The intent of this article is to brief the journey of cloud and outline the prevailing cloud market trends that have revolutionized the entire ecosystem of services . As technologists, architects, or salespeople, we are habitually inclined to have an eye for altering market trends. We want to understand how the evolving technologies bring compelling business transformational values, with IT at the forefront. Cloud technology has revolutionized the way IT services are consumed and has provided the legacy IT industry with agility, predictive maintenance, cost reduction, error-free production, efficient downtime management, and more.
On-premise, public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and multi-cloud are the buzz words that every architect, salesperson, technology evangelist, or CTO uses abundantly in their conversation pitch for years. Likewise, the word cloud is one of the most frequently used nowadays when it comes to IT discussions . However, cloud is no longer a mere buzzword but is actually turning into a reality as per IDC & Gartner reports. As per Gartner’s recent survey, 81% of the respondents are working with two or more cloud service providers. Basically, cloud is no longer a matter of ‘if’, but the answer to ‘when’, and the statement is especially remarkable amidst this current pandemic.
Consumption of private and public cloud services is ever increasing due to its high degree of simplicity, the ability to compress time to market, and agility blessed with automation. For most organizations, a single-cloud environment doesn’t suffice, ultimately leading to the adoption of a multi-cloud environment. For many, a multi-cloud environment is usually an amalgamation of heterogeneous public cloud services. For others, it includes both multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments, coining it as a “hybrid multi-cloud”. However, there are scenarios where multi-cloud wasn’t a choice, but uncontrolled growth due to mergers and demergers led to an unorganized cloud environment, moving from intended to ad hoc.
As cloud adoption matures, enterprises are realizing the importance of multiple cloud strategies adoption. This can alleviate vendor lock in and provide free workload movement, compressed time to market, opex benefits, more automated single-click operations, and ingest choice of varying services as per their business and technical necessities. But again, there are substantial challenges for achieving a true end nirvana cloud state as the workload migration between on-premise to cloud and cloud to cloud is still challenging and has not evolved enough to become seamless and risk-free. An effortless slam dunk migration among a group of clouds is still a pipe dream. Also, to build a full-blown, multi-cloud environment, one has to relook its existing IT infrastructure estate. This involves ensuring the presence of cloud-native capabilities of its applications or lift-shift its applications or workloads to a private cloud architecture to suit the cloud hyperscalers. In such a situation, one has to be cloud smart and not cloud first, which will help them to effectively distribute the respective suitable workloads in the clouds, i.e., private, public, hybrid, or multi-cloud, to alleviate any risks.
Once, the best-of-breed strategies seemed to be the trend and go-getter, but due to its difficulties in stitching and integrating multiple components within the architecture, it was gradually rendered inane. Although surprisingly, best-of-breeds seems to be gaining traction in the cloud world as well. So it is prudent to be cloud smart based on specific requirements and needs with respect to cost.
So, the talk is no longer about moving to cloud but about which cloud technology to move into. In other words, it is about being cloud smart , as any one cloud solving all the issues is like a bolt from the blue for the majority of customers. One of the best analogies which explain being cloud smart is using mobile phone services, prevailing in the market by multiple telecom providers. All of them offer the best of services (as per their respective claims), but if we observe practically, we find that most customers have more than one telecom subscription to suit their requirements. Similarly, every enterprise might have its unique requirements, and one can strategize to alleviate the current concerns on their basis. For example, enterprises can opt for a single cloud vendor for its front-end application services deployment and another cloud service vendor for its back-end application service requirements. Ultimately, it is high time for organizations to carefully move away from a cloud first strategy to being cloud smart.