Everything You Know About Cloud is About to Change

Doug McDonald Director, Product Management for Healthcare Published 8 Aug 2021

There are few IT leaders that are not focused on a comprehensive cloud strategy to maximize the business value of moving to the cloud. Gartner predicts 40% of all enterprise workloads will be deployed the cloud by 2023, up from only 20% in 2020. The pandemic has further accelerated cloud strategies focusing on a “new normal” and new strategies on how enterprise companies can operate. Employees no longer necessarily need to report to an office or campus for a full 5-day work week. Instead, they may prefer to work remotely, either part-time or full-time, but with expectations of the same enterprise networking experience. Therefore, the enterprise no longer just resides in a building, but instead, the enterprise is wherever the employees choose to work. The enterprise no longer resides strictly at corporate headquarters or on a company campus. Instead, the future is an Infinite Enterprise.

Moving forward, IT enterprises must support an infinitely distributed, secure workforce as their organization extends anywhere and everywhere. This might have been a bit of science fiction two years ago, but it is evolving into reality in the post-pandemic world.

IT leaders are now tasked with keeping the global workforce functional and successful no matter where they are.  This paradigm shift enables businesses to hire talent from any location and ensure people can work wherever they want, solidifying the Infinite Enterprise concept.  A scalable cloud delivers the ability to orchestrate, observe, troubleshoot, and find data and insights in the network in the Infinite Enterprise. The cloud is critical as the network grows in complexity, but very few operations teams are getting more budget to manage the network. The cloud also brings cost-effective scale as it can scale with an organization. There is no better technology to help address these challenges than the power of a scalable cloud.

Cloud technology has certainly become part of our everyday business life. If your company uses Microsoft 360 or Salesforce, then you are using cloud. And, of course, enterprise networking management has progressed to the cloud. But what if there was a way that you could manage data and analytics that extended across multiple cloud ecosystems?  What if there could be a platform that could leverage data sets in a new way?  And could we find a way to not only bring visibility into a single pane of glass but data aggregation, analytics, and automation leveraging machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) workflows?

Gartner also predicts 75% of enterprise customers using cloud will deliberately adopt a multicloud strategy by 2022.  

Multicloud strategies are being adopted for numerous reasons to prevent vendor lock-in or to adopt best-of-breed technology. The obvious benefit of multicloud versus single cloud is that it provides daily access to the best variety of SaaS applications. Furthermore, a multicloud approach minimizes your dependency on cloud providers such Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

By the way, please don’t confuse multicloud with a hybrid cloud strategy. A hybrid cloud is when an enterprise company leverages a combination of public, private, and on-premises cloud capabilities from a single provider. In contrast, multicloud utilizes multiple cloud applications from multiple cloud providers. However, it is conceivable that a multicloud strategy could also encompass a hybrid blueprint.

A multicloud approach may have challenges to overcome as most cloud providers don’t play nice together. How can your business take advantage of harnessing the power of all your data in these different clouds?  We are on the precipice of a new cloud movement. More specifically, a multicloud movement. One in which businesses will not only desire aggregated cloud data from disparate clouds but will demand it. 

Effectively we need to chain clouds together. We need a cloud chaining process that harmonizes divergent cloud data streams together to provide additional insights leading to value and better outcomes. Imagine a networking company ingesting the data from various IoT companies, marring that data with the network data sets, and producing more proactive insights that visualize quality of experience (QoE) metrics and ensures 24/7 device uptime. Cloud chaining these diverse data sets into a single multicloud management platform will further increase operational efficiencies.

This concept of cloud chaining is just beginning, but we believe it will be an integral aspect of your future cloud strategy. Years back, I worked at a large company where we, as IT leadership, were formulating a comprehensive cloud strategy. Meanwhile, various pockets of the business were already adopting cloud capabilities rapidly. We quickly discovered via an audit that over 70 applications were already in the cloud. This discovery raised many essential questions like how the clouds were being secured, managed, and optimized. Even more challenging, similar business units across the organization had invested in cloud capabilities for the same workflow from different vendors. Vendors that do not play nice at all. This created all sorts of unneeded complexities. The harsh reality is many of these key factors were not a topic of conversation from the business.

The future utopia of the cloud involves creating a platform that can interweave the data from your multicloud strategy into actionable data that provides value for your business. We can only realize this value by creating platforms built on design thinking concepts that focus on a customer-centric approach. Cloud chaining is the only path forward to solving the challenge of multicloud disparity. In my next blog, I will further discuss the future of cloud chaining. And guess what? You might be surprised to learn that you have already been reaping the benefits of cloud chaining.

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