Does the phrase ‘crisis on-demand’ ring any bells? That’s certainly what it felt like when businesses around the world suddenly had to figure out how to keep everyone operational from home. And that was just the first demand it’s been non-stop since then.
But step back for a moment. If you look at the long-term picture, you can see that this wasn’t just firefighting to stand still. We have been dealing with some long-standing issues that, frankly, have needed tackling for a few years now.
For some time, most organizations have been accumulating an IT wish-list – you could call it a ‘technical debt’ – of projects that needed doing, but not now. These lists now look eerily similar to the projects we have had to drive through in the last year. None are the same, of course, but the same words crop up again and again: We all want more resilience, agility and pace.
The four steps to multi-cloud adoption
Fortunately for all of us, the cloud was around to get us out of this inherited problem. We can now make radical changes in incredibly short timescales – weeks or a couple of months, at most. Without that, I think the 2020 business survival ratio would be looking a lot worse.
Equally fortunately, we already had enough experience how to do cloud migration when the scale of the pandemic disruption became obvious. Out of the range of possible cloud migration projects shown in the figure below, the vast majority we see at Fujitsu aim to tackle the first two – data center and disaster recovery migration – optimizing workloads for what you need to do today (whereas on-premises data centers needed ‘wiggle room’ to cover possible fluctuations).
But that, as the diagram suggests, is just the start. So, suppose you already had an entrenched VMware estate. In that case, you’re now probably on VMware on AWS or Azure, keeping that uniformity, but now with the option to springboard into public multi-cloud capabilities for app and business transformation, much, much more quickly. This is precisely why we have a mature, global multi-cloud strategy with partners like VMware, AWS, Microsoft, Oracle and ServiceNow, to name a few.
Many companies have been taking on multi-cloud strategies for a few years now. They wanted – and got – rapid change based on entirely new service and business models. We don’t need to rehearse all the reasons here as they’re pretty well known now. But the primary argument is that you get scalable, fast processes, and at a more predictable price.
These are not look-alike, off-the-peg processes that could be from any company, anywhere. Any good cloud app has plenty of customization capabilities to let you develop something unique to your business model. And that’s without looking at the upsides that come from pushing the time and cost of maintenance and upgrades onto someone else’s shoulders.
What became pretty clear during the pandemic was that multi-cloud environments create much greater flexibility for businesses to meet customer and employee needs that might be swinging wildly from one extreme to the other – and then back again. And they are now the ideal model for responding to the disruption in your industry that was already taking place before the pandemic from long-term social, economic, and digital forces.
Moving to multi-cloud
As many have already discovered, cloud migration has significant benefits, but it must be managed carefully.
There are three things you need to keep an eye on in particular. You need to make sure you are harnessing the right emergent technologies. There is so much on offer. It can be hard to identify the best options for your business and, as well as allowing you to optimize your estate, it’s just as easy to take a wrong turn along the way. Next, do you have the right structure – here, I’m thinking about teams, SLAs, and KPIs – to steer you from planning and deployment through to governance and management. And third, what about your supplier ecosystem? With multi-cloud, it’s likely that every change is going to affect multiple providers, stakeholders, service constructs, and so on.
All three of these needs are manageable, with the right advice.
Of course, when making a move to multi-cloud, you’ll also want to make sure that you’ve considered every potential security stumbling block, so you can keep your infrastructure and data safe and secure and thus protect your customers, business, and brand. Your technical risk will be under scrutiny from governing bodies too. With the right cloud providers and the right partner by your side, you can strengthen your compliance against various standards and potential threats.
The pause button pressed during the COVID-19 pandemic is likely about to come off soon. If multi-cloud looks like it has something important to offer your organization, then there’s never been a more opportune or necessary time to plan your next moves.
I’d particularly recommend you think about using up-front analysis and modeling based on real assets – so you can learn how the cloud can help you build a solid business case. You need to consider your existing business assets and how these might work within a multi-cloud environment. And you should aim to make everything simpler, for example, with a unified management interface and billing system. This will allow you to manage and keep track of payment for all of your cloud platforms together.
They’ll also help you avoid ‘OSINTOTs’ – those being the things that make you think: “Oh sugar, I never thought of that.” Trust me, multi-cloud projects, if not approached correctly, have the potential to be an absolute minefield for OSINTOTs!
» To help you explore how to cut out the regrets and reap the rewards, please visit the Your Multi-Cloud site.
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