Gartner predicts that by 2021, over 75% of midsize and large organisations will have adopted a multi-cloud and/or hybrid IT strategy.
As organizations embark on their cloud journeys, the BCG-Cisco, the Future of Cloud in Asia-Pacific, report highlights that overall cloud spending is expected to reach US$200 billion in the region by 2024 according to Gartner. Singapore, Australia and India are the top three APAC markets with the largest overall IT spend.
Yet, the new reality of today’s diverse IT landscape with multiple locations, remote teams and users means the move to the cloud will be complex. The study also revealed that the real challenge in today’s digital era is understanding how to manage the transition to the cloud in a seamless and secure manner. This is especially as more organizations are embracing multi-cloud environments without an overarching strategy in place.
A multi-cloud approach offers significant advantages to organizations seeking to optimize the Three Cs of Cloud: Cost, Capabilities and Compliance.
However, with all the advantages to be gained with a multi-cloud approach, executives should be aware of the downsides.
Bidhan Roy, managing director, commercial enterprise & mid-market segment, APJC at Cisco, observed the different approaches organisations are taking on their cloud journey. What is constant in all of these is the placing of the customer at the ‘centre of everything.’
Roy opined that top of mind for everyone is cost, reach and the pace at which they are able to go to market.
“We have seen every other country doing a little bit of a start-stop in terms of restrictions, what we can do and what we cannot do. So, uncertainty is absolutely the order of the day today,” he added.
He opined that this uncertainty is causing organisations to forego large infrastructure investments ‘for customers without really thinking about flexibility and agility.’
“The number one priority for them is how to go out and build a network or an IT infrastructure which is flexible and agile,” he continued.
He added that there is also a greater emphasis on what can be achieved from the adoption. “The greater focus on outcomes or returns suggests that adoption strategies are more well thought out,” he opined.
Security remains a challenge for many organisations in the region. Cisco’s Bidhan acknowledged that organisations are adopting the cloud for speed and scale. However, what is not being discussed consistently is the question of efficiency and whether a security is being adopted in the manner that the business expects.
The rise of attacks in 2020 has prompted a reversal of trends among businesses. Bidhan cited a Frost and Sullivan report that revealed 81% of respondents experiencing security incidents that have caused workloads to be returned to on-prem data centres.
“More than 50% of them said that they do not have the right profiles when they were in a hybrid environment,” he continued.
He reminds us that businesses operate in a very distributed environment. “It could be a workforce, it could be a cloud environment – public, private or hybrid. How do we bring across consistency in the security approach wherever we operate in?” queried Bidhan.
He also raised concern over whether organisations are thinking about connectivity or networking capability when moving to the cloud. Also, whether they are agile when operating in a hybrid cloud environment.
“We do know that there are certain areas where telemetry driven activities are the common vocabulary and consistent framework for all of us. But at the same time, we also need to have technologies that could enable multi-domain cloud management, and to do that by reducing the complexities and optimizing workloads as we operate in this multi-cloud environment,” he continued.
The other challenge for enterprises is cost. Leaders are organisations are attracted to the cloud because of the promise of economies of scale and inferring lower acquisition cost of technology.
However, the reality is that many, especially enterprises, are discovering they are consuming more when they moved to a cloud environment.
“Why that happens is because it (the migration to the cloud) was not been planned well as to, at what point in time what investments need to be made. I have seen enterprises not thought through which is a partner can help them plan and control its cloud journey; how would they tap into or leverage some of the existing investments,” he opined.
What is required, he continued, is a holistic business plan that brings business and technology together, so that it’s an effective cost-containment strategy.
Bidhan conceded that the current environment we are in is not going to change, including the evolving way of work.
“We have to be nimble and agile as we move on, because of this hybrid work, distributed environment, distributed workplace, and hybrid cloud environment. These are all things that are going to stay,” he continued.
“An organization needs to keep it very clear in their objectives as to how they can continue to stay agile in this environment, how they can make use of technologies like hybrid environments so that they can scale up and down operations very quickly based on their business needs. All those things are going to add on to the cost-effectiveness,” concluded Bidhan.
Click on the PodChat player and listen to Roy elaborate on what he refers to as three trends, strategies, priorities and challenges CIOs and enterprises in Asia as they implement secure multi-cloud environments.
- What would you say are the top 3 trends around multi-cloud environment/strategy in Asia?
- What are the top 3 priorities/drivers for adopting multi-cloud environment?
- What is the 3 biggest issues/challenges why some companies are struggling to successfully implement a multi-cloud environment?
- What are the top 3 considerations for selecting cloud vendor?
- Can you share one key lesson that we learned (about technology, process, people) from the covid pandemic?