The future is always hard to predict in IT, but if you are in IT, there’s one thing we can predict with utter certainty: cloud computing will be an increasingly important part of what you do and how you do it.
We are now in a world where multi-cloud environments are a full-fledged reality, critical to any IT decision-maker seeking to enable workplace and IT transformation. Whether it’s by accident—hello, shadow IT—or by design, many enterprise IT teams today find themselves managing multiple clouds, often haphazardly.
Accidental and haphazard are not really the paths you want to take to the future. Instead, you want to formulate and execute on an explicit multi-cloud strategy that positons your organization to best leverage and coordinate multiple cloud providers. Getting to there from here, however, poses a new set of challenges. The biggest ones include:
- Skills: To successfully leverage and navigate a multi-cloud environment, IT needs to access expertise across a larger range of cloud technologies. In addition, IT teams must now manage multiple vendor relations and far more complex cost tracking. As if that weren’t challenging enough, most IT departments are already facing a shortage of personnel who are knowledgeable and proficient in deploying and managing cloud environments. For analysis and insights on the true impact of the expertise skills gap, download the 2017 Cost of Cloud Expertise Report.
- Security: The good news is that the foundational level of security delivered by the best cloud providers is exceptional. Many CIOs who cited security as a top cloud concern several years ago have done a 180-degree turn and now look at cloud security as an asset. The bad news is that the additional complexity of multi-cloud computing needs more than the foundational level of security most cloud companies now offer.
- Complexity: Simply put, managing multiple clouds is more complex than managing a single cloud. The complexity is exacerbated by several issues, including the shortage of skills and the security challenges we’ve just discussed. Organizations have to put in place proper governance practices and processes and ensure compliance over their multi-cloud environments, particularly in dealing with many of the shadow IT initiatives that have sprung up over the years. In addition, IT must closely manage the cloud spend, which can be extremely difficult to control, and ensure business units are getting the performance they need (and are paying for) in the public cloud.
The Future Is Now
If you are in IT, you must face these challenges head-on. They are not going away, and the faster you take them on, the faster your company will be on the path to IT transformation.
The good news is that you don’t have to face any of these challenges alone. If you can’t hire the skills necessary to manage and secure a multi-cloud environment—and very few companies can—you can work with a leading managed service or managed security provider. The same holds true for any of the other myriad challenges you may face in planning, designing, securing and managing your multi-cloud environment.
Here at Rackspace we are fully committed to helping you achieve your IT transformation goals and successfully leverage cloud platforms to drive competitive advantage and innovation. For more information on how we can help you secure your multi-cloud future, please visit us at https://www.rackspace.com/professional-services