Organizations, big or small, will see a slew of innovations in the coming months that will bring mature cloud services into sharp focus with their need for scale in a COVID-19 world. Considering multi cloud services as a viable option for withstanding the changing dynamics will pave the way for data risks, increasing infrastructure year-on-year cost, applications operations and performance issues. However, as enterprises take this path, they face complexities in designing robust architectures that can leverage multi cloud services. For most organizations in India, a hybrid model of both private and public cloud will be beneficial in scaling existing services and at same time, going cloud-native to design and develop new applications on PaaS using a DevOps approach for rapid rollouts. This demands development of strong engines, which can control the entire cloud framework and provide flexibility to the organizations.
There is always a debate around whether to make cloud as the only strategy or start with cloud as the first strategy. For a business, it is critical to understand which application and service to move to each type of solution and which cloud solution to choose to meet the business needs. The decision becomes important to help users in defining various operational costs and tracking the changing variable rates. Business users require the flexibility and agility to add or remove resources on a need basis, with a lead-time of minutes rather than weeks. This allows matching resources to workload more closely and provides the organizations with the ability to transfer risk related to resources. Based on a holistic evaluation of each workload’s attributes, multi cloud services can help organizations choose the most appropriate delivery vehicle for their workloads, thereby ensuring effective movement of their production workloads.
I strongly believe that for optimum usage of multi cloud services, organizations also need to have the ability to auto-provision cloud services and analyze the services in terms of performance. Software such as cloud brokerage can provide automated selection of the right cloud services to provide the best performance, reliability, security, and cost efficiency. Organizations can therefore benefit from the interoperability of public and private cloud-based services, common management and governance and security services.
Another critical topic which I often come across is ‘security’ of data while using multi cloud services. Although I believe that cloud computing environment is as secure today as the vast majority of in-house IT environments, encrypting data before placing it in a cloud will be even more secure than unencrypted data in a local data center.
Apart from security and governance issues, the selection of right cloud products and services is a major challenge for organizations. Therefore, organizations are looking for options wherein they pay for use of cloud resources on a short-term basis as needed and release the resources post that. This will enable variabilization and adaptation to usage patterns and will provide confidence to organizations in embracing cloud as a strategy in future.
For enterprises across, it would be wise to reduce their operations costs and channel the savings into new cloud initiatives. Enterprises should attempt to extend the life cycle of their existing assets before considering a refresh, while simultaneously moving to a subscription-based, pay-as-you-go model rather than footing steep licensing bills.
However, the cloud journey doesn’t end there. Goal-oriented and highly motivated businesses will use their cloud credits to support proofs-of-concept and other essential services. One way of doing this is to containerize applications and remediate end-of-life issues around OS, improving computing density and rationalizing OS licenses for cost savings. The other established route to achieve savings is to outsource value streams to trusted partners.
‘Multi cloud services’ as a strategy is no more in its nascent stage and I believe that the opportunities in this space are building up rapidly because of the growing adoption and focus on cloud native services by organizations. These are the enterprises that will seamlessly emerge out of any crisis like COVID-19, as they shall find themselves in a completely new paradigm of digital transformation.