The World is Moving to Cloud but Which Way Will it Turn?

The future could be messy

In today's digital world, change is the only constant for organisations. With the exponential data growth driven by digitalisation, cloud is no longer optional for organisations looking to remain competitive. They are on a software-defined journey and are looking for ways to best leverage cloud services in all their favours. At this pace, the expectations are high for the IT department looking to support the needs of the business. This could mean becoming more agile, streamlining operations or reducing costs to free up resources that can be repurposed.

The need to go faster and be more responsive can lead to an IT environment that is fragmented and ultimately more fragile. In turn, this fragmentation can also complicate the efficient management and protection of the company's information assets.

As we see the world moving to the cloud, what direction do we expect businesses to travel?

Private Cloud Infrastructure

The private cloud is an ideal option for organisations prioritising the need to keep confidential data in country or on-site. This consideration, coupled with the perception that private clouds are less risky and offer easier service level management, means that more organisations are continuing to push workloads to private cloud infrastructure rather than public. A fear of being locked into public cloud vendors is also driving enterprises to the private cloud.

The Public Cloud

A common perception is that less important workloads will migrate to the cloud at a much faster rate than critical workloads. However, from a recent study we found that this is not the case. Across the board, workloads of all types are migrating to the public cloud at similar rates.

Cost and agility is a big driver for organisations to move more workloads to public cloud. Nevertheless, security concerns are a deterrent for many organisations despite significant improvement in this area over the past few years.

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The Hybrid World

It's clear that organisations are not looking to move entirely to the cloud at this stage. This means that IT departments will have to continue to manage information located across a heterogeneous environment made up of both traditional and cloud technologies.

In order to effectively manage such a mixed infrastructure, a centralised tool that’s capable of ensuring high availability and efficient disaster recovery measures will become increasingly important.

Over the next 24 months, we expect organisations to approximately double the percentage of workloads in the public cloud. Companies will also increasingly look to leverage two or more cloud infrastructure vendors to support their workload requirements. This is further evidence of how fragmented IT is becoming in the digital age.

For IT teams, there is added pressure to ensure information is adequately protected and managed across an increasingly mixed and disparate environment.

Multi-Cloud

Businesses are quickly realising that putting all of their eggs in one basket isn’t always the best strategy when it comes to the cloud, leading to an increase in multi-cloud strategy implementation. According to an IDC report, more than 85% of Enterprise IT Organisations will commit to multi-cloud architectures by 2018 (IDC Futurescape, Worldwide Cloud 2017).

With a multi-cloud strategy, businesses have the ability to run multiple workloads on multiple applications, instead of relying on one single application.

The benefits are far reaching and include freedom from lock-in contracts, all whilst maintaining flexibility and room for infrastructure growth. Additionally, multi-cloud caters for unique needs, avoids the pain of legacy app migrations and allows businesses to diversify their cloud portfolio.

However, reaping these benefits requires an effective and tailored data management solution. Besides having visibility over their data, businesses need to avoid siloed infrastructure, security hazards and complexity.

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The Future Could be Messy

As we see it, even though organisations are rapidly migrating workloads to the public cloud, this is not a complete migration. Many companies will continue to look to keep workloads on-premise in either traditional or private cloud infrastructure.

The future could be messy with a mix of traditional on-premises, private and public clouds. This puts pressure on IT and cloud providers to ensure proper solutions that help maintain data visibility, management and control are in place.

To be successful, organisations will need to look for partners to help manage the chaos.