How To Clean Up Your Multicloud Mess

Multicloud strategies are here to stay. Practicing intentionality while cultivating yours can help curb IT sprawl.

As an IT executive engaged in digital transformations, you use a variety of applications to run the business more efficiently and help your business peers acquire, serve and retain customers.

You also likely run these workloads on on-premises and public clouds, among others. How you got there is a never-ending story, but well-meaning employees, including many of your own employees, have added more tools to make work more efficient, with no regard for where those tools run, let alone how much redundancy they have created.

Raise your hand if you’re running three or more expense management apps (that you know of). As computing environments continue to expand, what do you see when you stop to look at your IT inventory? See a multicloud clutter or an opportunity to streamline? It’s not a trick question; It’s okay to see both. And you probably do.

Related: Is as-a-service a cure for cloud sprawl?

Multicloud sprawl increases business risk

All clouds are not created equal. Various vendors promise IT leaders lower costs, better performance or greater geographic availability, among other things.

A CIO may find that one vendor’s ERP software runs faster and more reliably than the competition. But maybe that same CIO will choose to entrust machine learning workloads to another vendor because of promises of higher accuracy and lower costs. Or maybe that savvy CIO is choosing one vendor over another to gain a price advantage on a future deal.

And maybe that CIO chooses to manage data governance and security concerns by keeping data in a corporate data center or colo facility. And maybe that weary, overwhelmed soul keeps certain workloads local because their transformation to run in the public cloud adds complexity.

You manage multiple data repositories, mostly in isolation, not to mention juggling multiple security configurations for your standard and custom workloads. Your business is suffering from a major sprawl case that is affecting your ability to realize cost savings and create operational efficiencies.

Dealing with the new IT reality

Such multicloud environments are not an aberration – they reflect the new IT reality.

More than 80% of IT decision makers surveyed said they have implemented or plan to expand multicloud strategies, with 64% saying they think “multicloud first,” according to a Forrester Research survey of IT decision makers, who do too said they will prefer multicloud Increase to 72% in two years.

As a result, IT portfolios have become multicloud-enabled by default, seemingly a mix of software assets running in various internal and external locations.

IT assets will continue to explode as enterprises embrace delivery of workloads on edge devices, a burgeoning trend; 52% of IT leaders surveyed by Dell will increase their investment in edge workloads over the next six to 12 months.

IT sprawl exacerbates business risk, including the unpredictability that comes with hard-to-understand costs of running assets across multiple environments. And while many organizations are turning to technology business management as a best practice for managing IT environments, it requires—you guessed it—another tool for the ever-expanding digital sprawl.

Does that sound like the IT profile of nightmares? Better question: Does that sound like it? your IT profile?

No one said managing multicloud environments was easy, and you’ve probably built acceptable (we hope) risk into the annual plan you’re presenting to your board of directors. The reality is that most organizations’ multicloud strategies face challenges in almost every area of ​​IT, from cost to security concerns, according to Forrester.

The researcher said the top five challenges in deploying a multicloud strategy are: difficulties in managing data (31%); Difficulty dealing with team’s lack of knowledge of legacy infrastructure (27%); increasing compliance issues and deficiencies; (27%), difficulty managing assets across public and private cloud platforms (26%); and long deployment cycles (26%).

With headwinds like this blowing in the face of your digital transformations, who needs cybersecurity risks, supply chain snarls and gross economic inflation? Nobody, of course, but they’re here anyway.

Managing multicloud with intentional workload placement

There is no magic elixir to solve these problems, but there are several ways to address them. One involves a more conscious approach to designing and building IT assets.

Cultivating a more conscious approach to your multicloud strategy involves leveraging modern IT architecture best practices, including automation, self-provisioning, and rapid deployment, to create a consistent cloud experience.

This includes carefully considering the optimal locations to run diverse workloads with ease, agility, and control. Because it comes down to how and where you choose to run your IT workloads—intentionality.

That’s why we designed Dell’s APEX portfolio of as-a-service solutions to be compatible with your existing and emerging technology needs. It offers the ease and agility of As-a-Service combined with power and control. With an as-a-service operating model, you can focus on driving innovation instead of managing the infrastructure.

As the calendar shifts to 2023, ask yourself: how are you executing your multicloud strategy to drive digital transformation while preventing your tools from cluttering your IT estate?

Continue reading: Top tech predictions for 2023

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