More evidence we’re in a multicloud world

Use of single or private cloud has trended downward from 29% in 2019 to only 2% in 2021. This comes from a recent IBM study. In case you think I was burying the lead, this leads to the logical conclusion that hybrid or multicloud is the dominant IT architecture.

The most concerning issue about most enterprises going multicloud is their lack of preparation to make multicloud and hybrid cloud work as a solution platform for the business. In other words, obstacles exist in leveraging this technology effectively.

The trouble comes when enterprises use multicloud due to circumstance, usually short development or migration projects that have been operating independently. In many cases the CIO is the last to know that more than a single public cloud is in use; usually he or she finds out when some department leader drops the cloud-based applications and data sets at the door of IT to be maintained.

This lack of planning for multicloud operations will hurt enterprises initially, affecting observability, security, and cross-cloud operations. There will most likely be a bunch of pain before they understand what needs to be done and do it. 

This is a huge issue, if you ask me.

First, the complexity of multicloud will lead to security and operational issues out of the gate, mostly due to not having the tools or skills needed for cross-cloud operations and security. This will show up as breaches and outages, both of which can kill a business.

Second, a lack of centralized governance and coordination of the multicloud deployment will just make things worse. In general, having technology choices is a good thing for innovation. However, there still needs to be some centralized plane around how data, development, security, and operations will be handled, using a unified set of approaches and tools.

So, what trends are we likely to see because of insufficient coordinated planning and a rapid rise in multicloud? Initial failure before success. Those who choose to react rather than be proactive will cost their businesses about 33% more for the same multicloud solution had it been well planned and executed.

Most of the expense will come from the costs of the problems, such as outages, security issues, and the price tag of rapidly fixing problems as firefighting exercises. It’s not that you won’t get there eventually, but it’s like traveling from Austin to Dallas via Los Angeles.

In a perfect world, we would have the right amount of planning and adopt key cross-cloud technologies to make this journey more value optimized. Some enterprises are indeed choosing this path. Others will just have to feel the pain before things get fixed. Which one are you? 

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