Cloud has been central to the rapid progress of digital transformation over the past decade or so. Along the way, cloud has given enterprises cheaper storage and computing costs; enabled data input from thousands of devices, objects and sources; and increased capacity for better analytics. But data still remains siloed in many organizations, isolated in on-premises infrastructures or stuck in the systems and processes of third-party cloud service providers. This data needs to be enabled. It needs to flow better in order to be of real use to organizations and permit business outcomes. This is where multicloud comes in as an essential enabler.
What is happening with multicloud today?
Most enterprises today use public cloud services from multiple providers. This is generally referred to as multicloud computing. Enterprises opt to choose a multicloud strategy to avoid vendor lock in and to get access to best-of-breed solutions.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic, however, has impacted the world dramatically and changed many of the ways enterprises must think about things. And that includes cloud.
Consolidating cloud providers has been a trend for a number of years, but infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is now increasing rapidly. Leading cloud industry providers have expanded their cloud offerings rapidly to meet new demands from enterprises, many of which were created by the pandemic. As we emerge from COVID-19 and into a new world of work and business, expect to see competition between cloud providers ramping up. Enterprises will need the right guidance to overcome the potential challenges and pitfalls involved in choosing and working with the right providers.
Multicloud has become the norm
Companies are adopting multicloud strategies in an attempt to increase agility and flexibility – something that has grown in importance with the pandemic. A multicloud strategy enables greater choice. It means enterprises aren’t tied to a single provider any longer – something that eases data sovereignty and security/compliance challenges.
Multicloud can also enable cost savings by consolidating IT workloads onto virtualized servers and letting enterprises use cloud solutions at different pricing tiers. There’s also a business resilience element, something else that is vital post-pandemic: using multiple cloud providers means eliminating single points of failure.
Multicloud also enables enterprises to match workloads to cloud services and accommodate line-of-business procurement preferences. It’s also the best way to support new digital initiatives, such as big data analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) platforms that could potentially require new infrastructure requirements as you grow.
Working with the right partners
It’s advisable to multi-source your multicloud solutions from multiple vendors, as this helps you shift operations using a workload-by-workload basis. It’s also sensible to work with a partner who has the specialist knowledge to advise you on maintaining a private cloud for use as a backup and to help address any potential regulatory and compliance concerns.
Making a smooth migration to multicloud can be a complicated process, particularly as enterprises sometimes try to do too much too quickly and too independently. You can quickly find yourself having problems keeping investments aligned to business goals, particularly when attempting to meet tight project deadlines. There are also security, efficiency, business value and other potential consequences to factor in.
The right partner with the right blend of professional services can help you bridge these gaps. Orange has a portfolio that focuses on multicloud adoption, application transformation, cost optimization and migration services, which are the common challenges for most companies. Orange was recently rated as a “Leader” in the GlobalData APAC telco cloud market assessment, with our active partnerships and overall engagement with a broader ecosystem cited as highlights of our offering.
Multicloud is right for our times: COVID-19 has put greater focus on flexibility and agility, and enterprises will need to have that ability to do more things more quickly moving forward. According to the Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud Report, 93% of enterprises say they have a multicloud strategy in place. Similarly, IDC has forecast that 2021 will be the year of multicloud, as successful emergence from COVID-19 emphasizes the need for business agility and scalability.
If you are not already working with the right partner who can enable your multicloud strategy and provide the right professional services to plug any gaps in it, now would be the right time.
Head of Cloud Asia Pacific, Orange Business Services
As Head of Cloud in the region, Christophe is responsible for driving and supporting APAC country teams to grow pipeline and win new and large transformational deals for cloud. He has lived in Japan for more than 10 years, and as head of Orange Business Services Japan for over seven years, is well versed in the Japanese market.