises. The benefits of the public cloud operating model assist in avoiding costly licensing penalties and the risks of moving sensitive information to the public cloud.
Additionally, in the global insurance market space, we see CIOs initiating programs to reduce data centers. Severe and ongoing outages drove the move to the cloud. However, without a multi-cloud strategy, after two years and high costs trying to replatform to a public cloud, the cost reduction sought with public cloud strategy failed. In both cases, multi-cloud strategy and quick implementation was and continues to be a priority for the advancement of the business and the cohesiveness and security of technology. Getting to the delivery of multi-cloud via a connected cloud architecture is a discussion for my next article, as I’ll discuss how the arrival of multi-cloud computing has transformed IT infrastructure and organization, driving results for stakeholders across the enterprise.