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Say the word “multicloud” to CIOs or other technology leaders and you’re almost guaranteed to get an eye roll. The prospect of simultaneously maintaining on-premises data centers, migrating to a single public cloud, and then deploying two or more redundant employees Additionally clouds on top is a recipe for frustration and disappointment.
There are good reasons to want multicloud: avoiding vendor lock-in, access to the best cloud services, and the flexibility to integrate with business partners (among others). But despite these potential benefits, most companies won’t soon realize a viable multicloud strategy for the simple reason that it’s just too expensive and complicated for most companies.
If there was ever a market need for an innovative alternative, now is the time.
Super cloud is what comes after the public cloud: it’s a value-added cloud-encompassing layer that hides complexity, exposes differentiated service capabilities, and adds new business (and business network) leverage beyond the raw “Lego bricks” of existing public and private clouds.
Supercloud represents the natural democratization of the current “wall of complexity” faced by developers and businesses alike. As a technical or business leader, how can you make the most of the emergence of this new supercloud vendor category? What best practices can be followed today, while supercloud is still an emerging concept?
Here are some basic guidelines for thinking about cloud investments in the era when both cloud-specific infrastructure and supercloud vendors will co-exist as critical elements of an IT portfolio.
Select supercloud vendors that already “get it”
The easiest and most common way to integrate change is to select a supplier that can successfully encapsulate it. Unlike hiring an SI for public cloud migration, this strategy ties in well with the rise of supercloud, as multicloud is best delivered as a product feature. In addition, supercloud’s SaaS delivery and packaging approach means that most of the improvements made by vendors will flow transparently to their users without the costly and challenging upgrades of the past. In other words, as supercloud-ready products get better, so do the companies using them.
Avoid “accidental multicloud”
Multi-cloud strategies and investments are among the most expensive and complex in a CIO’s portfolio. Leaving them to chance (or having a different internal opinion) is dangerous, as it can lead to costly migrations later on. Fundamental elements, such as how analytical and operational data are handled, need to be viewed through multiple lenses, including how to avoid unnecessary spending and staffing. Early and deliberate selection of supercloud vendors can concentrate those decision-making processes, reducing complexity and expenditure over time.
Design and invest for network effects, not individual applications
One of the most important emerging best practices is to shift focus from the micro (any application owned or managed by IT) to the macro (the value of automating and digitizing corporate networks and associated workflows). This new era of inherently distributed and decentralized applications places even greater demands on the “IT piping” on which it runs. It also means that decisions about multi-cloud and cross-vendor technology capabilities have become a mission-critical decision at the CIO level.
Supercloud may be another tidal wave for tech executives to surf, but it’s headed our way. Companies that successfully adopt it will reduce cloud costs, improve time-to-market and gain competitive advantages in this next wave of cloud adoption.
Tim Wagner is co-founder and CEO of Vendia
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