Multi-cloud4 min read

A Cloud-Smart Approach: Faster Innovation, Better Resiliency

Sanjay Yadave
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To meet the expectations of today’s digital-first customers, organizations must continue to innovate and deliver services and new products. While at the same time – and especially during the current economic climate – respond to increasing pressure to control costs.

Organizations therefore need to balance ‘playing offense’ – by accelerating their move to the cloud, and driving innovation to differentiate their offerings, with ‘playing defense’, by optimizing their spend, reducing cost, and increasing resiliency.

Embracing the public cloud has helped organizations to meet the growing challenge of ‘doing more, faster, and with less’. And whilst early cloud adoption centred around going ‘all-in’ on one cloud, or prioritizing one public cloud provider, in recent years and through the pandemic, organizations have been extending across multiple clouds. The main reason for adopting a multi-cloud approach is the ability to take advantage of the agility, scalability and resiliency enabled by a multi-cloud infrastructure.

VMware’s research shows that an overwhelming majority of organizations surveyed (95%) agree that multi-cloud architectures are now critical to business success. What’s more, 56% of those surveyed in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) believe organizations which do not adopt a multi-cloud approach risk failure. But while many organizations clearly recognize the value of multi-cloud, very few can fully realize it. This is mainly because rapid adoption has led to a whole new world of complexity.

Realizing Value is Still a Challenge

As an organization adopts multi-cloud, IT teams can find that building and running apps across clouds is challenging. Each cloud requires teams to use proprietary tools that are distinct and incompatible with one another, meaning frictionless operation remains an aspiration, rather than a reality for many organizations.

Meanwhile, for the average employee, getting fast, secure access to critical apps from anywhere is now imperative, yet the reality is not always so simple and seamless. This complexity has broader repercussions for the business, from siloed infrastructure and spiralling costs to difficulty in attracting and retaining talent.

These complexities are among the reasons as to why only 21% of APJ organizations are actually realizing the business value of multi-cloud. The majority (68%) currently struggle with multi-cloud complexity, which is perhaps not surprising when only 38% say their multi-cloud strategy is even fully defined.

As these organizations struggle with complexity, it can easily begin to feel like tech investments are not really paying off. And IT and business leaders may find it hard to achieve their digital transformation goals.

The Rise of Pragmatic App Modernization

Another emerging trend is that organizations are recognizing the importance of taking an app-centric approach when looking to leverage cloud to deliver innovation and differentiated customer experiences. Yet at the same time, increasing numbers of organizations are struggling with spiralling cloud costs and realising that a native cloud architecture may not be right for all applications. As a result, they are avoiding refactoring applications to native public cloud altogether, given the time and costs involved, and are preferring instead to quickly ‘relocate’ applications using VMware Cloud.

Australia’s UniSuper is one such organization that adopted a ‘relocate’ approach using VMware Cloud and has completed 60% of their cloud migration to Google using Google Cloud VMware Engine. This approach is enabling a quick and safe shift to the cloud in a way that supports their overall business strategy. MLC Life Insurance is another organization supported by VMware that is accelerating its cloud journey in a similar manner but leveraging VMware Cloud on AWS.

Taming Costs and Complexity

Even as organizations are adopting a more pragmatic approach to cloud, many still need to tame costs and complexity across their multi-cloud environment. But how can they do this?

It can help to have a closer look at ‘cloud smart’ organizations – those that have reached a level of multi-cloud maturity, where the strategic advantages far outweigh the complexities. These organizations seem to adopt a thoughtful, strategic approach and have realised that ‘more clouds’ isn’t always better.

Instead, they are focused on maximizing the potential of each cloud. These organizations also have apps that are built to run on more than one cloud, enabling them to increase app dev productivity, with the payoff of improved speed to market and operational resilience.

Around our region, there are plenty of examples of organizations that are making these real-world multi-cloud gains.  The smarter way to cloud has helped India’s National Stock Exchange (NSE) reduce complexity and accelerate modern app delivery. Cloud agility also helped Vietnamese bank MB develop new services to delight both their customers and employees.

Cenitex, which provides IT services to the government in the Australian state of Victoria, is using multi-cloud in a way that leverages the individual strengths of cloud providers. And using VMware solutions, Alyssa Global has simplified its cloud-native healthcare operations in Thailand to improve performance and reduce costs.

So, how can organizations that are still grappling with multi-cloud costs and complexity get to ‘cloud smart’?

Towards Consistency and Control

Enterprises may need to evaluate solutions that can deliver consistent experiences and services across different cloud environments – on-premises, in the public cloud, and at the enterprise edge. VMware Cross-Cloud services can give an enterprise standardized ways to build, operate, access, and better secure their applications on any cloud. Ultimately, it can help them choose the best cloud for every application, thereby accelerating innovation.

Along with consistency, having control over both multi-cloud costs and performance is key for an organization on its journey to ‘cloud smart’.

To get this control, organizations need unified visibility into their multi-cloud environments so they can better manage their workloads. Having a single platform with a common control plane and data model can enable enterprise teams to adjust operations and thereby control clouds costs and capacity to optimize performance.

Such a platform with end-to-end visibility can also help an enterprise manage risk and compliance by strengthening security posture across clouds.

Unlocking the Business Value of Multi-Cloud

By adopting a single cloud operating model, organisations can simplify management and optimise operations to simultaneously play offence and defence. With improved consistency across clouds, they can focus more on digital innovation to deliver new services faster and drive top-line growth. And with better visibility and control, they can optimise costs to drive up their profitability.

The journey to ‘cloud smart’ can seem challenging and overwhelming but with a sound multi-cloud strategy enabled by the right solutions, an organisation can successfully navigate this journey. And unlock business growth and win in the multi-cloud world.

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