Enterprises today have the option of selecting best fit solutions from a multitude of public cloud services or private cloud platforms. According to a recent report from RightScale, multi-cloud implementations are today’s strategy of choice for a majority of enterprises surveyed.
Let’s take a look at some factors which influence both adoption trends as well as management challenges in a multi-cloud implementation from the perspective of both consumers and cloud providers.
Granular Feature Sets
Competing cloud providers are making services including compute, storage and middleware increasingly granular, providing consumers with a large amount of flexibility to pick and choose components as required. Continue reading
IT enablement of business processes over the last decade has resulted in enterprises maintaining bloated portfolios with silos, overlaps, redundancies, and complex integrations costing an enormous amount of money. In today’s world of rapidly changing and evolving business scenarios, CIOs with squeezed IT budgets are figuring out ways to reduce costs by optimizing existing resources to support business transformation and growth.
Portfolio Assessment & Rationalization is an approach for examining portfolios and determining its complexity and health. It re-organizes portfolios, aligning them with up to date business strategy and help organizations derives more business value with reduced maintenance and Run The Business (RTB) costs. This gives CIOs a top down analytical view of the application landscape, provides insights into the portfolio and enables better decision making for strategic investments, functional and/or technical consolidations, migrations, and retiring applications. Continue reading
Here is the list of some of the key trends in the Cloud Computing space that summarizes what has changed in the industry or business landscape.
1. The cloud market continues to be led by pioneers such as Amazon and Salesforce.com while Microsoft, VMware, Google and IBM (along with SoftLayer) have made positive headways. Other players such as Oracle, SAP, HP, Rackspace, Terremark and NetSuite are emerging as serious contenders.
2. Cloud computing is already a key strategy for most organizations. From being seen as a technology enabler earlier on, cloud computing is now garnering more interest for bringing reach, speed and flexibility to businesses.
3. Cloud-managed business applications, field force connectivity and enablement of enterprise processes are becoming a priority for most enterprises. Cloud is also being considered as an integral part of the BC/DR strategy to ensure business continuity.
4. According to a recent estimate by Gartner, the public cloud services market is expected to grow 62% by 2015, indicating increased spending on cloud services. Public cloud giants such as Amazon Web Services continue to make significant advancements into core areas like government, financial and public security through various cloud engagements like GovCloud, FinQloud and the recent news about the CIA’s contract for similar reasons.
5. Hybrid clouds are becoming increasingly important as enterprises express their comfort level with a hybrid model in general. Enterprise applications, such as those that demand low latency or deal with sensitive information, are run on a private cloud (close to the users) while other Internet-facing applications are run on public clouds. Technology vendors such as IBM, HP and VMware are bringing attention to many converged IT solutions that are scalable, highly available and are more easily managed than traditional systems.
6. Enhanced trend with ISVs to incorporate cloud/SaaS-based offerings in order to remain competitive. On the one hand, ISVs are re-architecting existing applications for the cloud, while other groups are focusing on building new cloud-only offerings to deliver at faster speed to market. Applications such as Internet apps, user/content-centric apps, web services, collaboration, communication and management apps are the major beneficiaries.
7. SaaS services such as CRM, support, human capital management, and office productivity have become firmly entrenched in businesses of varied shapes and sizes. With players such as Salesforce.com and Microsoft Azure, ISVs are counting on added productivity boost to develop and manage their SaaS offerings.
8. Open source cloud technologies such as OpenStack continue to develop a huge fan following and promise to offer an equal technology realm across different industry segments to create a level playing field for all. The open source PaaS framework Cloud Foundry with its revised strategy has started creating an ecosystem that promises to significantly impact the PaaS roadmap for organizations.
9. Cloud computing is becoming a must-have for businesses to fuel faster innovation. Cloud-based technology naturally propels and has potential to promote trends like a mobile-first service strategy and a Big Data-based delivery of business insights as a service.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is picking up steam and the world of software applications and products is moving from on-premise to SaaS model. Gartner predicts that 77% of companies plan to increase their spending on SaaS in the next two years.
The question is how can you (as a software application or product vendor) quickly move to SaaS, test it and ride the wave of opportunity before losing your specific competitive advantage to some of the fast-progressing SaaS vendors like Workday, Oracle, Saleforce.com, SAP, Microsoft, Intuit, and Zuora. The next question is – what should one do in order to SaaS-enable an existing application or a product?
Having seen many product teams struggle for months with just putting together the basic understanding and plan, here are some ideas on how to think about and devise a detailed SaaS-enablement strategy from an engineering perspective. In my article in the Cloud Computing Journal, I’ve divided my suggestions into three SaaS-enablement strategy pillars for engineering – SaaS architecture, SaaS design thinking, and SaaS implementation planning. These pillars will help frame your thinking and help develop a fully baked thought process that will ‘concretize’ your SaaS-enablement roadmap. With the right mindset and experience, SaaS enablement of your software product could be a quick possibility – as little as six weeks.
To read the complete article, please click here
In our last blog, we introduced the concept of Multi-Cloud which is gaining momentum in the cloud adoption across multiple industries. To refresh, the Multi-Cloud paradigm may be defined as an adjuvant use of two or more public clouds with multiple private cloud solutions, similar to the hybrid cloud-a unified cloud solution that involves a combination of a public and private cloud platforms. Let’s take a look at the benefits and challenges of this paradigm.
In the Multi-Cloud paradigm, your data and/or applications may be spread across multiple cloud providers; hence the risk of loss and unavailability is inherently limited. The Multi-cloud paradigm enables businesses to operate continuously without disruption.
Various cloud providers come with their own limitations and may not be suitable for servicing particular geographical locations. In a Multi-cloud scenario, enterprise services can be tailored to run off the best-fit cloud provider for different regions.
There isn’t a clear one-size-fits-all public cloud solution today with each provider providing a range of different services geared towards different use cases. The ability to custom fit applications on the most suitable provider within the Multi-Cloud management umbrella may also provide better QoS and end user experience.
Is Multi-Cloud here to stay? It does come with its own set of challenges.
- Complexity & Management
Enterprise cloud strategies have mostly been focused on assessment and migration to public clouds or consuming cloud services using some combination of hybrid public/private clouds where the management is still not mature. Enter the Multi-Cloud and the added dimensions further increase the management challenges.
- Maturity in Multi-Cloud Management Tools
Couple the management challenges with the lack of standards in interfaces and API and there is a definite need for mature Multi-Cloud management tools.
- Lack of SLA Standardization
How does one really gauge and compare SLAs of different cloud providers systematically? There are no common standards or benchmarks. In a Multi-cloud environment, this will prohibit the ability to make informed decisions about workload placements on the best-fit clouds for optimizations and harnessing the real value out of the Multi-cloud environment.
How does it impact you?
With increased awareness and popularity, the Multi-Cloud paradigm is gaining attention in the community. How does this impact the industry and how should organizations prepare themselves?
- Enterprise IT will have to play a major role in this in terms of garnering the ability for centralized management and also act as a service broker for multiple cloud providers in order to provide abstracted unified cloud services for the organization.
- Cloud Lifecycle Product ISVs need to start putting into place Multi-cloud management strategies and building mature cloud management products.
- Cloud Service Providers need to strategically provide the ability to seamlessly integrate their services via conformance to some common API such as OpenStack or other industry initiatives, or perhaps risk falling behind due to vendor lock-in concerns.
Multi-Cloud does seem like a logical next step for cloud consumption models. The industry has begun to slowly shift towards this paradigm. Moving ahead, it’ll be interesting to see how enterprise IT and cloud service providers prepare to enable this kind of cloud consumption.