CIOs are seeking best-of-breed cloud services from a limited and trusted set of cloud providers
In the digital economy, a move to the cloud has become a business prerequisite. More so, in the wake of the pandemic. Says Sanchit Vir Gogia, chief analyst, founder & CEO, Greyhound Research, “The pandemic has forced organisations to leapfrog to a digital business model almost overnight. The need to actualise this model has led organisations to pursue cloud that offers the much-needed agility and supports enterprise-grade workloads.”
Organisations such as Polycab acknowledge the reality of a cloud-first world. “Only cloud offers a viable business model to consume IT as a ‘pay-per-use’ service”, says Vivek Khanna, executive president & CIO, Polycab India.
Looking beyond one cloud
Enterprises have come to realise that relying on one single cloud infrastructure provider for all applications and workloads is not a wise strategy. The rationale is simple – not every cloud is best-suited for every workload. For most businesses, choice of multiple cloud providers is a good thing.
As CIOs shift gears and embrace a multi-cloud strategy, the focus is now on what data and which applications to move to which cloud. So enterprises are tapping into the strength of multiple cloud providers depending on specific business needs and applications. As a result, we are seeing a new set of ‘Cloud-Smart’ enterprises that are driving faster cloud innovation—leading to consistent business growth, superior customer experience and increased profits.
Elaborating on the trend, Kapil Makhija, head – Technology Cloud, Oracle India, says, “A large number of companies have already adopted a multi-cloud strategy. Business and IT leaders are now keen to take advantage of the fact that certain workloads run better, faster or cheaper on different clouds. Using Oracle’s secure, second-generation cloud infrastructure (OCI) for data-intensive and high performance computing workloads, several enterprises have achieved significantly greater price-performance benefits vis-a-vis their existing cloud provider.”
Rise of multi-cloud environments
As per a recent Greyhound Research survey, State of Cloud 2021, over 70% of large organisations in India consider a multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud strategy superior to investing in a single cloud type. “There’s a growing realisation that one cloud type alone doesn’t cut it anymore. Hence, choosing the best-suited cloud by the workload is driving a multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud strategy. We will also see many CIOs working with software vendors to use their SaaS and other cloud options to ensure a continuum with current investments,” avers Gogia.
Can multi-cloud help accelerate innovation?
“During the early days, enterprises invested in more than one cloud platform to ensure business continuity through redundancy, with almost no interoperability among the cloud providers”, says MSV Janakiram, principal analyst, Janakiram & Associates. “Containers and Kubernetes changed the multi-cloud game by bringing not just interoperability, but a uniform and consistent approach to deploying and managing workloads in the cloud. Kubernetes is fueling digital transformation through the acceleration of application modernisation.”
Multi-cloud has all but become the new normal. Says Kapil Mahajan, Group CIO, Safexpress, “Multi-cloud strategy can help organisations build competitive differentiation and prevent expensive vendor lock-in. While designing our multi-cloud strategy, some of the key areas that we focused on were related to integration, visibility, security, resilience and the right set of tools.”
Choosing among different cloud providers enables customers to lower costs and optimise their overall IT spends. But what about complexity? “Our cloud strategy is almost synonymous with multi-cloud. The benefits of greater agility, improved cost efficiencies and increased flexibility/choice outweigh the complexities that may arise when working with multiple cloud providers,” affirms Polycab India’s Khanna.
A random mix of cloud services, without an integrated approach or a holistic strategy, will not help. “Multi-cloud should be a deliberate and cohesive strategy. It’s similar to the practice of choosing many different software providers on-premises to avoid lock-in and then assembling best-of-breed solutions in one’s own data center, but via a cloud-model that delivers increased agility and superior cloud economics”, explains Makhija at Oracle.